The Business Guide to AI: Takeaways from Marketing Leaders

Updated April 1, 2024

Following the announcement of Bloomberg Media’s partnership with the ANA Global CMO Growth Council,“The Business Guide to AI,” the first live event of this multi-channel program took place at the 2023 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando. The partnership expanded globally with an event at our London HQ, as well as activations at the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity and Spikes Asia with Cannes Lions. These events assembled some of the world’s top business leaders representing a range of industries from finance, consumer technology and advertising, to CPG, IT Infrastructure, luxury and more, with conversations centered around the opportunities and challenges of AI and its impact on the future of creativity.

BloombergAiQ, Bloomberg Media’s proprietary AI-driven audience and content platform, indicates that marketing professionals are more likely to engage in AI-related content than those in other leadership roles. In fact, Bloomberg Media’s findings show that, on average, individuals in Marketing are 1.5x more likely to engage with AI content than the general Bloomberg business audience, making them the profession most interested in consuming AI-content. Noting this, the partnership between Bloomberg Media and the ANA Global CMO Growth Council offers a credible, tangible, and actionable platform for marketing and business leaders to learn, implement, and amplify success-proven ways to integrate AI into their practices. 

At these “The Business Guide to AI” events, marketing leaders were immersed in Bloomberg’s Media’s latest insights on the GenAI landscape, heard groundbreaking case studies and presentations from partners including Meta, Microsoft, and Cannes Lions, and shared their own actionable and practical insights for leveraging AI to accelerate their businesses.  

At the Cannes Lions and ANA Global CMO Growth Council meeting at Dubai Lynx, our leadership team presented Bloomberg’s Media’s latest trends and tensions insights and how GenAI is evolving at Bloomberg.  The meeting at Spikes Asia shared how ground-breaking innovations can happen when creativity is applied productively, ultimately leading to business impact. They also dove deep across the innovation landscape to surface insights on GenAI services, applications, trust and honesty for audiences and industries.

Emerging from these meetings, here are the key takeaways that business leaders should keep in mind:

Start by “Getting Your Data Right:” The success of AI applications is largely dependent on its building blocks: data inputs. With AI, the definition of a dataset expands significantly, including elements like brand guidelines, imagery, copy samples, and more. There is an increased focus on ensuring data is optimized as there is much to gain from being more disciplined in curating these inputs as AI becomes more widely adopted. For example, Toni Clayton-Hine, Chief Marketing Officer at EY Americas, explained that her organization’s AI strategy involves “understanding how to turn data into better insights for our customers.” 

View AI as a Tool, not a Strategy: Despite the hype and potential of AI, its existence does not replace the importance of laying the groundwork with a strong marketing strategy. Mauricio Ferreira, General Director at Microsoft Business Applications, articulated this idea best when saying, “AI is not a strategy. You need to have your strategy clear and the problem you’re trying to solve – and then you think of AI as an enabler.” AI should be viewed as a tool within a marketer’s toolkit, able to be leveraged against this core strategy. Kingfisher CMO Luke Nathans shared this view, saying  “We should be using AI as a facilitator to make our ideas better.”  Many leaders we heard from agree that AI cannot replace the human imagination when it comes to creativity and ingenuity. Siew Ting Foo, Global Head of Brand Insights, HP Inc.  shared this sentiment when she said “[AI] frees up time to empower creativity and bring out the best in you.”

Keep Your Customer at the Core: As this emerging technology continues to capture the imagination of business leaders and consumers alike, the marketing objective of many current AI applications is to attract the public’s attention. While flashier use cases can drive brand perceptions, it’s customer service applications that have the most potential to drive deeper relationships with audiences. Data from the Bloomberg Brand Accelerator supports this assertion, revealing that Anticipatory Custom Service is the single strongest driver of innovation for consumer tech today. Matteo Atti, CMO at VistaJet, conveyed this sentiment about AI in the luxury space when saying, “We have seen a lot of examples of brands trying to impress customers with AI. But I think what AI really gives us the chance to do, especially in luxury, is create a relationship with clients through service.” 

Explore Applications that are Authentic to your Brand: While AI can be applied in countless ways, it is critical to use your brand’s core purpose as a lens for determining use cases for your organization. Business leaders are seeing success in exploring a handful of “test arenas” instead of spreading resources too thinly across too many AI-related projects. Angela Zepeda, CMO at Hyundai Motor America, shared “where we’re digging deep right now is on our website,” developing a ChatBot that is improving customer experience. 

Brand Distinction Remains Critical: When adopting GenAI into creative practices, marketers are able to more quickly develop new concepts and assets at scale. However, this emerging technology still has its limits as business leaders are seeing that GenAI assets can often appear homogenized. Lewis Woodward, Executive Vice President, External Relations at Bain & Company, shared his perspective on how to evaluate GenAI creative in saying,  “The characteristics of really strong creative work are all about brand distinction. So if it’s not helping your brand be distinctive, question whether you should be using the output or not.”  

Invest in Upskilling Your Workforce: Training is a key component to ensure your workforce can implement your AI strategy effectively. However, a recent Accenture¹ report revealed that only 5% of employees were being actively trained on how to use GenAI by their organizations, while 85% of surveyed C-Suite leaders think their organizations should be using GenAI “often” or “almost always.” Upskilling can have a positive effect on morale and retention as employees can feel confident using AI to garner success for their organizations, and also serves as a way to quell fears around AI replacing human jobs. Futuretech CEO Boye Balogun said “Something that can be automated, we will automate, but will continue to invest in talent and people.”

To share these AI-related learnings from business leaders with a wider audience, “The Business Guide to AI” also launched a video series, which is being distributed across Bloomberg Media and the ANA’s owned channels. These video segments feature professionals from the ANA, Bain & Company, Bloomberg Media, EY, Hyundai Motor America, Meta, Microsoft, Nokia, VistaJet, Asyad, Masdar City, Futuretech, dentsu, HP Inc., Kingfisher, Kyndryl, and S4 Capital.

For more information on “The Business Guide to AI,” visit here.  

To speak to someone about “The Business Guide to AI,” please contact and

Source: Accenture, Work, Workforce, Workers Age of GenAI Report, January 2024