BCG: Accelerating AI-Driven Marketing Maturity

The article outlines the rapid evolution and current challenges in data-driven marketing. It discusses how brands can leverage AI and related technologies to improve their marketing strategies, focusing on the importance of adopting a holistic approach to marketing maturity.

The primary takeaway is that marketing maturity has declined by 8% from 2021 to 2024, reflecting the increased difficulty of maintaining or enhancing marketing strategies amid market volatility and technological advancements. Brands must continuously adapt and integrate new technologies like AI, Generative AI (GenAI), and cloud computing to remain competitive.

Four main disruptors in marketing are identified:

  1. AI and GenAI, which automate and optimize marketing processes, enabling personalized and engaging consumer experiences.
  2. Cloud architecture, which increases IT complexity and raises regulatory and technological challenges.
  3. Consumer data economies, emphasizing the importance of proprietary data for generating unique insights and strategic decisions.
  4. Omnichannel engagement, requiring marketers to navigate a complex landscape of digital and traditional touchpoints.

To cope with these challenges, brands need to develop specific capabilities grouped into three categories:

  1. Foundational capabilities: These include agile collaboration, specialist skills, and integrated planning, essential for continuous improvement and learning.
  2. New table stakes capabilities: These are now essential for brands and include user identification, data enrichment, and targeting using first- and second-party data.
  3. Elevated capabilities: Focused on leveraging trends and technologies for future growth, such as privacy readiness, end-to-end measurement, and personalized experiences through AI and GenAI.

The maturity levels of brands are categorized into four stages: nascent, emerging, connected, and multi-moment. Each stage has different capability needs:

  1. Nascent brands focus on basic digital and data-driven marketing.
  2. Emerging brands start to leverage 1P data and integrate digital strategies.
  3. Connected brands exhibit a high level of digital and data integration, supporting a culture of experimentation.
  4. Multi-moment brands are innovators using advanced technologies to enhance strategies and personalization across multiple business areas.

The article suggests four practices to unlock marketing maturity benefits:

  1. Linking marketing performances to strategic outcomes for smarter decision-making.
  2. Fostering integrated teams with AI and GenAI expertise.
  3. Prioritizing the actionability of data to drive value from data collection and activation.
  4. Focusing on smart execution of selected use cases to maximize business impact.

Finally, a roadmap is presented for brands at different maturity stages to advance further. This includes focusing on specific capabilities based on their current level and leveraging the potential of AI and GenAI to achieve higher levels of marketing maturity. By doing so, brands can improve their productivity, profitability, and competitiveness in an increasingly digital marketplace.

Accelerating AI-Driven Marketing Maturity

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