The CMO Council, in collaboration with Zeta Global, a prominent AI Powered Marketing Cloud, has unveiled findings from the ‘CMO Intentions 2024: Fueling Martech Innovation Through AI’ study.

Conducted during the first quarter of the year, the survey included nearly 200 CMO Council members across North America and Europe, highlighting a confident shift towards marketing technology.

The study indicates that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are increasingly clear and intentional about integrating Generative AI (Gen AI) into their marketing processes. This technology is also expected to significantly enhance productivity, effectiveness, and innovation. Companies like Zeta Global have focused on three key Gen AI drivers to achieve these improvements. According to the study, 60 percent of marketers believe that marketing will provide the most value and return on investment (ROI) in 2024.

The CMO Council, with Zeta Global, collected insights from its 16,000 members who manage nearly $1 trillion in annual marketing spend globally. The full report is accessible here.

AI to Enhance Content Creation and Predictive Accuracy

Over 40 percent of surveyed CMOs are leveraging AI to enhance content creation, aiming to minimise errors and improve the precision of marketing communications. The survey also highlights a focus on achieving more predictive outcomes from creative investments and increasing automation, productivity, and efficiency within internal and agency teams. This is also expected to lead to improved output and innovation with fewer resources.

Respondents also plan to use AI to make content creation more impactful and personally resonant, helping brands connect more effectively across diverse cultures, borders, and demographics. AI-driven marketing is seen as a way to adapt and engage more effectively with localised marketing partners and channels.

Growing Embrace of Generative AI Tools

“Marketing technology procurement intentions have made a massive swing to embracing new Gen AI tools, applications, and analytics,” notes Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. Almost 60 percent of marketers surveyed view this area of investment as offering the most value and ROI in 2024.

Customer data is identified by nearly 46 percent of marketing leaders as crucial for personalising and prioritising engagement with valued customers. Enhancing customer journey understanding and improving processes, productivity, and workflow are top priorities for marketing technology investment in 2024.

Steven Gerber, President and COO of Zeta Global, adds, “This study reinforces that we are in the early stages of a Replacement Cycle. Generative AI is the catalyst for sophisticated CMOs to recognise that there are superior technologies and tools to deliver better experiences for consumers and better results for their brands.”

The report notes that CMOs also face challenges in gaining organisational adoption of marketing automation platforms and point solutions. However, there is a growing acceptance and support for dedicated marketing technology management and digital transformation expertise within global organisations. Cross-functional teams are now being deployed with clear strategies for selecting, deploying, adopting, and scaling new or existing platforms, solutions, and tools.

Key Survey Findings

  • Half of the surveyed chief marketers prioritise functional alignment and unified execution in 2024, followed by acquiring customer insights for better outcomes.
  • Only 17 percent of CMOs believe their teams lack digital skills, and just 18 percent face resistance to change.
  • About 14 percent of chief marketers rated their teams as excellent in 2023, while nearly 50 percent said they met expectations. Around 30 percent see room for improvement, and 8 percent reported underperformance.
  • Top-line revenue growth is the top priority for nearly 60 percent of respondents, who also expect more operational efficiency and cost reduction from marketing in 2024, with high expectations for AI’s impact on productivity and performance.
  • CMOs view IT, CIOs, CTOs, and chief digital officers as key partners for leveraging customer data, driven by expanding marketing stacks, point solutions, channel partners, eCommerce, and customer-facing groups.

The CMO Intentions 2024 research is based on an online survey of nearly 200 chief marketing executives from B2B and B2C/hybrid companies across various industry sectors in North America and Europe. Over 90 percent of respondents held senior marketing titles, with 70 percent representing large corporations with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. Nearly 30 percent of survey participants spend over $5 million annually on marketing technology, with a further 43 percent spending between $2 million and $5 million.

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