In this episode, Tessa Burg shares practical tips on how leaders can use AI to manage and operate marketing agencies as well as how to balance its use with human creativity.
To dive deeper into the topic of AI, join Tessa at the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON). She’ll be joining the panel discussion, “Unlocking the Power of AI for Agencies.” Use the code LEADERGEN100 when you register to receive $100 off.
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Full Episode Transcripts
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Leader Generation brought to you by Mod Op. I’m your host, Tessa Burg, CTO at Mod Op. Today, we’re gonna dive into a very big question. How will AI impact marketers and agencies?
If you want to network and explore this question very deeply then I recommend you attend the MAICON show. That is the Marketing and AI Conference. It is hosted by Marketing AI Institute. If you visit marketingaiinstitute.com, you can register for the show use the code LEADERGEN100 to get a hundred dollars off. You can also find trainings on that website, so it’ll help you prepare and help you come with some really rich questions to ask speakers and other marketers who are exploring this exact same challenge.
After the show last year, and as I, I mean, I was so inspired. The speakers were amazing. The networking was amazing, but then coming out of the conference there was this sort of lull. I talked to a lot of people and if you listen to the other podcast episodes you know this, about how are they using AI, where they see opportunities to leverage AI to drive business and efficiencies in career, and the response from very savvy data marketers was they’re kind of already doing this stuff, and that isn’t untrue.
They know who their customer is. A lot of applications in the last few years have built machine learning directly into the application, and they didn’t have any sense of urgency to really explore the impact that AI is going to have on them personally, on how they lead, manage and operate their team or business, and on their staff.
We’ve seen a lot of turnover in the marketing space, in especially marketing, digital marketing, data and tech-driven marketing, tons of grab at talent or people just leaving and AI and embracing how AI can drive efficiency, revenue, predictability, quality and insights is a great way to reposition and retain your team, not replace them. So, let’s dive into that a little bit deeper.
So, if you were on that doubter scape of how big of an impact this will have, or let’s say you were in this other lane of, well, we kind of already do this, and I really don’t get why it’s a big deal. I think maybe ChatGPT leveled that playing field, and we saw that it’s not just about data and automated optimization, it’s about doing our work differently.
So, where do you start? My recommendation is start with yourself. Look at what you do on a day-to-day basis and find an application to do it faster, smarter, better. For some examples, Grammarly, Otter.ai, Notetaking, Midjourney for PowerPoints and then of course ChatGPT, very easy to use, plug-ins are coming. That gives you an opportunity to start using it professionally.
Then, how do you start to take this personal efficiency that you’ve learned and earned and make it a part of your business? And if, what is the consequence of not making it a part of your business? If we look at the type of people we wanna retain and who we think is gonna really help take our company to the next level, it’s forward-thinking marketers, those who are constantly curious, really wanna know what’s next. Those are the people that you wanna engage to identify the processes and the challenges that can be solved first, through AI. And it’s every single department.
If you want to automate media planning, there are at least four tools that I have tested that do that really well, and I’m talking end-to-end. You put in some outputs, it spits out an entire plan. You wanna automate management. Again, tons of tools are doing that very well.
So, as a leader and as a manager, you’re setting this criteria for what you expect, how you measure success, and what do you wanna see. And you’re engaging your forward-thinking team members to start evaluating, testing and piloting these tools, but what about everyone else? Only one in nine people embrace change and are excited about what’s next in new frontiers, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your staff isn’t capable. You need to pair your forward thinkers with who I would say is your teachers, your people who are amazing at change management and who can really adjust their communication style and how they present information to the different ways that people learn.
So, AI does not need to lead to we are going to lay off people, but it can actually lead to we can retain more awesome talent, whether they’re the forward-thinking folks or are super creative in expertise folks, and create these paths of training plus results and application can give them different titles, different areas of expertise to grow and learn in. And if you’re on the agency side, then now you have an entire staff that can share these insights, higher quality of work, different ways of being a marketer with your clients. I think some agencies are concerned that work will start getting pulled in-house.
Our clients will have the same challenge, may have the same makeup of the one in nine, and maybe theirs is actually more one in 15. A lot of larger companies are extremely process oriented. And yes, it is going to take time. That does not take away from your personal creativity, expertise and experience. What I do worry about is a lot of our experience and expertise came from us actually doing the work. So, even if I automate all my media planning, all my media management, I know what human touch is appropriate and when to go in and what adjustments are good or going to be effective, how to read the insights because I have a lot of experience in media.
So, that is where our challenge is. How do, what kind of experience and training are we doing with this next generation of marketers, so that they can also leverage their personal creativity and start to build experience that gives them the tools to use AI in the most powerful ways?
So, this is a big subject. We’re not gonna get to all of it by any means. Come to MAICON end of July. Visit marketingaiinstitute.com. Use the code LEADERGEN100 to get a hundred dollars off your pass. I hope to see you there and you can listen to other episodes of our podcast on LinkedIn. Just search for the Leader Generation podcast and you can find me at Tessa Burg. Thanks, until next time, have fun testing AI tools.
Leader Generation Host | Chief Technology Officer at Mod Op
Tessa Burg is Host of the Leader Generation podcast and Chief Technology Officer at Mod Op after its acquisition of Tenlo in 2022. In her previous role as Vice President of Technology, she helped clients execute engaging, multi-platform experiences and products to bring their brands to life. In her role as CTO, Tessa oversees Mod Op’s technology stack to ensure the agency is leveraging the right platforms to deliver valuable and measurable marketing communications, entertainment and experiences