Thursday 17 October 2019 12:01 am

AI marketing sector attracts $2.5bn of investment in 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) marketing companies bagged $2.5bn of investment last year as marketers turned to the new technology to help analyse huge troves of data.

Last year’s investment surge has continued into 2019, with $1bn invested in the second quarter alone, according to figures compiled by tech investment firm GP Bullhound.

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The report shows that marketing AI remains a nascent sector, with private placements outnumbering merger and acquisition transactions.

However, the steady rise highlights how marketers and increasingly looking to technology to help sort and analyse growing amounts of user data.

“Artificial intelligence heralds the beginning of a new marketing era, driven by the need to connect vast amounts of disparate data, uncover patterns and make predictions, which only AI can accomplish,” said Oliver Schweitzer, executive director at GP Bullhound.

“AI will become increasingly integrated into digital services and marketing processes; however, human intelligence and intuition will remain critical to interpret its findings and implement strategic and creative plans accordingly.”

While North America accounts for the majority of investment in AI marketing firms, Europe is growing at the fastest rate and represented almost a third of all transactions in the first half of this year. Globally, the sector has secured $11bn of investment in the last five years.

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“Having data first and foremost improves the output, but it doesn’t replace output,” said S4 Capital chairman Sir Martin Sorrell.

“Access to vast amounts of data will therefore make our job more effective, not less effective. The traditional argument, that data destroys creativity, is nonsense – AI will aid creativity.”

Main image credit: Getty