Fintech marketing today and beyond: Exploring best practices and strategies
Success in fintech marketing requires not just an understanding of SEC rules and regulations. It demands a strategy focused on customers.
The fintech world is exploding. Transactions that once required a drive to the bank can now be done with the tap of a virtual button. It’s created a unique combination of technology and user trust, with larger monetary transactions conducted digitally daily.
VC investment resulted in $105 billion raised in 2020 alone. That has translated to immense success for startups like Robinhood, which reached almost 1 million users in 2016. Tapping into that growth can be challenging. Most fintech success stories rely on mobile technology, but 61% of consumers won’t return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. That’s important because 29.3 billion networked devices will be operating worldwide by 2023.
Let’s take a closer look at the global fintech market structure and the role fintech marketing plays today.
The 5 categories of fintech
Fintech is not just one thing. It’s a disparate collection of different financial solutions, each with its own unique peculiarities. The five primary fintech categories are:
- Digital payments. This category includes mobile POS payments, digital remittances and digital commerce (usually called e-commerce).
- Digital investment. Trading apps are abundant today. Within this category, you’ll find things like neobrokers and robo-advisors.
- Alternative lending. This includes business-focused crowdlending and consumer-friendly marketplace lending.
- Alternative financing. Here, you’ll find crowd-investing and crowdfunding apps.
- Neo-banking. The digital revolution has given rise to online-only banks without a physical branch anywhere in the world. Digital wallets are becoming more commonplace and even legacy financial institutions are finally waking up to the new trends.
Regions outside North America, including LATAM and elsewhere, are just starting their digital transformation. The masses are beginning to understand this new way of doing business, so it’s an even greener field abroad. That said, there is also resistance to this inevitable change.
What is fintech marketing?
All industries require specific marketing that builds brands, connects businesses with their target audience and complies with the various rules and regulations that govern that industry. The fintech industry is no exception.
Fintech marketing solutions can be defined as the totality of marketing techniques designed specifically for use by financial technology organizations. However, these techniques must do more than build an organization’s brand and amplify its message. They must also comply with a growing list of SEC regulations that limit the claims that can be made within marketing messages.
Just how big is the market size of the fintech industry? It was valued at $110.57 billion in 2020, with a projected CAGR growth rate of 26.87% and expected to reach $698.48 billion by 2030.
Generating demand with fintech digital marketing
The entire point of fintech marketing is to build demand and increase market share. To do this, you need to identify your fintech market opportunity. Fintech marketing strategies should be engineered around specific business models. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that will work for all organizations. Let’s dig deeper into what you should know.
Set data strategy
Data segmentation of your customers should really come from your predefined brand narrative, believe it or not. Create two to three compelling messaging pillars to center your content on so that people naturally gravitate toward the solutions and self-identify what they need before a salesperson ever contacts them.
Gong’s sales data has made it clear, “Competitive deals are won early, when the battleground is still fertile. Competitive deals are won with discovery techniques, NOT closing techniques.” This means spreading your decision tree flow at the top to start funneling in from a wide array of mostly non-branded keywords, for example, to create enough of a spread to learn and scale from.
It’s also a great alternative to an open flow and retroactively trying to figure out the data patterns to identify your audience — a convoluted process I’m very familiar with. Start your efforts with the audiences you expect first and then use user profiles to get ultra-specific concerning the key problems you solve. You might be surprised how close you can get. This will help you map out your fintech KPIs to give you a clear goal to pursue.
With that out of the way, let’s delve deeper into fintech marketing, starting with B2C.
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7 fintech marketing strategies for B2C
Below, you’ll find a deeper discussion surrounding the various fintech marketing strategies and how they work. This will also help guide your fintech content marketing strategy.
Gamification is a technique used to add game-like elements to other content. It’s used in the world of training and e-learning and can be used to great effect within fintech marketing. Gamification does not necessarily mean transforming your marketing content into a game but simply adding appropriate elements to other marketing elements. For instance, earning points, offering rewards and introducing contests are all examples of gamification. Even hipper, digital banking apps are doing this.
2. Referral, affiliate or influencer marketing
Referral marketing is precisely what it sounds like — allowing your current customers to refer others to you (usually for a reward of some type). Affiliate marketing allows you to tap into millions of affiliate websites to spread your message, and influencer marketing lets you take advantage of an influencer’s audience to build your brand.
3. Experiential marketing
Experiential marketing is sometimes called engagement marketing or participation marketing. It’s all about immersing your audience within a product and deeply engaging them. It’s focused on doing more than selling products or services. The goal is to get consumers to experience the brand itself. A good example of this would be a free trial of a service that allows consumers to participate and experience how the service or platform works firsthand.
4. Partnership marketing
Partnership marketing is a unique method that allows two or more brands to achieve success based on the synergy of their combined efforts. By working with other brands, you can reach a broader audience and collaborate with other businesses interested in the same audience. For instance:
- Google sponsors Wi-Fi at some Starbucks locations.
- GoPro and Red Bull also team up to market together.
- Nike and Apple, UNICEF and Target, and Burger King and McDonald’s are good examples of partnership marketing.
