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GenAI and the 11-fingered spokesperson

According to a recent article in The Financial Brand, “Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally, has been one of the leaders of the company’s exploration of GenAI’s potential. But she’s also a realist with a sense of humor. ‘We just saw our first creative presentation from an agency where all the storyboards were done via GenAI,’ says Brimmer. ‘The agency people told us that if we saw a person on the storyboard with 11 fingers, don’t freak out. It will be because it was all done by GenAI.'”

As a former ad agency “creative guy,” I did find this amusing, however, I did bristle a bit when I read it. I remember well when digital design entered the agency world and revolutionized the way agencies created print ads. The “paste-up artists,” as they were called – who worked in what we called “the bullpen,” i.e., the studio where our mechanicals were created – were highly-skilled artists who made their living by cutting and pasting type onto boards. These boards were then photographed and the film then used by the publication to print the ads. With the advent of digital design, these artists suddenly found themselves either out of a job, or learning how to use design software on a computer, instead of an X-acto knife and glue. 

Now, according to the article, ad agencies are apparently using ChatGPT to create storyboards. If you’re not familiar with a storyboard, it’s a frame-by-frame depiction of the action in a film or video shoot, up until now hand-drawn by a storyboard artist or Art Director (like me) who possesses what we call “hand skills.” A storyboard is designed to provide a roadmap for the shoot. With it, ideally, everyone involved in the production knows, well before the production starts, what is needed, what happens, and when. The result is, or should be, a tremendous savings of time and money.

So, like the mechanical artists in the bullpen who were replaced by iMacs and QuarkXpress, what does the future hold for those creative folks who storyboard-out a concept that requires film or video production? The article goes on to say: “Ally marketers reduced the time needed to produce creative campaigns and content by as much as two to three weeks, and saved 34% of the time that the same work would have taken without Generative AI. The major savings came in the time taken for research, first drafts and other steps – totaling roughly 3,000 hours of human work. Already Brimmer sees the potential for GenAI to save on staffing and that it will influence the types of people she hires in the future.”

Wow. 3,000 hours. If you were to assign an average agency hourly rate, which according to Clutch.com’s January Ad Agency 2024 Pricing Guide is $100/hr on the low end, you’d be looking at a savings of about $300,000. Not bad, considering that ChatGPT is – at least for now – a freebie.  

The question I ask myself is this: As ChatGPT, and 11-fingered individuals continue to make their way into storyboards, what will the talent pool for creative people be like in the coming days? Will in-house marketing departments and ad agencies still need the kind of creatives, i.e., copywriters and art directors, who can digest a 50-page deck of research, along with a creative brief, and develop a concept from it that is fresh, compelling, on-brand and most importantly, moves the ROI needle for their client? “Brimmer says that the experiment has already influenced what she tells college audiences when she speaks about marketing careers. Since ChatGPT came on the scene, she says, she’s frequently asked, ‘Will I have a job when I get out?’ She says she tells students to learn all they can now about how to use GenAI. The more they know, the more employable they will be. She’ll be hiring for such skills.”

How would I answer that question? A little differently, I think: “Yes, you might get a job in marketing as a writer or designer, if that’s what you’re after… as long as you focus on marketing first, and ChatGPT second.  The next generation of marketing department creatives – those young men and women who will be using GenAI to prompt their way to 11-fingered spokespeople – will still need to be, first and foremost, art and copy professionals. Will knowing how to prompt ChatGPT help? Sure, but ChatGPT, no matter how well prompted, will never take the place of a well-trained advertising pro.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Another great portal feature? Through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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GenZ, GenX, GenAI, and community bank marketing

 

According to a December 23, 2023 article in Forbes Magazine, “large numbers of people will be getting a life-changing amount of money, a last gift from a parent or grandparent that meaningfully alters their circumstances. That shift is already in the works, and will continue for a couple of decades. According to wealth management firm Cerulli Associates, some $53 trillion will be passed down from boomers to their Gen X, millennial and Gen Z heirs, as well as to charities. That includes both gifts during their lifetimes and inheritances afterward.”

Now, how much of that “grandma and grandpa” wealth actually gets transferred to Boomer children and grandchildren remains to be seen. There’s speculation, too, that the cost of healthcare for these senior Americans will have a significant impact on their wealth, leaving less to “hand down.”  

