AI Adoption Set to Boom as Financial Brands Get Personal

Financial services brands in Europe are turning to AI as they battle to make sense of their data and deliver more relevant, personalised customer experiences, while staying on the right side of GDPR.

Adobe research shows organisations in the financial services and insurance (FSI) sector are currently struggling to make sense of their data and that is holding them back from being able to create personalised advertising, marketing and customer experiences.

Across Europe, the financial services industry is banking more on AI driven personalisation than any other sector. 90% of those surveyed claimed it is important for business success – the highest of any sector in Europe – with two fifths (41%) stating implementation is crucial. Despite this, financial services are far behind; only a quarter (22%) are delivering the necessary level of personalisation for their business.

One clear reason for this issue is that FSI brands are drowning in data. The research found 51% of respondents are unable to process data quickly enough, while 46% are struggling to collate, structure and integrate data effectively. GDPR also adds another layer of complexity to brands’ personalisation strategies. Two thirds (59%) of respondents said the EU’s new data protection regulation had further slowed them down.

However, the research, based on interviews with 120 European senior business decision-makers from the financial services industry, reveals brands are turning to AI to get on top of their data management and personalisation issues: 

  • 92% are already either planning (23%), testing (45%) or rolling out (24%) AI
  • 89% expect to be using AI for increased personalisation by 2020

Bridget Perry, Vice President of Marketing, Adobe EMEA, said: “Brands face a constant battle to stay relevant in the eyes of their customers. They need to be able to serve up more personalised advertising, marketing and customer experiences, but doing so when unable to process business and customer data effectively makes it almost impossible.

“Customer expectation has never been higher. They want brands to deliver experiences that are as personal as they are creative. The investment we’re seeing in AI, alongside a GDPR-focused data foundation and governance footprint, shows companies appreciate this sense of urgency and are pushing to differentiate themselves from the competition.”

The research, to be published in an Adobe report entitled Context Is Everything, also revealed a focus on hiring and training as businesses gear up for AI.

  • 65% of brands are training existing staff to make better use of AI for personalisation
  • 64% are hiring new skilled staff
  • Focus areas for hiring include IT (53%), data analytics (46%), customer service (41%), ethics (40%), advertising (43%), change management (30%) and marketing (30%)

Perry said: “The rush to AI over the next two years will spark fierce competition for skills and create exciting new roles. Businesses are recognising that in order to make the best use of AI they need more than just IT. They need broad skills, from analytics to ethics, and the right culture and understanding within the business to unlock the power of AI and deliver true personalisation.”


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