Is it time to ditch your agency?

In an age where AI is rapidly reshaping the landscape of digital marketing, many are asking the question "is it time to ditch my agency?".

4 minute read

24th April 2024

AI vs Agencies - is it really them or us?

The Infant Prodigy

AI isn't new, but the unexpected success of GPT has thrust it into minds, and hands of everyone.

It's capabilities in the marketing landscape are phenomenal and it can create huge efficiencies. 

Which is timely given the budget cuts and expectations on Marketeers to do more, with less

But does that mean clients can ditch agencies, take work in-house, save millions and still get the same results?

Well, yes, but no. Not really. We believe, potentially unsurprisingly, that role of agencies is more vital than ever.

The Intelligent Infant: Our Perspective on AI

We often hear about AI's remarkable capabilities: its vast knowledge, infinite capacity, and lightning speed. Yet, AI is akin to an incredibly intelligent infant. 

This prodigy is brimming with potential but lacks the intuitive grasp of context and human insight. At bbd, we see AI as more than a tool; it's a burgeoning entity that needs direction. 

Our role is to steer AI, to aid it in the ideation and creation of strategies and campaigns that resonate with human emotions and behaviours. 

It's about merging the power of AI with a deep understanding of human psychology.

Creative Mastery: Beyond Mere Operation of Tools

Owning Photoshop doesn't make someone a skilled designer, just as having AI technology doesn’t automatically guarantee marketing success, particularly in complex fields.

The risk is that armed with AI generative image creation companies will end up with bland, homogenous creative that doesn't stand out, no matter how many time you prompt it to "make it on brand, and exciting". 

At bbd, we're not just using AI; we're cultivating the skills needed to master AI. Leveraging it's intelligence and speed but Art Directing it to produce new, exciting and engaging creative content.

Bridging the Gap: AI Literacy and Adoption

You might think that younger generations, like Gen Z, are quicker to adopt new technologies. However, true mastery of AI in marketing goes beyond being tech-savvy. 

Agencies have to invest in this in a different way. We can't afford to get the same results clients can just be writing standard prompts and taking the outputs.

This is why we're developing "Prompt Engineers." These professionals know how to ask the right questions, guiding AI to provide relevant and transformative insights.

But this is a huge investment. So we're also collaborating with our clients to understand what they need AI to do. Helping them understand and adopt AI and developing models that are tailored to them. 

This approach ensures they're not merely recipients of AI-driven strategies but active participants in their creation.

Forward Focus: AI in Compliance-Driven Industries

Our clients in Finance are eager to use AI in areas like personalised customer experiences, predictive analytics, and content creation but this has to be within the bounds of strict industry regulations. 

With years of experience in this sector, we're not just crafting marketing strategies; we're creating model environments where trust between prompt and AI output is built.

Conclusion: The Harmony of AI and Expertise in Complex Sectors

To sum up, the advent of AI highlights the crucial role of experienced agencies in embracing this paradigm shift. 

At bbd, we view AI as an intelligent infant with immense potential, best realised under expert guidance. In the short term, we're committed to harnessing this potential and sharing our expertise with our clients.

In the long run... Well, I’m personally excited to meet our AI overlord!

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