From experimental to essential; how you can save your budget with AI

6 Things to know to get beyond the hype and cut your costs

We all know AI is important, yet in the leadership team, there's still some kind of lack of urgency. AI is ‘somewhere on the agenda for 2024’. And we all know what that means…  Yes, it’s important, yet not so important, that budget and resources are freed up to start yesterday. 

Let me help you to get AI things started: cost savings. 

We're a year in; keep in mind that everything that you focus on grows.  And, we know AI grows exponentially and has huge cost-saving and time-efficiency benefits, internally and in content production. Besides, your employees expect you to facilitate it.  Bluntly said, with AI, you can’t afford not to act right now and here. 

Let's unwrap this. 


These are the key insights for AI implementation:
1. It’s exponential growth and the daily widening gap between all others and the boomers (yes, you)
2. The budget and cost savings are huge; you'll save significant euros on agency spending and time to get things done faster and more efficiently
3. If you want to keep your talent, it’s inevitable to embrace AI

It’s up to you to inform your management peers about the cost savings and faster time to market. If you don't step up your AI game, you'll fall behind, and it happens so much faster than you think. 

The best time to start was yesterday; the next best time is now. AI now is what Google was 20 years ago. Just like Google, AI becomes essential and embedded in our daily lives. If you're looking for information you google, you don’t grab an encyclopedia to find your answers, do you?


And these are the immediate actions you can do today:
4. Create a business case on efficiency wins
5. Train your team in a safe and secure environment
6. Learn AI yourself


Let’s get into the details.


Key insights for AI implementation 

Below is an overview of what I think you should know, or at least be aware of, as a senior manager and part of the leadership team. Realize that you don't know what you don't know. And now it's time to wake up on the AI topic and realize you better start acting now before you'll lose out tomorrow. 


1. Exponential growth and widening gap

It’s shocking that amongst the boomers 45+ years old, about 26% use AI, and only 29% of organizations are prepared for AI. (source: Rijn Vogelaar ). In the meantime, the younger generation embraces AI (79%) and jumps on the exponential growth.

This gap between AI-savvy and not-so-AI-savvy people widens every day. Rapidly. The sh*tshow is that it’s that older boomer generation that’s in the management and leadership team.

For AI, you probably heard it’s going fast, yet you don’t realize how fast. It's exponential and not linear growth due to data availability, faster processing times, and calculation speed because of tech innovations (we can process more data in less and less time), adoption of AI by people and organizations, and changing demands by society and business corporates. 

A quote by one of my clients, a Senior VP for Events, once I showed him a few options to generate ideas for campaigns and write emails, ‘I didn’t know AI could do that and save so much costs and time.’


AI exponential growth


2. Cost and time savings are huge

There are two main ways how you can use AI within the marketing and content team. The first is working with Microsoft CoPilot or a comparable tool for daily office shizzle efficiency. That’s like everyone having a personal assistant to recap the to-do’s and the first ten minutes of the Teams meeting you missed. Or to summarize a wooly email or extended boring PDF for you.

The second is using AI for content ideation and creation — two examples of how you can easily save € 10+k on an agency and be much faster.


Example 1: Thought leadership content for a B2B conference and event organization, save on brainstorming and or agency hours
Imagine you’re an event organizer, and you have a location and facilities to host B2B conferences and events. You want to create content about your leadership in this industry. You can brief an agency to come up with some unique ideas. That strategy will cost you about € 10-15K for research, ideation, and feasibility check. This briefing and reviewing process will take a marketeer about 8 hours.

Alternatively, you can sit down with the 3 or 4 coworkers and do a brainstorm. This will cost the organization about 16 hours for preparation, the meeting itself, and writing up the outcome.

You can also ask ChatGPT for the top 10 most asked questions about venues for B2B conferences. Even with the most basic prompt, ‘the top 10 most asked questions about the venues for B2B conferences, ’ within 1 minute, you have a great starting point for more AI research and ideation. To get to 10 great content ideas, it will take an AI-savvy marketeer about 10 minutes.

Compare these 10 minutes of DYI AI research against the other options. Sure, there will be a variation in the output, yet all three deliver a great starting point and overview of the thought leadership content you need.


Example: 2 Summer campaign for a beer brand, save € 10k on research by agency 
Imagine you have an amazing fresh lemon beer that’s excellent for the hot and steamy summers. You want a campaign from June to September to create awareness and inspire with user-generated content, recipes, and a whiff of the Italian dolce vita lifestyle. You can ask your agency to create the storyline and two social posts per week. That will cost you about € 10 to 15k for the strategy and rough planning.

You can also jump on ChatGPT and ask for ideas. The prerequisite is that you have an experienced and knowledgeable marketer who knows how to write a good prompt and how to prompt-on-prompt to get the desired detailed AI-generated output. If you enable and train your in-house team, this will take about 15 minutes. Make it 30 if they are slow.

