Artificial intelligence (AI) is showing no signs of slowing down, but British brands are dragging their heels when it comes to implementing the technology. AI helps brands try to make sense of their data and deliver more relevant, personalised advertising, marketing, and customer experiences while staying on the right side of GDPR.

Although AI promises to give brands greater control of their data and a greater capability to analyse it, nine in 10 UK businesses think that AI is important for business success, while less than a third (30%) are happy with the level of AI currently at play in their customer experience strategies, research from Adobe reveals.

This places the UK behind key competitor markets such as Germany (42%), Switzerland (32%) and France.

Level of personalisation

As customer expectations have never been so high, the key to customer experience is personalisation and relevancy which AI can help deliver. According to the findings, 89% of businesses see personalisation as important for success but only 31% are currently delivering the level of personalisation they deem necessary.

By the end of 2020, 92% of British brands plan to implement AI but Adobe’s report into the rise of AI across Europe found that UK brands face major roadblocks to achieving this goal.

Not being able to process customer data fast enough (59%), and collecting too much data from too many sources (52%) is an issue brands face. Skills are also an issue, with three-quarters of UK brands (74%) training their staff to meet their AI goals, they are also having to bring new talent to the business, with a priority being ethical skills and understanding (68%).

Lastly, the impact of GDPR has brought issues surrounding brands’ personalisation strategies. Nearly half (49%) of those surveyed said that GDPR had slowed them down.

The rush to AI over the next two years will spark fierce competition for skills and create exciting new roles. Businesses are recognising that in order to make the best use of AI they need more than just IT. They need broad skills, from analytics to ethics, and the right culture and understanding within the business to unlock the power of AI and deliver true personalisation,” said Bridget Perry, VP of marketing of EMEA at Adobe.

“UK brands don’t just see AI as a technology issue. They are focusing on a wider set of skills, including skills to help them manage the improved customer experience and skills to ensure they take an approach that is ethically and culturally right for them and their customers,” added Perry.

Adobe interviewed 600 senior business decision-makers, comprising respondents from European countries and regions including France, Germany, the Nordics, Switzerland, and the UK.