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  • Writer's pictureRachel Baines

The dawn of AI – Should agencies be afraid of the robots?

Put yourself in this scenario: you're in a virtual team meeting when people start asking about when you’re likely to introduce an AI system. After all, everyone has had a play with Chat GPT now so it’s only a matter of time before we assume all menial tasks (and some not so menial) will be taken over by the robots, right? But should agency founders and leaders be jumping on the AI bandwagon just yet? This blog takes a look at whether we’re heading for Skynet level destruction or not…



Improve efficiencies


One of the biggest benefits to the use of AI for agencies is the prospect of increased efficiency. In the digital marketing world, we’ve been making use of automations and machine-based learning models for a while now, and it’s safe to say that AI really can take care of some of the tedious tasks that eat up time, meaning your teams end up with more to focus on the fun and creative parts of the job. No more spending hours on data entry or scheduling social media posts! Plus, with improved accuracy, there will be fewer mistakes in reports and analyses, saving everyone a headache.


Tools such as Zapier also mean you can automate workflows which mean more streamlined processes…show me an agency founder who doesn’t want that!


Real-time insights


AI can be used to analyse customer data to identify patterns and trends and do so in real-time, helping your agency create more targeted communications, campaigns, and proposals and course correct activities in train. With tools like G4 and Hootsuite Insights, you can get up-to-the-minute data on campaigns and adjust on the fly. It's like having a personal assistant that's always looking out for you. And let's not forget about predictive analytics. AI can help your agency predict future trends and behaviours, which can inform your ongoing new business work. With AI, you can be a trendsetter, not a follower.


Collaboration


Communication is key in any agency, no matter your size, specialism or role, and AI-powered tools like Trello, Slack and ClickUp provide the ability to help teams stay connected and to collaborate more effectively. Tracking project tasks, assigning responsibilities, and communicating with teams can all be done with a few clicks, and automated workflows then funnel notifications to relevant people. Time tracking, resource management and forecasting can be made so much easier by allowing AI assisted tools to remove guesswork.


AI can provide agencies with a significant competitive advantage, enabling you to work more efficiently, make data-driven decisions, and deliver better results for your clients. However, like any new technology, AI comes with its own set of challenges and pitfalls and the occasional ethical consideration.


One of the biggest pitfalls is the lack of human touch. As amazing as AI is, it's no substitute for the empathy and human connection that makes your agency truly impactful. You need to find a balance between efficiency and empathy.


Data privacy is a concern when using AI within your agency, you don't want to be the next Cambridge Analytica. As AI systems become more advanced, they are able to collect and analyse more data, which can be used to create highly personalised campaigns, proposals, and communications. However, this also means that there is more data being collected, which increases the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks. Agencies must ensure that they are collecting and using data in a legal and ethical manner, and that they have robust security protocols in place to protect against data breaches.


AI systems are only as unbiased as the data that is used to train them, and if the data is biased, the system will be too. This can lead to unintended consequences, such as perpetuating stereotypes or discriminating against certain groups of people. You need to ensure that you are using unbiased data when training any AI systems, and that you are regularly monitoring to ensure that it is not perpetuating any biases. AI can be a bit of a black box, meaning it can be hard to understand how decisions are being made. This lack of transparency can therefore make it difficult to explain your decisions to clients and stakeholders and can also lead to mistrust among consumers. In industries where transparency is critical, this can be a real problem. Don't let the machines keep secrets from you.


Finally, there is the question of job displacement. As AI systems become more advanced, they are able to perform tasks that were previously performed by humans. Some employees may be resistant to change, feeling threatened by the introduction of new technology. This can lead to concerns about job displacement and the impact that AI will have on employment in the agency industry. While it is true that some jobs may be replaced by AI, there will also be new job opportunities created as a result of the increased use of AI in the industry. Agencies need to ensure that they are providing their employees with the training and skills needed to work alongside AI systems. It's important to explain the benefits of AI to everyone and reassure them that the robots aren't coming for their jobs. At least not yet.


So, what's the bottom line? AI can be a powerful tool for your agency, but it's important to approach it with a balanced perspective. We see a great deal of potential with machine and ai powered tech in the future, but we also believe that there is no substitute for human creativity! And if you ever feel overwhelmed by the robots, just remember Sarah Connor already dealt with them so we’re safe…probably.

 

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