Establishing a fintech brand in 2019 is hard work. When it comes to managing people’s money, customers need brands they can trust. And as a fintech startup, you enter this market as a complete unknown, with a serious trust deficit when compared to incumbents.
This is why marketing and brand building is vital for today’s fintechs. We’ve therefore gathered the insights and advice from seven fintech marketing leaders working for some of the fastest scaling financial services companies around the world.
We reached out to the following marketing leaders who work for some of the most exciting and fastest scaling fintechs in 2019.
There was a consensus of opinion within the research that while the superior UX of fintech products gives them an edge over traditional financial firms, these larger players are quickly catching up, through either acquisitions or in house innovation.
What this means for fintech marketeers is that just relying on superior UX in marketing communications may not give them the edge for that much longer. Therefore, fintechs need to broaden out their messaging to ensure they differentiate themselves over the long term.
Here are some ways that the fintechs who participated in our research are doing this:
Like all startups, fintechs enter their industry as unknowns. However, financial services brands need to have trust in the eyes of their target audience, perhaps more than any other type of business. After all, they’re managing people’s money.
Therefore, most fintechs that we work with and pretty much everyone we interviewed for our research told us that a large part of their marketing efforts, particularly during the early days, is centered around building trust with their audience.
It was reported that owned media content plays a very important part in building this trust, through the following means
But before investing in any owned media output, it’s important to have the
fundamentals in place, which the following infographic shows.
The next trend follows on closely from the last. Just as important as building trust in the eyes of an audience is being seen as a legitimate player within the industry. And when it comes to the question of how to build this legitimacy, a consensus of opinion that emerged in our research was through using thought leadership.
But what exactly is thought leadership? It’s a term that’s used a lot in PR and marketing but not everyone fully understands what it is.
Well, here at Publicize, we define thought leadership as
“Where you leverage the expertise and experience within your business to provide expert insight and answers to the biggest issues facing your industry”
The actual form that thought leadership marketing takes can be via both owned and earned media. The below infographic shows the PESO Model (created by Gini Dietrich, author of Spin Sucks), which helps to conceptualize the relationship between these media types.
Owned media thought leadership marketing include mediums such as blog posts that provide detailed analysis of events and issues within your industry, and reports that you publish on topics such as the current state of your industry or new trends.
Earned media thought leadership most often takes the form of guest posts that are written by members of a business’s leadership team which tackle large topics within the industry, which are then published on relevant third party media outlets.
The big difference between the effectiveness of owned and earned media thought leadership marketing is that owned media content will only reach a business’s existing audience. Whereas earned media thought leadership can reach a much wider audience and specific narratives can be targeted towards specific audiences.
The biggest marketing challenge reported by most of the participants in our study were tight marketing budgets. This is especially the case when compared to the deep pockets of traditional competitors.
A way that many fintechs are countering this challenge is by adopting lean marketing methodologies, in order to make the most of their marketing budgets.
For those not familiar with this, here’s a definition:
“A marketing methodology adopted from product development that focuses on iterative and shortened campaigns and precise measurements of success”.
Or as someone else has put it: fail early and fail often. This way, you save spending money on what doesn’t work, while constantly getting feedback on how to improve.
In essence, lean marketing is all about operating within continual testing mode, allocating small budgets to test different campaigns. If something works, it’s allocated more budget, if it doesn’t, it’s altered or abandoned.
Going beyond superior tech and UX in marketing communications, building trust through owned media content, using thought leadership to build legitimacy and making the most of tight budgets with lean marketing are all important factors that our research uncovered. If these are incorporated into fintech PR and marketing strategies, startups operating in this industry stand a much better chance of making it.
You can read all the insights and advice from the experts in our free ebook: Finding Your Fintech’s Flair
With thanks to the following contributors:
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