Artificial Intelligence Use: A Framework For Determining What Tasks to Outsource To AI [Template].

AI Framework Template for AI Use
With any new technology, there are benefits and unintended consequences. Often the negative outcomes happen without thought or planning. We get caught up in the “new shiny object” mesmerized by its “magical capabilities.” That happened with social media. We can’t go back on that technology, but we are in the early stages of AI. In WIRED Rachel Botsman called for frameworks to do more to avoid the negative of tech developments.

Before jumping all in, ask, “What role should AI play in our tasks?”

Just because AI can do something doesn’t mean it is good or it should. AI’s capabilities are both exciting and frightening causing some to be all in and others to be all out. Being strategic takes more nuance. Be intentional about planning the role AI could and should play in your job or business with the AI Use Template below.
AI Framework Template for AI Use
Click the image to download a PDF template.

First, make a list of common tasks and the goal of each.

List tasks you perform in your job, on client projects, or in daily business operations. Then describe the goal of the task. Understanding the goal can help determine the human versus AI value in it. If the goal is to build a personal relationship with a customer or client, AI outsourcing may save time but undermine the task objective.

Recently a university outsourced their commencement speaker to an AI robot. Students started an unsuccessful petition for a speaker who could offer a “human connection.” The AI robot’s speech was described as weird and unmoving. Without any personal anecdotes, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports, “Sophia … delivered an amalgamation of lessons taken from other commencement speakers.”

Second, determine which type of AI Function each task requires.

The six AI functions (Generate, Extract, Summarize, Rewrite, Classify, Answer Questions) are modified from Christopher S. Penn’s AI Use Case Categories. Can the task be performed by one or multiple of these AI functions? If yes, you still want to consider how well AI can perform the function compared to a human and consider benefits that may be lost outsourcing to AI.

In my ad career clients often asked why a certain phrase or benefit was in the ad copy or ad script. Because I wrote it, I could explain it. It could be human insight from research (which AI can summarize), truths from lived experience, or talking with customers. If AI wrote the copy or script it may be missing and I wouldn’t know why AI wrote what it did. If you ask AI it often doesn’t know. Scientists call this the “unknowability” of how AI works.

Third, categorize the level of thinking each task entails.

The six levels of thinking (Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, Create) are modified from Oregon State’s Bloom’s Taxonomy Revisited. Bloom’s Taxonomy categorizes levels of thinking in the learning process. It was revisited to consider AI’s role. In each level determine the level of the task and discern AI’s capabilities versus distinctive human skills.

I had a student create a situation analysis of Spotify with ChatGPT. It was good at extracting information, summarizing, and suggesting alternatives (AI Capabilities of the Create Level). It wasn’t good at “Formulating original solutions, incorporating human judgment, and collaborating spontaneously” (Create Level Distinctive Human Skills). GPT’s recommendations lacked the nuanced understanding I’d expect from professionals or students.

Fourth, review the legal and ethical issues of outsourcing to AI.

Does the task require uploading copyrighted material? Are you able to copyright the output (copy/images) to sell to a client or protect it from competitor use? Does your employer or client permit using AI in this way? Are you sharing private or proprietary data (IP)? What’s the human impact? For some AI will take some tasks. For others, it could take their entire job.

Many companies are adding AI restrictions to contracts for agency partners. Samsung and other businesses are restricting certain AI use by employees. There’s concern about performance or customer data uploaded into AI systems training a model competitors could use. Some agencies and companies are developing Closed AI versus Open AI to run local AI storing data on local versus cloud servers. For a summary of main AI legal concerns see “The real costs of ChatGPT” by Mintz.

Fifth, employ human agency to produce desirable results.

We shouldn’t be resigned to undesirable outcomes because AI change is complex and happening quickly. Penn’s TRIPS Framework for AI Outsourcing includes “pleasantness.” The more Time consuming, Repetitive, less Important, less Pleasant tasks that have Sufficient data are better candidates for AI. Don’t give away your human agency. Decide on your own or influence others to save the good stuff for yourself.

A post on X (Twitter) by author Joanna Maciejewska struck a nerve going viral, “You know what the biggest problem with pushing all-things-AI is? Wrong Direction. I want AI to do my laundry and dishes so I can do art and writing, not for AI to do my art and writing so that I can do my laundry and dishes.” She later clarified that it wasn’t about actual laundry robots, “it’s about wishing that AI focused on taking away those tasks we hate and don’t enjoy instead of trying to take away what we love to do and what makes us human.”

Marketers are getting this message. In a survey of CMOs most are using AI for draft copy and images that are refined by humans. And over 70% are concerned about AI’s impact on creativity and brand voice.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and afraid of the AI future.

As Tech leaders sprint forward in an AI arms race and regulators woefully lag behind, the rest of us shouldn’t sit back and wait for our world to change. Unlike the Internet and social media, let’s be more intentional. Don’t fall prey to The Tradeoff Fallacy believing that to gain the benefits of AI we must give everything away.

In Co-Intelligence, Ethan Mollick says it’s important to keep the human in the loop. It’s not all-or-nothing. Some warn of a future when we don’t have choices in what role AI plays in our lives. It’s not the future. Today we can choose how to use AI in our professional, educational, and personal lives.

What keeps me hopeful is breaking my job and life down into tasks and making intentional decisions on what to outsource to AI. Using this framework allows me to get excited about the possibilities of AI taking over my least favorite or most time consuming tasks. In my next post, I’ll give some specific examples using this framework.

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Influencer Marketing Has Grown And So Has Its Strategies. Use This Social Media Influencer Planning Template To Grow Yours.

Influencer marketing is a growing part of social media strategy with 64% of marketers using influencer marketing. This is expected to grow to 86% by 2025. Influencer marketing focuses on leveraging key leaders to advocate on behalf of a brand to reach the larger market.

Influencers can be people with a large social following in specific areas of interest or industries or they can be celebrities such as sports stars, musicians, or Hollywood actors. Influencer marketing has grown beyond experimentation and is now a significant part of social media strategies. Planing for the right influencer marketing strategy is more important than ever.

Influencer marketing has grown more complicated over the years.
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Why and How Brands are Investing in Influencers.

Edelman’s Trust Barometer reveals that 63% of consumers trust what influencers say about brands more than they trust the brands themselves. Nearly 35% of social media users ages 16-34 say they’re very or extremely likely to purchase something because their favorite influencer and another 46% are somewhat likely to do so. The leading goals of influencer marketing include sales (38%), brand awareness (29%), and brand Engagement(24%).

Influencer marketing is big yet you don’t a big celebrity to succeed. Only 18% of people say they’re attracted to influencers for their larger following. Relatability is nearly twice as important as popularity as a quality that attracts people to influencers. Micro influencer marketing is when brands partner with people who have smaller followings on social media to promote products in an authentic way versus sponsored ads. Micro-influencers have fewer followers, but they have highly engaged audiences.

To put together an effective influencer marketing program:

  1. Identify your objective. Are you trying to increase sales, awareness, or engagement?
  2. Identify your target audience or audiences, as that will determine your influencers.
  3. List the social platforms on which your target audiences are most active.
  4. List the message you want to convey or the interest area you want to influence.
  5. Identify influencers active on those social platforms discussing those interest areas.
  6. Decide the type from a brand-run program, influencer network, or influencer agency.

To create an influencer marketing campaign, leverage existing sponsorship deals with influencers, find influencers and negotiate a campaign, or use an influencer marketing network or agency. Influencer marketing tools can be used to find influencers and brand advocates.

The way you plan and purchase influencer marketing is different than other social media advertising. Use the social media influencer planning template below to select, schedule, and track your influencer strategy.

(Click on the template image to download a PDF)

Social Media Influencer Marketing Planning Template

Consider the Type of Influencer and Type of Program.

Are you looking for a celebrity (famous in traditional media), a social media star (known for or because of social media), or a thought leader (known for industry knowledge)? Celebrities have a lot of advantages, including their mass reach and appeal. Yet film, music, or sports celebrities can be expensive, and people may question the authenticity of their endorsements.

Social media stars may have fewer followers, but those followers could be more engaged, and endorsements could be seen as more believable. Thought leaders are a good choice for certain product or service categories in B2B. A mention or recommendation by an industry leader can carry a lot of weight.

Influencers are categorized by follower numbers into three categories of mega, macro, and micro. Also consider the type of influencer program that is right for the brand, budget, and resources. Some brands choose to build and manage their own influencer program. Some use an Influencer network that streamlines finding and paying influencers for fees. Others hire an influencer agency to provide full-service management of their influencer marketing. Types of influencers and types of influencer programs are summarized below.

Different Strategies and Budgets Require Different Types of Influencers.

Types of Influencers Types of Influencer Programs
Mega-Influencers More than 1 million followers Brand Influencer Program Company managed program
Macro-Influencers 100K-1M followers Influencer Network A platform that streamlines the process
Micro-Influencers 1K to 1M followers Influencer Agency Full service managed

It may be tempting to only go for the mega or macro-influencers because of their massive reach, but micro-influencers are often more effective. Adweek reports micro-influencer engagement can be 60% higher, their buys are 6.7 times more efficient, and they can drive 22 times more conversions. More than half of the Association of National Advertisers’ brands use mid-level (66%) or micro influencers (59%) while less than half are using macro influencers (44%).

Influencer Content Type and Strategy.

Once you have your influencers, decide how content will be created and spread. You may think it is best to have the most control, but content created by the brand and merely shared could come across as not genuine. Certain influencers or influencer networks may also have their own standards for what they will or will not do.

Consider the pros and cons of influencer-shared brand content, influencer-created brand content, or product and service reviews and mentions. Get creative with influencer brand account takeovers, brand guest content contributions, or collaboration on content, or a giveaway.

There are four main influencer marketing strategies:

  1. Affiliate marketing is an advertising model that pays third-party publishers, including influencers, to generate traffic and sales via a commission.
  2. Giveaways are promotions to give away free products to drive awareness and engagement, often with influencers.
  3. Social media takeover is when a brand lets someone, typically an influencer, temporarily post content on its social media accounts.
  4. Branded content is content created by an influencer featuring a business partner.

The average price per influencer marketing post is between $2,200 and $3,000—lower for micro-influencers and higher for macro influencers. This may seem like a lot, but according to the State of Influencer Marketing report, firms average an earned media value of $5.20 per dollar spent on influencer marketing.

Average influencer rates:

  • More than 500,000 followers: $2,085 per post
  • 30,000 to 500,000 followers: $507 per post
  • 5,000 to 30,000 followers: $172 per post
  • 500 to 5,000 followers: $100 per post.

No matter which influencer campaign a brand runs, the law requires influencers to disclose their financial relationship with the brand. The Federal Trade Commission summarizes the requirements in its Social Media Influencer Guide. What type of influencer strategy is best for your business or organization?

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