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October 23, 2023

Strategies for Surfing the AI Wave

Bradley Eshbach

AI Marketing Strategies blog article

When I first started my agency career, social was the big new wave everyone was trying to figure out how to drop in on. Agencies were figuring out where it fit in their structures. Clients were figuring out if they needed to pay attention to it for the business. Everyone was learning to surf. Every week there was a new platform you needed to consider and new ways of engaging consumers you had to weigh against an ever-growing list of other ways to potentially engage consumers.

AI is similar in its unpredictability. Every day, there are new advancements, new applications, and new challenges that need to be considered.

Now, the waves have shifted and AI is the new frontier. It’s not just about implementing AI but understanding its nuances, its capabilities, and its impacts. Agencies are now scrambling to find the right talent and tools to harness this powerful technology. Clients are questioning how AI can add value to their business and how to integrate it effectively. It’s a learning curve, much like the early days of social media. But the surf’s up yet again and it’s time to conquer this new wave.

It’s a constant learning process, but the rewards for those who can effectively harness AI’s potential are immense. It’s an exciting, if somewhat daunting, new landscape but, much like social media, it’s one that offers endless possibilities for innovation and growth.

I had a lot of success just by knowing more about social than most of the other people in the room. But social is not like that anymore. It is stagnant. The ever-evolving playing field full of opportunity for first movers and those willing to get their hands dirty to try to understand something before others fully grasp it is gone. AI, however, provides a similar opportunity, a fresh and dynamic field where those who are ready to deep dive into the unknown can reap significant rewards.

Artificial Intelligence graphic art example - comic style promotion
Example of AI-generated graphic design concepts.

Things are moving so fast, you need a plan.

Here are just a few of the updates I’ve been following over the last two weeks and some toys I’ve been tinkering with. This is by no means a list of all the AI news. This is just literally the things I found that either made my jaw drop or me fist pump into the air like I just won $1000 on a scratcher.

  1. DALL·E 3 updates hit seemingly every platform at once. Now ChatGPT can turn your prompts into images and Microsoft has already integrated it into Bing Search!
  2. ChatGPT has rolled out new voice and image capabilities. They offer a new, more intuitive type of interface by allowing you to have a voice conversation or show ChatGPT what you’re talking about.
    1. GPT’s simple user interface is the main reason people underestimate its power. These new features make it really hard to keep ignoring its potential.
  3. A new thing I can’t stop thinking about: Qreates is a new tool I am following that shows a lot of promise. They make it easy to produce studio-quality product photos with nothing more than a prompt and some 3D lighting magic. I think this space will be HUGE over the next year.
  4. My most valuable AI tool: OtterPilot from Otter AI is the best tool I have found for tracking meetings. By simply adding autopilot to my meetings, I never have to second-guess myself. I always remember my next steps. And we can always confirm what we were thinking for clients need no matter how many times we’ve slept since the conversation

I’m a nerd. I have Google Alert set up for stuff like this. My Twitter algorithm thinks I’m a 23-year-old AI researcher who goes to MIT to minor in film studies and business strategy. Even if your explore page is the opposite, you can and should be leveling up your AI understanding.

As our fearless founder and forever ferocious fiend of fresh facts, Tony Treadway, always says: “Be a student of the game!”

With that here are my suggestions for how to surf this new coming wave. It’s not about learning it all at once when you feel behind this is how you stay ahead and let your curiosity lead the way.

How do you stay up to date?

AI-generated graphic design concepts - Monet style.

Conscious Consumption of AI Content

  1. Filter The Noise by following sources you can keep going back to. Find other people you can learn alongside as time goes on rather than seeking out THE expert. (hint: they don’t exist yet)
    1. Some great follows on X/Twitter- a mixed bag of researchers, tinkerers, and thought leaders I find myself coming back to for perspective.
      1. Researchers (pros that go deep on the theory behind LLM and AI)
      2. Prompt Engineers (folks obsessed with the art and science of composing the perfect prompt)
      3. Tinkerers (Individuals pushing the limits of what today’s tools can unleash)
    2. A Podcast I love: Hard Fork from the NYT with Kevin Roose and Casey Newton drops every Thursday and I listen immediately 
  2. Set aside time to dig in
    1. Pick a Day: Every Friday, I allocate a few hours to explore whatever captivates my mind. This is when I read the articles I bookmarked and look back on the Twitter/ Threads I saved. If I don’t set aside conscious time to consume, I’ll get lost in the constant curation. 
    2. Reproduce examples: Compare Midjourney to DALL·E 3 by setting up scenarios and observing the similarities and differences in their responses. It’s been a popular topic of conversation over the past few weeks and is an entertaining way to experiment with examples found in the articles you read and your new AI-obsessed Twitter feed
    3. Show and Tell: Gather with colleagues, friends, or anyone who’s interested in having a show and tell of everything you’re reading, watching, or enjoying at the moment. My views on AI are limited by what I already know, but I like to broaden my knowledge by hearing what my digital team is up to or what fascinates the creatives at the moment. 

As you experiment and play and consume in a more conscious manner rather than frantically scrolling through your feed from time to time you’ll start to notice patterns. You’ll start seeing things in your tinkering that remind you of something you do at work.

Understanding how to make a new technology your unfair advantage is not an “aha moment.”

It’s more of a “wait… do you think we could use this little thing we’re playing with to make this big thing we’re stressing about, easier?”

When the initial intimidation of AI wears off it becomes much easier to dream up ways to integrate it into your workday.

AI-generated graphic design concepts - Cyber Punk


  • Automation of common tasks.
  • Dramatically improve processes that currently feel stagnant or are regular sources of friction.
  • Remove production constraints of time and resources by multiple efforts and augmenting existing talent
  • Uncover new and hidden insights into your business data.

Remember, you’re not trying to become an AI expert overnight.

This is the AI planting season. You need to read up. You need to make sure your soil is healthy and your seeds are protected and being watered. You don’t want to be trying to figure out how these new fancy shovels work when harvest time comes.