50% of Business Leaders Use AI for Decision-making in Marketing and Sales


New research from Wunderman Thompson explores how AI can help solve delivery woes and the pandemic-induced global manpower shortage.

In the report entitled Adopt Or Fail: Why Business Needs AI, survey results found at least 44% of consumers “are excited about the prospect of AI,” and 51% of consumers “believe that AI can improve the quality of their lives”.

The report investigates the benefits of AI solutions from both the perspective of businesses and consumers. The report covers survey results from the United States, the United Kingdom, and China. 

Consumers find companies that use AI ‘exciting’

According to the research, while 51% of consumers globally believe that AI has the potential to improve their quality of life, the number differs vastly across the three countries surveyed, with Chinese consumers having the most belief (70%), US consumers behind at 41% and UK consumers lowest at just 29%.

Understanding of what AI means seems to be different across the three countries surveyed. In the UK, 26% of consumers did not know what AI was, while only 5% in China said the same. Around 52% of Chinese consumers felt AI was about apps or software, compared to the highest percentage in the US (33%) who thought it was about physical machines or robots.


  • 5.4 – the average rating given to how concerned consumers were about AI on a scale of 1 to 10 
  • 50% of consumers are concerned about their data safety with AI 
  • 39% of consumers are concerned that companies are using AI to replace their job

Consumers are concerned about data safety 

The biggest concern is that the data won’t be protected and will be sold to advertisers or third parties (50%), followed by companies not being transparent about how data is used (41%), companies using AI to replace jobs (39%), data being used to discriminate against the user (33%) and data being used to keep the user on their screen(s) (24%).

When asked if they actively avoid companies for the reasons stated above, 41% said yes, with Chinese consumers highest at 52%, compared to 34% in the US and 36% in the UK. Interestingly, when the responses were broken down by age group, it was the 16 to 24 years old who came in at 47% as the highest percentage who would avoid companies due to data concerns, compared to only 29% for those aged above 55.

Business leaders have confidence in AI solutions

On the business front, 87% of business leaders who have implemented AI believe their current solutions have contributed positively to business outcomes. About 77% of businesses have already adopted some form of AI solutions, from data analytics and dashboards to automated decision-making.

This percentage was relatively consistent across the three countries, with 79% in China, 77% in the US and 74% in the UK.

Cost and efficiency are a big benefit to adoption 

Fifty per cent of business leaders say they’re using AI for marketing and sales purposes, followed by 49% on customer experience (voice assistants etc.), 44% on logistics and warehousing, 41% on customer service, 35% on employee experience, and 31% on business planning (demand forecasting etc.)

The overall 5 topmost visible improvements to businesses after implementing AI are quicker decision-making capabilities (37%), cost reduction (32%), improved utilization of customer data (32%), increased revenue (31%) and quicker time to market (31%).