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Key steps to consider when enabling AI in your organisation

By Chris Scott | Chief Digital Officer

I recently attended an event where agency peers were speaking about the possibilities of AI, and the consensus was that technology is evolving at such a pace that plans are out of date as soon as they’re written.

So, planning cycles are dead? That’ll be music to the ears of many marketers!

But no. Sorry. It doesn’t mean that. It means that organisations, and their leadership teams, need to embrace the flexibility and fluidity of technology change.

And your employees are the catalyst. They’re a leader’s best chance of success. Identify those who are receptive to change and put them at the centre of your ‘always on’ cycles of activity.

However, you must have control. So, let’s consider how we can put everything together and foster a culture of continuous change to create impact.

Here’s my practical guide to enabling AI effectively in your organisation, something that’s been driven by our own experiences at Revere:

1. Foster a culture of experimentation

AI's value can only be realised when teams have the freedom to experiment with new tools and approaches.

At Revere, I’ve seen firsthand that if you encourage marketers to explore various AI tools, to understand their specific benefits and drawbacks, it rightly makes employees feel empowered and part of that journey. Experimentation allows teams to uncover innovative ways to use AI to solve challenges. Ultimately you have a motivated, unthreatened workforce that’s embracing change. 

You’re not replacing the value of the human mind, nor reducing the effectiveness of your team. You’re providing a personal growth trajectory that very few organisations can offer. 

Encourage curiosity:
Give your team the space to test various AI applications. For example, they could analyse customer data using machine learning algorithms and identify patterns that lead to higher engagement, revealing insights to optimise your marketing strategy.  

Or they could solve long-standing issues caused by imperfect data sources, or even enhance A/B testing principles with AI-powered analytics. Demo, test and find out!

2. Provide access to the right tools

AI's potential is unlocked with the right tools, so equip your marketing team with the necessary AI applications and platforms to improve customer engagement, solve challenges they have, develop content ideas and enhance the likelihood of success from campaigns.

I’m already looking at tools that will provide greater certainty, and likely emotional reaction, for campaigns right at the ideation stage. That will allow the creative team at Revere team to focus on perfecting their craft, making it unique to the client’s need and something that’s highly original and valuable – something generative AI is not yet capable of. 

Clearly there will be operational costs associated with some tools, which is why governance and control are so important. And reporting too, which is also covered below 👇.

3. Get governance controls in place

Without wanting to sound big-headed, one of the core successes from Revere’s AI initiative, Lead on AI, in 2023 was putting in place the solid foundations that enable growth. Implementing AI requires a governance framework to ensure data privacy, ethical usage, and transparency in decision-making.  

We’ve been incredibly transparent with clients, being upfront when AI technology has been used in their creative, and making sure images are licensed for their intended use.  

I’ve spoken to many contacts at tech organisations this year who have no controls in place; that’s got the potential to be a future disaster! It seems obvious but clear governance policies safeguard your reputation and client trust, while still guiding teams to maximise AI's potential.  

Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope governance won’t be an issue. It will be. The recent EU Artificial Intelligence Act updates will demand transparency and managed risk when it comes to the adoption of AI, so putting in place controls and measures today will create a strong position as you grow.

Transparency in decision-making:
I’d recommend that you document the reasoning behind adoption and AI-driven decisions, especially where personal data is involved. Tools and services need to be secure, and using something like Azure AI vs a purely public AI service provides that trust between an agency and its clients and helps with future due diligence. 

4. Streamline internal efficiencies

We’ve already started rolling out AI internally, enabling all teams to benefit from technology. But these benefits can only be realised with strong processes in place. So, I’d recommend you clearly define the roles, the specific challenge that you’re looking to overcome, and the objectives associated with each element of your internal efficiency project. 

Cross-functional collaboration:
You might be lucky and already have good levels of organic, cross-department collaboration between departments. If that’s the case then use it to your advantage and identify where AI can help in the mundane, day-to-day activities that these teams are performing. Free up your teams to add greater value to your marketing activities. Collaboration will benefit from greater headspace for everyone, enabled through AI workflows and tools.

5. Measure and report on impact

Lastly, there are loads of theoretical enhancements that AI can deliver, creating massive efficiencies. But how can you justify ongoing investment, and refine your AI strategy, if you’re not measuring the impact and effectiveness of AI initiatives?

It’s marketing 101 but make sure KPIs are in place to assess AI’s contribution to marketing and business objectives.

If you believe that the mundane can be replicated, often better, by AI then make sure you’re monitoring successes. Some examples could be:

 Metrics:  

  • Track customer lifetime value (CLV), churn rate or conversion rates to gauge how AI has improved personalisation and campaign effectiveness.
  • Measure productivity and efficiency gains, such as reduced lead response time due to the increased headspace for individuals in the team, or less rounds of amends due to greater levels of focus and attention

Conclusion

I truly believe an AI-enabled business is one that embraces the possibilities of technology and change, promotes usage amongst its teams and doesn’t put up unnecessary barriers.

There are almost limitless opportunities to utilise AI effectively. To start you must have trust in your people, alongside budgetary control of course. If you allow your teams to thrive, you’ll enhance job satisfaction, promote a culture of belonging and exceed your business’ personal development goals.

Challenge the status quo. Utilise your teams in the right way and unlock their potential in solving many inefficiencies you have today. 

Let AI technology enable your marketers to thrive. With thoughtful implementation and clear governance, AI can become a powerful enabler, delivering both innovation and measurable, marketing gains.

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