Welcome to Research Pulse, a regular column from Quad Insights that highlights recent research into customers, culture, technology and other topics important to marketers.

Can artificial intelligence help your company grow? That’s the question hanging in the air more than a year after ChatGPT, Bard, Claude and other generative AI chatbots burst into the public consciousness.

The (dollar) signs point to yes, as the Magic 8 Ball might say.

Seven out of 10 retail and consumer packaged goods professionals say they believe AI has helped increase their annual revenue, citing initiatives in areas such as store analytics, advertising and inventory management, according to a new survey from advanced semiconductor manufacturer NVIDIA.

NVIDIA’s inaugural State of AI in Retail and CPG report consists of interviews with more than 400 leaders from the retail and consumer packaged goods industries. These two sectors, NVIDIA writes, “are poised to harness the power of AI to enhance operational efficiency, elevate customer experiences, and drive growth” — more than almost any other.

Nearly the entire sample (98%) say they expect to invest more in the technology over the next 18 months, with half reporting that they see generative AI as transformational. The top use cases, ranked by survey results:

  • Personalized recommendations: 66% 

  • Branded virtual assistant for customers: 52% 
  • Customer analysis and segmentation: 50% 

  • Personalized marketing and advertising: 46% 
  • Multilingual chatbots for customer service: 41%

Respondents to the NVIDIA survey also report potential applications in improving the employee experience, generating marketing content and advertising, product design, onboarding and other initiatives such as predictive analytics.

“AI is emerging as a reliable solution to address a range of industry challenges,” the NVIDIA study concludes. “Beyond problem-solving, AI presents the potential for retailers to transform their business in unprecedented ways, enhancing operational efficiency and employee productivity, elevating customer engagement, improving data-driven decision-making, and providing the opportunity to create a competitive edge.”

Other recent studies are surfacing similar trends across other industries. A 2023 McKinsey & Co. study found that almost 60% of organizations that use AI reported seeing increases in revenue, resulting in measurable impacts to the bottom line. Generative AI is helping create new businesses or other revenue sources, increasing revenue from core businesses and enhancing the value of existing AI offerings, per McKinsey, while also offering operational improvements. The study respondents’ attribute 20% of earnings before income taxes to AI investments.

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