How AI Will Transform Today’s Advertising Agency

By Thought Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: How AI Will Transform Today’s Advertising Agency

Over the past five years, FIG has been at the forefront of data-powered creativity, leveraging our own creative data system and set that lives within StoryData™ to help brands and CMOs make better creative decisions. This forward-thinking approach has placed us well ahead of the curve in how generative AI will transform the work we do, and we fully intend to keep investing and innovating. But as the CEO of a thoroughly modern agency, I’m just as excited about AI’s potential to radically impact how we work, opening the door for increased human creativity, productivity and freedom. Can AI drive Advertising Happiness?

Advertising Happiness is a term that Mark Figilulo, Founder & Creative Chairman of FIG, coined a decade ago when the agency first opened. What if we could make a place where incredibly talented people could be freed from the bureaucracy, paperwork, politics and management to do what they love best: create unforgettable stories? To do the work, rather than manage the work. To provide genuine advice and expertise to clients, and not be part of the noise that this industry can sometimes represent.

Other agencies in the industry have overlooked the importance of Advertising Happiness, and the repercussions are becoming increasingly evident. According to a We Are Rosie survey, 63% of marketers and agency employees are planning job or career changes this year.

As FIG has grown, I’ve worried whether we’d have to grow up in the process and lose that sense of focus and freedom. Now, with the rapid advancements in various types and applications of AI, I am as energized about the future as ever before. From recruiting to payroll management, invoice generation, routing, SOW creation and MSA negotiation, AI-driven process automation and low/no code solutions are revolutionizing agency workflow, and we've only just scratched the surface.

Here are a few ways FIG is experimenting with AI to enhance all aspects of our agency's operations:

  1. Transparency and efficiency: FIG has embraced transparency, producing a monthly management pack for our leadership team that looks at metrics like employee engagement, time to hire, and progress against client plans and budgets. Technology is helping us streamline the creation of these reports dramatically by knitting together various reporting and tracking platforms into a dashboard that can be accessed rather than published. The end result? More transparency and a lower lift to produce it.
  2. Category reporting: Staying abreast of what’s happening in a client category used to require a lot of time from our account executives. Now, our StoryData™ tool automates the process of gathering and organizing category communications competitive reports, freeing up time for our account and strategy teams to add insight and meaning to the report -– not spend their time finding and organizing images.
  3. Recruiting: Integration between our employee management system and Linkedin Recruiter has significantly reduced the effort required to find highly qualified candidates. This allows our recruiting team to focus on screening, matching and engaging in quality conversations, while also considering cultural fit.
  4. Faster client support: Our client finance team is piloting a new tool that automatically populates Statements of Work, enabling us to quickly address urgent client needs.

Many people fear that AI will replace jobs, but history shows that technology tends to automate tasks rather than entire occupations. In most cases, AI will create better tools, not completely replace jobs. As David Droga said, "It's not going to marginalize what we do -- it's going to get rid of the messy mediocre middle."

By making the working process seamless, easy and frictionless, we can reduce burnout and provide more time for our talented individuals to think, reflect, debate and refine their ideas, resulting in exceptional work. I see the opportunity AI presents as fuel for a creativity revolution, right when our industry needs to harness human intelligence like never before. I’m emphatically pro people! Let’s put tools and technologies to work for us, not the other way around.

Can AI drive Advertising Happiness? I suspect so.

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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