In Investment Management, we are just getting a grasp on this social media thing, marketing automation, and trying to simplify to an investor what Alts are –and I want you to concern yourself with something out, on the horizon? Yes!

We are typically late to the party with bleeding edge marketing capabilities –a blessing and a curse. We let other industries test and learn while warming Compliance up to fancy newish “toys.” We are pardoned time of these means to engage with investors and/or Financial Advisors but when leadership or sales partners get hip to these channels, we play catch-up with aggressive deadlines. Not to mention the impact to our brand with not having parity with our friends in other categories.

Yet, this horizon is becoming soft and our autonomy is shrinking.

Artificial Intelligence

I won’t jump into the rabbit hole of what A.I. means for the modeling of Robo-Advice. I’ll leave that to the really smart people. I want you to have your eyes wide-open to how this technology will exponentially make our marketing more efficient and effective but also add complexity.

The bright side, we will welcome A.I. to bear the majority of weight for segmentation (among other things). It will streamline data collection and learning to deliver a level of personalizing that seems futuristic. But as noted in the article linked above, large and small brands are already starting to scratch the surface.

The complexity will be in the planning, moving from single facet campaigns to dynamic strategies. Best-in-class marketing will shift from campaigning on a few, isolated pieces, to building a puzzle of the customer journey. Strategists will be challenged to construct this without the box –an unknown picture. And with A.I.’s ability to continuously test and learn, the picture will be evolving. A greater emphasis on quick, agile marketing to inject into the decision process vs. long builds, trying to make a splash with novel campaigns. Feeding the machine, literally.


A subset of A.I. that your kids have already started to play with or maybe you breezed through an article of Facebook’s integration in Messenger. But the importance of chatbots is due to it being a standalone channel. And in the future, you will likely have a specific strategy for chatbots.

The uses of chatbots are vast. And one side of Financial Services is starting to dabble. Leveraging this technology in Investment Management may reach the Sales Desk, or native advertising, and even with investors communicating with their (robo)advisor. Since I’m not Machiavelli, I won’t prophesize the exact usage, but the prospect to aid services and how we will deploy marketing into this type of A.I. intrigues me.

That said, the use of this will have barriers due to risk with direct customer communications. FINRA and Compliance teams will have a field day of the potential issues and liability –and my avoidance to forecast end practice.

So, I’m not suggesting you run into your CMO’s office with your A.I. strategy hot off the printer. But I do believe these capabilities should be on your radar. Have a finger on the pulse and start to gather how other brands and categories are deploying.

Our industry has been shielded from technology’s swift, razor due to the slower adoption from older generations. Millennials are progressing into activating retirement planning. These digital natives will be the conduit to force our industry to get up-to-speed with cutting edge capabilities, such as artificial intelligence. But when this roller coaster drops, keep your hands up and hopefully, your eyes were already wide open. It’s going to be a fun ride.