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June, 2024

CMOs view AI as the saviour to solving the challenge of transforming business models, latest PwC CMO pulse finds

Nearly eight in 10 CMOs know their current business model needs to fundamentally change and they’re all betting on GenAI to be instrumental in making the changes they need.

That’s the top-line finding of the latest PwC Pulse Survey on CMOs conducted in the US in May. According to the consulting giant’s finding, 78% of CMOs agree their current business models need to be overhauled, and the same percentage said they’ll use GenAI to make changes to their business model.

More than half (58%) are planning to invest in GenAI in the next 12-18 months. However, 45% said understanding how GenAI will impact marketing is a major challenge.

Yet only 43% believed they had strong consensus in the c-suite on future company vision, a figure that was 16% lower that other c-suite executives surveyed by PwC.

The report also found only four in 10 CMOs believe marketing’s superpowers are understood by key decision makers in the organisation, a drop from 54% in last year’s report. As a potential consequence, 78% of CMOs say making their function a more strategic business partner to the CEO is a media or high priority, while 86% are also looking to improve teaming with other departments.

In a nod to tighter regulatory views on privacy, as well as heightening consumer concerns around their privacy, PwC’s report also found 48% of CMOs said building trust with customers through privacy and consent is a high priority for them, and 38% said it was a medium priority.

More than eight in 10 (83%) are looking to personalizing customer experiences as a medium or high priority.

As seen in a number of other reports, martech optimisation is also firmly in the sights of the CMOs surveyed by PwC. Nearly nine in 10 said optimising the tech stack was a top priority, with 38% nominating this as a high priority. Further, 40% see achieving measurable value from marketing technology investments as a major challenge. One in three see hiring people with the necessary tech skills as a major challenge, versus 49% who see it as a moderate challenge.

At the same time, CMOs overindex in perceptions that their organisations to be behind the times when it comes to adopting new technologies at 70% versus and overall executive score of 55%.

Overall, upskilling the team was either a moderate or major challenge for 73% of the CMOs surveyed, while three in four see managing data as a moderate or major challenge.

The PwC Pulse Survey was based on a total survey of 673 executives, including 80 CMOs.