Dubai, UAE; May 16, 2024 – According to the fourth edition of the Braze Customer Engagement Review (CER), amidst the AI surge, marketers are grappling with a skills crisis, facing yet another challenging year. The report combines data from the Braze platform with the results of a global survey developed in partnership with Wakefield Research, surveying senior marketing executives.

● AI adoption is soaring

As AI adoption skyrockets among marketers in the UAE, alarming statistics from Braze unveil a potential and substantial skills crisis. While 91% of marketers eagerly embrace AI, a staggering 48% identify the lack of data skills among marketing talent as a top-three issue when using data for customer engagement. 

● Lack of effective skills continues to leave brands flying blind 

Whilst grappling with acquiring the necessary skills within their marketing teams, marketers face additional hurdles in outsourcing data tasks that complement their strategies. A significant 62% of marketers cite working with internal data scientists or business intelligence teams who lack an understanding of marketing priorities as a main challenge in leveraging data for customer engagement. This poses a huge obstacle to integrating AI effectively into their practices. 

● Brands shift to AI to optimise tasks

Despite many brands lacking the necessary AI expertise and struggling to find suitable outsourcing options that truly understand their brand, marketers are adopting AI in their practices. Marketers in the UAE are leveraging AI for various crucial tasks, including generating creative ideas (58%), automating repetitive tasks (50%), enhancing data analysis (50%), optimising strategies in real-time (46%), utilising predictive analytics (46%), and personalising campaign messaging (42%). To keep in line with other businesses, it is vital they harness AI, but the possibilities could be endless if they had the right skills readily available – the potential for brands to expand and innovate would  go even further.

With AI being at the forefront of the agenda across markets, it is essential brands are utilising it in the right way, or risk being left behind. This being said, we must boost the education of data skills, both in our marketing education at university, and in the workplace. The problem is going to get worse in the future if marketers are not built to handle data correctly. This is not just important for marketers but should also be built into the skill set of all CEOs and CMOs. A lack of crucial AI skills means businesses are missing out on the key opportunity to not only harness these skills, but ensure they are being used correctly.” said James Manderson, SVP, Global Customer Success, at Braze. 

Despite enthusiasm for AI adoption in the UAE, the gap in data skills among marketers means the effective implementation of AI is somewhat compromised. Action is required to address this challenge by investing in the education and development of data skills within marketing teams, creating collaboration between data scientists and marketing professionals, and building on the skill sets of CEOs and CMOs. Brands must embrace AI technology and equip themselves with the right knowledge to correctly harness its power.