The Current FinTech Market
FinTech is certainly booming. At last count, there were 5,779 FinTech startups in America and 3,583 in Europe. And, these figures continue to grow.
For Q1 in 2019, the FinTech industry saw a 41% increase from Q4 2018, generating an additional $1 billion. Innovate Finance reports that, so far, the industry’s generated a whopping $2.9 billion from 123 deals.
So it’s really not very surprising that many FinTech brands are looking for innovative ways to advertise their services and increase their growth.
Challenges FinTech Brands Need to Overcome to Create a Kickass Marketing Campaign
Finding the Perfect Balance Between Finance and Technology
While technology plays by fast growth and quick market dominance rules, finance plays a whole different game. Mastering the two by effectively bridging the gap between much-needed financial services and modern technology offers the best formula for success.
Bringing products to market at a quicker speed allows FinTech companies to please investors and gain more funding. Overcoming traditional investment barriers.
Harnessing the power of data.
Established FinTech leaders—like Lending Tree and OnDeck—depend on the accuracy and reliability of their data for success. So they must gather and purify data while also focusing on their growth to get away from conventional marketing tactics.
Innovation must stay front-and-centre to avoid risks and prosper over the long-term.
Large banking institutions, like stuffy old men, typically don’t like to rock the boat or challenge the status quo.
When presented with innovative solutions (and marketing tactics), these players generally shy away preferring to play it safe. Their resistance to change and the indecisiveness it breeds leads to little, or at best, slow growth.
However, it does create exciting opportunities for challenger banks and FinTech companies to rise up and overthrow their large scale competitors. Claiming their place amongst the treetops as FinTech leaders.
Paid & Organic
When it comes to growth marketing, most successful campaigns strike a balance between paid and organic.
Whether it’s SEO or PPC, organic or Facebook ads, paid and social marketing are a match made in heaven. Investing in both almost always leads to higher ROI, a wider reach and overall more effective campaigns. So much so, that all of the kicking ass campaigns below use a mixture of the two.
Fintech Businesses Bucking the Trend
Here are some of our favourite examples of FinTech businesses kicking-ass in marketing.
1. WealthSimple: Content Is King
Recent research shows content marketing’s unequivocally and continuing power:
- 55% of marketers say creating blogs remains their top inbound marketing priority
- Marketers who prioritise blogging have 13x better ROI than those who don’t
- Content marketing garners 3x as many leads as paid search advertising
- Almost half of consumers view 3-5 pieces of content before speaking with a sales rep.
Apart from catching and holding prospective customers’ attention, good content can also build your credibility and boost brand awareness. A benefit that WealthSimple, an online investment management company, demonstrated so convincingly with their content marketing campaigns.
Their success began with a simple insight:
Most people view investments…as well… boring.
WealthSimple struck out on a journey to flip this notion on its head and make investments relatable and fun.
Using ground-breaking content and a good dash of humour, they created some awesome campaigns like “A Totally Not Boring Guide to Life Insurance” and “Nine Rules for Not Being Dumb When the Market Goes Down.”
Other pieces feature successful entrepreneurs, like Jen Agg, a successful bar and restaurant owner in Toronto. Agg’s commentary is straightforward, irreverent and, at times, even profane (she’s not shy about dropping drops an F-bomb on occasion).
Content like this not only captures potential customer’s attention—it also makes them think differently about your brand. Especially if your message uses powerful headlines and eye-catching graphics.
WealthSimple knew that success is all about getting the right people’s attention with head-turning content. And, then persuading them to take a closer look and sharing the message with their pals.
An award-winning strategy, if we say so ourselves. By March 2018, WealthSimple hit the $2 billion in assets mark and secured $65 million in new funding. Pretty impressive results!
2. Starling Bank: Harnessing the Power of Social Media
Unless you’re living under a rock, far away from Facebook, you’ve probably seen Starling’s, a British mobile-only bank, social media campaigns.
Their social media campaigns aimed to boost customers’ aware of their mobile-only approach to banking and tempt new customers to open accounts.
So, Starling set up camp on Facebook, their main platform for their June 2017 campaign (trendy Instagram would become a part of Starling’s marketing strategy in November).
Their first move was installing the Facebook SDK, a Facebook feature which allows app developers to integrate Facebook into a new app. Using SDK, Starling could easily share engaging content on the social media site—and send data from their mobile app to Facebook ads.
Starling discovered insights into potential customers’ actions on their banking app and avoid sending ads to people who had already seen the content. They could also accurately measure the performance of different ad formats, uncovering the not so shocking insight that video ads performed the best.
Starling’s success is unquestionable. They managed to:
- Decrease costs per banking app install by 36% within 2 months
- 44% of all account opens in November 2017 came from Facebook or Instagram
- 32% of Facebook leads converted to new accounts in November 2017
3. Monzo: Disrupting Marketing with Radical Transparency
Monzo certainly had ambitious goals. Not only did they want to gain new customers, but they also wanted to be known for delivering outstanding customer service and successfully secure crowdfunding.
