May 7, 2024
Dan Barczak

Are Your Agencies Behind on AI? Time For a Change.

The success of your brand and business depends on it. If your agencies aren’t using AI to maximize your investment, it’s time to cut them loose.

As an agency owner and Chief Creative Officer, I'm constantly exploring how we can use the latest tools to enhance the value we deliver to you, our clients. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this exploration, promising not just to innovate but to transform how we approach design, branding, marketing, growth, storytelling, and immersive experiences.

In the relentlessly evolving landscape of business and the agencies that support you, staying ahead isn't just an advantage—it's a necessity. Yet, amidst the buzz about AI transforming industries, especially in a world where small to mid-sized design, branding, marketing, innovation, and experience agencies are constantly challenged to deliver more with less, there's a harsh truth that many in the creative sector are tiptoeing around: Not all agencies are leveraging AI effectively, and frankly, most clients are tired of hearing them talk about it without showing real results. Here’s why you should demand more than just chatter from your agency regarding AI.

The Uncomfortable Reality: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Let’s cut through the noise. Some agencies are out there flaunting their ‘innovative use of AI’ like it’s a shiny new toy. But here’s what really matters: Is their use of AI making your brand and business more profitable and valuable? Is it allowing you to do better work, collectively? If not, it’s all just smoke and mirrors. You hired an agency to disrupt, innovate, make sense of a problem you have, and push boundaries—not just to add AI as a capability in their pitch decks.

The Litmus Test for Your Agency

If your agency is genuinely leveraging AI, it should be unmistakably clear in the outcomes. Are their campaigns using AI-driven insights to reach untapped markets? Is their AI analysis helping you cut costs, or be more agile, or increase ROI? If the answer is no, then you might not have the right partner. Real use of AI in creative agencies isn’t about using technology for the hell of it—it’s about integrating smarter tools to deliver better work, more creative work, more adaptable work, and value to your bottom line.

Our Dual Responsibility & Commitment to Ethical Innovation

Embracing AI is not just about enhancing efficiency, data, or creativity—it's about responsibly integrating these powerful tools to protect and create what’s next for your brand and business. Adoption of AI is evolving and getting smarter every day, and it’s our responsibility to keep up, make informed, tasteful choices that align with your brand’s values and market position, while keeping proprietary business information tight. Our commitment must extend beyond creative exploration; we also focus on using AI ethically and effectively. Every business we work with, from a startup to a Fortune 50, is defining their AI best practices and policies as we go. So are agencies. We understand the importance of not only keeping up with tech advancements but also setting the pace responsibly, ensuring you exceed your strategic goals, and most importantly, leverage AI responsibly.

Why Settle for Mediocrity?

The blunt reality is this: many agencies are using AI as a veneer to mask a lack of deeper innovation. It’s easy to talk a big game about AI, but it’s much harder to implement it in a way that actually impacts your success as a team, as a brand, and as a business. If your agency can’t show you clear metrics of how their AI implementations have made your work better and more successful, it might be time to show them the door. Writing, synthesizing data and insights, concept creation, rapid ideation, business modeling, and immersive content are all ways we’re exploring AI. Some businesses are forging ahead and empowering teams to taste as many AI tools as possible. Others are afraid of trying and implementing it. Still others don’t know what to do. My advice? Just ask your agency how they can help you, and if there’s a better way to do things they used to do, rather than assume they have it all figured out. If they can’t help you solve your problem, they’re not the innovators you need. Your business is too important for new AI tools to be an optional extra.

The Bottom Line

It’s time to demand genuine, profitable innovation from your creative agencies. AI offers extraordinary potential to transform your brand’s marketing strategies, customer engagement, and overall profitability. Don’t be content with agencies that only offer lip service to this powerful tool. Expect—and insist on—real outcomes and transparency. Your brand’s success in an AI-driven world depends on it.


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