Fintech Marketing Innovation Fuels Growth
Traditionally, financial companies are rarely thought of as cool or trailblazing. Their marketing campaigns usually promote how reliable they are. Dull but dependable. Fintech companies emerged to take on the big names in finance, to show how things could be done differently thanks to new technology and a new, digital-mindset. Fintech startups and scaleups are on a mission to disrupt the finance industry, so it follows that their marketing needs to disrupt as well. The companies that are most successful in fintech use daring marketing methods to match their bold products.
Social Media – Core To Fintech Marketing
Fintech startups and scaleups have not been shy to take advantage of social media to connect with their target audience and get people talking. A good example is TransferWise, who used social media to power a wildly effective referral campaign.
Social media has advantages over traditional marketing channels for growing brands:
- A younger audience than other media channels
- Ability to build momentum with shareable content
- Easy to target a narrowly-defined audience with custom content
- Connection with influencers to build a brand
- Makes use of data to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t
An example of shareable content that builds momentum are the ‘unboxing’ videos where people shoot videos of themselves opening and using their cards for the first time. This, of course, inspired by those thousands of unboxing videos of high-value consumer tech products, like Apple and Android smartphones, that tech aficionados started years ago. A bank card, now a brand identifier of just how ‘cool’ you are to own a Revolut, Monzo, N26 or Starling bank card.
Crowdfunding has emerged as a popular way for fintech brands to grow, because it raises money and awareness simultaneously. When you use crowdfunding to attract smaller investors, these investors tie themselves to your success. It’s in their interest to promote your brand to their network as much as they can. They become your champions and your ambassadors.
There are many different sites you can use to find crowdfunding investors. Kickstarter is the big name, but there are more business-focused sites such as Seedrs and Crowdcube, as used by Nebeus. The other method of crowdfunding, popular in fintech, is the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), making use of blockchain technology.
Growth hacking is an extremely popular marketing concept with startups and scaleups. It’s a high-energy, highly-focussed marketing approach whose only aim is to add users as quickly as possible. Everything else takes second place to adding users. The beauty of growth-hacking is that it gets all the relevant departments in a company, from sales to content, PR and marketing all focussed in the same direction to get results in a set time-period. By harnessing key data and analytics to fine-tune target audiences and content, you can optimise your marketing spend and drive users and subscribers quickly.
Growth hacking methods include:
- Micro-targeted digital advertising to build traffic to your site
- Creating high-converting landing pages to introduce users to your sales funnel
- Shareable content to create a narrative of growth
A success story in fintech growth hacking comes from Blueleaf, who signed up 10,000 users before they had even launched by devising an invite system which created an illusion of exclusivity, becoming a brief social media craze.
No startup finds success by trying to be all things to everyone. You grow by initially targeting an extremely narrow audience, winning them over, then using them as a base to attack other narrow audiences. It’s the concept popularised by the business book Crossing The Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore.
There are many fintech businesses who have found success by niching down early. Revolut, for example, added 1.5 million users by targeting travellers and expats. Coconut positioned itself as a financial service for freelancers (it also uses crowdfunding via Crowdcube). Iwoca targets small businesses for its lending services.
Making Finance Cool
If a fintech startup is going to grow by appealing to younger people and millennials, it has to be a lot cooler than the average financial institution. When it comes to marketing, it means everything has to be approached differently. Whether it’s the bright colours on their websites, their irreverent business names and straplines or their wild publicity stunts, it’s all about saying, ‘We’re not like the banks your parents use.’
In 2016, Business Insider published a list of the 40 coolest people in UK Fintech, topped by Tom Blomfield from Monzo. Thanks to fintech, finance is a home for cool tech people, not just suited and booted bankers.
Of course, if your product isn’t very good, even the best marketing methods will only take you so far. The biggest successes in fintech so far have been some of the most innovative. Revolut has shown that moving money between countries shouldn’t be expensive. Monzo has shown that banks can be more customer-focused than ever. In China, WeChat created an end-to-end digital payment solution. If your solution is truly new and appealing, growth will follow.