Ideas can manifest themselves at the most unexpected moments – walking the dog, doing the washing up, or watching TV. With the advent of the era of AI, are we now at risk of losing these moments? Could we become too reliant on automation to fill in the gaps? How can we use this leap forward in technology to our advantage in these moments?
In the third part of our series, we asked some of our teammates in various departments within the agency how they spark ideas and what difference they see AI making in the way they do this.
Using AI as a thought partner
“One thing I know is that headspace has been a crucial component to the sparking of my best ideas. I’ve written two best-selling books, and had my work published by Harvard Business Review – none of this would have been possible had I not found ways to create the space to ideate, think deeply, and stand back from the day-to-day hullabaloo. My best ideas tend to come when my conscious mind is distracted with a task like working out, showering, watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race, or even when I’m in the middle of a very important meeting at work.
Idea-sparking for me also happens in conversation. I love having discussions about big gnarly problems, the solutions to which aren’t immediately obvious to the people having the discussion. The ones that seem ridiculous or absurd are always a place of genesis and the birth site of something amazing.
When I think about AI and the role it might play in the idea-sparking process, I think about how it might remove repetitive tasks that take precedence over conversation and brainstorming. But more importantly, I think about how I might use AI to be a thought partner and idea generator with me. I’ve found so much joy in teaching Chat GPT, for example, to think in alternate ways to me, or to produce a response to question through a certain lens. It’s obviously very new…but it feels like the sky might be the lower limit!”
“Ideation stems from insights, it’s the gold nuggets of information of a brand, product, or service that becomes the foundation of a great idea. But an idea only becomes great when you find that sweet harmony between the audience and what it is you are trying to achieve. The ideas themselves – once you have all that valuable info – can come to us in a number of ways.
Initial thoughts can stem from the evolution of a memorable campaign, an article you’ve stumbled across online, something you saw wandering the streets, or even a visual you saw as you’re getting your daily dose of social media. But it’s the addition of minds and bouncing around ideas that evolve and elevates them to one that becomes truly special. But with AI making a tidal wave o f an entrance, does that mean our minds can become lazy? For some, I’m sure it will. But for the majority, it becomes another tool in the arsenal. It’s here to stay, and I feel that it’s something to embrace rather than shun.
As AI evolves, it will only get faster and smarter. Will it be able to create campaigns? Sure. Will it create campaigns that resonate and connect with humans? Well, only time will tell.”
“The beauty of AI for me, given it’s able to analyze and interpret large sets of data at speed, is that I can really push my boundaries by being able to think and innovate more seamlessly for our clients.”
AI is helping marketers become more efficient
“AI has been and will become, more and more prevalent when it comes to sparking ideas within analytics, creative, and performance insights creation. Currently, we have leveraged AI in various ways in analytics-land, with the most common uses being where our data visualization tool automatically collects, integrates, and unifies massive volumes of data from various channels and platforms to provide marketers with a comprehensive, single view of their marketing performance, along with a tool called Einstein that helps us quickly identify trends, opportunities, and potential issues to troubleshoot faster.
This foundational support with our data collection and trend identification alone will continue to be a huge time saver which helps enable the collaborative, creative space and ensures our clients are learning with us and growing their bottom line.
With Microsoft’s Copilot and other solutions going into a more widespread beta (hopefully) this year, we’ll be looking to trial the various AI capabilities – particularly leveraging the ability to prompt Copilot to dig into data sets for insight inspiration, and see how creative can be more seamlessly analyzed.”
“With the aid of AI, marketers now have the ability to systemically create, test, and learn in real-time, reducing the time from ideation to implementation from weeks to mere hours. By combining automated data analysis, predictive modeling, and machine learning algorithms, AI provides marketers with powerful tools to generate valuable insights, enabling smarter decision-making and unlocking new realms of creativity for truly impactful campaigns and strategies.”
“A superpower of marketing executives is their ability to craft compelling stories that move people to make decisions. It’s an ability that drives revenue by sparking the connection with an audience on an emotional and rational level. As these stories take shape, it requires the creator to engage their left and right brain at different times. When writing, both hemispheres of the brain are used, but different tasks are assigned to each. The left brain is responsible for organizing thoughts and putting them into words, while the right brain is responsible for generating new ideas and images.
Letting one’s subconscious and conscious think and feel the specific problem or topic so that, over time, it becomes defined, is key. And there’s a way to think and feel through defining the problem to be solved, such as the Thomas Edison napping technique, which the inventor may have relied on to spur his creativity.
It’s also critical to commit ideas to paper, both through brainstorming and gaining specificity. This is mission critical and can be achieved by drawing the problem, and abstract laddering. Searching for new frameworks and tools to help us see through and around a problem pushes us to grow.”
“How do I spark ideas? I’m a firm believer in apportioning dedicated time to ideation. Ideas don’t just happen – you have to make them happen. I find once you’ve got a few good ideas you can then mull them over with a walk in the garden or whilst tucking into a good lunch to help refine the angle, with additional time at the desk to work through the finer details. I see AI supporting this process in several areas. Firstly, predictive analytics helps identify patterns quicker and can be used to support not just ideation but testing those ideas to land on your final premise much quicker, essentially proving your hypothesis.
Secondly, Generative AI has the ability to assess datasets that are simply not known to you, ie, you get to play around with unknown, unknowns – something which hasn’t been possible before. True some of the data may need validating to make sure it’s accurate, but it can really help to speed up creative thinking.”
Marcus recently explored the growth of Generative AI and its potential impact on B2B marketing, including opportunities for your organization and how to take advantage of them. In parts one and two of Our AI Future series, you can discover more about how we’re using this emerging software to improve our capabilities and deliver integrated marketing solutions for our clients.
Do these thoughts chime with the way you spark ideas? How do you see AI impacting the way ideas are created across your business?
In the second piece in our series, we take a deeper dive into the world of Generative AI with a one-to-one interview with Marcus Hiles, our Global VP of Insights and ABM.
In this first piece, Just Global’s VP of Insights and ABM, Marcus Hiles, explores the growth of Generative AI and its impact on an organization.
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