Doing it yourself with the help of AI not only saves budget, it’s also a lot faster and easier to adapt.

I think you get my point.


3. If you want to keep your talent, it’s inevitable to embrace AI

As said in the intro, 4 out of 5 in the younger generations experiment and learn AI. AI is not just a Gen Z or Millennial thing; for me, Gen X, I expect my employer to facilitate a safe and secure AI tool to help me do my daily work faster so I can focus on why you hired me: strategic thinking.

Simply and bluntly stated, if you don’t embrace AI, the younger talent will resign and choose another employer who does. To keep your talent, you’ll need to do this.

AI in the Netherlands Rijn Vogelaar


Immediate actions you can do today

Don’t wait any longer. Just because you can’t afford to wait, sit back and relax until the management team finally has made a decision on when and how to start with AI.

If you don’t get started, your competitors will, and you’ll end up with the short end of the stick (and lose the business and the talent).


4. Create your business case on efficiency wins

You can’t not-not be aware of the huge potential for cost savings; in the two examples above, I dive into content and campaigns. Yet, you can imagine there are huge savings in efficiency internally as well. The less time you spend on the daily meetings hassle and reading, the more time you can spend on strategic thinking.


Example 3: significant time (and therewith cost) savings on the daily work hassle
Think about the time you can save yourself not reading the extended PDF, whitepaper, or that too-long fuzzy email to find the content you need. In a few seconds, AI can make a summary with specific topics highlighted.

Ask CoPilot to create an overview of the to-do list with the names at the end of your Teams meeting. And directly draft an email based on that with the three bullet points that matter.

Save yourself valuable time by asking CoPilot to do an analysis in Excel or draft the Excel formula to make a prediction based on the data of previous weeks.

HR can ask CoPilot or ChatGPT to write that new job description based on previous JDs completed with the additional requirements. And directly in your brand’s tone of voice.

The only limitations are your imagination, innovative thinking to embrace new technology, your prompt skills, and the rules and regulations if you use ChatGPT or any other open-source AI tool.


5. Train your team and give them a safe and secure environment

This is twofold. First, you need to train your team on how to work with AI and write a decent prompt. Keep in mind that this prompt engineering and how we co-work with AI changes daily. What works today can be different tomorrow due to new features and releases. So, not only train on capabilities, also train on innovative and creative thinking to use AI in your work life.

Second, you need to provide a safe and secure environment to keep your business-critical information off the street. There’s no such thing as forbidding your team to use AI; you can educate them about how the data you put in open AI is saved and stored somewhere to be used again by others.

Educate on deep fake, that if it seems too good to be true, it is. And realize the privacy and data security implications of using freely accessible AI tools such as ChatGPT. You don’t want your business-critical information freely uploaded into AI, do you? So you better create a safe, secure, closed environment for your staff to play and fool around with AI.


6. Learn AI yourself; boomers are not excluded

You can’t manage the team and lead the way if you don’t know how it works. So you better get started to learn to work with AI and become that 1 in 5 of the older generation that embraces this. Ask for help, someone to get you started and experiment. The good news is, is that you can’t break AI and once you know a few tricks like how to write a prompt, it’s quite fun.

Remember, shit in is shit out, so if you write a crappy prompt, your AI output will be crappy as well. Tip: write your prompt as if you are giving directions to a 5-year-old: extended, detailed, and very long. Then you go prompt-on-prompt to narrow and get more specific. There’s no such thing as a one-prompt answer, nor a prompt of just one sentence.

And please, don’t be bamboozled by the one-eyed, self-proclaimed AI experts and cowboys. In the end, the old-school business, marketing, and communication principles still apply. The ‘why we do what we do’ hasn’t changed; it’s the ‘how we do what we do’ that’s changing with AI.

Let’s discover, learn, grow, and fail together. Talk to your team. Talk to your peers. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo or to ask silly questions. We don’t know what we don’t know. And we’re in it together.


Final thoughts

I hope this is your wake-up call to put AI on the top of your agenda. It’s not just another tool; it significantly changes the way we work. AI can help you with the grinding, annoying daily tasks so you can free up your time to do why the company hired you in the first place.

As soon as you create the business case in, first, freeing up time to do the actual work and second, saving costs on agencies, it’s quite a no-brainer.

  1. Exponential growth and widening gap
  2. Cost and time savings are huge
  3. If you want to keep your talent, it’s inevitable to embrace AI
  4. Create your business case on efficiency wins
  5. Train your team and give them a safe and secure environment
  6. Learn AI yourself; boomers are not excluded


Your next steps, need help to start with AI today?

If you need any help setting up this new process and getting your team started while hitting the ground running, don’t hesitate to drop me a DM on LinkedIn. If I'm not your designated person, I can certainly recommend someone in my network who can help you.