The Role of AI in Marketing A Conversation with Katie Robert 6

How to get your agency ready for AI

This content was originally featured in the July 26, 2023 newsletter found here:

A few weeks ago I got to sit down and talk with my good friend, Brooke Sellas for her podcast, “The Marketing Agency Show”. In case you missed it, you can watch the episode here:

In the episode, we talked about how to get your agency ready for AI. This is the burning question everyone has right now, isn’t it? That, and, “What tool should I use?”

What I told Brooke is that starting with AI, starting with the platform is the wrong way to approach it. You need to start at the top with your purpose – the question you want to answer.

Oh snap – it’s a 5P post.

Yes, it IS a 5P post. Because if you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while, you know that the 5P framework is incredibly versatile. You can even assess your AI readiness.

Ok, let’s go!

As a refresher, the 5Ps are Purpose, People, Process, Platform, and Performance.

When Brooke and I talked, I highlighted the fact that where a lot of us go wrong is that we choose the platform first. Then we try to retrofit the technology into our existing processes and ask too much of our people. We’ve lost sight of the purpose and have shaky performance metrics.

So let’s fix that, shall we?


Better known as, “What is the problem you’re trying to solve?” Let’s be clear about this. You’re not asking, “What is the problem I am trying to solve with AI?” No. If you ask that question, you’re getting it wrong. Take AI out of the Purpose. It starts you off on the wrong foot and assumes that AI is the answer. It might not be.

As you define your purpose, you should use user stories. A user story is a simple statement with three parts:

As a [persona], I [want to], so [that].

Here’s an example: As a CMO, I want to use AI, so that our company stays relevant.

That’s a terrible user story because it doesn’t state a clear problem. Staying relevant isn’t a measurable outcome and it will vary depending on who you ask. What is relevant? If this is the problem you’re trying to solve, you need to dig deeper.

Let’s try again: As a CMO, I want to scale up my content marketing team, so that we can reach a wider audience with more helpful content.

We can work with this. The CMO is the stakeholder. Scaling the content marketing team is the process and platform we’re picking apart. Reaching a wider audience is the purpose and what we’re looking at for performance. Notice that we haven’t talked about AI yet. The assumption might be that a tool like ChatGTP to create more content is the solution, but we don’t know that yet. Let’s keep going.

People and Process

The problem you’re solving is that the CMO wants to scale up the content marketing team. Truthfully, that’s still a little vague. To get more specific, we want to evaluate people and process together. We need to get a better understanding of where the process isn’t working for the content marketing team. Additionally, where are the optimization opportunities? Start with having a conversation with your content marketing team and asking them what they need, instead of assuming that AI will solve their problems. The problem might be communication from the stakeholders about the purpose of the content or who the audience is. These are not problems in the process that AI can solve. This is a communication breakdown that you solve with a stronger content brief and better expectation setting. Interesting, but still no mention of AI.


As we start to understand more about how the content marketing team could scale, we want to look at the platforms you’re using. How are you doing your customer research, your keyword and topic research, and your content dissemination? This might be where you can incorporate AI into your content marketing team. However, as we’re digging into the purpose, people, and process we’re not seeing a strong case for bringing in AI yet. You could use a platform like ChatGPT to assist with editing the content, but that hasn’t presented itself as the core purpose. If you feel strongly about using AI, set up some A/B tests to get a better understanding of the value of AI in your process. Is it making your content stronger? Is it shaving time off the overall process? Are the people feeling supported or are they even more frustrated by having to use AI? If you’re starting down this road, I would restate the purpose.

As a CMO, I want to do A/B testing with AI tools, so that I can see if it makes my content marketing process more efficient.

By restating the purpose, you’ll have different perspectives on people, process, and performance. You’re measuring the effectiveness of AI, versus the reach of your content.


This is the other P that companies get wrong when they are trying to figure out where AI fits into their company. If we look at the other 4 Ps we’ve evaluated, we want to measure the reach of our content. How does that translate into metrics? You need to define what “reach” means for your company. Does reach mean more followers on social? More newsletter subscribers? More traffic to your website? Those are your performance metrics.

Otherwise, you might not be clear on your original purpose. In that case, go back to the top and revise your user story to be more specific.

As we’re wrapping up this particular example, I want to point out that AI was not the solution. That doesn’t mean that AI shouldn’t be used in your business. The point here is that if you’re starting with AI as the solution but you aren’t clear on the problem you’re not going to have a lot of success. Going through the 5P framework can save you a lot of money and headaches. You’ll have your blueprint for how to move forward and a built-in measurement plan.

Lastly, I have big news! I’ll be talking about this in more depth at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego next February – see you there?

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