Artificial intelligence can be exciting, and scary, for marketers. In many ways, we’ve been using AI for years to help us increase efficiency. For example, chat features on websites and in apps are a common AI tool to support customer service. Another common example for marketers might be the “time optimization” tools to help you schedule social posts or to decide when to send targeted emails? It’s a helpful feature that none of us would have time to do manually.
This article by the Financial Brand explores how many AI and machine learning tools are already quite common and often “hidden in plain sight.” Just think about pulling targeted lists using a “next best cross-sell” or other “look-alike” feature that refines your audience based on multiple data points. Newer tools can help us quickly create first drafts of content, professional headshots and more.
However, for all the positives that come with AI, plenty of potential risks accompany it as well. The same Financial Brand article encourages financial institutions to start by identifying where they are using AI today so they can understand and manage the regulatory, reputational, and operational risks these tools pose. After all, you can’t manage a risk you don’t know exists.
And while the promise of a new level of efficiency and speed is attractive, it can also have some serious downsides, such as communications that clearly lack the human touch or are simply an amalgamation of information without any emotional connection to the audience. One recent example we’ve seen (or heard): on-hold messages that were available almost immediately but had replaced human voice talent with their pre-recorded (aka robotic) counterparts. The result left a lot to be desired. Another recent example was an AI chat function on an organizational website that used text as well as the options for voice recognition. The organization worked for some time to ensure the regional dialect and commonly-used words would be easily understood and recognized, so as not to cause a negative experience.
If you are using or plan to use AI tools, map out the staff and/or member (customer) touch points and consider the potential for risk of those interactions. Could the use of AI in customer service (for example) impact your reputation or pose a regulatory issue for your organization? Be sure you have taken a step back and considered how any potential failures could impact your organization BEFORE you employ AI tools.
Want help identifying where to leverage AI marketing tools and how to manage their risks? Kearley & Co. experts are here to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about our partnership solutions.