Our latest AI marketing, titled “How AI Impacts The CMO” has published. And on On Tuesday, June 18, I’m hosting a related fireside chat with Russell Reynolds’ Norm Yustin at Forrester’s CX Summit. Both the report and the fireside chat dive into the CMO’s role in leading AI adoption. According to Forrester’s Q2 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, 2024, 30% of CMOs in the US are directly leading their marketing organizations’ AI efforts. “One of the biggest functions disrupted by AI is marketing,” Norm told us, adding that “marketers need to be more curious and learn it.”

AI Turns Marketing “Inside Out”

The CMOs we spoke with all agree that AI fluency is mission-critical. Laura Curtis Ferrera, global CMO at Scotiabank, told us that “AI will completely change how we do marketing.” Tyrrell Schmidt, CMO at TD Bank Group added, “AI will become a part of how everyone is doing their work.” But AI isn’t just changing how people do their work; it’s also changing what modern marketing organizations look like. Shiv Singh, who’s held top marketing spots at PepsiCo, Visa, Expedia, and LendingTree, said, “AI is going to turn the marketing function inside out.”

To Lead AI, CMOs Prioritize AI Fluency

Forward-thinking CMOs are already integrating AI. “Staying ahead of the puck is what we have to do as CMOs,” said Andrea Brimmer, CMO at Ally. “I put out a challenge to my team to experiment with AI every day,” added Christina Pletnewski, CMO of Safelite. And while many CMOs are becoming proficient in AI via pilot projects, AI features are also inherently showing up in everyday marketing tools. As Drew Panayiotou, global CMO at Pfizer, put it: “If you’re a modern CMO, AI is already in your business. It’s in programmatic media, it’s in your martech stack, it’s in social media platforms. AI is already embedded.”

Humans And AI Agents Will Coexist And Collaborate

Commoditized marketing activities will get done by AI agents. And that’s a good thing according to Shiv Singh, who told us that “AI will free up the best marketers to do unbridled mind-blowing creative work using an army of AI agents to help them.” But because of this, the human touch in marketing becomes even more important. “We’re still people-centric when it comes to our branding and storytelling,” said Tory Pachis, SVP of marketing at Amica Insurance. And Korn Ferry’s North America CMO practice leader, Peri Hansen, told us, “I don’t see AI replacing the emotional components of marketing. There is always going to be a true human element to marketing.”

Learn More At Forrester’s CX Summit North America

Join me at Forrester’s CX Summit North America, June 17–20, for the following sessions:

  • Keynote | Fireside Chat: To Make AI Magic (Not Mayhem), Start With Myth Busting And Discipline. Amid all the cross-industry AI mania, it’s the shiny objects that garner the most attention, when in reality, it’s the less sexy applications of AI, like content supply chains, that drive actual business transformation and revolutionize customer relationships. Quick and enduring AI wins require a disciplined approach — especially in large enterprises. During this fireside chat with General Motors, we will debunk common myths about the promise of AI, disucss practical AI use cases that drive CX, and detail best practices for enterprise AI readiness. [Tuesday, June 18 @ 10:10 a.m.]
  • The CMO’s Role In Leading AI Adoption. Marketing has spawned many of generative AI’s earliest use cases — from creative ideation and content development to personalization and search optimization. And we’re merely at the starting line of a marathon of possibilities. According to Forrester data, 40% of US-based B2C marketing executives indicated in Q4 2023 that they were exploring generative AI use cases. But how do CMOs lead their teams toward integration of this tech into their marketing operations and strategy? And how is this all done in a human-centered way? [Tuesday, June 18 @ 2:05 p.m.]
  • Hit Or Miss? GenAI Brand Activation Showcase. Just as they have with past emerging media, brands such as Coca-Cola were quick to launch generative AI stunts to achieve “first mover” credit in the industry trades. But when it comes to consumer-facing experiences, genAI’s real utility trounces superficially veiled marketing campaigns. During this session, we’ll showcase and evaluate recent brand activations to give inspiration from the best (and worst) of brands’ use of generative AI. [Thursday, June 20 @ 10:10 a.m.]
  • Will AI Agents Steal My Job? During this analyst-led roundtable, we’ll explore how to productively coexist and collaborate with your machine team counterparts. [Tuesday, June 18 @ 4:05 p.m.]

Forrester clients: Let’s chat more about this topic via a Forrester guidance session.