Grant McKenzie, the CMO of Asahi Europe & International, has a long and varied experience in marketing. He started his career at Mars and moved on to SABMiller, which took him to different new countries and markets, enabling him to appreciate the nuances of marketing around the world. In his role at Asahi Europe & International, he now oversees a global team of 200 marketers. He credits moving around the world with “stretching the mind muscles” to understand cultural diversity better.

Artificial Intelligence - Still A Shiny New Object
Grant finds AI fascinating and exciting - like many of our other podcast guests. But it’s not just the speed, it’s also the quality of output that is impressive for the stage of development we’re currently in.

"AI can eliminate or reduce 60-65% of work, freeing time for inspiring and exciting marketing efforts," he says. In an organisation where Grant feels that marketers struggle with too much focus on day-to-day tasks, AI is appealing as a way to streamline processes. It is also a ticket to going back to “the great idea” and to more profound, human-driven work.

AI’s Impact On the Industry
Grant believes AI will accelerate changes already underway, such as marketers taking more control of the creative process and agencies needing to adapt to this. While AI experts are not a priority hire, he now looks for marketers who can leverage AI to enhance strategic efforts.

"The basic people who write mediocre briefs don't really understand consumers. We don't need them anymore." Grant sees AI making the skills of profound marketers all the more valuable in the future.

Learn more about why AI is a great leveller, and why people remain at the core of Grant’s marketing strategy, in the full episode.

The host of the Shiny New Object podcast is Tom Ollerton, founder of Automated Creative.