One of the best conferences for agency owners who want to make sure their agency is staying current? MAICON (…)

I cannot recommend it enough!

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Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, I am coming to you from the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio. Unfortunately, I will not be going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but that's okay because I've been at a really cool conference called MAICON. Actually, I'm in the middle of it. It's day one of a two-day conference. And MAICON stands for Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference and it has been fascinating. So the conference, I would say, is a split of 2/3 brands and 1/3 agencies. And a lot of the conversation, and certainly in the panels discussion that I facilitated, the discussion around the agency folks has been: What is this? What does it mean to our business? How do I do it? How do I get started? And what are other agencies already doing with it? And so here's some key takeaways from day one. Number one, the good news is most agencies aren't doing hardly anything with this. And they're certainly not doing anything intentional. Many of us are using AI whether we know it or not, in Google analytics or other tech tools that we use. It might be our email automation software, things like that. So it's certainly a part of how we deliver services and deliverables to clients. But we're not really doing it with the intention of how do I use AI to improve what we're delivering on for the client, to get them better results, to be more cost-effective for them, to be more profitable for us, that most agencies haven't touched yet? So the good news is takeaway number one is: It's not too late. In fact, we are at the early, early, early adopter stage. And so there's plenty of time for you to jump onboard and learn about this. And it seems like everyone I talk to: big brands, little brands, big agencies, little agencies, every one of them referenced one course called AI for Everyone on Coursera. Everyone has talked about how that's how they started, was they took that course. By the way, it's out of Stanford but it's free, I think you can get certified for like, $75. But if you just want to take the class or the course, it's free. And many agencies talked about how the very first step for them was to take that course as a team, or an entire agency, and then talk about it. And to stop each, sort of, portion of the course and talk about how they might apply what they've learned, both for clients and for the agency itself. So takeaway number one is not too late. Takeaway number two is check out that course from Stanford, because everyone raved about it and talked about that it was the foundational building blocks of how they understood AI and how it would impact the marketing world. And takeaway number three is that a lot of people came to this conference thinking that they had to hire data scientists and coders and all kinds of super expensive and super technical people. And I think if you're a big brand or you're a big agency, a couple hundred people or more, you probably do want to go down that path. But for most of you watching, that would be a ridiculously expensive experiment and you don't need to do it. There are tons of good partners who have already built out technology and tools that will allow you to leverage AI, for example, to analyze all of your clients' blog posts or podcast show notes or whatever it may be. And to rank, in order, how well interacted they were with. That's not a great sentence. How well someone interacted with them. How often they were interacted with. And as a result of those interactions, where are some holes in your content that, boy, if you wrote three articles on this topic or that topic, that would round it out and, by definition of previous activity, we believe that that would be a well-received and highly-populated and shared content. So it could help you with your content calendar. It can certainly help you with your analytics by looking at and crunching the numbers in a way that we, as humans, either it's going to take too much time or we just can't do that computations. So there's all kinds of vendors out there and I've been chatting with them all day about what they do and many of them are absolutely well-suited for you to reach out to and connect with and work with. So don't feel like you have to invent this on your own. And, by the way, one of the things that almost all the vendors said is that they have education of their clients as one of the key components of how they do business. So they're not expecting you to walk in and be the subject matter expert. They know that you're going to need some education so that you know how best to use those tools to serve the clients and your agency. So, three takeaways. It's not too late, get on the bandwagon now. AI is already embedded in so many parts of our life, it's not going away and it's just going to become more and more central to the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we connect. So we need to understand it, we need to be able to leverage the tool. Because if we don't, someone else is going to get out ahead of us. The good news is nobody's out ahead of us right now, everybody's in the experimenting stage. So now's the time to experiment, now's the time to fail. Takeaway number two. Check out that course which I will put in the final notes of this video. And takeaway number three is you do not have to reinvent the wheel. You can find partners and vendors who will be able to do everything that you want to do. And by the time you get so sophisticated that you have out-thought what all the vendors have put together, by then you'll be big enough or you'll have enough money or you'll be ready to partner with a vendor to build your own. But for now, you don't have to. So those are the takeaways. I highly recommend this conference for next year, I'm sure it will be back. So check it out. Oh, and by the way, thanks to Joel for sending me his favorite minor league ball team tee shirt, the Arkansas Travelers. So Joel, thank you for that very much. All right. Get out in front of AI, take the course, don't reinvent the wheel. Those are the takeaways for this week. All right, I'll talk to you soon.

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