As a community banker, it has become more important than ever – as we all know – to offer a customer experience that can capture those young customers as they now comprise nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population.  We also know what an impact technology, AI in particular, can have on building that experience. So, what exactly, should community banks be looking to do with the GenAI in order to attract and retain GenZ and GenX customers – those individuals who are tech-savvy, value personalized experiences, and expect seamless integration of technology into their daily lives?

1. Personalized Financial Insights

GenAI tech solutions excel at the analysis of vast amounts of data and transforming that data into valuable insights. Those insights can then be used by community bank marketers to greater personalize their banking experience. Community banks can utilize AI and ML (Machine Learning) algorithms to understand individual spending patterns, saving habits, and the financial goals of their younger customers. By offering personalized financial advice and tailored product recommendations, they can further solidify their position as trusted financial partners; a position they must own in order to compete with the large nationals, regionals and non-banks. 

2. 24/7 Virtual Assistance

GenAI-powered virtual assistants such as chatbots can provide immediate responses to queries, guide users through transactions, and offer real-time support. As we all know, younger customers, accustomed to instant information access, value round-the-clock availability. Research has shown, in fact, that not only do younger customers value virtual assistants, but many actually prefer them to human beings! AI-assisted customer experience not only enhances customer satisfaction, but also frees up human resources to focus on more complex, revenue generating tasks.

3. AI-Driven Fraud Detection

Security is paramount in banking, and GenAI can play a crucial role in enhancing fraud detection measures. ML algorithms can analyze transaction patterns, identify anomalies, and flag potentially fraudulent activities in real time. This proactive approach not only safeguards younger customers' assets but also instills confidence in the security measures implemented by the community bank.

4. Personal Finance Management Apps

GenAI can power intuitive personal finance management apps that go beyond traditional banking services. These apps can provide budgeting assistance, track expenses, and offer insights into financial behaviors. By empowering younger customers with tools for effective money management, community banks can foster a sense of financial literacy and responsibility.

5. Chatbots for Seamless Communication

Chatbots driven by GenAI can be integrated into various communication channels, including websites and mobile apps. These bots can assist with account inquiries, transaction history, and general banking information. Their conversational nature mirrors the communication preferences of younger generations, providing a user-friendly interface for quick problem resolution. 

6. Targeted Product Recommendations

GenAI algorithms can analyze customer data to identify behaviors, patterns and preferences. This information can then be leveraged to offer highly-targeted product and service recommendations, such as credit cards, loans, or savings accounts. By presenting relevant offerings, community banks can increase the likelihood of younger customers engaging with additional financial services as they move along their life-long financial journey. How important is personalization? A survey by McKinsey & Company found that personalized product recommendations can increase conversion rates by up to 300%.

7. Facilitating Digital Onboarding

Simplified onboarding processes are crucial for attracting and retaining younger customers. GenAI can streamline account opening and verification procedures, reducing the friction associated with traditional onboarding. This not only improves the overall customer experience but also positions the community bank as forward-thinking and tech-friendly.

8. Gamification for Financial Education

To make financial education more engaging for younger customers, community banks can leverage GenAI to incorporate gamification elements into their apps. Interactive simulations, quizzes, and challenges can educate users about financial concepts, encouraging them to develop sound financial habits.

Navigating the future of community banking with GenAI

As community banks embrace the era of GenAI, the potential for transforming the banking services experience for younger customers is almost limitless. By harnessing the power of AI-driven technologies, community banks can not only meet the expectations of tech-savvy customers, but also differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue. Another great portal feature? Through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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5 community bank marketing trends to think about

What will community bank marketing look like in the coming year? For many, this year will mean taking advantage of the technologies, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), that can enhance their business across the enterprise. They’ll also continue to leverage social media, as its role in the overall marketing mix continues to grow.  And, they’ll make sustainable business practices a core component of their growth strategy. So, what can community banking’s C-level leadership be thinking about as we move into a new year?

1. Embracing the hyper-personalized digital experience

In our increasingly digital world, along with the growing customer expectation of convenient, seamless service, personalization is key; especially in attracting and retaining the younger, more digitally savvy customers that now comprise nearly 50% of the U.S. population. Leverage data insights to personalize online interactions – the mobile experience, in particular – tailoring content and offers to match individual customer needs and preferences. Utilize AI-driven tools to create personalized experiences across digital platforms, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction. What are consumers looking for in mobile experience? 24/7 access, features that track expenses and make it easier to save, easy P2P payment options, and enhanced security, to name a few.

