AI experimentation at Asana: Moving from fear to fearless execution

Caeleigh MacNeil contributor headshotCaeleigh MacNeil
January 22nd, 2024
1 min read
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Marketers are typically champions of new technology, but AI is a different story. According to research from The Work Innovation Lab, almost half (44%) of marketers have experienced fear as a result of AI at least once a month. This fear is holding marketing teams back from driving efficiency and innovation with AI, at a time when adopting the technology is critical to stay ahead.

The Work Innovation Lab, in collaboration with the Marketing AI Institute, took a bold step to change this narrative within Asana’s marketing department. We designed and conducted a study called the “AI Brain Boost,” in which volunteers were tasked with experimenting with AI at least once every day. 

The result? Time savings, plus something much more important. Marketers who experimented with AI were able to overcome some of their fear and use the technology in creative new ways. 

What is The Work Innovation Lab?

The Work Innovation Lab is a think tank by Asana that develops human-centered, cutting-edge research to help businesses evolve today to meet the growing changes and challenges of work.

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The AI Brain Boost: Jumpstarting AI experimentation

As part of the AI Brain Boost experiment, we tasked marketers with using AI at least once every day. We also instructed participants to consider use cases where AI would “boost” their capabilities as marketers, priming them to think about how AI could amplify—rather than replace—their skills.

The results: Less fear, more time savings

After the study, participants said they expected to save 25 minutes per workday moving forward. Notably, they also expressed more willingness to integrate AI into their daily work after the study was over. This suggests that by encouraging marketers to experiment with AI, leaders can reduce fear and pave the way for broader adoption. 

Here are the key takeaways from our study: 

  • AI can help marketers save time. Study participants found it especially helpful for tasks like content creation, content editing, writing the first draft of copy, adjusting tone, and summarizing lengthy texts.

  • Experimentation can help marketers overcome fear. We found that by establishing a structured yet fun process—such as an experiment—for marketers to brainstorm AI integration into their work effectively, it helped them move from a place of fear and uncertainty to a place of fearless execution. 

  • Reframe AI as a creative partner, not a replacement. By positioning AI as a tool that assists rather than replaces human work, we can alleviate these fears and encourage more open adoption of AI technologies.

  • Content production is just the start. While marketers will inevitably gravitate towards using AI for content production, it should serve as a springboard, propelling them towards also exploring the full spectrum of marketing use cases. 

Dig deeper

These insights are just the start. Get more research-backed tips in our full playbook: Marketers are afraid of AI—here's how to move from fear to fearless execution.

Maximize AI in marketing: Moving from reluctance to results

Explore a detailed analysis of current marketing sentiment around AI—plus strategies to overcome fear and build fluency in AI technology.

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Marketers Are Afraid of AI – Here’s How to Move From Fear to Fearless Execution

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