What Can Financial Services Firms Learn From Fintechs?

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We understand it can be difficult to market traditional financial services and products.

Tight regulations, fierce competition, and saturated markets make it harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. However, here at Growth Gorilla, we believe all businesses have something exciting to shout about.

Whether you’re a wealth manager, mortgage broker, or even an insurance specialist, there are loads of marketing tricks at your fingertips to boost business and pull the right customers through your doors.

So, what are you waiting for? Quit monkeying around and get your hands dirty with our juicy marketing tips to maximise business growth.

Challenges in Marketing of Financial Services

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?

If your business has done things a certain way for a long time, it can be daunting to break tradition. Why would you rock the boat if the ship is sailing smoothly?

Well, the fact of the matter is that the financial services sector is changing and competition from aggressive fintech firms is making it harder than ever to stay ahead of the pack.

In fact, 88% of financial institutions believe part of their business will be lost to independent fintech companies in the next five years.

We believe businesses should never settle with mediocre results. There are always clever ways to push your business to the top of the food chain.

Giving your financial services company a marketing facelift won’t happen without its challenges, but it’ll be worth the fight.

Here are some of the roadblocks you might find when promoting a financial services company and our top tips for coming out on top.

Building Trust With Customers

Financial services is serious stuff — your customers want to know they’re dealing with professionals. With 87% of organizations saying customer loyalty correlates directly with professionalism and commercial success, it’s important to give off the right signals.

Many businesses fear that evolving their marketing strategies to expand customer reach could jeopardise existing relationships and reduce the level of trust associated with their brand.

If you’ve spent years building trusted customer relations, the last thing you want to do is scare them away with broken promises or marketing messages which don’t fit with their established perception of your brand.

Here are some top tips on how to build customer trust and loyalty with clever marketing:

  • Start with a clear value proposition. Be transparent with what your business can offer and keep it simple. That way, customers know what they’re getting themselves in to.
  • Authenticity is king. There’s nowhere to hide for brands in an era of Facebook, Google Reviews, Glassdoor, and the like. Keep your marketing true to your business’ core values, and customers won’t catch you off guard. We love a bit of aggressive marketing, but it’s important to remember who you are and to stay true to your values. You don’t want to alienate your valued customers.
  • Shout about the good stuff. Positive testimonials and customer reviews are a great way to build trust and let your results do the talking.
  • Over-deliver on promises. Don’t offer customers the bare minimum. Give them something to write home about by going above and beyond to deliver a fast and effective service.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you’re looking to win new customers, your marketing approach needs to strike a subtle balance between work and play. It’s important to be approachable and plain-speaking in today’s market, but you need to maintain a level of professionalism.

Learning how to improve the marketing of your business and building a brand that people trust is the first rule of thumb for financial services success. Whether it’s content marketing, online reviews, or video testimonials, there are tonnes of ways to build trust with potential customers.

Targeting the Right Audience

Reaching the right people when marketing your financial services company can be challenging.

With every customer having a unique buyer position, it used to be difficult to target specific groups using generalised marketing messages.

Luckily, the rise of social media has opened the door to a whole new era of marketing, where businesses have access to tonnes of customer data to broadcast hard-hitting messages to the right people.

Nowadays, the modern marketer can filter potential customers by age, location, interests, income, job title, and even where they sit in the buying cycle, based on what they are searching.

Additionally, marketers can use existing customer data to improve retention and identify who their best customers are to keep them sweet.

Aim & Fire

We can break targeted marketing into two parts:

  • Identify who your customers are. Review your existing client base and identify what groups of customers you have. Split them up by age, location, income and job title and see what products they have purchased…you’ll quickly understand who is interested in which product and where the opportunities are to cross-sell other products.
  • Tune your messaging to target these customers. Tailoring your marketing messages allows you to offer bespoke solutions that satisfy customers’ individual financial needs.

It’s estimated that 63% of worldwide consumers are frustrated by generic marketing messages which don’t suit their personal situations. Improve conversions and unlock the power of social media marketing to deliver a tailored service.

