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When Are CMOs Going to Wake Up? Here we go again.

Chief marketing officers (CMOs) find themselves at a critical juncture once again. The digital marketing revolution taught us valuable lessons about the need to adapt to technological advancements. Now, as artificial intelligence (AI) reshapes the marketing landscape, CMOs must not repeat the mistakes of the past. It is disheartening to witness many CMOs on the verge of missing the AI boat, failing to recognize its transformative potential. In this Op-Ed piece, we will explore three critical areas where CMOs must take an opinionated stance: embracing AI, understanding budget reallocation, and actively driving strategic growth.

1.  AI is Transforming Marketing, and CMOs Can't Afford to Ignore It

Artificial intelligence is not just a passing fad; it is the next frontier of marketing. The impact of AI on customer engagement, personalization, and data-driven insights cannot be understated. Yet, shockingly, many CMOs are still dragging their feet, displaying a lack of urgency and understanding.

Bottomline: If you aren't taking a class a month and reading all you can on AI, you are failing your role as a CMO.

CMOs must shed their complacency and actively invest in their AI knowledge and skills. Failure to do so means missing out on the immense opportunities that AI presents. CMOs must be at the forefront of AI adoption within their organizations, guiding their teams and leveraging AI-powered solutions to gain a competitive edge. The digital marketing transformation taught us that the cost of being left behind is significant, and history cannot afford to repeat itself.

2. Budget Reallocation: CMOs, Reclaim Your Seat at the Table

As AI takes center stage, traditional marketing areas such as copywriting and creative are facing resource reallocation. But it is alarming to witness CMOs passively accepting these changes, allowing their influence to dwindle.

Bottomline: It's time to demand your seat at the strategy table. Learn about where the budget is being allocated and get ahead. If you aren't part of the corporate strategy discussions, you are relinquishing your role as a true CMO.

CMOs must rise to the occasion and actively engage with stakeholders to understand and influence budget reallocation decisions. By advocating for marketing's strategic importance and actively participating in discussions about budget allocation, CMOs can ensure that marketing remains an integral part of the organization's vision and growth strategy. Failure to do so means surrendering marketing's relevance and becoming a mere bystander to the transformative power of AI.

3. Drive Strategic Growth: AI Requires Bold Action, Not Just Lip Service

Amidst all the talk about AI disruption, CMOs must move beyond rhetoric and provide tangible solutions to drive strategic growth. Mere recognition of AI's impact is not enough; CMOs must take decisive action to allocate resources effectively.

Bottomline: As resources in copywriting and creative dwindle, it is your responsibility to actively reallocate them for strategic growth. Failure to do so will result in losing your seat at the strategy table.

CMOs must develop comprehensive roadmaps for integrating AI into their marketing strategies. This entails identifying AI's potential applications, retraining existing teams to leverage AI tools effectively, and recruiting talent with AI expertise. By reallocating resources from traditional marketing functions to AI-driven initiatives, CMOs can position their organizations as pioneers in the AI-powered era. Failing to seize this opportunity means letting competitors take the lead while relegating marketing to a supporting role in the organization's growth trajectory.


CMOs, the time for action is now. Don't repeat the mistakes of the past. Embracing AI, reclaiming your seat at the budget table, and driving strategic growth are no longer optional; they are imperatives for survival. The digital marketing transformation was a wake-up call, and the AI revolution demands an even greater response. It is imperative that CMOs become champions of AI within their organizations, ensuring their teams are well-versed in AI knowledge and capable of leveraging its potential. Let us not miss the AI boat, for the cost of inaction is too great. Together, we can steer our organizations towards success in the AI-powered marketing landscape. The future awaits, and it is time to seize it.