AI: The Gift of New Opportunity for Finance Marketers

While 2020 has brought unprecedented hardship, it’s also brought a unique opportunity for finance marketers. With massive job losses, wage cuts, and a financial market that makes roller coasters look boring, consumers are actively searching for trustworthy financial advice.

This is the time for content teams at finance brands to shine, if they can produce easily digestible information about complex financial concepts. Guidance on where to spend and save to get through these trying times is key. Kelly Gillease, CMO of NerdWallet says it best: “Banking products involve tons of fine print that’s hard to understand – so much so that it’s often ignored.” Finance marketers can be the soothing voice of authority that demystifies the complex and guides consumers towards the right solutions for their unique situations.  

It’s clear that what finance marketers say to customers is more important than ever. In a survey of senior finance marketers, 66 per cent felt that what they say to customers has never been more important. And 76 per cent plan to focus more on content in their next planning/budgeting cycle.  

But with the content opportunity comes challenges. There are more channels than ever that need to be fed with a fresh, steady stream of high-quality content. Marketing budgets are shrinking and teams are downsizing, making it harder to hire on-staff writers to keep up with demand. Currently, 25 per cent of banking and finance marketers report a lack of staff writers to draft content like blogs, articles, email, and social posts. And only 60 per cent are consistently able to create high-quality content across channels and at scale. So while good finance content is more in demand, it’s getting harder to create. 

This is what we call the content disequilibrium. But what can we do about it? 

The answer lies in artificial intelligence. AI has the ability to generate, optimize, and track the performance of marketing copy at scale (in a matter of seconds). It offers a promising way to keep up with content demand while increasing conversions. 

The finance sector is no stranger to AI; in fact, 83 per cent of banking and finance marketers plan to invest in AI in the next 18 months. Some of them are using it already in force. NerdWallet’s Kelly Gillease tells us, “Personal finance is really, well, personal. We leverage machine learning models to drive recommendations for consumers who volunteer their information. For example, with the help of machine learning, NerdWallet’s Approval Odds feature considers a person’s credit score — and several other factors based on the user’s input — to estimate the likelihood that they would be approved for a particular credit card. NerdWallet is also using machine learning to tailor content recommendations — such as the most relevant articles and guides — to a user’s particular interests.” 

But while finance marketers are enjoying the fruits of AI, very few of them are using it to generate or optimize copy – much fewer than in other industries. As David Partain, CMO of FlexShares put it: “We’re using AI now on the data side in terms of trying to figure out all the data points that we have, so for example, what would be the best exchange-traded fund that an advisor would want to talk about? But in terms of AI for language, that’s a relatively new concept for us. I think people will start to say hey, we’re already doing this on the data side, why don’t we do it on the language side too?” 

The barrier to using AI to generate content doesn’t seem to be fear, but rather lack of awareness that such a thing is possible. Fifty-three percent of finance marketers would invest in AI for copywriting once they know it’s an option. And 59 per cent would trust AI to represent their brand – a number that goes up to 69 per cent if they can retain human control. For the ones who have made the leap, they’ve seen huge increases in ROI from their marketing programs.  

The financial services industry has a clear opportunity to follow its peers from other verticals into AI adoption for content creation. All that’s waiting for them is improved conversion rates, fewer headaches, and a marketing team that can breathe easy. And the extra money and happy customers are pretty nice too.

Parry Malm is the CEO and co-founder of Phrasee, which empowers brands with the most advanced AI-Powered Copywriting technology. He has been working with brands to optimize marketing results for almost 20 years. Parry is an expert on digital marketing and combines this expertise with a track record in computer science, statistics, and commercializing artificial intelligence.