Let’s walk through a quick example…

ABC Financing wants to target business owners with an annual revenue upwards of £1 million and looking for investment advice.

At the click of a button, targeted marketing can put ABC Financing right under the noses of potential customers who fit these exact criteria.

Unlock New Marketing Channels

Online marketing channels give businesses more access than ever to a goldmine of contacts and audiences.

Here are the hottest marketing channels to put your business in front of the right people:

  • If you specialise in wealth planning, discover LinkedIn Local to access high net worth individuals in your local area.
  • Unlock the power of Google ads and search engine optimisation (SEO) to push your business to the top of user searches. This is an opportunity to provide simple solutions to people’s problems. If someone searches “financial advisers near me”, you want to be their first port of call.
  • Master the art of Facebook advertising to promote specific services based on people’s online activity. For example, if someone is recently engaged to their partner, they may be looking for their first mortgage. Jump on this opportunity and send tailored mortgage ads their way.

Complex Messages

Too many financial services companies confuse their marketing messages with fancy jargon.

If businesses use complex language and technical lingo to communicate their services, customers will quickly lose interest.

Good businesses are experts at what they do, so they should make it sound simple.

Also, with the UK having an average adult literacy rate of 9 years old (yes, you heard it right), complex jargon can leave people confused and frustrated.

Whether it’s “encrypted payment systems” or “automated accounting technology”, companies often assume their target audience is as educated as they are. Focus on delivering a clear message that people understand.

Avoid too many buzzwords and focus on delivering a clear service that provides practical solutions to customer problems.

Explainer videos are an excellent way to boil your business down to its core and capture the essence of what you do. Be creative with how you present your business — don’t just churn out the same old stuff we’ve seen for years.

Innovation in a Crowded Marketplace

With the world of finance being such a saturated market, it’s difficult for financial services firms to find a competitive edge and stand out from the crowd. If you want to achieve business growth, you need to do everything you can to pinch customers from the competition.

In the words of the late Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Innovation is key to getting ahead in today’s market. Think outside the box and take daring leaps to try the things your competitors won’t.

Winning customer loyalty is extremely difficult, but well worth the effort. In fact, it’s 16 times more expensive to build long-term relationships with new customers than to maintain loyalty with existing customers.

Don’t hide in the shadows. Shout from the rooftops and tell the world why your business is different.

Learn from the Best

Looking for inspiration to supercharge your marketing, build customer trust, and shout about internal innovations? Well, look no further.

  • The guys at First Mortgage have plenty to shout about with over 6000 reviews to verify their expertise and win the loyalty of hesitant customers who are sitting on the fence.
  • Maven Advisor is taking innovation seriously with their own personal finance podcast. The plucky bunch of wealth advisors claim they’re here to “help you answer expensive questions, which solve tomorrow’s problems today.” The podcast discusses the latest innovations in the finance world and puts its brand at the centre of the action to communicate their commitment to innovation.
  • The Private Office have smashed it out of the park with clear and simple messaging on their website. The financial planning experts pride themselves on their “truly independent and unbiased” approach. These guys ooze authenticity and reliability with their black and white tone of voice and confident delivery.

What Can We Learn From Fintech Marketing Strategies?

This rise of challenger fintech firms in the digital age has turned the world of finance on its head.

Whether it’s personal finance apps like Monzo, or mobile investment providers like Stash, tech-focused ‘disruptors’ are tearing up the rulebook. Customer journeys are changing, loyalties are shifting, and consumer habits are evolving.

With Goldman Sachs valuing the worldwide fintech industry at a staggering $4.7 trillion, fintech startups and disruptors can’t be ignored. There’s loads to be learned from fintech marketing strategies to help elevate established financial services firms into the 21st century.

Here’s how you can get started.

Adopt a Lean Marketing Mindset

Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup explains how small businesses can build better products by adopting a lean growth model.

Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) are sold to customers, and usage data is collected to identify how the next version of the product could be improved. This continual process of testing, analysing, and improving gives businesses the agility they need to satisfy changing customer demand.