5. Community marketing
Community marketing involves bringing people together around a common theme or cause. Burning Man is a good example of a brand that grew through community marketing. Acorns is a more fintech-focused example.
For this to work, you need a community with a common interest (investing with a limited budget and little risk appetite in the case of Acorns). That community should feel that they belong together and they should care about each other (due to their shared interest). Fintech strategies for marketing tend to start here, with an internal evangelist leading the charge.
Branding is a critical step in building your fintech business but is often misunderstood. It’s more than just creating an evocative logo or an effective marketing concept. Instead, it’s about building expectations in your audience. Your brand is how your customers see you, but you can guide that perception through actions, adherence to your mission and correctly positioning your fintech business within the wider industry.
7. Content marketing and media production
Successful fintech marketing hinges on content marketing and media production. Simply put, no business will succeed without getting its message to its audience. You do that through content like social media posts, PPC ads, blog posts, videos, and more. It’s all about answering questions, positioning your firm as the answer to customer challenges and educating people. This is the key to inbound marketing that performs.
Fintech marketing should do more than entice and tantalize — it must educate. Your customers face a challenge. Maybe they’re trying to invest. Perhaps they want to accept mobile payments at their small business. Whatever the case, your content must explain several ways they can get around the issue and then position your solution as the best option. However, you must ensure there’s a strategy in place. Otherwise, you could be off-brand, watered down and fail to make the impact that you need.
B2B fintech marketing
The B2B fintech marketing world is unusual in that many brands fail to understand how to reach their audience. Doing so effectively requires a combination of B2B and B2C tactics that are often outside the experience of most B2B marketers.
It was only five to seven years ago that brands thought using online video to market their business was an absurd idea. The perception was that video was only for TV marketing. Still, many of the decision-makers at these firms failed to realize that Internet bandwidth was increasing exponentially across the country, making high-quality video marketing, not just realistic but incredibly effective. Blinded by the past and unconnected to the present, they simply could not see it. (And this is still the case for some, unfortunately.)
Our team at Noble Digital could never have helped investment platform Fundrise achieve the success we did if they had thought this way. In their case, they were stuck using Google search ads. While PPC can be effective, the problem was that most of the leads generated were unqualified to invest due to SEC regulations. Our solution? A specifically designed video targeting qualified investors that not only moved the needle but dramatically enhanced brand recognition and market share. You need to find partners that come up with actual ROI solutions vs. deliverables that may fall flat.
How to succeed in fintech marketing
Mastering the world of modern fintech marketing isn’t rocket science, but it requires a firm understanding of best practices.
Focus on mobile users
First, make sure that you’re focusing on mobile users. That’s where the bulk of your customers will be. And remember what we mentioned at the beginning of this article. You can’t afford to get your mobile applications’ experience wrong because more than half of consumers won’t give you a second chance. Fintech applications have to be engineered for seamless experiences.
Create valuable content
Next, make sure that you’re creating valuable content. Yes, you’re creating marketing collateral, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be vapid or overtly sales-y. Remember what we mentioned previously — good content marketing educates your audience. Don’t just tell them why you’re the best choice for their needs. Show them that you understand their challenges and pain points, and then highlight the options they must solve those problems while positioning your offering as the optimum solution.
Differentiate your brand
While the fintech industry is relatively new, the problems it solves are not. That means no matter what your business does, it’s not novel. You have competitors. It’s imperative to show your audience how you differ from others out there.
- What differentiates you from other fintech businesses?
- What’s the thing that you do better than anyone else?
Identify your unique selling proposition and then make that the center of your fintech marketing strategy. Need a deeper dive into how to differentiate your brand? Check out this detailed article on branding.
The future of fintech marketing
What does the future of fintech product marketing look like? While we don’t have a crystal ball, there are some interesting trends that we can use to extrapolate critical things for publishers and marketers to understand.
Banks and fintechs collaborate
One trend that’s become very visible in recent months is the growing number of bank/fintech collaborations. What does that mean for your marketing? One consideration is an increase in SEC hoops you’ll need to jump through regarding your messaging.
Sustainability hits it big
With the growing impact of climate change on the global economy, fintech firms, banks and others in the financial industry are increasingly turning to sustainable innovation to attract new investors/clients.
IoT will play a role
Finally, the Internet of Things (IoT) will drive a new era of trust in finance. Look for significant expansion across both wired and wireless networks and other communication technologies, including near-field communication solutions and low-power wide-area networks, to name just a few.
AI in fintech market
Global AI in fintech is often used in finance for several reasons:
- Loan decision-making.
- Customer support.
- Fraud detection.
- Risk assessment of creditworthiness.
- Wealth management.
- And more.
Modern fintech companies’ advances focus on adopting AI for efficiency, enhanced precision levels and quick problem resolution which all lead to a better brand experience.
The future of fintech marketing might not be entirely clear, but it is technology-driven and customer-focused. Achieving success in fintech marketing requires going way beyond just an understanding of SEC rules and regulations. It demands a sound strategy based on deep knowledge of your audience, their challenges and how your offering solves those problems.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.