Chatbot usage in the UK has more than doubled since 2020, with a third of all marketers now using them to engage with customers.
The findings come from marketing software provider HubSpot’s 2021 Not Another State of Marketing Report, which surveyed 1,500 marketers globally, and found that marketing and social media priorities are shifting to match developing technologies.
Part of a wider trend in the use of automation, the report reveals the acceleratory effect of the pandemic on marketers use of automated solutions.
In 2021, marketers have become the largest adopters of automation within businesses, using automated tools 73% more than sales and 134% more than finance.
In addition to this, the use of technology by marketers is also on the rise, with nearly one in five social media marketing tactics including augmented reality (AR), up 10% since last year’s report.
HubSpot explains this increased popularity through the growing sophistication of automated technologies, enhancing marketers’ abilities to provide tailored content to key consumers.
Scott Brinker, VP of platform at HubSpot, said: “The research across different studies clearly shows growth in automation and a broadening in the capabilities of automated tools. With AI becoming a more prominent feature in the landscape, we potentially need to think about specifying the different types of automation, whether that be for emails, landing pages, social media, blogs or marketing analytics.
“The different types of automation, across various industries, can provide marketers with a range of skills to improve their return figures and therefore a number of AI tools must be used, as opposed to one.”
HubSpot also found that live video is becoming increasingly popular, with 40% of marketing tactics used live video in 2021 compared to only 17% last year.
Such growth has been brought about by global lockdowns, forcing content production to be designed for a virtual audience. Similarly, the time consumers are spending on watching videos is up 85%, offering strong opportunities for marketers.
Despite this year’s growth of new technologies, traditional forms of marketing such as email marketing also grew in effectiveness. Although fewer emails are being sent out, consumers are showing better response rates. In 2021, 78% of UK marketers reported seeing more engagement from emails over the past year.
Brinker commented: “The pandemic forced many marketers to shift to video or virtual face to face methods of marketing, but we need to keep our minds open to all channels, despite the massive digital shift over the last 18 months. As automation has become more powerful it is having a noticeable impact on existing, more traditional, methods of marketing. As the world of online marketing changes with the demise of third-party cookies, email marketing is proving a reliable channel that is evidently working and providing high ROI’s.”