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Mastering Generative AI Part 2 – Prompting Your Way to Success

Ben Udell, SVP DIGITAL INNOVATION

Lake Ridge Bank

In part one of our series, we tackled the initial hurdles of integrating Generative artificial intelligence(GenAI) solutions like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini into your banking operations. We focused on building a pilot team and addressing concerns when diving into the use of artificial intelligence in banking. Now, if you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to unleash the true power of these tools.

Part 2 will help you start to see the true transformative power of GenAI for financial services marketing through effective prompting. From my experience, there are three key concepts to understand and master:

  1. Treat AI Like a Person: Whether it’s a super-smart intern, a consultant, or a tutor, engage with AI using natural language. Ask questions, provide feedback, and request different outcomes as you would with a human colleague. The more conversational your approach, the better your results. Remember, AI is a tool to enhance your work, not replace it – editing and refinement are still essential.

 
Lake Ridge Bank’s VP Digital Banking and Payments, Julie Zeimet, shared her experience with learning how to interact with ChatGPT.

“My biggest hurdle, and what prompted the ah-ha moment, is really realizing that I need to interact with AI like a person. I’d have output that was good, but not great. I’d think to myself, ‘I need it to reformat with no bullet points, write at a 10th grade reading level, and include features and benefits for clients.’ I didn’t know how to get ChatGPT to do that. Then, I asked it to do just that and it did it for me. Just like talking to a person, I gave it the direction it needed to improve or finish a task and it did it!”

  1. Embrace Prompt Stacking: One line prompts rarely yield exceptional results. By stacking prompts, you provide focused guidance to AI, just as you would with a team member. Be specific for focused results, or open-ended to explore creatively. “Write a blog about savings accounts” will generate good, but not great results. “Write a blog about savings accounts that takes five minutes to read, is written for high school students in a friendly and educational tone, incorporates savings goals for this audience, is written at a 10th grade reading level, and has a call to action to simply start saving $10 per week” is an awesome prompt!
  2.  

  3. Chat Your Way to Success: Magic happens through dialogue. Don’t expect a single prompt to be a silver bullet. Engage in a back-and-forth conversation with the AI tool, iterating and refining your requests. This continuous interaction will lead to more impactful outputs. I’ve found that users give up on AI before they really get started because they expect AI to be this magic tool that does everything. The reality is that AI is a partner, and the best ideas and results come from “talking” to AI. Explore topics, ask for additional insights, request different approaches, and challenge AI just like you’d engage with team members. Expect to have at least five back and forth chats to really have great results, just like many conversations with a person.

 

Key Prompts to Get Started

Prompts are the language of GenAI. The better you understand them and experiment with different approaches, the more proficient you’ll become and the more amazing your outputs will be. You can find numerous prompt ideas and concepts online. The reality is that through your own experimentation and usage you’ll find key ones that work best for you. Here are five essential prompts that I find invaluable and can kick start your GenAI results. Trying these prompts while you read the blog will help you learn to use generative AI. 

 

  1. Prompt to act as: Give your AI tool a role to play so it can begin to get in the right “mindset” to help you. “Act as a financial marketer” sets a different tone than “act as a banking compliance officer”. Just like “act as an attorney” or “act as a comedian” are very different, help the AI tool to understand the perspective you want it to take with this simple prompt. 

“Act as a personal banker explaining to a client why laddering their savings between short-term and long-term terms is beneficial.”

“Act as a office manager and write an agenda to explain the basics of budgeting and saving to high school students”

“Act as a compliance officer and review a sales promotion the business banking team has requested.”

Each of these examples will help GenAI focus its efforts on more tailored output. 

 

  1. State an Objective: Clearly state what you want the AI to achieve. Be specific: “Write a blog about home equity loans targeting empty-nest baby boomers looking to remodel” is more effective than “write a blog about home equity.” Be specific and you’ll have results that match your expectations. You may also want AI to brainstorm to find and create solutions. 

“Your objective is to persuade clients to visit the office.
“Your objective is to help beginners understand a complex topic.”
“Your objective is to help me think of creative new approaches.”

These examples can help you create a defined outcome for your GenAI session. 

 

  1. Use a Tone: Specify the desired tone of voice to align with your brand’s personality. Options include serious, funny, educational, assertive, and many more. Experiment to find what resonates best with your audience.

“Use a tone that is helpful and educational.”
“Use a tone that is direct and supportive.”

Tone is a simple concept, but often left out of prompts. We’re all in the business of communicating and the right tone can positively or negatively amplify your message. 

 

  1. Target an Audience: Tailor the content to your target demographic. Whether it’s Generation Z or baby boomers, understanding your audience helps the GenAI create more relevant and engaging content. One of the greatest writing benefits of artificial intelligence in banking is not only writing to an audience but writing to many audiences very quickly. 

“Your audience will be financial professionals.”
“Write for an audience of 18-year-old tellers who are new to banking.”
“This marketing is targeting baby boomers who are empty nesters.”

You’ll instantly improve your communication skills by communicating more clearly to your intended audience.

 

  1. Format With: Specify the desired output format. Whether it’s a five-minute blog, a table with features and benefits, or an executive summary, formatting helps you get the information you need in a way that’s immediately usable. Thinking critically about your presentation can help you be more impactful with your presentation.

“Format as a blog and include three bullet points with features and benefits.”
“Write in a format that’s a presentation I’ll be giving.”
“Your format should be an executive summary.”

Formats can take many different forms, including PowerPoints slides, scripts, point counter point, tables, and more.

Great prompting takes time to develop, just like developing a relationship with a new team member.

 

 
Daryll Schmitz, Marketing Analytics Specialist with Lake Ridge Bank, has found success by thinking critically about how his prompts create different outcomes with AI.

“I think the real magic starts to happen when you realize that the limiting factor with GenAI is yourself. When I’m not getting the results I want, I go back and rephrase my prompts. I find that just like working with a person, sometimes I need to ask questions or make different requests. Each person can understand topics and directions differently, and when I’m stumped with AI I remind myself of this.”

 

Putting It All Together

You can certainly see the pieces coming together to have dynamic output from GenAI. Weaving together more than one prompt, and getting creative with your prompting, will allow you to have truly transformative results with AI. 

Let’s put all these elements into a comprehensive prompt to illustrate prompt stacking:
 

“Act as a financial marketer. My objective is to write a blog post targeting an audience of empty-nest baby boomers who are considering home renovations. Your tone should be educational and informative, highlighting the benefits of home equity loans for funding such projects. The blog should include a call to action to contact a loan officer. Format the blog post with paragraphs. Include a table with features and benefits of home equity loans. Include a section with bullet points that reference common remodel projects the loan could be used for. Include five catchy titles that I can choose from. The blog should take about five minutes to read.”

 
This prompt sets the stage for a productive conversation with the GenAI assistant technology, enabling you to create highly targeted and effective financial services marketing content. Try this prompt, and then continue to prompt for changes or have GenAI write an email to clients, a training guide to bankers, or an FAQ on home equity loans. 


Your Next Steps

Mastering generative artificial intelligence in bankingI is an ongoing journey. Experiment with different prompts, iterate on your conversations, and refine your approach. Just like a new member to your team, it will take time to learn how to best interact with GenAI. By embracing these strategies and key prompts, you’ll be on a path to unlocking its full potential.

Ben is available for consulting and training to help you begin applying GenAI at your bank or credit union. Learn more.

author avatar
Ben Udell
With more than 25 years of financial expertise, Ben Udell is the driving force behind "future proofing" Lake Ridge Bank.
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