CMOs Discover GenAI as Market Research Tool


According to PYMNTS Intelligence, about half of chief marketing officers (CMOs) already use generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) for routine tasks. Still, only a relatively small percentage are deploying the technology to conquer more challenging assignments.

One key takeaway from our recent 2024 CAIO Report is “Are CMOs Missing GenAI’s Potential?” The report, based on surveys with 60 CMOs working on behalf of U.S. companies that earn at least $1 billion in annual revenue, determined that about 50% of surveyed CMOs use GenAI for relatively simple projects such as drafting emails and visualizing data.

One reason for this limited use could stem from common challenges CMOs report encountering when integrating Gen AI into their existing systems. A substantial share say they run into obstacles, including many CMOs working for highly advanced companies. Forty-two percent of CMOs generally say they struggle with the unfamiliarity of GenAI’s full capabilities within their organizations, while another 42% say they encounter issues around integration. Notably, integration issues are slightly higher for enterprises that are now using the technology on low-impact tasks (46%).

PYMNTS Intelligence concluded that overcoming these challenges is crucial if CMOs hope to maximize the full potential of GenAI in their enterprise marketing efforts, and nearly every CMO we surveyed believes GenAI has an important role to play in those efforts. 

As the figure below illustrates, about 80 % of CMOs consider GenAI to be very important in contributing to a positive customer experience, while three-quarters think the technology can be very or extremely useful in providing market research and insights. And while 68% think GenAI can play an important role in analyzing marketing analytics, more than half (53%) think it can be used to improve lead generation and sales enablement.

Product marketing and marketing analytics also rate highly, reflecting additional emphasis on data-driven strategies. Meanwhile, the interest in using it for marketing strategy, advertising and promotion reflects the perceived value of GenAI in comprehensive planning and outreach. Finally, 45% believe GenAI has the potential to ensure corporate marketing materials meet regulatory compliance requirements. 

Data shows that high-impact CMOs — those using GenAI for the most complex, risky or strategic tasks — prioritize its use in marketing strategy and brand management. By contrast, low- and medium-impact users place greater emphasis on operational applications, such as customer experience monitoring.

In order for all CMOs to realize the full potential of GenAI, efforts must be made to address integration challenges. Additionally, comprehensive training — especially among low- and medium-impact users — can help marketing teams unfamiliar with the technology maximize GenAI’s true potential across marketing functions.