AI in Marketing - 2024 CMO Survey Results

If you work in marketing, you'll find it difficult to avoid the topic of artificial intelligence. For the past 12 months it has been the most talked about topic by marketers at events, social media and wherever other marketers are patient enough to listen. It's not just a bunch of hype. Generative AI has already changed how many marketers work. If you don't pay attention, you risk being left behind. 

To get a deeper understanding of how marketing teams use artificial intelligence today, we reached out to 235 marketing leaders in Finland. In this article we will summarize the key findings of how CMOs view AI - and give you some actionable tips on what you can do to lead AI transformation in your marketing team.

AI in Marketing Survey Methodology

A pulse survey was conducted by reaching out to 235 marketing leaders on LinkedIn in November 2023. In total, 70 CMOs responded to a set of 13 questions (30% response rate.) Both B2B and B2C marketing leaders responded, but the results skew towards internationally oriented software companies. The full survey methodology can be found at

How AI is used in marketing today

Artificial intelligence is already used broadly across many marketing tasks from website content creation, social media and online advertising. By leveraging AI, marketers can inspire creative thinking and do their work faster and more efficiently.

how AI is used in marketing

Top focus areas for generative AI in marketing:

  • Blog/website copy: AI is wildly popular when it comes to generating text for blogs and websites, with a whopping 84.3% of marketing teams leveraging it. 

  • Creative thinking: It's not all about generated content; AI also plays the creative muse for 80% of marketing teams. It helps in brainstorming sessions, suggesting fresh ideas, and providing new perspectives that might be missed by the human eye.

  • Social Media: With 60% usage, AI is a social butterfly, too. It aids in creating targeted and personalized content for social media platforms, ensuring that messages resonate with the intended audience.

  • Online advertising: Nearly half of the teams, 48.6%, are using AI to fine-tune online advertising campaigns. AI can analyze consumer behavior and preferences to serve ads that are more likely to convert, saving precious marketing investments.

  • Image assets: AI isn't just about words; 42.9% of marketing teams use it to create or enhance visual content. With AI's assistance, images can be tailored to fit the brand narrative and appeal more to the target audiences.

  • Video/sound: Audiovisual content hasn't been left out, with 18.6% of teams using AI to produce or edit videos and soundtracks. This technology can cut production times and costs while ensuring the content is still high-quality and engaging.

Each marketing team has different resources and needs. While artificial intelligence is used in different ways today, we're likely to see a lot more adoption heading into the next 12 months.

Popular AI tools for marketers

AI tools are no longer just optional extras; they've become essential components in the marketer's toolkit. Out of 70 marketing leaders surveyed, we identified 40 different AI-powered apps used by marketing teams today.

ai tools for marketers

Most marketers love ChatGPT

Starting with the front runner, ChatGPT has become the go-to for a significant majority of marketing teams. Already over 60% of marketing teams use the paid-for ChatGPT Plus providing more intricate and sophisticated content generation, customer interaction simulations, and even language translation services. Its versatile nature makes it a jack-of-all-trades, adept at creating engaging blog posts, email campaigns, and chatbot scripts that feel personal and human.

Various image editing tools

When it comes to visuals, AI tools like Midjourney, Adobe Firefly, and Canva are the darlings of the marketing world. Midjourney brings the power of AI to the creation of stunning visual narratives, helping brands tell their stories through images that captivate and engage. Adobe Firefly, a newer player in the game, leverages Adobe's extensive design pedigree to offer advanced editing features, allowing for the creation of high-quality visual content that stands out. Canva, with its user-friendly interface, empowers marketers to produce professional-grade graphics with ease, even without a background in design.

Copywriting and text editing

On the copy front, AI has brought a revolution. Tools such as Jasper, Writesonic,, Sudowrite, SurferSEO, and Grammarly are helping marketers write better and faster. Jasper and Writesonic are at the forefront, providing AI-powered assistance in generating creative content that aligns with brand tone and style. and Sudowrite have carved out their niches by offering unique writing aids that enhance creativity and efficiency. For those looking to optimize their content for search engines, SurferSEO comes into play, guiding users to craft SEO-friendly content that climbs the rankings. Grammarly remains an indispensable tool for ensuring grammatical accuracy and clarity in writing, an essential aspect of professional communication.

