Agencies refuse to be left behind in the artificial intelligence (AI) frenzy. Many expect the AI-driven savings to more than double year-over-year (YoY), increasing by 134% in 2024.
About 25% of larger agencies with more than 100 employees expect more than $25,000 in annual savings next year, which is ten times the number of agencies saying they saved a similar amount in 2023.
The use of AI among digital agencies is still emerging, so current estimates are modest, measuring in the thousands of dollars per year. Agency leads expect much more, according to Duda, which builds website digital agencies for digital agencies.
The commissioned study of 200 digital agency owners offering web design or development as part of their services was fielded by research firm Global Surveyz Research.
Agencies participating include companies ranging from two and more than 100 across U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
The idea was to determine how agencies use AI today, what value they experience, and what they expect heading into 2024.
It’s clear that agencies evaluate the success of AI implementation using a range of metrics that vary by agency size. For all agencies surveyed, 32% said cost savings is being used as the leading success indicator, 26% cited operational efficiency, and 25% said client satisfaction.
The study data shows the fear of missing out is real. While all agency owners surveyed use AI in their web building processes and see some sort of savings from AI-driven efficiencies, 84% of respondents expressed concern about keeping pace with AI developments in 2024. Advancements are moving too fast, they said.
Agency owners are already seeing measurable impact from their use of AI -- particularly in terms of cost savings, operational efficiency, and client satisfaction.
Cost savings is the top metric for evaluating AI success, with 32% of agencies focusing on this metric and all agencies reporting some level of AI-driven cost savings in 2023.
Some 59% report they see good results when using AI when updating existing web page content, 55% when generating content for new pages, 53% when creating visuals for client websites, and 40% when optimizing sites for SEO.
Despite trying to keep up with advancements, 89% of agency owners expect AI to help them scale their businesses faster, and 87% expect AI to help them speed up time consuming workflows like content creation.
They also expect AI to impact how they go to market, with 86% indicating they believe AI will enable them to sell or buyer less expensive goods to serve more diverse clients by the end of 2024.
Agency owners look to invest 2023 savings back into AI in 2024, including spending on AI tools, training, consulting, and more.
Several core capabilities stand out. Content being the highest. Some 40% cite content strategies, 29% cite editing, and 26% cite writing content.