We kept our ear to the ground at Cannes Lions for the interesting stats, insights and discussion points you need to feel in the know.

1. Turning data into dollars

Freezing motion bubble burst.

As marketers and experts in messaging, CMOs are human-cantered storytellers. They can create compelling, memorable brand experiences across platforms, deeply rooted in human emotions and insights. Today’s CMOs handle much more than just branding and creative content; they must also be tech-savvy, transforming data into dollars. CMOs now drive growth by building brands, exploring new markets, innovating products, and forming partnerships while doing everything they used to do. While CMOs don’t need to be data scientists, they need a clear vision of how technology can amplify their efforts. The rise of GenAI is a game-changer, with forward-thinking CMOs leveraging it to enhance productivity. In Korea, AI is streamlining ad copy production and logistics, while in Japan, tech giants are developing language models tailored to Japanese nuances. Although some firms are cautious about data risks, GenAI-driven chatbots are becoming more common. As companies undergo major transformations, CMOs can use their persuasive skills to drive change and make sure everyone feels supported during the transition. This is the CMO’s “superpower.”

The CMO’s superpower

2. The user experience

Japanese businesswoman using the VR simulator in the street

They say GenAI, along with other tech- like machine learning and robotic process automation, can make marketing more efficient, cut costs, and personalize experiences better. That’s all great, but companies often forget to consider how customers feel about it. As GenAI tools get cheaper and easier to use, customers might start using their own AI to handle interactions with companies. Picture having your own AI that looks over contracts, hunts for deals, or even negotiates for you. If this catches on, customers could start ignoring generic ads and lean on AI for more personalized experiences. The EY Future Consumer Index found that while many customers are open to trusting AI, there’s still a big group that’s skeptical. Building strong, lasting relationships with customers takes time and effort. GenAI can bring quick gains in efficiency and effectiveness, but it’s important to consider a future where customers also have access to these tools. In the end, building strong, lasting relationships with customers will be about more than just competing on price — it’ll be about making real emotional connections and earning loyalty.

When customers leverage AI

3. Marketing model makeover


Around 74% of CMOs feel they can’t fully use their skills and expertise to influence or contribute to the company’s strategic direction. The role of the CMO has never been more complex or strategic, with high expectations to drive efficiency and adapt to market changes. Crafting the right operating model is essential, as it can be a competitive advantage. Today’s CMOs are juggling a lot of challenges, and if their marketing model isn’t up to date, those challenges just get tougher. To succeed, CMOs need to align their marketing goals with their company’s growth agenda – talent, upskilling, and external partnerships should be top priorities. When designing a marketing operating model, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Many factors need to be considered. However, these five principles can boost their chances of creating a model that helps their organizations compete and succeed in the market…

5 ways CMOs can create an agile operating model

4. Searching for a new marketing strategy

 Looking up at skyscrapers against dark blue sky at night

If it feels as if the rise of GenAI is impacting everything, it’s because it is. This time, GenAI is shaking up how we think about search and marketing strategies. Imagine search engines that don’t just list results but directly answer your questions using vast amounts of data. As large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT transform from providing lists of sources to being your go-to search engine, marketing teams need to think beyond traditional methods, focusing on generating content that stands out in these new AI-driven search environments. While this promises to make searches faster and more accurate, it also poses challenges for traditional SEO and how companies connect with customers. Will traditional search even exist in 10 years? No matter what’s next, here are four ways marketing teams can start futureproofing…

The impact of GenAI in Search

5. Shaping the C-suite

 Female Business Development Leader having a project status meeting or decision to report, analyze and improve to increases team's overall productivity in a tech business office.

In today’s evolving landscape of financial services, business to business to consumer (B2B2C) marketers face unique challenges and opportunities. The pressure to grow a business while reducing costs is real. Financial professionals seek tailored support to expand their practices, while consumers demand personalized experiences from trusted advisors. How can marketers keep the customer at the center while also supporting the financial needs of their firm? Collaboration across the C-suite is crucial, especially with sales leaders, to enhance support for financial professionals amidst changing consumer behaviors. Successful CMOs are embracing their role as catalysts for sales, driving efficiencies across the marketing funnel from awareness to conversion. EY surveyed over 200 CMOs and senior marketing leaders to identify what separates those who are spearheading marketing for growing organizations from the rest…

How growth leaders approach marketing