Forecasting the future #1: conversations around AI in fintech to mature & tough competition for column inches

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It’s that time of year again! With 2024 looming, we’ve canvassed the Missive team and our friends, clients and suppliers to find out what they think will be the defining trends across PR, communications and technology. Check out the first six predictions below, with more to follow. 

Conversations around AI in fintech maturing 

Erin Lovett, Senior Account Director, Missive 

“2023 might have been the year AI went global, but 2024 will be the year consumer-facing financial service providers ramp up their external comms on how they are deploying the technology to deliver added-value services.  

“The convergence of generative AI and continued Open Banking adoption has created an opportunity for truly intelligent automated financial advice, tailored to individual consumers’ circumstances. Next year, we’ll see these developments come to fruition as both banks and fintechs launch AI-powered advisory products and services. The conversation will evolve in turn, moving from discussion of operational efficiencies in the fintech trade media to product launches and op-eds about leveraging AI tools to meet financial goals in the consumer media.  

“This space, though nascent, will become crowded extremely quickly. The brands that win out will be those that remain laser-focused on the consumer impact and carve out space for security and privacy in their external comms. Banks have an advantage when it comes to consumer trust, and in the new AI era, where data is being analysed to a new degree, fintechs will have to work harder than ever to prove that users’ financial information is being protected.” 

PR and comms shaping trends and determining trajectories 

Joe Peach, Senior Brand and Communications Manager, Prolific  

“In recent years, those of us in the fields of communications and public relations have reacted to the complexities of a pandemic, global conflicts, the advancement of AI, and a reconfiguration of financial norms. The duality of reactive and proactive engagement is a fundamental part of the communications profession, but this equilibrium has been out of sync for years now.  

“With 2024 just around the corner, there’s an opportunity to reset that balance. At this stage, we’re all experienced in responding to change - we’ve honed those skills, whether we wanted to or not. 2024 could be the year we not only remember that we are supposed to play a pivotal role in shaping trends and determining trajectories, but actually have enough capacity for it.” 

Tough competition for column inches with 40 elections next year 

Jules Lavin, Director, Missive 

“2024 is the biggest election year in history, with over 40 countries heading to the polls. While each election will have its own nuances and storylines, that’s a whopping number and translates to an overwhelming avalanche of news, data, and messaging to constantly filter through. This will make it harder than ever to capture media attention (particularly as the UK election ramps up) and cut through the noise. In comms we’ll need to be increasingly targeted, creative and reactive to stand out. 

“As with any major event or trend, I’d always advise brands to stick to a few core rules when engaging with an election and the multitude of topics that are discussed around them. Speed, authenticity and consistency are of the essence.  

“We already know the media landscape moves fast, but in the run up to an election with multiple parties making pledges and trying to grab headlines (and let’s be honest a fair amount of mudslinging), it’s going to be quicker than ever. Get your spokespeople well briefed in advance and be ready to comment. On the flipside though don’t be tempted to comment on everything – stick to what you know and the topics that are authentic to you. And last but not least be consistent. There will be conflicting opinions and changing narratives. Don’t fall into the trap of changing your fundamental message to fit where the headlines are moving.” 

Research will become ever more international 

August Mazurek, Account Director, Censuswide 

“We expect 2024 to be rapid and relentless, and research will play a vital role in achieving national and trade press coverage. We expect international research to be of particular importance, as these studies often create more interesting data than domestic research and given that the media landscape is getting increasingly competitive, PR professionals will need to utilise this to maximum to get the creative edge.  

“With that in mind, we expect to see more international, high value large-scale projects being commissioned both on the B2B and consumer side. The encouraging news for anyone looking to conduct surveys in 2024, is that online research panels grow more sophisticated and effective day by day particularly in research agencies who invest in technology.” 

The year that content functions hit reset 

Dom Edge, Copywriting Manager, Missive 

“The internet’s been a bit noisy of late, hasn’t it? Just when we thought it had reached saturation point, the meteoric rise of large language models pushed the needle further. And although quality is of course subjective, much of what has been generated across 2023 lacks originality, authority and (sadly) the sense it’s been written by a human. 

"2024 will be the year most content functions will hit the reset button. Hard. According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than half (57%) of all B2B marketers say that creating the right content for their audience is the biggest challenge facing them in 2024, with quantity (54%) and differentiation (54%) also proving problematic.  

“The solution? Standards. That’s not a death-knell to limp listicles (though I could tell you ten reasons why I wish it was), but more effective policies and processes to distil quality across all outputs. Expect closer integration with leadership, sales, and an improved cross-functional approach across the entire business.” 

Growing use of AI in video 

Siy Bishop, Founder, All Things Equal  

“At All Things Equal, we see the use of AI within video production going to whole new levels in 2024. There are some revolutionary tools out there already, like text-based editing and prompt-based colour tone mapping from Adobe which streamline production and open up exciting new avenues for creativity. We've seen some amazing beta tests of footage that has been recorded in English, then AI has taken the contributors voice, mapped their face and created a Spanish version of exactly the same video, with full lip sync! But don't worry, it's really important to remember that any AI tool is just that - a tool. It's still the job of creatives to come up with killer ideas and utilise AI to support in bring them to life.” 

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you navigate a fast-changing comms landscape, get in touch with the team today.

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