The burning question for many financial institutions is not whether to adopt artificial intelligence, but how to best utilize it to drive their marketing efforts and engagement. While this technology isn’t new in financial services, the emergence of generative artificial intelligence brings new opportunities, especially in marketing.
Generative AI, unlike traditional AI, doesn’t just analyze data and provide insights, it creates something. In writing text like a human can, as seen in applications like OpenAI’s GPT-4, generating realistic images and designing unique product concepts, generative AI is opening up new possibilities in the digital realm.
For financial institutions, the ability to tailor communications at scale with a human-like touch brings a massive advantage. So, why is there a significant gap in the implementation of generative AI in the industry? Is your institution falling behind? Here is how you can crawl, walk and run with generative AI in your marketing strategy.
The Crawl Phase: Start Small and Experiment
Before you leap into the full-scale application of generative artificial intelligence it’s essential to dip your toe in and start small. This is the “crawl” phase where experimentation is key.
Implementing a personalization engine or reactive AI chatbot with some degree of machine learning for customer support can be a great starting point. Chatbots can answer questions with a human-like interaction and can be used 24/7, which provides the opportunity to enhance customer satisfaction while reducing the load on support teams.
Another excellent “crawl” experiment that lets you get into generative AI is personalized marketing content. Generative AI can create customer-focused content that is tailored to individual preferences. By starting small and assessing how these AI-based tools impact your business metrics, you can find the right strategy that delivers for your institution.
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The Walk Phase: Incorporate Generative AI into Existing Systems
Once you feel comfortable with the capabilities of generative artificial intelligence, it may be time to “walk.” Here, you may start integrating generative AI into your existing systems and workflows. This could involve using AI to generate reports or insights, analyze marketing campaigns, or even design new marketing strategies based on AI-generated customer segmentation.
“The key in this phase is to expand the role of generative AI from being a standalone tool to becoming an integral part of your system.”
The key in this phase is to expand the role of generative AI from being a standalone tool to becoming an integral part of your system. This will help your organization to become more efficient and agile, responding to changes in customer behavior or market trends quickly.
The options and implementations really depend on your marketing architecture. A great place to start is to think about automation that you have in place or points where application programing interfaces, or APIs, are connected, because this will help you find ways to plug AI in to your current processes without having to create something completely new from scratch.
The Run Phase: Proceed with Full Adoption and Expansion
Once you have successfully incorporated generative artificial intelligence into your marketing strategy and experienced the benefits, you may be ready to “run.”
In this phase, you embrace generative AI capabilities to transform your marketing strategy while keeping in mind the security necessary when integrating a cloud-based tool. You might use AI to design comprehensive customer journeys, generate creative marketing collateral, or even design new financial products based on customer data.
This level of adoption can significantly enhance your institution’s competitiveness and agility in the marketplace, allowing you to anticipate and respond to customer needs quickly and efficiently.
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Generative AI: The Future of Financial Marketing
There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence, particularly generative artificial intelligence, has enormous potential to revolutionize the way financial institutions approach marketing. But nobody is suggesting a reckless or uninformed embrace of this technology. Like any powerful tool, it requires careful and strategic implementation, starting with small experiments and progressing to full integration.
Playing It Safe As You Implement:
Integrating artificial intelligence can seem daunting. Breaking it down into chewable chunks, and developing a crawl, walk, run strategy simplifies it.
The crawl, walk, run approach outlined here is a digestible strategy for successfully incorporating generative AI into your marketing strategy, reducing risks and ensuring that each step provides value to your organization.
The failure to leverage the immense potential of generative AI in your marketing strategy isn’t just an oversight — it’s a regret that AI will be happy to tell you that you made later. The time to start experimenting with generative AI in your marketing strategy is now.
About the author:
Kevin Farley is the vice president of experience and engagement at United Heritage Credit Union.