Setting Rules of Engagement Using Generative AI - Joanne Davis

Point of View
3 min readOct 30, 2023

My article, Setting Rules of Engagement Using Generative AI, was featured in the WARC newsletter.

The article outlines rules of engagement for agencies and clients to achieve success in using Generative AI, based on a survey of agency and client leaders on how to navigate and activate it.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

“All year, the news has been filled with articles about the good, the bad, and the ugly about Generative AI. From students using Gen AI to prepare their homework, to a lawyer using it to defend against a prosecutor, to content creators using it to develop images. Fashion magazines have even used it to create virtual diverse models — causing backlash for taking jobs away from real diverse models.

Agency and client responses to the AI revolution run the gamut from going “all in” to “don’t touch” due to ownership and other risks. Many clients are thrilled by the speed and amount of content Gen AI can produce, but other clients in highly regulated businesses such as financial services and pharmaceuticals are the ones more likely to have “do not touch” policies.

As Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI said to the US Congress in May: “As this technology advances, we understand that people are anxious about how it could change the way we live. We are too. If this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong.”

In order to ensure that marketers and agencies don’t become one of the examples of Generative AI going quite wrong, it’s imperative that each understand the potential advantages and pitfalls, and map out a strategic plan for how to use these tools.

To get more perspective on this topic, earlier this year my company surveyed 40 agency leaders and four dozen client leaders for input on how to navigate and activate Generative AI, and from those conversations, we developed rules of engagement that agencies and clients can use to move forward successfully with using it. Posed as questions, these need to be robustly discussed by the parties to arrive at a sensible plan and define action steps going forward. We recommend a series of work sessions with marketing, client-side procurement, and agency leaders to answer these key questions — but first, let’s look at agency and client perspectives from our interviews:

As these quotes indicate, agencies know more about Generative AI than their client counterparts. A May 2023 survey of 4A’s members showed that over 25% use Generative AI on a regular basis and another 40% have used it occasionally. We believe the percentages have grown since then.

As a result, marketers need to take advantage of agencies’ knowledge, and ask questions (though agencies need to ask questions of clients as well).”

Read the original article here.

Connect with Joanne on LinkedIn.

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