AI for Agencies: How To Use It for Improved Productivity

Every agency owner wants to take on more clients, earn more revenue, and scale their business.

But, too often, your ability to grow is capped…

And even if you have an army of potential clients ready to sign up for your services, sometimes, your team simply can’t increase their output without hiring new team members—which negatively affects your bottom line.

But thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem, and it’s the solution we at AutoGrow have used to double our capacity so we can take on more clients (and our clients’ clients).

That solution is AI (aka Artificial Intelligence).

Now before you go fearing a robot revolution, hear me out—there’s plenty of ways you can implement AI into your agency’s workflow to benefit you and your team without risking making yourself obsolete.

In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know about how to use AI in your agency’s workflow, including:

  • How to identify problem areas that can be solved with AI.
  • Some of the most useful tools to solve popular agency problems.
  • How to train your team to use these tools effectively.

Let’s begin.

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Why You Need AI To Remain Competitive

AI brings very divisive reactions.

On one end of the spectrum, people think AI spells doom for countless jobs, industries, and skill sets, including advertising agencies. They believe AI is going to completely revolutionize the way business functions, and it’s going to happen tomorrow.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are also people that dismiss AI and stubbornly cling to the old way of doing things. They insist it’s a passing fad filled with hype, and doesn’t come anywhere close to replacing anyone’s jobs—at least not yet.

At AutoGrow, we’re somewhere in the middle. While we believe AI has the potential to change the way marketing works in the future, we don’t think it will put us (or you) out of business.

In fact, I think that with the proper preparation, agencies can utilize AI to work with them (not against them) to be more powerful than ever before.

The truth is that AI is already being used by many companies and agencies to improve their workflow, increase productivity, and drive revenue. According to a study by Accenture, AI has the potential to boost productivity by 35% in the U.S and increase economic growth by up to 40%.

How much AI can positively impact productivity in different countries’ economies.
Source

Another report by McKinsey states that AI has the potential to add $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

As the use of AI becomes more widespread in the marketing industry (as well as all other industries), agencies who choose not to adopt it will be at a competitive disadvantage.

By using AI, agencies can automate mundane tasks, analyze large amounts of data, generate valuable insights that inform marketing strategies, and perhaps most importantly, increase their output capacity without requiring more energy and time from their team members.

This allows teams to focus on more important tasks and ultimately increase their capacity to take on more clients and drive revenue.

In order to stay ahead of the competition and continue to grow, agencies need to embrace AI and find ways to incorporate it into their workflow. By doing so, you can improve their efficiency and performance, and ultimately, drive your bottom line.

How To Use AI Tools To Boost Your Agency’s Success: A 5-Step Process

So how exactly do you implement AI tools into your workflow to increase your capacity, productivity, and revenue?

Here is a 5-step process for successfully integrating AI tools into your team’s daily workflow so they can help you scale.

Step 1: Identify Problem Areas in Your Current Workflow

One of the first steps in learning how to use AI to improve your agency’s workflow is to identify overall problem areas in your workflow.

For many agency owners, these problems are abundantly clear already. You’re probably well aware that your PPC campaigns are getting clicks but not conversions or that your design team is consistently 1 to 2 days late with their turnarounds.

But even if you’re aware of many of your problems, it’s still a good idea to do a comprehensive survey across your team and clients to catch anything you may have missed.

Here are some people you may want to touch base with.

  • Your sales team. Ask what kind of apprehensions potential leads have to signing up and what kind of questions clients are asking when they’re onboarded. Is there anything they’re confused about? Are there any places that expectations don’t match what you can deliver?
  • Your creative team. Ask if there are any places in their workflow that cause friction. Do they feel like they don’t have enough time to deliver? Do they feel like clients are asking them to do things outside of the scope of what they’re capable of doing? Are there certain types of tasks or projects they could use more support in?
  • Your analytics team. Ask if they feel like they have enough data to make informed decisions. Are they struggling to make sense of the data they have? Are there any areas where they feel like they could use more data? Are there any tasks that are taking up too much of their time that could be automated?
  • Your customer service team. Ask if there are any common issues that customers are bringing up or if there are any areas where they feel like they could use more information to better assist customers.
  • Your clients. Ask for feedback on their experience working with your agency. Are there any areas where their expectations were not met? Are there any areas where they feel like they could use more support?