Voice and sound

While not as prevalent as text and image tools, AI applications in video and sound editing are making inroads. Although the survey indicates a lower adoption rate, these tools are pivotal for brands looking to produce video content and podcasts, which are becoming increasingly important in digital marketing strategies.

Other Notable AI use-cases in marketing

The word cloud from the survey also hints at other tools that are gaining traction. HubSpot's AI features assist with CRM and inbound marketing tactics, while tools like Figma incorporate AI to streamline the design process for user interfaces. New entrants like ElevenLabs and Opus are also mentioned, though their specific roles within marketing teams' strategies are not detailed in the word cloud.

The role of AI tools in marketing

The underlying theme across all these AI tools is their ability to automate complex tasks, analyze vast amounts of data, and generate insights and content at scale. This not only increases efficiency but also frees up marketers to focus on strategic thinking and creativity — aspects of the job where human intuition and emotion are irreplaceable.

AI tools in marketing isn't about replacing the marketer. It's about augmenting their capabilities, enhancing their creativity, and allowing them to execute strategies that are data-driven and customer-centric. The popular AI tools of 2024 represent a blend of this technological symbiosis, guiding marketing professionals towards more effective and efficient practices.

How marketers actually invest in AI in 2024

Survey data from Finnish marketing leaders provides a kaleidoscopic view of their investment strategies regarding AI. Nearly 43% of marketing leaders are ready to write checks for generative AI, showing a confident stride towards embracing this technology. This group of early adopters sees AI not as a cost, but as a catalyst for innovation, anticipating that AI will unlock efficiencies, personalize customer experiences, and drive revenue growth.

marketers investments in ai

On the flip side, there's a considerable segment, 40%, still perched on the fence, grappling with the decision to budget for AI. This uncertainty stems from several factors. For some, it's the challenge of quantifying the return on investment (ROI) that AI promises. For others, it's about ensuring that the AI tools align with their marketing strategy and are not just adopted for the sake of being on-trend. This group is likely taking a measured approach, seeking more evidence of success from early adopters or waiting for clearer indicators of AI's long-term value in marketing.

The remaining 17% of CMOs have opted not to increase their AI spend for 2024. Their reasons could be manifold – from budget constraints, a preference for traditional marketing techniques, or perhaps a calculated decision to invest in other areas they deem more critical. This group might be taking a 'wait and see' approach, allowing the market to mature further before committing resources.

The benefits of investing early in AI-driven marketing

Delving deeper into the 'yes' camp, these leaders are not just investing in AI; they're strategically integrating it into their core marketing functions. They recognize AI's potential in enhancing customer insights, automating routine tasks, and generating content at scale. By doing so, they aim to create a competitive edge and deliver more personalized and engaging customer experiences.

Why it may be good to wait before big investments

The undecided CMOs indicate a cautious yet open-minded industry segment. They are keenly aware of AI's potential but are also mindful of its pitfalls. Their hesitation could also reflect broader concerns, such as data privacy, the need for upskilling teams, or ensuring that AI solutions can integrate seamlessly with existing marketing technology stacks.

Despite the split in decision-making, what binds these leaders is the recognition that AI is not just a fleeting trend but a transformative force in marketing. Whether they're investing now, later, or evaluating other priorities, these CMOs understand that AI's role in marketing is only set to grow.

When the wait-and-watch approach is a good option

The survey also hints at an underlying narrative: the need for more education and clarity around AI in marketing. Marketers who are unsure about investing in AI may benefit from more case studies, clear ROI evidence, and strategic frameworks on how to implement AI effectively.

Moreover, the industry is witnessing a shift in skill sets required for marketing teams. CMOs, regardless of their investment choices, must consider the talent and infrastructure needed to support AI technologies. Upskilling teams and fostering a culture of innovation are likely to be parallel tracks running alongside any AI investment discussions.