They’d need something radically different to reach these goals.
Rather than hiding terms and conditions in banking jargon and talking at their customers, Monzo flipped this idea on its head — grounding their campaigns in “radical transparency”.
Forget traditional media and conventional (i.e. boring) banking marketing strategies.
Instead, Monzo focused on communicating with potential banking customers openly and honestly. Treating them like humans rather than bank accounts.
An approach that shaped everything — even allowing customers to overdraw on their accounts to participate in the crowdfunding campaign. A move that, while legal, certainly raised eyebrows.
Monzo’s campaign focused on customers’ needs and educating them on the benefits of investing, making it more appealing for customers new to investing to engage with the crowdfunding campaign.
When the team at Monzo made a mistake, they were upfront about it — and the feedback they received (dashing common wisdom on the subject) was almost universally positive.
Customers loved that Monzo was willing to admit its mistakes and of course, to proactively fix those mistakes and improve customer service.
For Monzo, “radical transparency” included everything from sharing internal emails with customers to publishing annual earnings report. While old bankers may roll in their graves, this approach more than paid off.
- Raised £20m in one of the most successful crowdfunding financial campaigns ever
- Increased users to 1.2 million since 2015
- Replaced First Direct as Britain’s number one bank for customer service
4. Klarna: Introducing the New King of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is certainly on the rise with the once burgeoning industry now transformed into a $5-10 billion dollar industry.
But, when FinTech company Klarna adopted influencer marketing, they certainly did it with style.
There’s no better way to challenge the boring, stuffy stereotype of finance than marketing with one of the pioneers of Hip Hop. Snoop Dogg is known for many things, but finance typically isn’t one of them.
Klarna kicked off their rebrand with a marketing campaign focused on design. Their playful campaign, Smoooth (yes, with the extra o) featured lots of random items like fish, cheese, and a swimming dog.
Arguably one of the most popular (and strangest) ads was of sound waves bouncing off a very fat man’s belly. This video ad quickly climbed the charts, reaching over 15 million views.
When Snoop Dogg joined the Smoooth campaign in 2019, it took things to a whole new level fo shizzle.
His premier campaign? Being crowned king of the Smoooth campaign in a coronation ceremony, where he ditched his name in favour of Smoooth Dogg. With Smooth Dogg as reigning king, the campaign attracted over 18,000 followers of the biggest, baddest kids in the hood.
What Can We Learn From These Rock-Star FinTech Companies?
Each of these rock-star FinTech companies used a different approach and unique, innovative strategies. But, these kick-ass campaigns proved that successful FinTech marketing campaigns are possible — with the right attitude.
So, how can you, our reader, achieve similar success?
- Get intimate with yourself. Do not answer the question, “who are we?” with the simple, somewhat boring reply “We’re a Fintech firm.” Dive deeper and identify what sets you apart and makes you different? How are you better than your competitors? What are the 3 or 4 core values that define your brand? Finally, how specifically do you benefit consumers in ways your competitors don’t? Monzo campaigns are particularly effective at representing their brand and unique tone-of-voice.
- Turn it upside down. Financial services are traditionally quite stuffy and well, rather boring. WealthSimple’s campaign was effective because it provided something exciting and interesting that hit all the right notes and embodied their brand.
- Know what you’re trying to achieve. Funny thing about establishing goals—setting realistic and measurable goals actually increases your chances of achieving them. Establish your marketing goals—including specific key performance indicators (KPIs)—at the onset of your campaign.
- Find your dream customer. It’s important to understand and segment your potential customer base and determine your dream customer. Once you know who you want to work with, walk a mile in their shoes. Discover their deepest pains, biggest annoyances and most personal desires. Having this information on hand makes it MUCH easier to create a targeted marketing campaign.
- Leverage available data. In today’s data-driven world, it’s incredibly easy to collect information about your customers. Once you’ve found your dream customer, double down on your campaigns by unlocking data insights and finding their unique pain points.
- Pick a marketing channel. Decide where you’ll release your content. Will you use social media, organic search results or paid advertising? We recommend not using too many marketing channels. Instead, pick the 2 or 3 best suited to your message and campaign. Once you’ve chosen your marketing channel, create a strategy for how you’ll deliver and what type of content you’ll produce.
- Find your customer value proposition (CVP). Your customer value proposition is essentially how you explain the value of your product or service. Make sure it includes how you’re unique, why you’re better than your competitors, and why customers should be excited and satisfied with your product or service.
- Make it a date. All good things must come to an end, even your marketing campaign. When setting your goals and KPIs, make sure they’re meaningful by setting deadlines. Don’t say, “we’ll increase conversions by 10%.” Say, “we’ll increase conversions by 10% within 6 months.”
- Review, refine, repeat. Monitor results and make necessary adjustments. You should know relatively quickly what’s working, and what isn’t. Be prepared for some aspects of your campaign to fail. When they do, use available data to assess the reasons you’re not making progress toward your goals and adjust your strategy accordingly.
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