“Generative AI, epitomized by the release of ChatGPT, empowers banks to provide hyper-personalized customer experiences like never before. By analyzing vast amounts of data and understanding individual preferences, banks can craft tailored financial solutions, recommend investment opportunities and offer real-time assistance that resonates with each customer's unique needs.”1

This is critical when you consider the fact that 70% of people rate personalization as “highly important” to their banking experience.2

2. Implementing and marketing sustainable banking practices

To most, the word connotes “going green” by choosing paper over plastic, recycling rather than committing trash to a landfill, or driving fewer miles. For financial institutions, that notion of sustainability barely scratches the surface. With growing pressure from customers, employees, the federal government, and a wide range of both state and federal regulatory agencies, banks must now address what is known as the “Triple Bottom Line” (TBL) – people, planet, and profit.

How? By incorporating sustainable banking practices into their lending, operations, human resources, and management of physical assets. Incorporate sustainability into your bank’s marketing strategy. Highlight eco-friendly initiatives, such as paperless options, green financing, or community sustainability projects. Demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Those banks that do, and act on internal and external sustainability initiatives, will ultimately have a competitive advantage. 

3. Enhancing customer service with AI and ML

By automating the capture and analysis of customer interactions across various channels - such as chatbots, call logs, emails, and social media - artificial intelligence and machine learning can assist banks in gauging customer satisfaction levels and pain points, as well as responding more promptly to customer questions and concerns. 

AI can power robust customer experience functions, such as chatbots, as well as help with processes such as gathering, storing, and validating customer data from across the enterprise. Machine learning can sift through emails, reviews, and other customer interactions to understand the sentiments behind them, thereby helping to predict customer behavior, enhance their experience, drive loyalty, and improve retention rates. All while adding greater efficiency and accuracy to manual, labor-intensive and error-prone, "human-in-the-loop" processes. 

4. Leveraging social media platforms and messaging

Why are social media platforms the ideal messaging platforms for community banks? Because social media IS community. Unlike the large, national banks, community banks are in the business of participating in their communities and, importantly, helping people through relationships. Community banking, at its core, is about connecting with customers on a personal level. And isn’t that what social media is all about?

According to the ABA’s 2023 State of Social Media in Banking, “three out of four (76%) banking executives agree or strongly agree that social media is important to their banks.” And why not? After all, social platforms can do a great deal; help you connect with your customers, build relationships and trust, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. How will forward-thinking banks make use of these powerful engagement tools? They’ll introduce new products, cross sell, gain valuable insights into customer preferences and market trends, improve their customer service support, offer financial management guidance, celebrate their employees and community involvement, attract new talent … the list goes on.

5. Leveraging data for better decision making

Unstructured data, or "big data," is the data associated with a whole new world of data sources that includes social media, image and video files, document scans, webpages, blog posts, call center recordings, emails, analytics, metadata, and more. This data lacks a defined organization or pre-set pattern, can range in size from a few bytes to very large documents and represents, by far, the lion's share of the data that banks process daily. It's estimated, in fact, that 80-90% of data generated daily is unstructured and the growth of unstructured data is climbing at 55-65% each year.3

This is where automation can, again, play a key role. Leverage data analytics to make informed marketing decisions. Analyze customer behavior, preferences, and engagement patterns to refine marketing strategies. Use these insights to create targeted campaigns that resonate with specific customer segments and maximize marketing ROI.

What next?

Community bank marketing in 2024 is rich with opportunity. Forward-thinking banks will take steps toward Integrating sustainable business practices, making the most of digital innovations, engaging the community via social media, and offering a seamless, customer-centric experience from in-branch to “in-hand.” What we’re all learning is that the future of banking lies in embracing automation and harnessing the power of data to unlock new avenues of growth and success. And that future is now. 

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue.  Now, through our partnership with ChatGPT, customizing our layouts is even faster and easier. With the addition of AI-assisted content development, our clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 

1Forbes. Enabling Next-Generation Customer Experiences Through Banking Innovation. September 7, 2023.

2Capco Intelligence: Insights for Investments to Modernize Digital Banking.

