// . //  Insights //  Generative AI’s Impact On Marketing Teams And Innovation

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As practitioners, we often wish for more time to think through the possibilities of a campaign or to connect with our customers. Generative AI is going to fuel the ability to play and be creative around what those things look like, because now we can get prototypes faster
Drew Panayiotou, Chief Marketing Officer, Pfizer

As generative artificial intelligence (AI) enters more day-to-day workspaces, it brings with it the potential to transform the way entire departments and organizations operate. For marketers, the conversation should shift from what tasks generative AI will replace to how it can automate low-value tasks, allowing marketers to focus on creating unique and magical customer experiences.

At this year's South By Southwest (SXSW) conference, Pfizer's Chief Marketing Officer, Drew Panayiotou, joined Oliver Wyman Partner, Gabe Knapp, to discuss the future of marketing and the role of AI in transforming the industry. They highlight the transformative potential of AI in marketing and the need for marketers to not only adapt but to also embrace digital skills to drive growth and create exceptional customer experiences.  

Drew Panayiotou 

Marketers have always been strategic and creative. Now AI is going to take away, I think, a lot of the low value work so that we can think about how do we create these experiences how do we think about content differently. 

Gabe Knapp  

We're here at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and today we're super excited to have Drew, the chief marketing officer at Pfizer with us. And we're talking about key trends in the industry and what the future of marketing is going to look like. So from your perspective, you think about generative AI technology, data, just the speed of how marketing is changing so quickly. What do you think the future of marketing really looks like as you look out your windshield? 

Drew  

Great question. We've talked about it a lot here at South by Southwest. And I think the exciting thing about AI for marketers is I actually think it allows us to reinvent what marketers can do in an organization to drive growth. A big part of what a marketer does is understand the customer journey and think about the funnel. And we use this term called CRM. I think that AI and generative AI will allow us to redefine CRM from customer relationship management in to customer relationship magic and we can think about how we create magic in the experiences that we provide our customers. And that to me is incredibly exciting.  

Gabe 

I want to ask you about modern marketing, and you and I have talked about this quite a bit, but as you think about just the capabilities that a modern marketer or a marketer of the future needs to have or even a marketing organization, what do you think those key skills really are? 

Drew  

The most effective marketers are going to have digital at their core, their digital DNA. Every marketing organization will have to build their own marketing LLM and so you will be really fluid in terms of how do you navigate the digital landscape. And again, AI’s general purpose, so it gets easier to have digital tools and capabilities. And so understanding how you can maintain your agility while being digital and then think even more strategically and more creatively about how you build your brand. That to me, is the magic of the future because marketers have always been strategic and creative. Now AI is going to take away, I think, a lot of the low value work from what we do so that we can think about how do we create these experiences, how do we think about content differently. And so just being comfortable and fluid and living in the digital environment will be that that other skill that I think marketers will continue to develop and hone. 

Gabe  

So as we think about generative AI, we're talking to a lot of marketing leaders and some chief marketing officers are super excited about just the opportunities of Gen AI. Some are a little bit trying to figure out what are the use cases or how am I going to get the full value out of it. And others are a little bit concerned about, hey, what does that mean for me in terms of my skill set or my organization and how do I upskill or how do I bring in the right talent to be able to support Gen AI? What do you say to those people who might be concerned a little bit about their job or what it means for their organization? 

Drew  

That is the question that comes up, which is it will replace your work. Will you now have like a robo marketer or a robo creative and you just press a button and it's a dog and cat or a hybrid. I think that's actually not what Gen AI and AI is about. I think that all of us, as practitioners, wish we had more time to think through what are the possibilities with a campaign and what are the possibilities with connecting with my customer? Generative AI is going to fuel the ability to play and be creative around what those things look like, because now I can get prototypes faster. And I say this if you're building a house and you have to build a house, and if you didn't have Gen AI, the tools and technology, you'd have to say, okay, here's the house I want. With generative AI, we're going to say, here's six homes that you can have. Which one feels right? And how do I change this one? How do I make this one look differently? And you'll be able to kind of have this stimuli that you didn't have before. And so if you have more stimuli, I think that opens up the possibilities and it opens up the creativity in terms of what you can do. And that's why I think it will unleash the power of marketeers. And I think it will allow us to reinvent what a CMO function is about. And I think that's like incredibly exciting. But we have to flip, I think, the conversation to what's possible and how it opens the possibilities versus how it reduces tasks. 

