AI technology is changing everything, from the way professional services firms operate to client expectations — but separating the hype from reality can be challenging. 

We recently held a Q&A webinar with Silverback Strategies president Andrew Nelson, where he  shared a real-world perspective on how he’s guiding his digital marketing agency through the changing world of AI. 

Read on to learn how Andrew and his team are adopting AI and embracing its impact on professional services. You can also watch the full webinar below to get even more perspective. 


How Silverback Strategies uses AI

One of Silverback Strategies’ core principles is Evolution —  the concept of always seeking to improve and get better at helping clients do the same. And now with all of the available AI resources, they’re leaning into that principle even more by embracing the change and testing constantly to see what works best. 

Silverback has begun using various AI tools for everything from client work to business strategy. In every case, they're looking for ways to execute more efficiently, improve the effectiveness of their work, and make smarter strategic decisions.

Silverback is currently using AI in a few ways, including the following. 

Client work

Silverback is using AI in many areas of work for their clients, including content creation, ad placement strategy, and even creative testing. 

Using AI to produce content for clients gives the team more time to focus on strategy, which in turn increases the value they’re providing to the client. However, Silverback does not simply ship AI-generated content, but rather, they use it as a starting point. From that initial draft, the team still takes time to review the content and add a “human” touch. 

The biggest area of success in using AI is in  creative testing. With the technology, they’re able to quickly test new creative and understand what’s resonating with different audiences. In addition, AI helps them optimize marketing measurement, or understanding which channels are actually producing results. 

Client relationships & expectations

Because their clients are aware of AI tools, Silverback has seen client expectations evolve as they engage with the agency. Clients are now expecting the team to employ AI tools to improve the quality work and velocity of delivery.

Interestingly, clients aren’t pushing for cheaper services due to increased efficiency; instead, they expect (a) more agency time on strategy, (b) faster development of marketing and creative assets, and (c) increased testing velocity. Silverback hasn’t seen downward pricing pressure on their services, but are in fact able to increase prices because of the added strategic value. 

Clients also expect Silverback to stay ahead of the curve on AI innovations, serving as a partner who can provide perspective on what's changing, and how those changes will impact their own businesses. This represents a unique shift into a deeper level of partnership as Silverback can not only support near-term marketing needs, but help their clients prepare for what’s next.

On a client relationship level, Andre’s team uses AI to capture and transcribe client calls. With transcripts, the team can use customized prompts to ensure they can review client concerns, next steps, and topics discussed. This makes it easy to keep track and monitor how clients are feeling across the board, and provide a higher level of service that strengthens the relationship. 

Staffing strategy & employee engagement

For Silverback, AI hasn’t resulted in a reduction in workforce, but instead has shifted the value that Silverback is able to provide the clients — resulting in a change in the team’s skill set. With the large boost from automation, the time spent on small, repetitive tasks is reduced. With additional time, all team members are now expected to contribute at a strategic level as well.

Additionally, Silverback’s team needed to add skills around using these AI tools to ensure they’re getting the best outputs. It's critical for all staff members to not only keep up with and train new AI trends, but to also understand the types of roles that might be necessary to hire for in the future.

One way Silverback has worked to uncover ways to utilize AI at the agency is by holding internal AI competitions. During these competitions, the team gets prompts for helping the organization understand things like: 

  • How can AI help our clients get their jobs done? 
  • How can we make our products more valuable? 
  • How can we produce a better product? 

The team then comes up with ideas that are voted on — and the winner receives a prize. Andrew says it’s a valuable way to spur new ideas to test. 

Speaking of the team, Andrew also uses AI to gauge employee engagement. He gets feedback from his team (of 40) and uses tools like Chat GPT to better analyze the sentiments and understand any key issues, so he can spend more time taking action to make things better for his employees. 


It’s no secret that AI is continuously evolving the way professional services firms operate — impacting everything from client expectations to production and employee engagement. Silverback Strategies’ experiences with the new technology shed light on the wide array of benefits firms can gain, highlighting just how valuable embracing the innovation can be. 

By leaning into the change, firms of all types will be equipped with the tools they need to optimize client service and boost their team’s skill set. 

What types of AI are impacting professional services? 

Generative AI

Generative AI has the ability to not just analyze previous information, but to actually create new information based on the patterns it's learned. These tools are able to generate some of the forms of content we previously assumed were reserved for our creative brains, including videos or blog posts, reports, or even personalized communication for existing clients. 

One type of generative AI is LLMs, or Large Language Models. They’re able to look at troves of text to understand and to come up with new text, and use math to best predict the next text. 

Predictive capabilities 

Predictive capabilities that AI offers give us the ability to forecast client needs and identify trends. For example, an accounting firm might use predictive analytics to anticipate changes in the market, and use that to advise their clients on strategic financial decisions that they need to be making.

Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing helps machines understand and respond to human language. Customer service teams can monitor client communication to quickly analyze client sentiment, for example, and law firms can quickly sift through troves of documents to identify relevant information. 

Robotic Process Automation

Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is all about automating routine tasks. It's almost like having a digital assistant that can handle those mundane tasks so that we can focus on more strategic things. One example of its use is an HR firm utilizing RPA to automate payroll, processing or employee onboarding.