Keep calm and listen to scientists
Many of our clients are worried by the prospect of being lost into oblivion in a world where every day more and more technologies are brought to the forefront. AI, data analytics and machine learning are implemented to enhance data the banks have collected in order to better understand their clients.
This, in turn, allows them to “know” them better and to tailor their services.
But if machines are taking over, why does a bank need a marketing staff? This is a legitimate concern, and we are happy to say that the answer is no, we still need them. And we will in the future.
Pew Research shows that about 72% of North Americans fear that AI will replace many jobs currently undertaken by humans. The machines haven't taken over but there is a general feeling that they are creeping into our lives, often unnoticed.
That, of course, can be very scary. Voice-powered personal assistants like Alexa and Siri are adopted by many without realizing what they are dealing with. Self-driving cars are under heavy development, currently undergoing testing. Less obvious are the fundamental and underlying technologies such as behavioral algorithms, data analytics, and machine learning. AI and machine learning have the unique ability to replace human limitations like the failure to detect a pattern or to connect dots where none appear to exist. And they are able to predict behavior based on current and past information. Scary, we know!
But let's keep calm and listen to the scientists. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and MIT say that this fear is totally misplaced and that AI and machine learning will only take over the boring, repetitive tasks, leaving humans to do the higher-level work, including the more creative work. They claim that only certain tasks within any activity or profession can be automated or judged suitable for machine learning which may transform many jobs in the economy but not necessarily eliminate them. We have to admit that explaining all of this to our worried clients, who a moment ago were scratching their heads and now are opening wide their eyes. It's the moment they get a glimpse of a future for their business.
The same scientists claim that full automation is less likely than the re-engineering of work processes and the reorganization and reassignment of tasks. AI systems are simply advanced machine learning software with behavioral algorithms that adapt to the input and preferences shown by the people running them, that improve tasks and skills because they manage a larger dataset but they are no smarter than the information fed into them.
There is a range of jobs that could be totally automated but that most cannot. Personal services, hairdressers, manicurists, masseuses, etcetera, obviously cannot be automated. Nor can any job requiring interpersonal skills, such as therapists or artistic skills, such as writers, but they believe that undertakers, funeral directors, credit authorizers, and brokers could be replaced 100%.
So, after our clients get over their panic and stop imagining a riot of robots claiming the streets, what they want to know is this: if a bank invests in AI and all the new data analytics and machine learning technology, what should the marketing department be doing? According to those scientists from Carnegie Mellon and MIT, marketers, like many other professionals will need to redesign their jobs and re-engineer their processes, because marketing requires judgment, social skills, and other hard-to-automate human capabilities, many of which may have to be imported from other disciplines such as psychology or social anthropology. They will need to automate only those parts of the work where there is a direct impact on productivity. The quality of marketers will be improved by complementing their skills with machines and computers, enabling them to focus on those aspects of the job that need the most of attention and creativity.
The role of the bank marketing team will be the creative end of the machine learning, identifying opportunities and creating new approaches. Their task is to harness AI and machine learning in order to better link customers to the products and services they need and want, and to foresee the upcoming needs for new services and products in the near future. AI gives marketers the freedom to experiment with, and to put in practice, new ways of marketing that marry traditional marketing with other professions and other areas of knowledge, such as neuro-marketing or cultural blending.
The ultimate aim of investing in AI is to deliver more, better and personalized value and services to customers and for that there will be needed human marketers as much as the corresponding technology.
In Prisma Campaigns we can give the tools your marvelous marketing team needs so it can stop working on the boring mechanical tasks and spend their limited time and energy in getting really creative.
Because that’s what the art of marketing is about, don't you think?