VSA CEO Anne-Marie Rosser was recently published in Forbes magazine with her piece, “Four Things Your Marketing Agency Wants You To Know About AI.” Check out an excerpt of the piece below, and click here to read the full piece on Forbes.
To say that AI is top of mind for most business leaders feels like an understatement. A recent IBM study found that the global AI adoption rate was 35% in 2022. And in Q3 2023, the term “AI” was uttered an average of 3.7 times per S&P 500 analyst call—more than double the previous quarter.
There’s a definite edge of panic to the excitement as companies jockey to showcase they’re incorporating the new tech into their operations and leaders scramble to forecast AI’s impact on their business. Meanwhile, pundits surround them, proclaiming that AI is either the next renaissance or the end of the world.
If you’re a business leader struggling to find your place in the AI discourse, my advice is this: Look to your marketing agency. Here’s why.
Agencies are used to helping businesses work through thorny problems, like cultural shifts, internal reorgs, M&As, new patterns and trends, and a constant drive toward growth. Clients come to them to get ahead or stay ahead, and a big part of that has always been figuring out how to leverage new technologies for a competitive advantage.
Agencies also have a unique finger on the cultural pulse, as they consistently work with different clients in different industries with different perspectives. This gives them a rare ecosystem of use cases, research and conversations that they can dissect and learn from.
As my own agency begins to help our clients create and implement AI strategies, there are four key pieces of advice that keep rising to the top. Here’s what we’ve been telling our clients:
I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about how if your business doesn’t get into AI right now, you’re going to miss the boat and never get this chance back.
In the words of my colleague, “That’s not how technology works.” In fact, many successful businesses have found their way into emerging technologies by waiting until they stabilize, researching what people like and don’t like about their uses, and capitalizing on that experience to turn out superior products.
Plus, there are still a lot of things, from copyright laws to data protection, that don’t have the guardrails companies need to manage risk in AI adoption.
It’s OK to adopt AI in a way that makes sense for your business. If that means taking huge leaps because risk is in your DNA, great. If that means hanging back and watching what works and what doesn’t before investing, also great. Let your purpose—not the hype—drive your decision-making.
Prior to her current role as CEO, Anne-Marie has served in several positions at VSA over the past 20 years, including Associate Partner of Strategy, Head of Client Engagement, and President. This depth of experience across different disciplines at VSA makes Anne-Marie especially adept at both steering the high-level strategic vision and ensuring its day-to-day implementation. Anne-Marie’s passion for leading relationships from a strategic, consultative perspective builds true partnerships that advance both business and brand, resulting in many enduring client relationships. Her strong critical-thinking and communications skills help motivate teams toward solutions that combine business relevance with superlative creative execution. Prior to joining VSA, Anne-Marie ran a digital strategy group at Leapnet. Her subsequent 20 years at VSA are marked by extensive, successful partnerships with clients in multiple industries, including tech, finance and healthcare.