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AI, Transparency and Customer Understanding

A few themes of the Fintech B2B Marketing Conference

· AI,Finance and fintech,Trust,Brand reputation,Technology

At the recent Fintech B2B Marketing conference in London, comms and marketing professionals from fintechs, banks and public relations agencies came together to discuss some of the key issues within the industry and how to harness the most effective strategies to support sales and growth.

There were several themes that permeated multiple sessions, including artificial intelligence (AI), transparency, trust and customer understanding. And with representation from global names, high street banks and fintechs alike, such as Amazon, JP Morgan Payments, Deutsche Bank, NatWest Group, Tandem, Tide, Fitch Solutions and London Stock Exchange Group, to name just a few, there was a variety of views and approaches.

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Keynote speaker Lord Chris Holmes talked about the “need to legislate and lead when it comes to AI” speaking of the UK's Artificial Intelligence Regulation Bill currently under review, together with the EU Artificial Intelligence Act which was adopted by the European Parliament in March. Amongst the panel debates there was a focus on the importance of understanding the tools available so you can employ them appropriately. It was stated that "this is the year for enterprise AI to come to the fore”.

There was also a focus on reputation as a driver for account-based marketing, described as “inherently consumer-centric”. This should be an additional layer to the marketing and comms plan since it’s “not about generating leads or revenue over the short term” but about the broader view. That makes sense, given the split between active demand and future demand. According to research by LinkedIni only 5% of a target market will have an immediate need versus 95% that won’t be actively looking but could be future customers.

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This aligns entirely with our holistic approach here at Amp, as outlined in our Reputational Risk Radar, where we talk of the shift that’s taken place in marketing. We discuss the trust loop as the new engagement model, with tips on how to enhance your strategies for sustainability and growth.

In the words of Sapna Kandukuri of the London Stock Exchange Group: “Focus on the relationships and the reputation, and the revenue will come.”

Five key takeaways

We've summarised a few of the debates around the core themes of the day below:

1. Know your AI

Lord Holmes spoke of the need to have responsible AI officers in all financial services (FS) businesses, but clarified that this is a function not a person. He said that trust, transparency, inclusion and accountability should be the principles for AI, just as in the rest of finance and fintech. He also highlighted why the UK is in such a strong position here, thanks to our tech ecosystem, London’s finance markets, our education system and English common law all combining to create the perfect backdrop for embracing the AI revolution.

Panellists also spoke of the need to ‘know your AI’ or KYAI! From being clear on the systems and provenance internally, to enabling transparency with consumers, having a solid knowledge of the AI being used and the rationale behind it – with clear messaging – will support customer understanding and help build trust, which was widely described as the most important factor in enabling AI to truly flourish.

2. Transparency and trust

The Consumer Duty implemented last year highlights the need for customer understanding, and transparency is a key component of that, in order to create trust and increase loyalty. Building trust must be a priority for FS firms and that doesn’t just relate to AI.

Data privacy was also central in the conversations, highlighting the need to adapt marketing strategies accordingly and embrace more organic approaches. This includes shifting the focus to relationship building, growing communities and utilising thought leadership – all of which we’re strong advocates of here at Amp.

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3. Content is king

It was no surprise to hear that the content approaches need to be specific to strategy and objectives, but there were interesting debates on personalisation versus hyper personalisation and also an important point about Google’s March 2024 update and how that will transform SEO.

In a nutshell, the extensive update intends to improve content quality and ensure that websites with original and informative content that provide value to the user are rewarded. With changes in link signals, content quality and spam policies, SEO marketers face challenges, as well as opportunities, whilst the need for original, insightful and useful content will be greater than ever.

Devising cohesive content strategies at brand level will address this and give you content that can be used across different channels, ensuring consistency of message and effective use of resource whilst supporting multi-touch attribution, bolstering reputation and driving sales and growth.

If you’d like to know more about our unique package from Amp which provides you with such content to enhance your ongoing activity, please get in touch here.

4. Taking holistic approaches

From account-based marketing to creating content that can be used and re-purposed across multiple channels, the holistic approach is about the bigger picture. Aligning to the statistics shared above on active and latent demand, this will be crucial for long-term growth, so it’s unsurprising this topic featured heavily in the panel session on driving the most successful B2B marketing campaigns.

In fact, the panellists highlighted that in account-based marketing the suggested split is an 80% focus on relationships and reputation and 20% on revenue – based on a variation of the Pareto principle – bringing us back to that mantra: look after the relationships and reputation, and the revenue will follow.

The importance of buy-in from senior stakeholders was called out as a key requirement of enabling this approach. Karen Mae Ching, a global FS lead at Amazon Web Services, shared some of Amazon’s 16 leadership principles to this end, which included “diving deep”.

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5. The virtuous circle of ESG

ESG (environmental,social and governance) was also a prominent focus, with a look at how to incorporate ESG into marketing and comms strategies. This comes back to the holistic approach and is a topic we cover in more depth in our Reputational Risk Radar.

There is a heightened awareness of the importance of ESG within FS, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) aiming to support the sector in driving positive change – from the transition to net zero, to wider sustainability issues.  

This includes the FCA’s policy on sustainability disclosure requirements (SDR) and investment labelsii which incorporates anti-greenwashing rules and guidance. Last month, Britain's finance ministry said it will introduce regulation for providers of ESG ratings on companies to improve "clarity and trust" in benchmarks that are widely used to steer investments.  

As such, ESG should be part of the holistic approach and become simply part and parcel of your brand narrative. Not only will it improve talent attraction and retention, but as one panellist in the Fintech for Good session pointed out, “people buy from companies that do the right thing”. This is supported by research conducted on behalf of Amp which found that nearly four in 10 consumers said brand reputation was more important than both product and price.iii

Closing remarks: the human touch

The conference finished with some heartfelt words from Olympic athlete Carla Devlin in a closing note speech about resilience and how to reflect, decode, articulate and leverage your own unique experiences. A truly inspirational lady, who wears so many hats alongside that of athlete; from mother and wife to carer and colleague, Carla reminded us all that if you dig deep, you can find there’s more in the tank you can leverage.

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Which closes the loop nicely on one of the themes discussed at the outset of the conference about B2B and B2C marketing – or in fact as the panellists discussed – H2H (human to human) marketing! Whether we’re selling to a large institution or the consumer that’s the end user of a product, ultimately it’s a person that will make the decision and a person that will use the product or service.

As Nicola Hamilton of Go Cardless reminded the audience, communicators and marketers must “put yourselves in the shoes of the audience you’re speaking to,” whilst Mariette Ferreira at digital payment platform PPRO added that “the most powerful B2B campaigns are the ones that act or think like B2C”.

Keeping the consumer front and centre is a must and will naturally deliver the customer understanding that’s essential for FS firms to achieve, in turn increasing trust, brand loyalty and sustainable growth.


i 95-5 rule, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions