Client Relationships, Taming 'AI Beast' On 4A's 2024 Priority List


The 4A’s has issued its annual “Look Ahead” report for 2024 and not surprisingly, helping members “tame the AI beast” is a top priority for the organization.  

A lot of focus on the impact of AI (and more recently generative AI) on agencies has been about the creative impact but as 4A’s CEO Marla Kaplowitz notes, the technology will affect “every area within the agency ecosystem” from operations, talent, new business, creative, media, compensation models and more.  



The group is planning a number of programs and events this year to help members navigate AI landscape. That’s in addition to existing efforts like its “AI Crash Course” which offers multiple webinars covering an array of AI-related topics. 

More research is also planned on the topic of agency pitches following up on last year’s joint project with the ANA called The Cost of The Pitch Report. This research was conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and for the first time, quantified the full cost of the pitch process to clients.  

The two organizations believe two areas require further exploration. Cost/Price was the top factor considered when selecting a new agency (62%), while ‘Emphasizing a commitment to developing long-term relationships’ was the top factor for clients and agencies in reducing the need for incumbent reviews. 

The next phase of The Cost of The Pitch will offer a deep dive into these two subjects and the plan is to present the findings at the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference in May. 

Another priority area is helping members create programs for training and upskilling talent, a crucial area with so much ongoing technological change. And there is a perception battle being waged about the importance of training programs. Kaplowitz recalled one recent survey in which 84% of those polled said they believed such efforts were “overrated.”  

Learn more about projects and research the 4A’s has on the docket for 2024 here.  

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