CMOs concerned about GenAI’s impact on brand voice 

By AdNews | 13 June 2024
Credit: Rhondak Native Florida Folk Artist via Unsplash

CMOs are now busy identifying operational areas where they can rapidly deploy GenAI, according to analysis by Boston Consulting Group.

But they have concerns about GenAI’s impact on brand voice and creativity.

These are among findings of management consulting firm’s research, How CMOs Are Shaping Their GenAI Future, based on a survey in April of 200 CMOs across Asia, Europe  and North America. 

CMOs are navigating intense competition, pressure to do more with less and scrutiny from boards, CEOs, and CFOs around marketing’s contribution to performance.

Many view generative AI (GenAI) as a tool to improve efficiencies and unlock growth in the face of this pressure.

Half of the CMOs cited the adoption of AI or GenAI as one of their top five priorities over the next year.

Eight in ten (80%) said GenAI is already improving automation, speed, and productivity. 

Three out of five plan to invest at least $10 million a year in AI and GenAI initiatives over the next three years.

The report also indicates CMOs are overwhelmingly optimistic and confident about GenAI. 

When asked to select words that best described their feelings about the technology, CMOs chose optimism (78%), confidence (75%), and curiosity (65%). 

However, some CMOs are turning away with18% counting themselves among the rejectors, an increase of 6 percentage points over Boston Consulting Group’s 2023 survey.

How brands manage social media channels is likely to become the first area for real disruption in marketing, said Boston Consulting Group. 

Already, half of CMOs are deploying GenAI tools for content creation, especially draft copy and images that marketers refine for social media ads. 

CMOs also report using AI tools to enrich their social media listening, leveraging the technology to provide more immediate, specific feedback and detailed data insights.

However, GenAI still has a way to go in content quality. 

More than 70% of CMOs surveyed are concerned about GenAI’s impact on creativity and brand voice. 

About half of CMOs said they are hiring talent with GenAI-specific skills, with the hope of maintaining the focus on creativity and emotional connection.

Success in personalisation fueled by GenAI has also proved difficult to achieve. 

In Boston Consulting Group’s 2023 survey, personalisation was among the most common experimental use cases, with two-thirds of CMOs (67%) pursuing efforts in this area. 

Over the past year, CMOs have learned that personalisation is one of the hardest use cases to deploy quickly at scale, but in the long term, it is likely to be among the most rewarding.

“Most CMOs have captured the low-hanging fruit of GenAI applications, but real growth will come from focusing on areas such as personalization, customer insight generation, and predictive analytics,” said Mark Abraham, a Boston Consulting Group managing director and global leader of the firm’s personalisation business.

 “The work is difficult and time-consuming, but those who master the shift from automation to innovation of the customer experience will achieve the greatest benefits from GenAI.”

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