Evolving role of a CMO to Media Owner: Propelled by impact of AI

In the digital age enabled by AI, the boundaries between marketing and media are increasingly blurred. AI-driven marketing strategies are transforming the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), evolving them from overseeing traditional marketing functions to becoming strategic media owners. This shift signifies a trend where every marketing function is evolving into a media company, leveraging content creation, distribution, and storytelling to build brand presence and drive business growth.

Digital marketing investments and CMO priorities

  1. Digital marketing continued to be an area of substantial investment for marketers
  2. Indian advertising reached INR1.1 trillion, with digital surpassing traditional medium for the first time
  3. Digital advertising is expected to reach 57% of total advertising by 2026
  4. 97% of marketers expect to increase their spends on digital

Marketers understand that Generative AI will play a significant role in how marketing evolves, and it provides both challenges and opportunities.

Transformative impact of AI on marketing strategies

  • Owned media-marketing strategy: AI is reshaping marketing strategies, with a focus on owned media strategies. Consumer media companies have built their audiences with emerging mediums like blogs, social media posts, videos, infographics, and interactive experiences to build and engage with their audience. They have access to first-party engagement data generated through their distribution channels, which drives business outcomes in a fiercely competitive environment. Marketers need to integrate owned media strategies into their overall marketing approach to achieve business objectives.
  • Social media and community-building: Media companies excel at community-building around shared interests and passions. Similarly, marketing functions are investing extensively in building online communities and engaging with followers through social media interactions, forums, and live events. The future of commerce is community-led, and owned media strategy will play a critical role in providing resources and content that translate into sales and brand loyalty.
  • AI and content strategy will be critical to marketing organisation: Marketing leaders are prioritising hiring roles such as content creators, content marketing managers, and content strategists. This shift in hiring preferences reflects focus on original content development within digital marketing. These roles are critical in creating engaging and effective content that resonates with audiences and drives marketing objectives.
  • Potential higher MROI: Content marketing campaigns present a lower cost than those associated with alternative campaign types. This difference can be attributed to the nature of content marketing itself, which relies on owned media and organic reach rather than paid placements. Content marketing’s potential for a higher return on investment demonstrates the efficacy of the medium.
  • Future of marketing organisation as a media company: As AI continues to advance, the line between marketing and media companies will further blur and eventually disappear. Marketing departments are transforming into content studios powered by AI, capable of producing compelling and relevant materials that resonate with target audiences.

The convergence of marketing and media signifies a new era of content-driven strategies fuelled by AI innovation. By harnessing the power of AI responsibly and creatively, a CMO can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and customer-centric storytelling in the evolving landscape of marketing-as-media.

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