CMOs are at a crossroads with AI investment in 2024. While some are boldly advancing with AI integration, others are cautiously weighing their options, and a few are holding back, for now. Each CMO's decision reflects a complex interplay of factors, including their confidence in AI's capabilities, the pressure to demonstrate immediate ROI, and the broader organizational readiness for such a digital leap. What's unmistakable is that AI's influence on marketing is growing, and how CMOs navigate this landscape will shape the future of their brands and the industry at large.

Benefits of AI in marketing

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future of marketing; it's the present, and it's providing teams with benefits that could only be described as 'superhuman'. According to recent research, marketing professionals are recognizing a multitude of advantages that AI brings to the table. Here's a rundown of the key benefits as reported by industry leaders:

benefits of AI in marketing

  • Speed of Execution: A staggering 90% of marketing teams report that AI helps them complete tasks faster. This speed is invaluable in a field where timing can be everything—from seizing market opportunities to responding to consumer trends.

  • Creative Inspiration: AI tools are not just about crunching numbers; they are also seen as a source of creativity. 88.6% of marketers find that AI sparks more ideas and creative thinking, providing fresh perspectives and novel solutions.

  • Task Automation: About 85.7% of respondents appreciate AI for its ability to automate manual and repetitive tasks. This not only increases efficiency but also reduces the likelihood of human error.

  • Strategic Focus: With AI handling routine tasks, 77.1% of marketing teams can dedicate more time to strategic work. This shift from tactical execution to strategic planning can significantly impact a brand's long-term success.

  • Quality Enhancement: AI is not just doing things faster; it's doing them better. 60% of marketers report an improvement in the quality of work, thanks to AI's data-driven insights and precision.

  • Skill Development: AI is a learning opportunity for 52.9% of marketing teams. As they integrate AI tools, they acquire new skills and knowledge, staying ahead in a competitive landscape.

  • Other Benefits: Although a smaller category, 5.7% report additional benefits not captured in the main categories, underscoring the wide-ranging impact of AI on the marketing industry.

AI doesn't replace marketers - it makes them stronger

These benefits collectively represent a transformative shift in marketing. AI is not simply a tool; it's a dynamic partner that reshapes how marketing strategies are crafted, executed, and measured. The automation of mundane tasks liberates the marketing workforce to focus on what humans do best—innovate, strategize, and engage in creative problem-solving. Meanwhile, AI's analytical prowess ensures that these human-driven endeavors are informed by the most accurate and up-to-date information available.

In the hands of a skilled marketing team, AI becomes a force multiplier, enabling small teams to operate with the efficiency and effectiveness of much larger ones, and allowing large organizations to manage complexity at scale. As a result, brands can personalize their interactions with customers at an individual level, tailor their campaigns to the nuances of each market segment, and respond to shifts in the market with unprecedented agility.

Don't forget the data crunching aspect

Generative AI is not just a creative tool. AI's role in data analysis is also proving invaluable. By sifting through vast amounts of consumer data, AI helps marketers understand patterns and preferences, predicting trends before they fully emerge. This predictive power can be the difference between setting and following market trends, between leading and chasing the competition.

AI's benefits to marketing are as profound as they are varied, offering almost superhuman enhancements to the field. These benefits span from operational efficiencies to strategic advantages, reshaping the marketing industry into a more agile, insightful, and effective force. As AI technologies continue to develop, one can only imagine the further benefits and innovations that lie ahead for marketers and the industry at large.

How AI impacts the relationship between marketers and agencies

The incorporation of generative AI into marketing operations has significantly altered the dynamic between marketing teams and their agency partners. As AI's capabilities expand, marketing leaders are recalibrating their expectations of the agencies and freelancers they collaborate with. Let's explore the impact of AI on these professional relationships.

impact of AI on marketing agencies and freelancers

Evolving SEO Expectations: The most salient effect is the shift in expectations in fields like search engine optimziation. A majority of marketing leaders now anticipate that their agency partners will employ generative AI tools. With 85.7% expecting SEO agencies to utilize AI, there's a clear demand for agencies to enhance their organic search strategies using AI's data processing and analysis prowess. For PPC/SEM agencies, 77.1% of marketing leaders anticipate the use of AI to optimize ad spend and targeting, ensuring that paid strategies are not just effective, but also cost-efficient.

