The future of marketing agencies:
A conversation with Tom Baeten of Winger Academy on AI integration
Winger Academy customers will soon get 10% more content for the same price. How that comes about? Because of the ubiquity of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Tom Baeten, business manager of Winger Academy, provides more context around the decision to incorporate AI tools into his business model.
Tom, you’ve decided to fully embrace AI tools and add them to the way Winger Academy works. How did you come to that?
“We have all witnessed it in recent months: AI tools are having a major impact on our lives. And therefore also on our business. I think it is only natural for Winger Academy to spread its wings and dare to embrace new trends. I like to review my business model regularly, always looking for optimizations for our clients. Even in the case of this (not so) small AI revolution, that is.”
How will Winger Academy engage AI?
“We have intensively tested various AI tools over the past few months and see particular value in content preparation. AI can help us gather content ideas, write catchy opening sentences, create a first draft, and so on. However, experience tells us that nothing ready-made rolls out of the AI bots, but it certainly suffices as a first start. So the finishing touches from our copywriters remain necessary.”
What exactly is AI? How does it work?
“For example, we talk about bots like ChatGPT. ChatGPT stands for ‘Generative Pre-training Transformer.’ Based on artificial intelligence, this bot conducts dialogues with the app user. You can ask this bot questions and give it commands such as writing texts, for example. It is a self-learning language technology that, through its frequent use, is getting smarter and smarter.”
Does the bot only help with texts or does it also involve visuals?
“There are possibilities for both text and visuals, but as far as graphics are concerned, I’m currently left hungry. The results there are currently underwhelming.”
What are the benefits of working with AI?
“Very simple: time savings and increased efficiency. Bots also provide ideas that we may not have thought of ourselves initially. So thanks to the bot, we can deviate from the well-trodden paths more quickly. But again: in a supporting and empowering role.”
Working with AI and copywriters, how does that work?
“After the strategic meeting with the client, Winger Academy gathers at and around the client all the information and material we need to set up a smart content strategy. Then we lay out a content idea list. 80% of the input and development comes from our team, the other 20% is supplemented by input from the bot.”
What is the difference between before and now?
“That we are now armed with smart tools that can be incredibly empowering. I am convinced that we are at the beginning of an AI revolution here. The technology is still young and will make even greater strides in the near future. Maybe in time we can increase the percentage of applicability, but we will discover that experimentally.”
Your team will work faster. So what will be the impact on price?
“If we can organize ourselves more efficiently then it makes sense to me that our customers will benefit as well. Currently it is too early to talk about serious price reductions, but an impact of 10% on agreed prices is realistic today. If the impact on the work increases, we will raise it. In any case, our customers can count on us to keep them informed about this.”
What is the impact on the time commitment?
“That impact is rather limited at the moment. 80% of the work still has to be done by our team, so we are talking about a very small time gain. Moreover, it is sometimes difficult to find the right instructions before the bot understands what is expected. Of course, you have to include that time as well.”
How will AI shape the future?
“This technology is going to cause a transformation in our business. To deny or avoid it is simply dangerous and unwise. Innovation and technical development should be embraced as much as possible and blended with your existing business model. My expectation is that AI bots are going to become more and more high-performing and the impact on time management will increase. Specifically, what does that mean for our customers? More content for a similar amount of money.”
What are the drawbacks of AI for content creation and copywriting?
“AI is perhaps still sometimes overrated. Some claim it will replace us. I don’t believe that. Content is not always true to what the bots claim. So we have to remain observant. What I do believe is that it will greatly change the way we work. A team made up exclusively of bots? That’s not going to happen anytime soon.”
Should people with writing jobs fear their jobs?
“No, but copywriters who refuse to embrace technology risk missing the train. Were I a copywriter, I would experiment with these bots and see how it can enhance my work. By all means, my team has nothing to fear. Maybe they will get a modified or new role within the company, but I am mostly convinced that this is more likely to create growth.”
Are you afraid that clients will start doing the work themselves?
“No. I like to make the comparison with the construction industry. You will always have do-it-yourselfers who still have time left to roll up their sleeves themselves. You may buy your materials wholesale, but it doesn’t make you a professional contractor. Customers who want to take matters into their own hands will need to take their time. Time to master ever-evolving technologies. Time and insight to judge whether the material being supplied actually fits within their strategy. If they have a strategy at all… Of course, as a LinkedIn marketing agency, we can teach entrepreneurs or marketers how to work with these bots and continue to watch over the overall picture. But there are also entrepreneurs who prefer to focus on their core business and need support. So there will always be a demand for companies like us.”