New Book From UVA Darden Professor Offers Roadmap to Incorporating AI into Marketing

By Dave Hendrick

Artificial Intelligence can be a key tool to improve marketing performance and add new capabilities, but implementing new technologies can come with a steep learning curve.

In a new book, The AI Marketing Canvas: A Five Stage Roadmap to Implementing Artificial Intelligence in Marketing (Stanford Business Books, an imprint of Stanford University Press, 2021) Darden Professor Raj Venkatesan and Kellogg School of Management Professor Jim Lecinski offer a direct, actionable plan marketers can use to incorporate AI into marketing plans, regardless of the organization’s current marketing state.

(Explore principals of digital innovation further in Venkatesan’s “Digital Marketing Innovation” course, starting 9 August, from Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning.)

The book offers marketers insights into the state of artificial intelligence, how it differs from traditional data-based approaches and how to begin incorporating the capabilities into marketing plans.

Venkatesan and Lecinski provide an easy-to-follow five-stage framework for what they term the AI Marketing Canvas, and draw research and case studies involving companies including Google, Lyft and Coca-Cola to illustrate the capabilities in action.

The five stages are Foundation, Experimentation, Expansion, Transformation and Monetization.

The book also considers the broader implications of incorporating AI into a marketing plan — including how moves can impact teams and cultures.

“Modern marketers are increasingly using AI to build better, more effective campaigns,” said Venkatesan. “This book offers clear roadmap to help marketers get in the game and add these powerful tools to their strategic marketing toolkit.”

Venkatesan, the author of the recent Marketing Analytics, launched the online Coursera course “Artificial Intelligence in Marketing” in late 2020, putting many of the lessons in The AI Marketing Canvas to work for a global audience. Venkatesan teaches throughout the Darden MBA program and in Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning courses, including the new Certificate in Data Science for Business Strategy series and a Digital Marketing Innovation course.

Lecinski is a marketing professor at Kellogg School of Management and previously served as vice president of customer solutions at Google.

Read Venkatesan’s “AI Powered Marketing: A 5-Stage Path to Success,” on Darden Ideas to Action.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Molly Mitchell
Associate Director of Content Marketing and Social Media
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia