Nishtha Asthana
Apr 30, 2024

Governance, safety, and risk around Gen AI are challenges for marketers: Visa CMO

Ahead of Campaign360, Visa's regional marketer steps into the spotlight to discuss Gen AI's opportunities and pain points and how this transformative technology is reshaping relationships with agency partners.

Danielle Jin
Danielle Jin

Generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) comprises algorithms adept at generating authentic content, be it text, images, or audio, by learning from training data. This capability represents a profound technological leap, poised to redefine the digital marketing landscape. Its swift adoption, lofty market expectations, and demonstrated productivity enhancements in initial implementations underscore its disruptive power.

Gen AI is set to impact various facets of our daily lives, notably transforming how we buy goods and make payments. This makes the payments industry a prime area for Gen AI-driven innovation. It offers significant opportunities for enhancing consumer payment experiences online and revolutionising the operational aspects of payment companies. The question then arises: How can stakeholders in the payments ecosystem effectively leverage Gen AI to enhance their organisations and serve their customers better?

AI has been an integral part of Visa for over 30 years. Back in 1993, Visa was one of the first networks to deploy AI-based technology for risk and fraud management, pioneering the use of AI models in payments.

Talking about the most exciting application of Gen AI for Visa, Danielle Jin, chief marketing officer at Visa Asia-Pacific, shared with Campaign Asia-Pacific that the company was already innovating on multiple fronts and will seek to improve commerce with Gen AI across the consumer shopping journey.

It's no secret Gen AI is forever changing the industry landscape by providing massive amounts of data and fast speed in analysing and drawing insights and conclusions from this data in an actionable manner.

Gen AI can also enhance various stages of the marketing campaign funnel. This includes leveraging the technology for market research, automating processes like layout generation and content creation, and optimising campaign performance. BCG anticipates that integrating Gen AI could boost productivity by 25% to 35% across the value chain, with the actual impact depending on the company's marketing intensity and reliance on third-party agencies.

Jin said: “This is the one aspect that all of us are extraordinarily focused on, to understand this data. How it helps us to get an in-depth understanding of our end user’s behaviours, preferences, and trends, and connect with them in the right way, using the right information and through the right channel.”

That's one part of why Gen AI is exciting for Visa.

The second part Jin highlighted is the ability to then take these insights and use data analytics and Gen AI to personalise content and consumer journeys. “This is not something that hasn't been done yet. But Gen AI’s computing power broadens use cases and opens new possibilities,” she said.

For example, to target travellers, Visa may use aspects such as demographics, motivations, planning stages, and journey experiences to create relevant content. Gen AI allows Jin and her team to create more precise and targeted content for travellers.

She added, “The biggest difficulty with Gen AI application today is the governance, the safety, and the risk involved. For all marketers that are doing this, there’s the big picture of how far we could go but there's also the baby steps that we are currently taking.”

Danielle Jin will be speaking at Campaign360 on May 14-15 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Click here for the full agenda and how to attend. 

Merging social media and Gen AI

One of the richest sources of insights for advertisers and marketers is consumers' honest discussions about a brand. This candid feedback often occurs in online product reviews or social media posts and videos. Brands have adopted social listening since the rise of social media, tracking mentions and identifying common keywords, themes, and ideas across different platforms. Gen AI can quickly analyse vast amounts of text to identify recurring sentiments, emotions, perceptions, and experiences described by consumers. These tools can also categorise qualitative responses by demographics, revealing what age, racial, ethnic, or other groups frequently say about a brand.

Jin emphasised the growing importance of social media for Visa and the broader community, especially with the rise of Gen Z consumers who prefer social platforms over traditional channels. As a result, Visa’s content strategy now prioritises social media to engage with this younger demographic.

However, this is an area where Visa is proceeding cautiously as personalisation in this space presents challenges for governance. “We aim to balance the need for speed and community connection with the necessity for oversight. As a brand, safety is paramount, given our commitment to reliability and trustworthiness in our business operations”, noted Jin.

Overall, when it comes to social media, Visa’s approach varies based on whether the content is Visa-led or created in collaboration with partners. If it's Visa-led, the focus is on fostering connections with consumers without pushing product or service sales. However, when working with partners like banks, Visa leverages the partners' data and combined capabilities to drive engagement directly to consumers.

The Asia-Pacific region is emerging as a top destination for Gen AI. A November 2023 survey by Ernst & Young showed that nearly all Asia-Pacific CEOs (98%) are making or planning significant investments in Gen AI. To fund these investments, 74% are reallocating capital from other investment projects or technology budgets and 15% are raising new capital. However, regional intricacies come into play in varied region.

For Visa, Jin highlighted that “incorporating learnings into operations must be done on a country-by-country basis”. The company tailors its operations to each market’s regulatory landscape.

Use cases at play

ChatGPT is being used at Visa for secure content creation and search, while MS Copilot improves quality and productivity, especially for meeting recaps, video summaries, and content for external audiences. Personalisation at scale for Asia-Pacific markets is another area where the technology is being employed.

“The aim is to develop various content variations quickly and efficiently using Gen AI with agency partners. This approach enhances the quality and speed of content creation, leading to a more impactful customer experience,” shared Jin.

Visa's FIFA World Cup activation in 2022

Visa is also focusing on innovation and creativity to improve time and cost efficiency in campaign development. They are exploring ways to complement existing content creation models with Gen AI, working with agencies and partners to enhance in-house consumer engagement through deeper interactions. For example, their global FIFA World Cup activation in 2022 involved creating an Activation for Masters of Movement, where consumer movements on a football field were translated into AI NFT art pieces.

The agency model and the way corporations interact with agencies are also seeing a massive shift, according to Jin. There is a fundamental change in how the new generation of consumers engages with content, moving beyond traditional television to constant interaction across devices and platforms. This shift is driven by various uses, such as making purchases or connecting with others, leading to shorter attention spans and a demand for authentic, bite-sized content. These changes are already occurring outside the traditional agency model.

“Entering the workforce in the 90s, I've seen the traditional marketing approach: Write a brief, collaborate with agencies for months, then launch the campaign over six months to assess impact. Today, brands work directly with publishers and content creators, shifting from traditional agencies,” noted Jin.

With Gen AI, everyone becomes a content creator. Visa recognises the creator economy's significance and aims to facilitate it by providing payment solutions for creators. Visa is also exploring how Gen AI could bring new ways to analyse customer behaviours and social sentiment to discover unmet or under-met needs and guide new product and experience design.

Overall, Jin believes that certain markets will embrace Gen AI sooner once governance issues are resolved. She also foresees significant changes in content-creation models within the next year, particularly a shift towards social-media channels in the agency and creative landscape.

“Algorithms are poised to become more powerful than ever before. These upcoming changes are expected to be dramatic, offering both excitement and some apprehension,” she said.

She added, “Real-time payments are gaining popularity, especially among younger generations. Leveraging Gen AI, we aim to revolutionise the payment process, focusing on enhancing its efficiency and security, as our primary objective.”

Campaign Asia

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