LISBON, Portugal –– On Web Summit’s PandaConf stage, Qualcomm chief marketing officer Don McGuire and Code and Theory CEO Dan Gardner spoke with Adweek about introducing AI to the marketing organization.
Opening with a video summarizing Qualcomm’s future-looking AI applications, which include seamlessly scheduling a day out with a friend, consumer product design and innovation, and home renovations, the brand and agency leaders acknowledged that the AI business is still nascent, but that its potential future applications are vast.
“We’re not even touching the surface of what can be done,” Gardner said. Until now, AI’s limited applications made it easier for people to complete simple tasks, he noted. Gardner’s agency, the Stagwell-owned digital transformation company, is working with Qualcomm and its other clients to take the technology from “prompted and reactive” to anticipatory.
“AI has gone from a prompted sort of tool to being more of a personalized and anticipatory tool. So, it’s making suggestions proactively based on what it knows about you … what you’ve allowed it to know about you and your behaviors,” said McGuire.
We’re one of the largest companies actually developing and commercializing the technology that’s going to enable all this wonderful usefulness.
––Don McGuire, CMO, Qualcomm
Readying the marketing org
Future-forward applications are one thing, but making use of Qualcomm’s own technology is another. The brand embraced what McGuire called a “duality approach,” in which he can apply Qualcomm’s products to solve challenges inside its own marketing organization. McGuire will effectively become his own proof of concept as he simultaneously markets Qualcomm’s AI solutions.
“On the one hand, we’re one of the largest companies actually developing and commercializing the technology that’s going to enable all this wonderful usefulness. On the other side, I’m the CMO of a large company, and I’m starting to deploy the tools,” he said.
Qualcomm’s AI readiness infrastructure includes its agency partnerships, like the one it shares with Code and Theory, plus active partnerships with vendors like Midjourney and Adobe Firefly.
Even with partnerships in place, Qualcomm appointed a steering committee to prepare for AI adoption inside the marketing organization. Lawyers and key stakeholders evaluate an AI model’s training, how Qualcomm should store AI datasets, what information the AI relies on to deliver outputs, and where Qualcomm should share the technology with its employees.
“Not all AI can go in the public cloud,” McGuire said.
Instead, he anticipates AI adoption and storage will become hybrid. AI can run on a consumer’s device, on-premise within company technology infrastructure or in the cloud.