If you’re leading a marketing agency, you’ve heard the hype around this next wave of artificial intelligence (AI) technology that’s going to “change everything.” But what does that actually mean for your business? And what are the steps you can take today to really make marketing AI work to your agency’s competitive advantage?
In his recent Build a Better Agency Podcast, Drew McLellan (@DrewMcLellan) of Agency Management Institute sits down to talk about AI with Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), Founder & CEO of PR 20/20 & Marketing AI Institute. Episode 189, As an agency owner – how should you be thinking about AI with Paul Roetzer, dives into:
- AI’s impact on agency life and the marketing industry.
- How agencies can start learning the basics of AI, and an approach to pilot AI.
- Ways agencies can use AI to develop services, drive growth and add value for clients.
From “how does your brain work?” and “where’s the puck going next?” … to “if an episode has not stretched you before, I promise you this episode did …” This episode didn’t disappoint! It’s packed with resources and real-talk on AI for marketing agencies.
Everything you use in agency life is going to get smarter because of AI. You can sit back and notice things getting easier. Or you can go out ahead of your peers and be proactive in finding smarter solutions now. – Paul Roetzer
Something mentioned in this conversation that I personally look forward to is that vision of marketers using AI to do more data-driven tasks (better, and at scale), then focusing our time on the more creative, more strategic, more empathetic and more human side of marketing and business. It means time to develop more meaningful relationships with clients — and brands connecting in an intelligent and meaningful way with the audiences they care about most.
As an agency owner, how should you be thinking about AI?
Some of my favorite soundbites from this podcast listed below:
- 6:45 – Drew asks Paul, “How does your brain work?” (Ha! Love this question.) Spoiler: While Paul doesn’t get into the answer in this podcast, the following few minutes do walk through a few industry milestones and how the agency has evolved along the way.
- 8:50 – As someone who works closely with Paul, I’m calling out this quote about constantly looking ahead, and doing AI: “AI is the thing it was all leading to … now we can really build on this … I’m good for the next 10 years. Let’s just do AI.”
- 10:55 – Answer the question, “What does [AI] mean to the average agency?”
- 14:10 – Dive into an example of how PR 20/20 is intelligently automating performance reporting for its clients to save time and surface insights—at scale.
- 18:20 – How “project copyscale” helped the agency find natural language generation (NLG) technologies and deliver the service to clients.
- 19:55 – Drew asks, what drove you to create Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute? Part of the answer is “being crazy enough.” But really, this is a cool story—and it’s a use case for thought leadership, content marketing, and the power of storytelling.
- 23:00 – What’s the future of the Marketing AI Institute, and how does that impact PR 20/20?
- 25:45 – What’s the value of the conference? Who’s it targeted at, and how does it make AI more approachable and actionable? Hint: “Everything you use is going to get smarter with AI. You can sit back and wait, or you can go out and understand it.”
- 35:15 – How do you price more intelligently automated releases? And note it’s a value-based model, not a race to the bottom.
- 39:00 – What will an agency look like in 10 years? Overall, consider a window of learning and pilot projects over the next 1-3 years. Agencies who get ahead in terms of understanding what’s possible and moving early, will have a competitive advantage.
- 44:40 – Answer to the question, “As an agency owner, how do I think about AI as a differentiator?”
- 50:00 – A good list of resources for agencies to learn more about AI and marketing, including books, online resources, courses, and more.
Links to resources mentioned in this podcast:
- MAICON, the Marketing AI Conference, happens July 16-18, 2019 in Cleveland!
- The Beginner’s Guide to Marketing AI — the resource-rich guide mentioned as a perfect starting point for agencies.
- Books mentioned, The Marketing Agency Blueprint and The Marketing Performance Blueprint by Paul Roetzer; Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb; and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer, by Christopher S Penn.
- A few blog posts mentioned, like Dawn of the Intelligently Automated Agency, a recent blog post that introduces the agency’s first intelligently automated services, and How Do We Prepare College Students for the Age of AI?, a post that thinks through the new skillsets AI demands.
- Marketing AI Institute, PR 20/20, and Agency Management Institute websites.
A final quote as you embark upon your day:
Be curious. There are massive opportunities to drive growth and value with AI that we’re not going to see again in our careers. – Paul Roetzer