Step 2: Identify Which Problems Can Be Solved by AI

Now that you have a good understanding of where your weaknesses lie, the next step is to identify which of these weak points can be improved by AI.

It’s important not to get ahead of yourself here—not everything can be solved by AI, and sometimes, the issue has to do with other unrelated factors like the clarity of your offer or how projects are managed.

In order to identify what issues AI can help with, you need to understand the limitations of AI and how those intersect with the AI tools available to you. Some problems that AI can usually help with include:

  • Automation of repetitive tasks. Tasks such as data entry, scheduling, and customer service can be time-consuming and costly for teams to handle manually. AI can automate these tasks, freeing up time for more important tasks. So if any of your teams report losing time due to repetitive tasks they could do in their sleep, AI might be the solution.
  • Data analysis. AI can analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately, providing valuable insights that can inform marketing strategies. This can be useful when your team is spending a lot of time scraping data like click-through rates or drop-off rates to generate insights.
  • Research. AI can reduce an hour-long Google session of figuring out what to research, finding sources, cross-checking them, and synthesizing answers into a 10- or 20-minute session of getting AI to gather all the resources you need. AI can be used in the research process to compile a competitor analysis, write a blog, generate SEO keywords, find typography for design, or do dozens of other research tasks.
  • Bottlenecks with creative output. Is your copy or design team struggling to hit quotas or deadlines? There are multiple AI tools available that can greatly accelerate the creative process, whether it be writing or design.

Want to skip the hard part and delegate to a team who’s fully integrated AI into their workflow? AutoGrow.co can help you delegate unlimited marketing projects to an efficient, AI-optimized team without the headaches of hiring. Get started today or book a call to learn more.

Step 3: Find AI Tools That Can Help

Now that you’ve identified the problem areas in your workflow and determined which of those problems can be solved by AI, it’s time to find the right tools to address them.

There are a wide variety of AI tools available, each with their own strengths and capabilities. Which ones you ultimately decide to use come down to your preferences, your team’s preferences, and what issues you need help with. For paid tools, budget also needs to be taken into consideration.

Here are a few examples of popular tools you can use to help with various common agency tasks.

  • General research and assistance: ChatGPT — ChatGPT is a language generation AI model that can be used for a wide variety of tasks such as research, content creation, customer service, and data analysis. It’s basically a smarter, faster, and more comprehensive search engine that can generate customized outputs. It’s also free, which is a huge bonus.
  • Copywriting: Jasper — This AI tool can assist copywriters in creating compelling and effective copy by analyzing language patterns, generating copy, and providing suggestions for phrasing and tone.
  • Coding: DeepCode, GITHub Copilot — These AI tools can assist developers by analyzing code and providing suggestions for improvements and fixes. Some can even generate completely new code based on user prompts.
  • Marketing automation: Marketo, Pardot, Hubspot — These AI tools can automate repetitive marketing management and automation tasks such as email marketing, lead generation, and social media management. These are the kinds of tools that eliminate busywork involved with timing when to publish posts or how to customize email for multiple audiences.
  • Predictive modeling and Analysis: Google Analytics, Mixpanel — These AI tools can analyze web traffic and customer behavior and provide valuable insights that can inform marketing strategies and save your analytics team hours.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many other AI tools available that can address specific problem areas in your workflow. It’s important to do your research and find the tools that meet your specific needs. (For more examples of AI tools and areas you can use them, check out this article.)

It’s also important to keep in mind that as technology evolves and new tools are developed, some tools may not be relevant anymore. Always keep an eye on the latest trends and advancements in AI technology.

Step 4: Learn How To Use the AI Tools Yourself

This step is one of the most important, and also one of the most overlooked.

It’s incredibly easy to spend a few minutes researching AI tools and decide you want your team to implement the ones with the best reviews.

