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Learn More About Jim Lecinski

As spending on digital marketing in the U.S. continues to explode – from 2% to 50% in the last two decades – and the definition of omnichannel marketing continues to evolve, so does the skillset marketers must have to drive growth. According to omnichannel marketing pioneer Jim Lecinski (luh-ZIN-skee), Clinical Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management MBA program, which is consistently ranked as the world’s #1 MBA program in marketing, organizations must have robust in-house digital marketing training programs to compete in today’s increasingly demanding omnichannel ecosystem.

“The purpose of marketing is to drive profitable, incremental growth,” explains Lecinski, winner of the Kellogg School of Management’s 2022 Outstanding Professor of the Year award. “To accomplish that, it’s vital to be able to use the latest technology to connect with and better satisfy customers down to an individual level.”

Utilizing the Modern Digital Marketing Playbook

Sparked by a desire to understand what makes decision-makers tick – both the conscious and subconscious needs of everyone from consumers to B2B buyers – Lecinski became a digital marketing trailblazer. A member of the team that built one of Procter & Gamble’s first consumer websites, he joined Google in 2006, becoming the tech giant’s Vice President of U.S. Sales & Service.

While at Google, Lecinski wrote the bestseller, “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” (Vook, Inc, June 2011), an indispensable playbook for marketers who are looking to understand and leverage the digital landscape to capture consumers’ attention and influence their decision-making process.

Having sold over 300,000 copies, the book serves as a comprehensive guide for marketing and sales leaders to harness the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) – the critical moment when a potential customer first encounters a product or service online and begins their research. In it, Lecinski draws on real-world examples and practical strategies, empowering marketers to optimize their digital presence and connect with consumers in meaningful ways, ultimately driving sales and business growth.

“Part of the challenge of marketing is that it keeps changing,” explains Lecinski, who designed Google’s global marketing training program. “Previously, there wasn’t a framework for digital marketing strategies. This book filled that gap in the industry where many marketers were just randomly experimenting, and changed how people think about digital marketing.”

Artificial Intelligence’s Transformative Impact on Marketing

As technology evolves, marketing strategies have to change as well. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning now at the forefront of the public consciousness, Lecinski literally wrote the book on how organizations can leverage AI to supercharge marketing campaigns with his award-winning co-authored playbook, “The AI Marketing Canvas: A Five Stage Roadmap to Implementing Artificial Intelligence in Marketing” (2021). A practical guide for how marketers should be thinking about AI and machine learning that was named a top AI book and a top business book of 2022, it includes real-world examples of companies, including Starbucks and Coca-Cola, that are successfully leveraging AI in marketing. It also offers a step-by-step framework for making AI a vital part of the organizational marketing toolkit. To keep up with today’s competition, Lecinski says it’s vital to truly understand AI’s power and potential.

“It’s no longer optional to be fluent in the language of AI marketing,” explains Lecinski, winner of Kellogg’s 2020-2021 Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award. “You need to know the difference between AI, machine learning, deep learning and neural nets, for example. If everyone on your marketing team does not know that today, you’re already behind the competition.”

Balance All Aspects of Digital Marketing For Exceptional Campaigns

Lecinski is an expert in recognizing and analyzing patterns in the marketing industry which he is then able to explain in clear, concise ways to students and business executives alike. As more and more businesses and brands adopt various omnichannel marketing techniques, he also keeps a keen eye on potential bumps along the way like privacy and ethics issues, which he discusses extensively in “The AI Marketing Canvas.”

“You have to be able to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time,” Lecinski explains. “But we also have to think about how to balance the customer experience with privacy, legislation and even different cultural norms.”

By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence within an omnichannel digital marketing strategy, Jim Lecinski empowers leaders to unlock in-house capabilities that will optimize efficiency, drive effectiveness and propel your organization’s competitive advantage to new heights.  


Jim Lecinski is an educator and distinguished marketing and sales executive with over 30 years of experience driving successful business results for major brands by developing and implementing integrated, omnichannel and digital marketing programs. He is fluent in marketing strategy, digital marketing, ad tech, TV, print, outdoor, direct mail, catalog, database marketing and analytics, and the applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning in marketing.

Following a notable twelve-year career at Google, where he counseled leading marketers on how to adapt their businesses and marketing to win in today’s new digital world, Lecinski is now a Clinical Professor of Marketing in the Kellogg School of Management’s MBA program at Northwestern University in Chicago, which is consistently ranked as the world’s #1 MBA program in marketing. At Kellogg, Lecinski teaches popular courses in marketing strategy and omnichannel marketing and was named Kellogg Professor of the Year in 2022.

Lecinski’s seminal book about the new marketing model, “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” (Vook Inc, June 2011) known as “ZMOT” (pronounced: “Zhee MAHT”) was published in 2011, sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide and was featured in The New York Times, Advertising Age and Forbes. His latest book, “The AI Marketing Canvas: A Five Stage Roadmap to Implementing Artificial Intelligence in Marketing” (Stanford Business Books, May 2021) examines how marketers should be implementing machine learning into their marketing toolkit. “The AI Marketing Canvas” has been named both a top AI book and a top business book of 2022.

