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13 Ways AI And Automation Will Improve Agency Work

(Expert Panel, 2019)

Typically, agency work requires a creative mind and approach. At first glance, artificial intelligence (AI), which removes the human element from certain processes, may not seem like the best fit for this industry. However, when combined with human creativity, AI and automation can make an agency team more efficient—if applied the right way.

We asked a panel of Forbes Agency Council members how AI can help in their field. Their best answers are below.

1. Better Lead Generation

AI has arrived and it’s already making a big difference for our agency and our clients. For example, using AI-driven automated attendants, businesses can boost efficiency and improve digital lead quality. In addition, when used in combination with high-quality business contact data, AI accelerates workflows related to complex business-to-business sales cycles and marketing processes. - Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.

2. Data-Driven Client Opportunities

Artificial intelligence can pull and analyze data much faster than our team ever could on its own, and it has the ability to learn from that data to make future searches more directed and relevant. Our agency utilizes AI to look at market comparisons for our clients and make sure that we aren’t missing any exposure opportunities that we might not have found via our own research. - Meredith Xavier, The Ligné Group

3. Superior Market Segmentation

AI and automation in marketing are already helping businesses deliver impressive results. And in the near future, I think it will enable companies to create next-level segmentation and craft ideally tailored prospecting strategies. It will also minimize human input, which will significantly save lots of resources. - Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

4. Improved Resource Management

The more logical the job, the easier it is for us to delegate it to AI. A great example of this is resource management. These tasks are ideal for AI, letting team members focus efforts on nonlinear creative tasks that can’t be done by an algorithm. I think we’ll find more and more repetitive tasks being done by AI, and the more accurate the information we give it, the better the results will be. - Benjamin Collins, Laughing Samurai

5. Larger-Picture Trends

At its very basic state, people look to remarket to consumers, and the way they do it is creepy—“We saw you looking.” With AI, you can now look at the larger picture and establish trends for what creative to show a consumer when. For example, why not offer them a discount prior to them visiting your site rather than after? AI can help you understand the trends and match messaging to audiences. - Michael Hubbard, Media Two Interactive

6. Sentiment Analysis

AI is already a valuable tool in advanced public relations reporting, but I’m excited to see how new advances can help with things like sentiment analysis. It’s a key factor in assessing engagement and customer or media perception, but algorithms today aren’t great at picking up on contextual clues. - Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications

7. Quick Responses To Common Questions

I was moved by a recent article on the new editor at Elle magazine. They have a Slack channel that answers questions using AI. It allows their staff to be much more data-driven in decision-making and even in content creation. This is a model for how every creative endeavor can benefit from on-the-spot answers and fearless questioning. - Dan Cohen, Full Court Press Communications

8. Reduced Manual Work

As automation tech continues to progress, humans will be forced to focus more on doing innovative work that matters. It will mean that marketers and agency owners like us will get more and more freedom to focus on innovation through “knowledge work” rather than the act of being busy through “manual work.” Humans are better at complex problem-solving, while machines are better at simple tasks. - Adam Guild, Placepull

9. Solid Proof Points For Creative Decisions

Designing a piece of creative involves key decisions, from the words we use to the images we place to the layouts we pursue. AI can be effective in augmenting these decisions. Consider the volume of data each campaign generates, from views to engagements to conversions. Now consider using this data to build a predictive ability that can guide creative decisions. AI brings science to our art. - Andrew Au, Intercept Group

10. Automated Marketing Campaign Funding

We built machine learning into our in-house analytics platform to identify what campaigns are converting over others with specific acquisition cost goals. The AI then automatically reallocates funds from the campaigns that are failing to those campaigns that are netting the strongest return, while also updating audiences in real time, so our clients’ ad spend is never wasted on underperforming ads. - Josh Sample, Drive Social Media Saint Louis

11. De-Siloing Marketing And Sales

Agency sales and marketing departments work closely to bring in new clients, but their perspectives and goals on how to achieve this success often differ. Current marketplace AI solutions can bridge the divide between attracting leads and moving them through the funnel with automated data capture and pattern identification. The result? It’s easier to identify quality leads and build nurture flows. - David Kilimnik, Hero Digital

12. Customer-Service Chatbots

Live chat is a great way to engage visitors to your website, but many companies—particularly small businesses—are scared to deploy it because they don’t think they can adequately staff this function. Chatbots are a compelling way to use AI to provide quick answers to prospects who don’t want to wait 24 hours or more for an email response. - Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

13. Search-Centric Content Creation

It’s all about search right now. AI can help make search more usable and conversational for people, which in turn will get them better search results. However, this makes content—meeting buyer personas where they’re at and answering their questions—even more important. AI will force us to be more customer-centric in the content we put out. - Sarah Mannone, Trekk


Expert Panel, F. A. (2019, may 23). 13 Ways AI And Automation Will Improve Agency Work. Retrieved from

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