Website Development and Copywriting: The expectation for AI implementation extends to website development and content creation as well, with 75.7% of leaders looking for these partners to integrate AI. Here, AI can drive the personalization of user experiences on websites and automate the creation of large volumes of content, all while maintaining a high standard of quality.

Design and PR Agencies: Design agencies are also expected to leverage AI (62.9%) to create visuals that resonate with target audiences, using tools that can predict design trends and user preferences. However, PR agencies are currently less associated with AI, with only 45.7% of marketing leaders expecting their use of generative AI. This could reflect the nuanced human touch still required in managing public relations and brand image.

How we expect marketing agencies to respond

Agencies can adapt to these new expectations by embedding AI into their service offerings. This adaptation not only enhances their value proposition but also keeps them competitive in a market that's increasingly demanding tech-savvy solutions.

  • Collaborative Efficiency: AI is also facilitating more efficient workflows between marketing teams and their partners. Automated reporting, real-time data analysis, and predictive modeling enable quicker turnarounds and more informed decision-making, leading to a more agile marketing process.
  • Skill Set Realignment: The impact of AI necessitates a realignment of skills within agencies. As routine tasks are automated, the focus shifts to strategic thinking, creativity, and data literacy. Agencies that invest in upskilling their staff to work alongside AI are finding themselves better positioned to meet the evolving needs of their clients.
  • Ethical and Strategic Alignment: As marketing teams increasingly rely on AI for data-driven insights, the importance of ethical AI usage comes to the fore. Agencies that prioritize ethical considerations in their use of AI can align more closely with brands that value customer privacy and responsible data usage.
  • Customization and Personalization: With AI's help, agencies can deliver highly customized and personalized services. They can use AI to understand individual client needs and preferences better, tailoring their services to deliver more impactful results.
  • Innovation and Competitive Advantage: Agencies incorporating AI are often seen as more innovative, providing them with a competitive edge. They're able to offer new solutions and services that might not have been possible before, such as AI-driven market research, predictive consumer behavior modeling, and advanced sentiment analysis.
  • Cost Implications: The use of AI can have significant cost implications. For marketing teams, partnering with AI-enabled agencies might mean higher upfront costs but greater long-term savings through improved efficiencies and more targeted strategies.

The impact of AI on the relationship between marketing teams and agency partners is likely to be multifaceted and profound. It's redefining the services that agencies offer, the skills that are in demand, and the way that marketing teams conceptualize and execute their strategies. As agencies continue to adapt to these AI-driven changes, the partnerships with marketing teams will likely become even more collaborative, strategic, and results-oriented, driving forward the marketing industry as a whole.

The final word on AI in marketing

The comprehensive survey results of CMO views on artificial intelligence illustrate that AI is revolutionizing the marketing landscape, endowing teams with near-superhuman capabilities. From dramatically accelerating task completion to fostering an environment ripe for creative thinking, AI has become an indispensable asset in the marketer's toolbox. Marketing leaders are not only embracing AI for its prowess in enhancing content quality and strategic insight but are also redefining their expectations from agency partners, urging a widespread adoption of AI across various specializations. As AI continues to mature, it's clear that its integration within marketing is fostering a more efficient, innovative, and data-driven industry. The era of AI in marketing is here, and it's transforming every facet of the field, from strategy development to execution, setting the stage for a future where AI and human creativity converge to create marketing magic.

Lari Numminen

Lari is a 2-time B2B SaaS Company CMO and marketing enthusiast. He has written extensively on topics such as business process management and the role of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

Related posts

Search How to generate better B2B leads (with help from AI)
SEO for B2B SaaS case study: 22x organic traffic in a year with GenAI Search