Jim Lecinski is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Jim Lecinski was last modified: July 2nd, 2024 by Justin Louis

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The AI Marketing Canvas: Modern Artificial Intelligence For Marketers

Marketers are increasingly hearing about the importance of and potential for what artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) might do to transform marketing. In this engaging presentation, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA marketing professor Jim Lecinski draws from his award-winning book “The AI Marketing Canvas” to explore why many marketers are unclear about what exactly AI and ML are. He delves into what these emerging technologies can do for an organization’s marketing efforts and how to get started with them in the first place. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how to create and deliver amazing, highly personalized customer experiences with AI and ML that will set their brands apart and help them win in the competitive digital marketplace.

Building a Successful Omnichannel Marketing Model

“Omnichannel” is a relatively new concept in marketing, coming to the forefront only within the last decade. In this informative session, Jim Lecinski, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA marketing professor and author of the bestselling modern digital marketing handbook, “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth,” explains the concept and definition of omnichannel. He examines how marketing managers can effectively knit together a collection of marketing channels to deliver customers with a superior, integrated omnichannel experience. Using real-world examples, he’ll describe brands that are delivering successful omnichannel experiences, and will outline the main elements required to deliver such an experience. Lecinski will explain why transitioning to an omnichannel model is often fraught with missteps, setbacks and even failures, and will articulate some of the managerial implications and imperatives surrounding an omnichannel transformation. Audiences leave this presentation with a roadmap for marketing leaders to successfully create and operate a powerful omnichannel brand experience.

The Powerful Potential of Generative AI and the Careful Considerations That Must Be Applied

According to Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA marketing professor Jim Lecinski, artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to be one of the most transformative technologies of our time. To remain competitive, organizations will need to understand how to effectively leverage it. In this fascinating presentation, Lecinski explains the powerful potential of generative AI tools to create images, copy and other assets that can be hyper-customized to the desired messaging. While the technology can optimize efficiency and allow talent to focus on high-value work, he’ll also discuss some of the current limitations of systems like ChatGPT and DALL-E, and why it’s vital for leaders to carefully consider how such systems will be used, driving home the need for humans to be involved every step of the way. Audiences will gain a better understanding of what generative AI is, how it can be applied to marketing functions and what leaders will need to keep in mind when using this emerging, but still imperfect, technology.

Becoming Fluent in the Language of AI Marketing

As the discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) builds every day, it’s vital for leaders to become fluent in the language of AI marketing, says the award-winning Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA marketing professor Jim Lecinski. In this enlightening presentation, he draws on his 2021 bestseller, “The AI Marketing Canvas,” to break down the modern AI dictionary. Explaining the nuances between artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks and deep learning, he’ll provide audiences, regardless of tech-savviness, with vital knowledge that can open new competitive advantages by understanding how to harness the right technology for the job.

Lessons for Sales Leaders from Google, and Looking Ahead to the Future of Sales

Marketing and sales departments depend on each other for success more than ever. Leaders must understand both to empower them to work together. A former sales enablement and training leader at Google, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA marketing professor Jim Lecinski will present an eye-opening session that outlines the 10 vital lessons he took away from his time as a tech executive. Through personal stories and anecdotes, he’ll illustrate the significance of knowing your firm, product and customer, the vital importance of relationships, and why sometimes you just have to say no. Looking ahead to the future of sales, audiences will gain an understanding of the implications of artificial intelligence on sales and how emerging technologies can be harnessed to create new avenues of value.

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA Clinical Professor of Marketing Jim Lecinski is a digital marketing pioneer and among the world’s top experts on leveraging the latest technology to create powerful integrated, omnichannel digital marketing programs. In small group workshops and one-on-one advisory sessions, Lecinski helps marketing and sales leaders build relationships, create new avenues of value, and implement emerging technology to drive highly effective marketing strategies. He is available to discuss any or all the following topics in programs that can be customized to meet the needs and goals of your organization with the added option of meeting virtually or in person.

  • Building a Successful Omnichannel Marketing Model
  • The AI Marketing Canvas – Modern Artificial Intelligence For Marketers
  • Becoming Fluent in the Language of AI Marketing
  • Lessons for Sales Leaders from Google, and Looking Ahead to the Future of Sales
  • The Powerful Potential of Generative AI and the Careful Considerations That Must Be Applied
  • Hands-On Marketing Strategy Sessions

Jim Lecinski, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management MBA marketing professor and former Google Vice President, U.S. Sales & Service, was one of the first experts to lay out a practical framework for digital marketing strategy. Author of “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” (2011), which sold more than 300,000 copies, and co-author of “The AI Marketing Canvas” (2021), which was named among the best business books of 2022, Lecinski teaches marketers how to implement machine learning into their marketing toolkit. His highly customized workshops, which can be presented as a half-day or full-day session, use real-world case studies to guide leaders through building powerful digital marketing strategies that produce relevant, privacy-conscious omnichannel campaigns that can create, and even widen, the competitive gap.