Gabe 

Super exciting. I completely agree. As you think about just your broad background that you've had across different industries, you've been in Coca Cola, you've been to Disney, you've been at Google, you've been at Chick-fil-A, I'm a big Chick-fil-A fan by the way 

Drew 

Got to love fried chicken, it's awesome. 

Gabe  

So as you bring some of those experiences to the table. How is that helping you now to drive innovation at Pfizer? 

Drew  

The most relevant brands to teenagers it's Disney and Chick-Fil-A. And I would say this, and I was in the theme parks business at Disney. The intense focus on the customer is what makes a Disney experience awesome. It's actually what fuels Chick-Fil-A. And when I was at both those organizations, I saw the maniacal focus of being spending your energy on customer issues, not inside the building. And so in this role at Pfizer that's exactly where my head's at, which is how do we take our energy and put it towards being maniacally focused on our customers, our doctors and our patients and not have so much energy inside the building? Because, you know, that's where you problem solve is with your customers understanding their situation. And I saw it in both those organizations like, that's why they have these businesses that continuously grow parks grows the Chick-fil-A restaurants grow. It's all because everything that they do, whether it's an app or how they think about their offering, it's always through that customer lens. And I think in scientific companies, you sometimes say, hey, it's just about the science. And the science is important, right? It's what fuels our products. But those products only achieve their true potential is if they live in the health system with their doctors and patients. And that's where they have the most impact. So you could have breakthroughs only happen when you have the product and impact and the impact is all customer. 

Gabe 

Tell us just a little bit about Charlie, because that's one of your generative AI tools that you just announced a couple of weeks ago. I think our audience would find it super exciting and interesting. Tell us a little about that.  

Drew  

It comes from just a pragmatic thing that I think marketers and CMO's are all struggling with, which is the proliferation of marketing tech martech, whether it's media or content driven. We spend so much time talking about what API to connect to another API and it's, you know, this thing with Adobe or this social listening tool or this UX analytics platform. And so we are just like overwhelmed with so much technology, so much data. And so with the progression of Gen AI and Chat GPT, we said, Hey, why don't we think about creating the ultimate marketer workbench? And that is Charlie. 

Gabe 

Yeah.

Drew  

And we consolidated our agencies so that we have our processes and people much more And when you have people, process, and technology aligned, you can build a powerful LLMs that can actually allow the marketer to have a great workbench so that if you're a brand marketer, you can sit there and say. Tell me how I should optimize this campaign, what geographies is this campaign working in and what audiences? What audience opportunities I have? It should be conversational because I think for a lot of marketers and I know this is true at every company I've been at, it's so hard to just get through data, go through this file or this spreadsheet or this PowerPoint or this database, and you end up not being able to practice at the highest level of your license. And as any professional, we want to practice at the highest level of our license. 

Gabe  

Absolutely. 

Drew  

And so we're building Charlie so that there's a tool, a marketing workbench that simplifies, I would say, the end-to-end marketing supply chain, which is something I don't think we talk about. We talk a lot about the end-to-end content supply chain, but content's only a piece of what the marketer deals with and our jobs go well beyond just content. Yeah, so Charlie is one of our bets. I think, you know, we're big believers that every company probably, you know, will build and need their version of Charlie. 

Gabe  

Well, thank you, Drew, for being with us today. Really appreciate it. Always great to have your insights. Always enjoy our conversation. So thank you so much. 

Drew 

Absolutely.