3CIO Insight. How Businesses Use Unstructured Data for Business Intelligence. February 15, 2023.

 

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Is your bank marketing missing a generation or two?

As you’re well aware, banking customers now have more choices than they ever have. They also have greater access to a vast amount of data and information, which makes shopping for a “better” banking experience about as easy as it can get. This means competition is fierce, for both consumers’ attention and their business. … and not just from traditional financial institutions, either. Today, a community bank’s competition comes from the big nationals, regionals, other community banks, well-funded, loosely-regulated non-banks … the list gets longer every day.

CX is king

If any of us in the banking industry has learned anything, especially since the pandemic, customer experience (CX) is king, and that a financial institution’s survival depends on its ability to meet the sky-high service expectations of the marketplace. The segments of that marketplace that are particularly critical, not just to banks but all businesses, are the Millennials and GenZs. Why? Together they comprise 1) nearly 50% of the U.S. population, and 2) they are the banking consumers of the present AND future, those individuals who are just beginning their financial journeys. 

So, segmentation and personalization are, or at least should be, at the top of any community bank’s marketing efforts. The key takeaway is this: When it comes to bank marketing, one size does not fit all. Especially when you consider that 70% of people rate personalization as “highly important” to their banking experience.1

Just how seriously do those individuals take their bank’s customer experience? Pretty seriously. Couple that with the current economic environment and you have nearly three quarters of banking Americans exploring ways to cut expenses, including a bank’s fees and recurring charges. Sixty-three percent are looking for ways to balance saving time and saving money. What does this mean for a community bank? It means people want to know their bank will reward their loyalty, help them save money and time, and generally make life easier. In addition to cutting costs, consumers are also looking for help managing their finances. According to a June 2022 survey by Vericast, 44% of respondents say they get their financial advice from friends or family. Only 31% turn to their financial institution for financial advice.2

Here’s an opportunity for the community banks to do what they do best; build upon those trusted relationships and offer financial guidance in the way of workshops, as well as scheduling one-on-one meetings with financial planning specialists.

The up-and coming generations

What happens when these up-and-coming Millennial and Gen Z banking services consumers don’t receive the customer experience they’d like and expect?  They “vote with their feet,” as the saying goes.  In fact, they don’t even need to use their feet!  They can now switch banks in less than five minutes using nothing more than a mobile app. And Millennials and Generation Z have the greatest tendency to make the jump from one institution to another, with 53% of millennials and 42% of Gen Z changing financial institutions in the past two years.3

What you need to know about Gen Z

For starters, Gen Z’ers, contrary to popular belief, don’t spend every waking hour on TikTok and texting. They actually like to mix a bit of analog (or what some are calling “vintage” technology, such as record players, flip phones, and disposable cameras) in with their digital lives. 

To reach Gen Z with your financial institution’s offers, consider focusing on deposits, BNPL, and card incentives. This banking consumer wants to build their savings, but roughly only 25% of Gen Z surveyed indicated they had saved $1,000 or more for unexpected expenses or bills.3  To help Gen Z customers, and potential customers, meet their financial goals, community banks would do well to provide easily accessed education tools through the web, social media and apps.

What you need to know about Millennials

Members of this generation see how other industries use tech and communication to improve the customer experience and expect the same from their financial institution. They’re in a busy stage of life, too, and here is where CX technologies and practices can come into play. Text messaged offers, auto controls and convenience are all critical as they balance the demands of time, work/ life responsibilities and resources. Millennials want offers and information on how you can help them. Establish your position as a trusted advisor to save them money on the things they want and need to build loyalty. Most importantly, invest in this relationship now because as they get older, while they will also be exploring more and more financial services and products, they will also become less receptive to financial institution messages.

Bank Marketing Center

Here at bankmarketingcenter.com, our goal is to help you with that topical, compelling communication with customers; the messaging — developed by banking industry marketing professionals — that will help you build trust, relationships, and revenue.  Like these ads on our portal that you can use to market to younger, digitally savvy customers.

To view our marketing creative, both print and digital – ranging from product and brand ads to social media and in branch signage – visit bankmarketingcenter.com.  You can also contact me directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or via email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 

1,2Capco, Capco Intelligence: Insights for Investments to Modernize Digital Banking.

3The Center for Generational Kinetics, The State of Gen Z 2021-2022, October 2021.