Is your brand irrelevant?

At last month's Financial Services Forum annual conference, the insight provided on the impact and opportunities around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), set us thinking. On the surface, AI and ML may seem an irrelevance to the PR profession; how can a 'machine' replace the not inconsiderable skills we possess to build, manage and protect reputations?

The truth is these tools can play an important role in targeting communication and increasing its impact. They enable businesses to obtain, understand and fully utilise masses of customer data and the outcome provides business communicators with what can be compelling, engaging and perhaps most importantly, make content even more directly relevant to customers and prospects.

The importance of brand relevance to consumers was hammered home courtesy of insight into financial service firms' performance in the Prophet Global Brand Relevance Index. The Index, created from the views of 50,000 consumers in the UK, China, Germany and the US, identifies the brands that make a difference in their lives.

No surprise that the brands seen as most relevant are the day-to-day global consumer giants. And how did financial services brands fare? In the main, they are languishing at the other end of table. When this poor performance was shared with the related businesses, apparently, the response was that it was no surprise - it was to be expected! So much for real customer-centricity.

While that negativity is by no means a collective industry response, it does clearly reveal the challenge for financial services brands. If customers - whether consumers or businesses - don't see you as relevant, understanding their needs and taking action to meet them, then...well.... you get the picture.

Irrelevance is perhaps one of the most damaging impacts on a brand. In such a commoditized and ‘vanilla’ product world, demonstrating your relevance to customers is a priority.

At Full Circle we spend time asking "why?" when it comes to communication planning, development and delivery.

Why issue a press release? Why utilise social campaigns or blogs? At the heart of asking these questions is the need to understand exactly how the communication will add value to our client's business plan and strategy and to ensure it receives effective engagement with their audience - is it relevant and will it have a positive impact on reputation? That way we ensure the investment in communications is maximised.

Using AI and ML to map and monitor trends and create a greater understanding of customers’ needs can provide a clear response to the why question and so makes them key tools in developing and delivering a communication strategy.

Using these tools will enable us to support clients with more effective targeting and aligning of brand messages to ensure their corporate communication works harder and creates customer loyalty.

To learn more about the Full Circle approach, get in touch: