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Over Nine in Ten (92%) Marketing and Sales Professionals in Singapore Say Generative AI is Important to their Daily Work, but Knowledge Gaps Hinder Full Potential: HubSpot Research

SINGAPORE19 JUNE 2023HubSpot, the customer relationship management (CRM) platform for scaling companies, today announced the findings of a survey conducted by YouGov, on the usage and attitudes around generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Singapore.

Gen AI driving effectiveness and productivity in the workplace
Despite Singapore’s robust technology infrastructure, skilled workforce, and progressive culture of innovation, the survey results have shown that more awareness and training are necessary when it comes to the application of disruptive technologies such as generative AI in sales and marketing. 

From content creation to customer engagement through chatbots, generative AI tools help businesses deepen customer connections while dramatically reducing the time for marketing research, data analysis, and reporting. Three in five (61%) marketers and sales professionals in Singapore say their organisation has invested in generative AI tools and they plan to continue investing (46%). The survey results showed that 66% of total respondents and 71% in small and medium businesses (SMBs) are already using generative AI tools in their role.   

Although productivity benefits of generative AI are being realised in marketing and sales roles, respondents also expressed a clear sentiment of responsible use. Over seven in ten (72%) said people should use generative AI tools in their jobs, including one in seven (14%) saying people should leverage gen AI as much as possible and nearly three in five (58%) saying people should use gen AI, but avoid becoming overly reliant on them. 

With spending on AI in Asia Pacific expected to grow rapidly, Singapore is striding ahead in its advancement of transparency and governance in AI, as well as the application of disruptive technologies across industries. Amongst the respondents who adopt generative AI tools for their role, over nine in ten (92%) say that these are important for their day-to-day work —but gaps in knowledge (60%) are creating challenges to unleashing their full potential.

The shortfall in awareness was revealed by 35% of respondents who face the challenge of not knowing where to begin with generative AI tools and require education and training to realise the value of the technology. For over two-fifths (42%) of respondents, inaccurate information from generative AI poses a concern, while 31% say the content produced by generative AI is too surface-level or vague. 28% of respondents also believe that generative AI cannot create truly unique or original content; this was followed by 36% saying the content generative AI  produces isn't always relevant to their desired goal, while nearly the same number (35%) find it difficult to know how to prompt generative AI tools to achieve desired results.

“Today’s customers are increasingly desensitised with templated marketing and sales outreach and are looking for the next level of relevance and personalisation. Businesses must rise to meet these expectations by changing tactics to engage customers more effectively. That's where generative AI comes in; enabling businesses to focus on quality connections over quantity,” said Dan Bognar, Vice President & Managing Director, JAPAC, at HubSpot.

“At a time when budgets are under greater scrutiny, generative AI is transforming work for Singaporean organisations across both sales and marketing functions— from conducting customer research to prospecting more effectively, generative AI is redefining productivity. We are moving away from getting the same outcome for less to getting even better results, with less. However, for businesses to fully benefit from this technology, improving literacy and empowering employees to use generative AI effectively and responsibly is essential to unlock its potential,” he added.

Blitzscaling marketing campaigns with generative AI 

An important finding from the survey results was that marketing teams in Singapore are only scratching the surface of the possibilities of generative AI to transform the way they work, in addition to boosting employee productivity.

For instance, the most popular use case for generative AI among Singapore marketers is creating content (89%). The findings showed how generative AI has made content marketing teams more effective at their jobs, enabling them to create significantly more content that also performs better:

  • Nearly seven in ten (68%) marketers in Singapore feel content made using generative AI performs better than content made without generative AI
  • Nearly three in four (73%) marketers say generative AI tools are/ would be effective in making their content more personalised

Although generative AI encompasses capabilities to leverage data, personalisation, and predictive analytics to drive marketing efforts, text generation tools and visual AI tools were perceived to be the most important in day-to-day roles for 69% and 61% of marketers who adopted generative AI tools, respectively. These are followed by visual AI tools (41%) and audio AI tools (38%).​

The results also revealed that the adoption of additional generative AI capabilities would save time (an average of 2.6 hours per day) and nine in ten (91%) of marketers agreed that the adoption of generative AI tools would increase their productivity. For example, SEO planning and keyword research are some of the most repetitive and time-consuming work that content marketers do on a regular basis. 

According to the survey responses, 83% of marketers said they save/probably would save time using generative AI tools to produce data-driven insights. Other tasks that would be more time-effective with generative AI included creating marketing content (89%) and conducting market research (87%).  

“Marketers spend an average of five hours a day - more than half their workday - on manual, administrative, or operational tasks such as keyword research, data cleanup, formatting content, reporting and analytics. Generative AI tools enable marketers to delegate low-impact tasks to automation, freeing up valuable time and energy for more meaningful and rewarding work like project execution and creative brainstorming. By implementing a generative AI tool, our research shows that marketing professionals can save around more than 2 and a half hours a day on repetitive tasks,” said Kat Warboys, Director, APAC, HubSpot.

She adds: “While the boost in efficiency through generative AI is clear – what’s often overlooked is its impact on effectiveness, particularly in the realm of content creation and marketing automation. Gen AI dramatically improves marketing automation with high-context, high-converting messaging capabilities. Supercharged by generative AI, businesses can more effectively connect with their target audience, resulting in stronger engagement and better conversion rates. The goal is not necessarily to collect the most people, but to connect with the most people. ” 

Levelling the playing field for SMBs
AI is proving to be the slingshot for growth and success for SMBs to compete against large enterprises without the need for bigger budgets or teams. AI is levelling the playing field for SMBs to compete like never before. It’s helping to drive marketing efforts through smarter ways of working, so sales and marketing teams can focus efforts on more strategic and creative outcomes. In fact, three in five (61%) survey respondents believe that generative AI  tools will boost the creativity of those who use them. 

Survey results showed that smaller businesses are indeed more receptive to AI-enabled innovation and transformation of work processes through generative AI: 71% of sales professionals and marketers in SMBs say they are using generative AI  tools in their role, compared to 57% in large enterprises.

Further, respondents from businesses with a lower turnover (<$5M) are more likely to say they are using generative AI tools in their role (80%) compared to those in businesses with a turnover of $50M+ (57%). 

“The old formula for achieving business growth was to increase headcount or add more tools to drive productivity,” said Bognar. “In the age of AI disruption, activities that once required substantial time and resources no longer will, opening up new pathways for growth and improving customer experiences for SMBs.”

Democratising generative AI
Powerful generative AI tools are revolutionising the way marketers approach their strategies and campaigns, enabling them to work smarter, not harder. HubSpot recently announced the launch of two new tools powered by AI —Campaign Assistant and ChatSpot.ai—to help businesses save time while creating better connections with their audiences.

The introduction of content assistant and ChatSpot.ai builds on HubSpot’s earlier investments in AI including conversation intelligence, data quality tooling, data enrichment, predictive AI, content optimization, and more. Powered by industry-leading artificial intelligence systems from OpenAI, Campaign Assistant and ChatSpot.ai create efficiencies for marketing, sales, and customer service professionals. 

ChatSpot is HubSpot’s AI-powered sales and marketing assistant. It helps users complete a variety of tasks using natural language chat-based prompts, such as summarising the latest funding data of a company, providing SEO keyword rankings, and generating images. Based on this information, the tool further helps users add contacts and companies to the HubSpot CRM, and go on to create custom marketing, sales and customer service reports, and draft professional, effective sales emails personalised to the recipient.

In addition, Campaign Assistant is a free tool that enables marketing teams to generate high-quality asset copies for emails, ads and landing pages in minutes. Users can provide a topic, talking points, and choose a tone of voice, and Campaign Assistant will create compelling content to support marketing campaigns. Crafting a marketing campaign that stands out can take weeks; with Campaign Assistant, marketers can let AI do the heavy lifting and instead focus on the personal touch that can take a campaign from average to world-class.

About HubSpot

HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) is a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform that provides software and support to help companies grow better. The platform includes marketing, sales, service, operations, and website management products that start free and scale to meet our customers’ needs at any stage of growth. Today, more than 177,000 customers across more than 120 countries use HubSpot’s powerful and easy-to-use tools and integrations to attract, engage, and delight customers.

Named Glassdoor’s #2 Best Place to Work in 2022, HubSpot has been recognised for its award-winning culture by Great Place to Work, Comparably, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Inc., and more. HubSpot was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company’s thousands of employees work across the globe in HubSpot offices and remotely.

Learn more at www.hubspot.com

Notes to editors

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. Total sample size was 276 sales and marketing professionals in Singapore. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd May - 5th June 2023. The survey was carried out online.
  • Sample composition: 
    • Tech startups/ scale ups (11%): 26% had an annual revenue SGD500,000 to SGD 999,999; 35% operating for 1-2 years.
    • SMBs (48%): 32% had an annual turnover of SGD 1 million to SGD 4.9 million; 59% operating for 2-10 years. 
    • Large enterprises (41%): 59% had an annual turnover of SGD50 million or more; 84% operating for over 10 years.