5 ways AI is disrupting the agency world

Published Oct 17 2023 Last updated Nov 20 2023 3 minute read
AI disrupting agencies

Will AI be a dream for digital marketing agencies? Or will it be a nightmare? The answer is always somewhere in between, and no one knows how it will all shake out. However, at this moment, AI isn't at the point where it is replacing agencies, but rather making them more efficient. With the AI marketing revolution, agencies should be focusing on where AI can help them reduce or streamline administrative and mundane tasks that are simply time consuming. 

Here are several ways agencies can use AI to streamline their processes and focus on the more enjoyable and value-creating tasks. 

Kickstart creative brainstorming meetings 

Have you ever had a brainstorming session where everyone sits around the table staring at each other? It’s no fun, especially when you are on deadline for a client pitch. 

AI can kickstart those creative brainstorming meetings. By now, most of us have gone into ChatGPT and asked it to give us a list of ideas for ___ (fill in the blank). This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. AI might generate a fantastic idea, but, more likely than not, it will need that human touch to take it to the next level. 

I decided to ask ChatGPT for the best brainstorming prompts to ask it. Here are a few of my favorite that it gave me, 

  • "Imagine a world where [fill in a unique and imaginative scenario or concept], and describe what life is like in this world."
  • "Explore the concept of [a philosophical or thought-provoking idea], and how it might be interpreted in different contexts."
  • "Brainstorm a list of 10 unique marketing strategies for [a product or service], considering unconventional approaches."
  • "Develop a new superhero or supervillain character, complete with a backstory, powers, and motivations."

Use AI to your agency’s advantage to generate many ideas quickly and iterate through early-stage ideas. Once you’ve got an idea, you can use AI to help you develop a rough draft to illustrate your concept more cost- and time-efficiently.  

Producing spec work 

Designing something takes a lot of time, which also means it is expensive. When agencies are pitching your services and potential work to a client, they need to run the risk that the investments in time and design work may not result in compensation or a new contract – resulting in sunk costs. 

However, working with an AI at this stage can help reduce the amount of time (and money) spent on this sort of spec work. 

Once the team has an idea for a concept, generative AI tools can jump in and create images or illustrations in under a minute. Iterations may be needed, but as long as the image strongly conveys the concept for the client, you are on the right track. 

Here are some generative AI image tools you can try out: 

Completing RFPs

Do you ever have fun completing a request for proposal (RFP)? Chances are that someone out there does, but they are probably pretty hard to find! 

Completing an RFP is a very critical but also mundane task that can be incredibly time-consuming. This is where agencies can let AI step in. Automating RFPs for agencies means more efficiency and quicker response times for the potential clients who have submitted the request. 

AI can help pull and fill out information such as, 

  • Links to privacy policies, terms and conditions, etc. 
  • Finding information that is similar from previous RFPs and inserting it into the current one  
  • Suggest answers based on previous RFPs and company information (for example, number of current customers or employees)

AI can produce a first draft, and someone at the agency can review it, adjust it, and send it out to the client. 

Leveraging data-intensive attribution models 

Many agencies and companies are transitioning to MMM (Marketing Mixed Modeling) after the iOS 14 update, due to its more holistic approach to attribution. MMM requires large volumes of data from sales and advertising, product sources, and economic and seasonality data. Any data that might influence performance can be included in your marketing mix. 

Handling these vast amounts of data can be very difficult. Luckily for marketers, AI platforms can help with this complex and data-intensive attribution model. 

However, early results show that AI cannot fully automate MMM. Grace Kite from Magic Numbers explains, “Artificial intelligence isn’t enough for this task; real people are needed. Machines can’t yet understand the nuances of the situation, identify things that are missing in data, or help people get comfortable that results are reliable for important decisions.”


Supercharging & diversifying recruiting 

In the digital marketing world, the skills agencies need are changing rapidly as new channels and tools emerge. Especially with the AI revolution, the skills of a digital marketer, designer, content creator, SEO specialist, and more will need to shift to incorporate AI into the mix.  

When recruiting for new roles, finding people with the specific skills you’re seeking can be challenging. Generative AI can crawl websites like Reddit, StackOverflow, university databases, and more for the skills your agency is looking for. 

These are just a few ways AI is disrupting the agency world for the better. In Funnel’s annual report, the Marketing Data State of Play 2024, we explore how generative AI is transforming marketing jobs and careers. So, read the full report if you’re curious to understand how other marketers are adjusting to the AI revolution and what you can do to be more prepared.


Disclaimer: The featured image for this article was created using generative AI.

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