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I recently attended one of Belgium’s leading banking events, aptly titled “The Banking Scene.” AI, of course, was one of the topics that created the most buzz. Yet, aside from the usual fare on the topic, one speaker highlighted how it can be used in a way that I think would be highly beneficial for us in financial communications. He did it by explaining what banking can learn from Formula E.  

The Formula E formula: uniting creativity, technology and data   

 Egmont Philips, of Tata Consultancy Group, drew all the attention to himself with his motorsport cap. "Ever heard of Formula E?" Almost the entire room nodded in agreement, most likely thinking he meant Formula 1.    

Anyway, he really meant Formula E, the electric equivalent to Formula 1. His point? The banking industry can learn a lot from this sport. "It's all about combining creativity, technology and data," he said. The speed of analysis Formula E teams perform, the hyper-personalization of a dashboard that manages to integrate every insight, and the hundreds of hours of simulations performed per race. These are examples for the banking industry, a sector that is still diligently searching for appropriate modernization.    

We shouldn’t have to rely on intuition 

Let's dig a little deeper into those simulations. It's interesting for banks, but at least as interesting for communications professionals. After all, we are all under the spell of Artificial Intelligence, one the communications sector's biggest bogeymen. It will take over the creative side of our work and content production will be done entirely by AI. We look at AI with our tails between our legs and forget that we can also wag our tails.   

What, then, is the very reason to welcome artificial developments? Simulations; the A/B test but a few levels more advanced. In Formula E, hundreds of hours are spent on simulations per race. The result is a time gain of a few tenths or hundredths of a second. Exactly the difference between finishing first and last.   

If we translate those few tenths or hundredths of seconds into communication, we are talking about a few words per article or mere details in marketing materials. At first glance, perhaps something that can be written off as a matter of taste. But in communications, we know better than anyone that a few words can make a world of difference. Then surely it shouldn't be a "matter of taste”. We shouldn't have to rely on intuition.  

Focus on the right things  

We are at a turning point. A 700-hour simulation no longer lasts 700 hours. Today, marketing designs can be tested for effectiveness within seconds. To illustrate, we recently designed bus shelters and OOH posters for a national marketing campaign. Using AI simulations, we had optimized the designs within minutes based on attention and focus points.  

 With this, we ensured that passersby's attention was focused on the most important parts within the crucial few seconds they could see the poster. The result was a highly successful campaign that highlighted a still relatively unknown brand name throughout the Netherlands.    

The name of the game: maximizing results  

As professionals, we offer the insight and creativity needed to arrive at the right text and design. The simulations then iron out the creases. A plus for effectiveness, the common thread of communication. Maximizing results, as in Formula E, is the name of the game.  

So having a press release prepared by AI is not where we are moving. Engineers in motorsports don't have their cars designed by AI either. But for testing and fine-tuning aerodynamics, they welcome contemporary technology with open arms. As do we as well.  

 Tibbe Dolman is an account executive in Amsterdam