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GenAI Upside for Marketers and Salespeople

The global marketing and sales landscape is evolving rapidly. New business technology is a game-changer, promising to automate tedious tasks and unlock new levels of optimization. But is the market truly ready to embrace this technology?

IDC predicts that by 2026, half of medium-sized businesses in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan (APEJ) will be using Generative AI (GenAI) based applications to automate and optimize marketing and sales processes.

According to their latest worldwide market study, 47 percent of the midmarket segment in APEJ is already either exploring potential use cases or investing in GenAI tools.

SMB Generative AI Market Development

Also, 43 percent of companies in the midmarket segment anticipate that the technology will have the most impact on commercial marketing applications.

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) and midmarket segments in APEJ have taken notice of the GenAI potential to revolutionize workflow in various industries.

However, companies are still exploring how to capitalize on the benefits of this technology. 

Companies are relying on their technology providers with GenAI embedded into their offerings to access ongoing support and updates without investing heavily in internal resources.

IDC’s predictions highlight that public cloud providers will be the most strategic GenAI partner for over 40 percent of midmarket companies in APEJ during the next 12 months.

Also, 48 percent of midmarket companies with employee sizes between 500 and 999 employees are significantly investing in GenAI with an established spending plan for training, acquiring Gen-AI enhanced software, and consulting services in the next 12 months.

The following are key AI-driven predictions for the region:

  • Vendors for GenAI: By 2028, 50 percent of SMBs will use services from vendors that leverage GenAI to capitalize on the benefits of the technology more easily.
  • SMBs Monitoring GenAI ROI: During 2024, 70 percent of SMBs in APEJ will require case studies, clear ROI evidence, and assurance of spending guardrails to unlock their investment in GenAI technologies for generic productivity use cases.

In the near term (2024-2026), SMBs that are digital natives will be more open to investing in AI because of their better understanding of the potential benefits of the technology.

The other key regional IT-driven SMB trends are:

  • Tech for Energy Efficiency: To meet their goals for energy efficiency and sustainability, 40 percent of medium-sized businesses will consider investing in sustainability technology solutions by 2026.
  • Data Application and DevOps Growth: By 2026, 30 percent of SMBs will use data analytics to evaluate investments in the cloud and to more closely monitor DevOps spending.
  • Ransomware Attacks Crippling SMBs: By 2025, cyberattacks targeting SMBs will become much more prevalent, leading to at least 35 percent of these companies taking proactive measures to mitigate risks and work on addressing major skills gaps.
  • Recession-Resilient SMB: To become more agile and resilient, investments in public cloud technologies at APEJ SMBs will increase by 18 percent in 2024, with SaaS applications expected to take the lion’s share.
  • SMBs Amplifying Analytics Investments: 40 percent of medium-sized businesses will increase their investments in analytics by 2027 as they seek to make sense of the consumer data they collect and use it to improve business outcomes.
  • Connectivity Driving SMB Creation: By 2026, 20 percent of new small businesses created in APEJ will rely on 5G and fixed wireless access for critical business connectivity.
  • Tech Spending Propensity Indicators: 20 percent of SMBs in APEJ will account for more than 50 percent of SMB technology spending by 2025 as technology intensity, investment capacity, and digital business models become leading indicators of SMB spending propensity.

Outlook for Automation Applications Growth

"SMBs and midmarket segments will be accelerating their digitalization journey by embracing innovation and sustainability. These businesses are turning to transformative technologies like GenAI, cloud, 5G, and analytics," Said Supriya Deka, senior market analyst at IDC.

Furthermore, according to the IDC assessment, GenAI will revolutionize the way businesses operate by automating complex tasks and generating creative solutions in areas such as marketing, sales, and customer experience.

That said, I anticipate the future for GenAI applications in marketing and sales is bright. With continuous advancements and growing awareness of its capabilities, we can expect even more sophisticated and versatile GenAI applications to emerge.

While ethical considerations and responsible implementation remain crucial, the potential for increased efficiency, personalized experiences, and GenAI data-driven insights is undeniable.

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