Originally published on Forbes.com by Forbes Agency Council on June 28, 2019.
Agencies have many tasks to juggle—some are fun and creative, while others are repetitive and time-consuming. It’s likely that no agency professional’s first loves are data management and numbers crunching, and that’s why many leaders in the industry are so excited about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI).
To help you realize the possibilities AI can offer the agency industry and give you and your team more time to creatively shine, we asked 11 members of Forbes Agency Council to share what AI can do to revolutionize productivity in the industry.
1. Offload Repetitive Tasks
We began implementing automated systems and machine learning alongside our customer relationship management (CRM) software for data sharing, forecasting and reporting. We also use AI in our digital ad buys (comparing the machine to human intellect) to improve the campaign performance and streamline reporting. In the process, we’ve learned that we still need to tell the systems what to do, relying on human logic to interpret and react. – Korena Keys, KeyMedia Solutions
2. Measure Results
The ability to leverage AI and machine learning to automate mundane tasks such as measuring the results of A/B testing, creating audience targets and even driving customer experience through chatbots opens the doors for us to focus on creative tasks. It is bringing us back to the basics that are beyond data, such as focusing on how we can connect to the consumer on an emotional level in a creative way. – Michael Smith, iTribe Social Inc.
3. Generate Leads And Connect With Consumers
Virtual assistants have the ability to save agencies a significant amount of time with their ability to generate leads and connect with consumers independently. For example, chatbots are becoming increasingly popular through social media and websites. Agencies now can leverage virtual assistants to communicate directly with consumers without human assistance, giving back time to your team. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing + Partnerships
4. Answer Easy Customer Questions
AI is able to provide a speed update that a lot of other formats are not able to provide. There are some questions and pieces of content that are rather easily answered by AI, such as FAQs. The balance for companies is to understand what cannot be answered and what can be by using AI. Some tasks simply require a person. — Jon James, Ignited Results
5. Optimize Marketing Campaigns
It’s shortsighted to be skeptical. AI will ultimately revolutionize marketing like everything else. For example, there are already AI tools designed to make marketing campaign optimization less overwhelming by serving as your agency’s automated “data scientist.” Human data scientists know how endless a task campaign optimization can be, and AI can be a real help. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
6. Automate Marketing Campaigns
One of the common ways to use AI is to automate the marketing campaigns and to identify the user journey. Both of these processes, when done by a human being, are lengthy and costly, but more importantly, they are sometimes nearly impossible when the volume of data is big. With the help of AI-based systems, agencies can increase the effectiveness of the campaigns and increase the conversions. – Ally Spinu, USA Link System
7. Improve Writing
Grammarly is a simple writing tool that can correct errors when you are writing in your favorite word processing software. You can sign in to Grammarly and paste a document into the tool to quickly find and fix issues that word processors do not uncover. The Grammarly tool also offers checks on writing tone and the consistency of your writing tone. – Jim Caruso, MediaFirst PR – Atlanta
8. Gain Insights Into Data
Agencies have more data available to them than ever before. The biggest challenge is understanding which data is actionable, important and relevant. Agencies can leverage AI to gain valuable insight into customers’ behavior, demographics and buying patterns. Through the integration of data analytics across all business channels, AI can decrease the time previously required to make key decisions. – Jody Resnick, Trighton Interactive
9. Predict And Mitigate Risk
Creatives don’t often take advantage of the sophisticated features of software, partly because there’s an investment of time required to do a deep dive into those functions. For example, resonance meters can predict a campaign’s success while mitigating risk, and social media posting optimization can heighten engagement and reach. When data is a priority, AI becomes a tool in that arsenal. – Carey Kirkpatrick, CKP
10. Search For Photos
One mundane task designers spend hours doing is stock photo searches. We are starting to see some AI-powered services working across platforms to speed this process up. Hopefully, algorithms and the search interfaces will improve—for example, they might include an AI chatbot to have a conversation with and describe the image you want to narrow the search results. Then, creatives can spend more time designing and less time searching. – Kris Flint, Citizen Best
11. Send Automated Follow-Ups
Any time I have a vendor or employee who needs to deliver a time-sensitive task or product over email, I set up an autoresponder rule that will automatically send a general “update please, you promised this today” response if an email is not sent by the time I expect it. There’s no reason to waste my brain space or calendar slots to babysit others when I can just set it and forget it. – Patrick Haddad, Oopgo, Inc.