Similarly, many fintech firms are adopting a lean approach in their marketing strategies. Instead of investing huge amounts of time and money into ambitious marketing initiatives, they’re testing the water with nimble campaigns.

If the campaign is successful, great. If it sucks, reevaluate and find ways to improve it.

Be the Best at One Thing

Many fintechs have found their success by focusing their energy towards solving specific problems.

Whether it’s taking the pain out of mortgages with Molo, offering speedy loans with Wonga, or streamlining invoicing with QuickBook, fintechs are delivering bespoke solutions to make people’s lives easier.

Instead of spreading themselves too thin or becoming a jack of all trades, fintechs are striving to be the best at one thing.

The New Customer Journey

Gone are the days of rigid customer journey maps to track the movement of customers from point A to point B. Nowadays, building customer loyalty is all about offering positive user experiences and giving the customer the power to steer their own path.

Nick Worth and David Frankland’s Marketing to the Entitled Consumer explains how “the problem with journeys is they assume the consumer will follow a defined path.”

Whether it’s onboarding programmes, retention campaigns, or win-back initiatives, traditional customer journeys assume the business is in control of a customer’s journey.

The new customer journey requires a flexible and accommodating approach to customer relationship management (CRM) to satisfy individual needs and offer bespoke solutions.

Fintechs are making it easier than ever for customers to pave their own paths. Speedy onboarding processes, intelligent customer support, and digital apps to replace branch visits, give customers the flexibility and control they desire.

Create Engaging Online Content

Research shows that 87% of consumers think financial services firms are “annoying, boring, or unhelpful” on social media.

It doesn’t matter how big your marketing budget is — if you fail to successfully engage with your customers and provide stimulating content, you won’t see the results you need.

Luckily, many fintech firms are beginning to embrace unique online personas which buck the trend and give customers something to get excited about.

The mobile banking app, Revolut, has made a name for itself with its confrontational LinkedIn presence, and no-nonsense approach to kickstarting conversations on Facebook.

Financial services firms must follow in the footsteps of companies like Revolut by creating engaging online campaigns and finding a voice which can be heard above the noise of social media.

Creating a company spokesperson who truly believes in a product or service is a powerful to build trust and communicate company values.

Director of Marketing and Communications at Revolut, Chad West, is the champion of brand endorsement. Chad is passionate about solving problems within the banking world and posts engaging (and sometimes controversial) content to get more and more people talking on his social channels.

Top Tips to Compete with Fintechs

The so-called ‘challenger banks’ and ‘fintech disruptors’ are leading the pack as traditional financial services companies look to the new kids on the block for ideas.

Here are some simple ways traditional financial services brands can mix things up to compete with emerging fintechs:

  • Focus on a single product or service. Too many businesses overstretched by offering too many services. Keep things simple and focus on doing a few things amazingly, rather than lots of things poorly. Think of it as the difference between a set menu at a Michelin-Star restaurant and a greasy diner selling everything under the sun.
  • Solve customer problems. Most fintechs exist to solve specific problems associated with traditional financial services. The secret to success is identifying these problems and acting fast to find solutions.
  • Invest in technology. It’s in the name. Fintechs capitalise on innovative tech to streamline processes and simplify complex tasks. Investing in technology can give businesses that all-important edge over the competition. Simple tech solutions such as chatbots, digitalising paperwork, and automating repetitive tasks can lift businesses into the 21st century with minimal investment.

Ready To Go Apeshit?

Here at Growth Gorilla, we’re very different from your typical growth marketing agency.

We’re not focused on clicks and traffic — we’re here to help innovative startups, scaleups & established businesses catalyse growth.

Our dedicated team are committed to developing and implementing high performing marketing strategies to elevate your business to new heights and set you apart from the competition.

In the words of the Notorious B.I.G, clever marketing can help your business “climb the ladder to success escalator style.”

Let us show you how ambitious brands accelerate their growth. Contact us for a FREE consultation today.

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