Last week’s column described how the pandemic will play into the foundational and growth stories of the next hot agencies. It led to a lot of fun responses, including some people filling me in on what it was like to produce some of the first groundbreaking digital work.
There’s one angle that I wasn’t thinking about that came up in several conversations recently: what role will AI play in the growth of the next great agencies?
One of my favorite projects I ever worked on was a study I orchestrated with the team at Sysomos (now under Meltwater). The result was a presentation still available, and not as dated as I’d expect (minus some “My Little Pony” references), “Marketers’ Hopes and Fears for Artificial Intelligence.”
The angle that most fascinated me was the role that AI was starting to play in the creative process. It was clear that AI wouldn’t just replace jobs on the science side of the business but also the art.
In this emerging era, some creative professionals will thrive thanks to their own experience and originality. Many others though will get ahead by feeding algorithms inputs adhering toclear brand guidelines and then serve as the arbiters of the best work resulting from that.
You can try out some version of this yourself with various next-gen technologies. Marpipe is a multivariate testing platform where you can generate tons of creative and perform experiments on what works best. Copysmith uses AI to generate text to use in ads, product descriptions, metatags, and other applications. Lately generates a ton of creative iterations of social posts to run across channels. Vestorly (a client) takes first- or third-party content and personalizes websites and emails with what’s most relevant based on audience engagement.
Beyond all of those, a growing share of examples of my favorite tech offerings on my ever-growing spreadsheet at mrktr.net/toptech are AI powered.
As for where I stand on how good or bad this is for the workforce, I’m cautiously optimistic — and I’m more optimistic now than I was when working on the Sysomos research.
Some people will lose their jobs, or probably should given how these technologies, as they improve, will reduce the need to keep throwing head count at various problems. But marketing keeps growing more complex, and while that isn’t great for marketers or consumers, it does mean that there are so many problems to solve and a plethora of ways to solve them. In a non-pandemic year, that translates to lots of employment.
That means the next Agency of the Decade is probably one that will look different in many ways. This decade, it’ll still be led by people who know how to come up with and champion bold ideas, albeit ones supported by data and algorithms.
Maybe next decade, it’ll be a shop that can recognize the boldest ideas that AI will generate.
And perhaps the decade after, we can hope Andrew Yang’s vision of universal basic income takes hold so we have a backup plan if AI is doing all the work for us.
PS: While they’re not sponsors, conversations with Marpipe and Copysmith led to them extending offers to the Serial Marketers community, and you as a reader benefit too. Marpipe is offering a 7-day trial and then $125 in ad credit through this link, while Copysmith is giving 35% off for 3 months with the code SERIALMARKETERS (premium subscribers to the community get even better deals; I can share more info if interested).
BROUGHT TO YOU BY… TALKWALKER
2021 Social Media Trends: What the Experts Say
Power up your marketing strategy and discover the top ten trends that will matter most next year. Download the #SocialMediaTrends2021 eBook, filled with expert advice from 70+ industry leaders.
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THE MECHANISMS BEHIND MEKANISM
Jason Harris has the honored distinction of being the first new contact I made in person, and I believe the only one, during the pandemic, after we met through a mutual friend. This is a terrific interview of his. I’m particularly drawn to his “Never Be Closing” advice.
KASPAROV CHECKS QUEEN’S GAMBIT
I haven’t loved the series as much as everyone else seems to, but this interview is so good that I will give it another shot.
Thanks to Michael Browne, Michael Marzano, Claudia Strauss, E.B. Moss, Candice Grobler, Keren Unrad, Jaimee Kniffen, Chris Gorges, Don Steele, and Rachel Pasqua for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.
Please send over any events you’re hosting or attending, and I’ll add them to the list. All events below are virtual, and all times are EDT.
SERIAL MARKETERS SPEEDUPS
December 3, 12pm
December 17, 12pm
Join the virtual 1:1 rapid-fire speed-meeting event to connect with fellow Serial Marketers, hosted on the Upstream app.
SERIAL MARKETERS SALONS
RSVP on our private Meetup (request access if you’re not there)
-12/1: Resume Brand Strategy with Ali Roth, Executive Resume Writer, Ali Roth Writes
-12/8: The Real Meaning of Community with Bilyana Freye, Co-Founder and CEO, Orbiit
-12/15: Member Holiday Extravanganza featuring guests from throughout the year
HOW TO USE ANIMATION AND PERSONALIZATION TO DELIGHT AND ENGAGE
November 19, 1pm
Adding animation in email can increase revenue by 109% So what happens if you combine personalization and animation into your emails? Join our three speakers, Zembula CEO, Robert Haydock, Regional Director of Business Development at Listrak, Arthur Tschopp, and Lee Martinez, Senior Web & Email Designer at Hawke Media in this webinar as they discuss animation in email and announce an exciting new animation feature of Zembula.
13TH ANNUAL LGBTQ MARKETING & ADVERTISING SYMPOSIUM
“Each year, CMI produces our signature LGBTQ Marketing & Advertising Symposium (now in our 13th year) for marketing/advertising/communications professionals. The event is held in collaboration with, and hosted by Google NYC.”
THE FUTURE OF MARKETING ROI
Are you ready for the seismic changes to media consumption, advertising spending and identity changes accelerated by the pandemic? You will be. Presented by Research Wonks and DISQO.
December 2, 6pm
First Wednesday keeps going strong. We have dozens of people RSVPing for this fun NYC tradition led by Zack Rosenberg. Len Bilello might even by you a drink.
SOCIALFRESH CONFERENCE 2020
Social Fresh is for social media marketers and business owners. Attendees return year after year for inspiring and actionable training, presented by the smartest folks in the industry. The experience is world-class, the marketing lessons are always fresh, and you’ll leave with a path to move your social media to the next level! Attendees include B2B and B2C companies, Fortune 500 brands, Agencies, Small Business Owners, Government, Finance, Higher Ed, Retail, and Nonprofit.
I’m not sure if Stubb’s delivers to me, but I’ll be seeing if they can capture any of the magic with the online festival. “Register today to take advantage of the unique opportunities this event has to offer, including keynotes, Conference sessions, Music Festival showcases, Film Festival screenings, world-class networking, and the unexpected discoveries that are always a part of SXSW, all in a digital setting.”