Hands-On Marketing Strategy Sessions

With so many different messaging channels today, it’s more vital than ever to have a marketing plan that will make your brand stand out from the crowd. Renowned marketing plan consultant and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Clinical Professor of Marketing Jim Lecinski works closely with leaders to fine-tune powerful strategic marketing plans in highly engaging half-day and full-day workshop sessions and through ongoing advisory arrangements. With a window into how to build effective marketing plans for today’s omnichannel world, he helps leaders develop potent tactics for branding, strategizing omnichannel messaging protocols, and creating effective plans to respond to potential competitive moves. From successful branding projects with Fortune 500 companies such as Procter & Gamble to his time as a Google executive, Lecinski draws on his deep, practical experience to work closely with organizations of all sizes to optimize strategic marketing initiatives.

Praise for “The AI Marketing Canvas”

"This book is mission-critical to marketing today, and to all business decision makers. Marketers can use this book to propel their organization forward―they can and should use this book to be a change agent within their own organization."

Lindsay Saran, Senior Marketing Manager, Google

"Raj and Jim offer a compelling roadmap for CMOs to understand, experience and implement AI at any stage of their marketing journey. This guide provides the framework to build the vision required for C-Suite buy-in and create an actionable cross-functional plan to deliver results."

Jean English, CMO, Palo Alto Networks

"’The AI Marketing Canvas’ presents a clear and compelling argument with practical, proven advice for making AI a real priority in your strategic plans. Read this book before your competition does!"

Richard Guest, Vice President of Brand Communications, Burger King North America

"This book answers the questions you always wanted to ask about AI, with real life examples from companies who have been on the journey and a roadmap that meets you where you are. A definite must-read for every CMO!"

Heather Malenshek, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Land O'Lakes Inc

"Definitive reading for every marketer looking to grasp the modern tools of the trade. Raj and Jim have written the textbook on Marketing AI. This book is chock full of easy-to-understand definitions to tools that help put AI in action."

Thomas Ranese, Vice President of Global Marketing , Uber

"’The AI Marketing Canvas’ is part inspiration, part how-to, and part kick-in-the-pants to tackle growth in long-term brand equity by outlining a framework that will delight the customer in today's nuanced and competitive marketplace. A must-read for the modern marketer!"

Dave Schneider, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Wing Show Co.

"A critical read for marketing leaders to use to develop their organizations' use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Raj and Jim provide a clear, relatable path by identifying the five stages of AI and Machine Learning to develop a strategy and properly progress to the next stage."

Joel Yashinsky, Chief Marketing Officer, Applebee's Grill & Bar

"Strategic marketing drives growth that can only be achieved by delivering truly customer-centric experiences. Marketers now must harness the power of AI and data to scale experiences that convert; this book gives you the foundational knowledge, framework and inspiration to do just that."

Christina Bottis, CMO, Coyote Logistics

"AI is something every marketer thinks they need to use, but don't really know why. ’The AI Marketing Canvas’ does a phenomenal job of demystifying this burgeoning capability and laying out actionable plans that allow AI to be a key differentiator that sets your brand apart. A must read for any marketer that seeks real disruption."

Andrea Brimmer, CMO, Ally Financial

"This is a must-read book for business leaders that want to truly understand the impact AI will continue to have on companies and brands that want to leverage customer centricity as their North Star in driving growth. It is a smart, pragmatic, toolkit filled playbook that allows the reader to turn best practice learning's into implementation moves, now!"

Scott Davis, Chief Growth Officer , Prophet

"Not only do the authors make the case that AI-driven marketing is critical, but also provide a practical and inspirational primer on how marketers can make it work for their business. This book will get any marketer both excited and prepared for the possibilities of AI marketing and eager to jump in!"

Kelly Gillease, CMO, NerdWallet

"Whatever stage in your marketing evolution and digital customer journey, learn how to unlock the value you have already captured using AI to supercharge impact. This powerful yet digestible book gives you a step-by-step guide to take stock by asking the right questions, lay a foundation and get started on execution. Build a roadmap, demonstrate success and get the support and investment you need."

Brett Groom, Chief Marketing Officer , ATI Physical Therapy

"Over the next 10 years, AI and machine learning will transform marketing in ways far more profound than previous technology revolutions. For marketing leaders, recognizing the shift isn't enough. You have to act. This book provides a practical roadmap for getting started and for building sustainable advantage in the face of disruptive change."

Matt Lawson, CMO, Juniper Square

"Through real-world, evidence-based research, Raj and Jim clearly demonstrate that successful implementation of AI and machine learning is going to result in 'winner take all' scenarios. This book is a critical read to ensure that your brand ends up on the right side of that equation – the framework and practical applications that are provided will be additive whether you're at the beginning of this journey or well on your way."

Joe Maglio, CEO, McKinney and Co.

"’The AI Marketing Canvas’ offers a practical, inspiring and grounded guide to leveraging A.I. as an essential tool to increase authentic connection with customers and amplify the impact of marketing today. Spanning numerous categories and useful case studies, this book is an essential read for marketers who want to win today and dominate tomorrow."

Brooke Skinner Ricketts, CXO,