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Gartner offers uncertainty in AI-centric 2023 CMO forecast

Gartner has offered its yearly prognostications to marketers as 2023 approaches – and it is set to be a battlefield where misinformation through social media and AI will be the primary enemies. 

The analyst firm has identified five trends in all, many of which have long deadlines attached but are still worth considering. Gartner argued that by 2027, four in five enterprise marketers will establish a ‘dedicated content authenticity function’ to combat misinformation. This has a nod not just to user-generated content (UGC), but to the reams of words generated by AI programs such as ChatGPT – only some of which is based in fact and good faith.  

Alongside this, Gartner predicted that by 2025, 70% of enterprise CMOs will identify accountability for ethical AI in marketing among their biggest concerns. This relates as much to privacy concerns as to using AI for optimising campaign performance and lowering costs. Likewise, a shift in the use of AI across marketing will see staff move from operational to strategic work. By 2025, Gartner said, forward-thinking firms will see the needle move to the tune of 75% of their staff. 

There is, therefore, hope alongside the gloom. “Just as AI and other technologies contribute to the content problem, they will also be part of the solution, especially when complemented with dedicated teams that listen, engage, and escalate brand interests across the digital content ecosystem.” 

First-party data was an area also cited by Gartner – with loyalty programs seen as the solution. Just over a third (36%) of organizations polled by the analyst in 2022 had such a program in place, with opportunities in the banking and consumer packaged goods industries. By 2023, Gartner added, both B2B and B2C will move more of their chips towards loyalty offerings as a percentage of their marketing budgets. 

The final prediction is that by 2024, seven in 10 brands will deploy at least one-tenth of their media budget to product placement in entertainment content. 

“Against a backdrop of unrelenting social and economic pressures, marketing leaders look toward a future where smarter marketing leads to deeper, more valuable connections between customers and brands,” said Andrew Frank, distinguished VP analyst for the Gartner marketing practice. 

This time of year is often one when CMO strategy is explored and updated. Another research report earlier this month from agency Unlimited and Serviceplan Consulting Group found that UK marketing chiefs had differing priorities to their European counterparts.  

The CMO Barometer study found sustainability was the most important trend across all countries surveyed except the UK, where it was the lowest – yet this still translated to 70% of the 82 UK CMOs polled citing its importance. This jars with a recent report from Glow polling 16,000 UK respondents which found that one in four consumers were looking to switch to more sustainable companies.

Sunil Pachori
Sunil Pachori

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