But how do you truly know if an AI tool addresses your agency’s unique problems or integrates well into your workflow if you’ve never tried it before?

This is why you need to take some time to test drive the tool yourself.

Figure out how the tool functions, what its limitations are, and how hard its features are to use. Then, run a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether to keep or forgo a tool.

Is it worth the learning curve? Do you think your team will honestly give it a chance and benefit from it? Do the benefits exceed the expense?

If the answer to these questions is yes, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Train Your Team To Use the AI Tools

Now comes the final and most challenging step: getting your team to use AI tools.

Between tight deadlines squeezing their time and not wanting to change old habits, team members can sometimes be resistant to implementing new tools—especially tools they feel are too “high-tech.”

This is why it’s important to have an organized method to teach your team how to use AI tools instead of just giving them the tool and hoping they’ll figure it out. Having this method in place is crucial for ensuring your team can take full advantage of the tools and that they are able to integrate them seamlessly into their workflow.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when training your team:

  • Provide comprehensive training. Make sure your team is fully trained on all the features and capabilities of the AI tools. This will ensure that they can take full advantage of the tools and use them to their fullest potential.

This may mean setting aside a couple of days dedicated to learning the tool with an organized lesson in place to teach it. If this isn’t possible, at the very least, you should require your team to work through the tool’s demo or watch a few carefully chosen YouTube videos about it.

But no matter what, don’t just give your team a tool without any briefing on how to use it or what they’re supposed to use it for.

  • Provide ongoing support. Training doesn’t stop with a few introductory lessons or videos. Your team will need ongoing support as they continue to use the tools and various issues or new use cases pop up.

To ensure everything goes smoothly, try to implement regular check-ins, training sessions, and resources to help troubleshoot any issues that may arise. It may help to have a senior team member act as a primary point of contact for team members to communicate any questions or concerns.

  • Encourage experimentation. Many AI tools have unique uses that span far beyond what they’re advertised to do, and the only way to find these uses is to test things out as you go.

Encourage your team to experiment with the tools and to find new and innovative ways to use them. Let them know that it’s okay to test out new inputs or apply the tool to uses that weren’t specified in your introductory training.

Not only will this will help them to become more comfortable with the tools, but it will also help your agency as a whole develop new, better ways to continuously improve your workflow.

  • Teach how to give quality inputs. To get quality outputs from AI software, it’s important to submit quality inputs. Make sure your team is well-trained on how to feed data and information into the tools so that they can get the most accurate and useful results.

Make sure both your initial and ongoing training involves comprehensive advice on how AI works and how outputs are triggered. Provide your team with examples of inputs that show the full scope of what an AI tool can use so they’re aware that they don’t have to be limited by simple inputs.

  • Make the tools easily accessible. Make sure the AI tools are easy to access and use so your team doesn’t have to waste time trying to find them or figure out how to access them. Ensure there are streamlined, organized methods of giving everyone the proper log-in information and resources for how to use the tools.
  • Give people time. No matter how many resources, trainings, and protocols you have in place, it will take time for your team to properly integrate new AI tools into their workflow.

Give your team some breathing room to learn how to use new tools in a way that works for them before requesting that they use them to their full capacity. Not only will this make your team happy and feel in control, it will also help you avoid hiccups caused by miscommunications and improper usages of tools.

Conclusion

Download the “AI for Agencies: How To Use It for Improved Productivity” so you won’t forget to take action on it later. Click here to download it now.

Incorporating AI into your agency’s workflow can help you take on more clients, earn more revenue, and scale your business. But, it’s easier said than done.

By following the above 5 steps, you can help your team adapt to using new AI tools to increase their productivity and performance, which means a better bottom line for you. Just remember to:

  • Properly identify which problem areas in your workflow can be changed by AI.
  • Choose the right AI tools based on your unique needs, budget, and team.
  • Give your team the right training and resources they need to use these AI tools.

Have you mastered how to use AI in your agency? What problems has it solved (or caused)?

Let me know in the comments below.

Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.

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