There are dozens upon dozens of 2019 digital marketing and sales trends lists to be found, many of which include mention of Artificial Intelligence. But, before you start thinking about AI as a sales and marketing professional working with local businesses, you need to apply some old fashioned human intelligence first.

Start by asking yourself how you can be working smarter? Developing your marketing plan, building relationships with customers and vendors, using a dashboard to look at campaign data to see what’s working and what isn’t. These are a few ways to work smarter. And, none of them can be done solely with AI. Sure, AI can support these activities, but you need to put your experience and your personality into it to truly work smarter. No one knows your local clients better than you do; not even a computer.

Next, consider what processes you can optimize and which sales channels you can review. Are you getting everything you can out of your processes or could they be improved by delegating some of the steps or removing those that are no longer relevant? Are there processes that could be automated, while still delivering the quality work you require for local campaigns? In terms of your sales channels, they may be supported by AI, but only you can determine whether they are bringing in the desired results.

Lastly, and most importantly, what are the opportunities to increase your advertising revenue this year? It will take your brainpower to come up with the answer to this question. Once you determine the what, AI may be the how to make it all come together. From Google Analytics to campaign dashboard, automated reporting and old-fashioned phone call tracking, there are numerous ways to combine your intelligence with a computer’s to grow your revenue.

As you explore bringing AI into your workflow, keep in mind machines can find insights, but only if you ask the right questions.