Replay: Is Automation an Existential Threat to Agencies?

Machine learning and automation are changing the dynamics of delivering marketing services to both small businesses and enterprises alike. Do automated campaign creation and optimization represent “an existential threat”? How should agencies respond and what areas and tasks should they focus on to avoid being commoditized or replaced?

During a recent webinar, Greg Sterling of LSA, Alex Porter of Location3 and David Mihm of Tidings discussed this new landscape and what it means for agencies. There were many interesting points made, here are just a few key takeaways:

  • Estimate from McKinsey says between 400 million & 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation by 2030 around the world.
  • AI and machine learning are not part of the conversation with SMB customers. They are more interested in understanding how Google works or the difference between a boosted post and an ad on Facebook.
  • Introduction of ads on Google that don’t require creative (Local Services Ads) have the greatest potential to disintermediate agencies.
  • Historically, the complexity of Google search ads (keywords, bidding, landing pages, etc.) has made it extremely challenging for SMBs to self-serve. AI, machine learning and UI are helping remove much of that complexity.
  • Panelists agree, the ease of using Facebook’s Boosted Posts is driving Google’s automated/machine learning approach to ads on the platform.
  • It’s time for agencies to be transparent about the margins associated with the automation/tools they use.

You can view the entire recording below:

For more info about LSA’s webinar series, visit:

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