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Examining the evolution of AI and its impact on agencies 

Mark Miller

May 14, 2024

In the ongoing debate about advancements in AI technology and its impact on various industries, we are once again faced with an example of the Pareto Principle. While AI recommendations, strategies, and insights can get you 80% of the way, the last 20% makes all the difference. 

This isn’t to say that AI isn’t profoundly qualified to perform many tasks currently performed by humans. It is. AI can synthesize complex data and analyze marketing content at an unfathomable speed. Plus, it can help give consumers the personal interactions they crave. As Salesforce research shows, 56% of people want customization. AI can deliver what feels like a personal touch without human intervention. 

As AI continues to advance, AI applications in marketing and analytic tools will only get smarter. However, AI can’t replace people because AI is highly dependent on people. It’s a transformational technology similar to the internet. As such, it doesn’t yet have the learned intuitions, experiences, and emotional quotient that people bring to the table. AI has the power to enhance the ability of service agencies to provide better guidance, reaction time, and strategy. 

The main point is that AI is poised to directly serve people in a variety of industries, including professional services, but not without human oversight and intellect. Below are four ways AI and humans can work side-by-side in the professional services industry. 

  1. Improved decision-making.

Humans frequently rely on their instincts when deciding which direction to go. Yet leaders need to understand how to merge those instincts with what the data shows. AI can work fast and assist people in reviewing and synthesizing data in an unbiased way. Humans can then use their intelligence (and sometimes their “guts”) to validate the data and ensure any suggestions made are aligned with their objectives. 

  1. Personalized communications at scale.

AI tools can parse enormous pools of customer journey interaction data to understand what’s happening at each touchpoint. Once identified, trends and anomalies can fuel the AI system and prompt it to create individualized content to motivate action. This can happen in seconds, a feature particularly transformative for AI for creative agencies, where such data-driven personalization enables agencies to tailor their marketing strategies better. Again, an emotional quotient or overall understanding of the generated customer experiences must be reviewed to align with the clients' or business objectives.   

  1. Increased speed-to-market.

Getting to market quickly has never been more important. Once adopted, AI can complete complex duties and projects very rapidly. Although humans should always review the output to make certain it's valid and usable, these quick turnarounds, along with Generative AI, can allow marketers to pivot ahead of the competition. In this way, AI systems can be seen as assistants. They can do all the tedious multitasking and turn over their work to humans to add empathetic and creative elements. 

  1. Rapid testing and iterations.

Part of the evolution of AI technology is that many systems now leverage machine learning to make predictions with fewer pieces of data. Once an AI model has been trained, it can synthesize newer data quickly, which is a great advantage to marketers in their testing phases. 

Combining AI and human intelligence makes sense, especially for service-driven organizations. AI is an essential tool for those who understand how to use it appropriately. Think of it like walking along a “moving sidewalk” at the airport. You still have to walk, but when you lean into technology, you get to your destination even faster.

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