Forewords to books can play a variety of roles. One is to describe in more general terms what the book is about. That’s not really necessary, since Jim Sterne is a master at communicating complex topics in relatively simple terms. Another common purpose is to describe how the book fits into the broader literature on the topic. That doesn’t seem necessary in this case, either, since there isn’t much literature on artificial intelligence (AI) for marketing, and even if there were, you’ve probably turned to this book to get one easy-to-consume source. A third possible objective for forewords is to persuade you of the importance and relevance of the book, with the short-term goal of having you actually buy it or read onward if you already bought it. I’ll adopt that goal, and provide external testimony that AI already is important to marketing, that it will become much more so in the future, and that any good marketing executive needs to know what it can do. It’s not that difficult to argue that marketing in the future will make increasing use of AI. Even today, the components of an AI-based approach are largely in place. Contemporary marketing is increasingly quantitative, targeted, and tied to business outcomes. Ads and promotions are increasingly customized to individual consumers in real time. Companies employ multiple channels to get to customers, but all of them increasingly employ digital content. Company marketers still work with agencies, many of which have developed analytical capabilities of their own. As Sterne points out, data is the primary asset for AI-based marketing approaches. Data for marketing comes from a company’s own systems, agencies, third-party syndicators, customer online behaviors, and many other sources—and certainly comprises “big data” in the aggregate. About 25 percent of today’s marketing budgets are devoted to digital channels, and almost 80 percent of marketing organizations make technology-oriented capital expenditures—typically hardware and software—according to a recent Gartner survey. Clearly some of that capital will be spent on AI.