Generative AI can boost customer experiences and sales figures

Artificial intelligence can do a lot more than improve your productivity.
Written by Vala Afshar, Contributing Writer
Generative AI concept
dem10/Getty Images

Companies that apply generative artificial intelligence (AI) to customer-related initiatives can expect to achieve 25% higher revenue after five years than companies only focused on productivity, according to Accenture research. 

The research suggests generative AI is poised to unleash more of our superpowers than any technology in the recent past. Via a survey of 1,000 global C-level executives, Accenture investigated how companies invest in generative AI and related technologies. 

Also: Agile development can unlock the power of generative AI - here's how

The consultant modeled the relationship between different investment strategies and expected growth trajectories. The survey was supplemented with 30 expert interviews with thought leaders, technology experts, policy specialists, and creative professionals. 

Here are eight key findings from the Accenture AI research

  1. AI is key to staying relevant: Nearly nine out of 10 CMOs (85%) say it's more difficult to stay relevant.
  2. GenAI is not a passing fad: 90% of CMOs expect generative AI to revolutionize their industry and how they interact with customers.
  3. 'How to start' is a major obstacle for AI adoption: 72% of CMOs are unsure how to realize their ambition, or where to start.
  4. Trust is an adoption lever: 76% of CMOs are "waiting and watching" amid worries about reputation, data privacy, model exposure, and unconscious bias.
  5. AI will drive revenue growth: 25% of companies applying generative AI to customer-related initiatives can expect to achieve 25% higher revenues after five years than companies that focused only on productivity.
  6. GenAI will improve customer experience: Companies are 3.7 times more likely to use generative AI to identify new and unmet customer needs.
  7. Value creation at the speed of need: Accenture clients are seeing as much as an 80% reduction in data-processing time that supports a 40% improvement in speed to market with new products and services.
  8. Marketing will be transformed by GenAI: Business leaders are 5.6 times more likely to believe generative AI brings radical innovation to marketing. They are turning creative ideas into global campaigns tailored to individual customers -- and doing this work cost-efficiently (94% savings in production time) while also solving production and scale challenges (300% to 400% increase in content versions).

Accenture concludes its generative AI and business growth research by making the following recommendations:

  1. Lead with value - Identify opportunities for creating more value and relevance for customers.
  2. Understand and develop an AI-enabled, secure digital core - Leverage first-, second-, and third-party data about your customers to build an engine for customer relevance. 
  3. Reinvent talent and ways of working - Generative AI can help increase the speed and scale of reinvention by as much as 1.7 times and 1.6 times respectively.
  4. Close the gap on responsible AI - Responsibility speaks to the importance of intellectual property, ethics, and bias to the customer relationship. Just 2% of companies have operationalized a responsible AI approach.
  5. Drive continuous reinvention - Generative AI can't be implemented only in pockets of the organization. Emerging technology is a team sport and will require the entire C-suite to lead on vision and to create value for all stakeholders. 

Accenture is investing $3 billion in AI to accelerate customer reinvention. Accenture aims to double its data and AI talent to 80,000 people by the end of fiscal year 2026. Today, Accenture has over 53,000 skilled data and AI practitioners -- ahead of its target. 

Also: 3 ways to accelerate generative AI implementation and optimization

Accenture also plans to acquire the learning platform Udacity and is planning a $1 billion investment to build a technology learning platform it calls LearnVantage. Accenture recorded $1.1 billion in sales from generative AI projects in the first half of its fiscal year.

To better understand the impact of generative AI across all industries and to glean more takeaways from Accenture's research, Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, and I invited Paul Daugherty to our weekly podcast, DisrupTV. Paul Daugherty is Group Chief Executive - Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Accenture, and a member of Accenture's Global Management Committee. 

Daugherty leads Accenture's innovation strategy and organization. He also directs Accenture's global research and development into emerging technology areas, such as generative AI, quantum computing, science tech, and space technology. He leads Accenture's annual Technology Vision report, hosts the company's annual Innovation Forum event, and leads Accenture Ventures, which he founded.

Also: Generative AI is the technology that IT feels most pressure to exploit

Accenture is leading the world in partnering with businesses on generative AI deployments. Daugherty has been writing about the impact of AI on business for nearly a decade. His first book, 'Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI', was published in 2018 and is set to be re-released with new research and key findings later this year. I highly encourage you to watch the video and read his latest book, 'Radically Human'.

Editorial standards