‘Beginning to be the practical’: GE global CMO Linda Boff on the evolution of AI in marketing

With over 20 speaking sessions hinging on generative AI, the Possible conference in Miami this week addressed the challenges and opportunities associated with the technology head on. Veteran marketer Linda Boff, global CMO at GE, for one, recognized that the hype cycle is still swirling, but sees practical applications beginning to emerge.

“It’s less the promise and beginning to be the practical,” she said in a video interview with Digiday, adding, “I still don’t think it’s finite. We need many more use cases, many more examples, many more opportunities where we can show effort, result — effort result.”

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Boff pointed to market research as an example of where the practicality of AI is beginning to have an impact, in a good way, on an industry feature that has lingered too long on traditional methods.

“From where I sit, market research has not been disrupted for the entire time I’ve been a marketer, so that’s decades,” said Boff. AI, Boff continued, is starting to give marketers the ability to find data sets and market intelligence from a far wider audience, with what she said is “pretty fantastic efficacy.”

“So using things like synthetic polling, we can get a pulse on how the aerospace industry is viewing something. Previously we would have to do a long-form survey, and these people are hard to get to.”

While Boff did caution that the industry does have to be “sober about what the data tells us,” she noted that AI offers up the ability to take those last few steps toward more complete consumer intelligence.

“Sometimes having knowledge that 80% is right and then go validate that final 20% is more efficient, a lot smarter and more cost efficient,” she said.

Watch our full interview below:


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