Does the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) mark the end of the agency as we know it? Probably. Certainly, things are changing.
We’re all at the beginning of a general collapse of pure services and pure SaaS-based products, and marketing leaders have two options: watch the change unfold or get a head start on the inevitable disruption. You can be an asteroid or a dinosaur… which will it be?
Let the iPhone be a lesson to us all
Transformation happens both slowly and all at once. Think about the iPhone. In 2021, it generated $192B in revenue for Apple. But it wasn’t always so prosperous. Upon its release in June 2007, sales were quite paltry by comparison — the company had moved just under 1.4M units by the end of the fiscal year. The device represented a completely different way of interacting with one’s phone, from the touch screen interface to the plethora of apps and internet connectivity, so the masses were hesitant. But early adopters jumped, sales gradually scaled, and by 2011, the smartphone as we know it today was everywhere.
Similarly, as people become more familiar with new AI-powered tools, patterns of work will begin to change. A segment of customer behavior will start to shift thanks to LLM and tool augmentation, and more companies will dip their toe into this new way of interacting with their customer base. Initial adoption becomes rapid adoption, snowballing through different business sectors at different times.
Put yourself out of today’s business (really)
As major disruption looms, one question remains: Will you sit back and let it happen like a dinosaur or can you start figuring out how to put today’s businesses out of business in the very near future? It might seem counterintuitive at first, but you want to be an asteroid to your own business. In other words, get ahead now on how to use these tools in your own workflow to deliver vertically aligned services and products.
Can you know every relevant application and future direction this could take your business? No. But having one answer is better than having none.
Is this the beginning or the end?
At this point, you may have already noticed that both sides of the asteroid/dinosaur metaphor are fairly unappealing. Neither one made it out to tell the tale in the end. And it’s an apt comparison — the idea of a website may not be viable within 10 or 15 years, which, for a stable business, isn’t that much time. It’s critical to start asking: How do I future-proof and plan for this next evolving world?
Take me for example. I got my start in flash development and design, all of which went away in three years once the iPhone hit the scene. Yes, that’s right, the iPhone was my asteroid. In a similar, albeit more accelerated manner, AI will change things in ways we can’t yet fully imagine.
The big question is: What we can do is start exploring emerging possibilities now and reimagine how we can use them to deliver value ahead of the competition?
Stick with us. We’ve got lots of ideas.
Interested in partnering with Edgar Allan to create a branded large language model, on how to use AI in your agency, or on a web design, brand, or content design project? Get in contact with us today.
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