It’s official: FinTech has reached early mass adoption. Consumers are now making check deposits and rebalancing their portfolio on their morning commute, and businesses can now compare financing terms and secure a loan in less than 24 hours without having to visit a bank. It’s certainly a great time to be a FinTech startup—if you have the right marketing strategy in place, that is.
There’s mounting evidence that shows FinTech is steadily edging its way into the mainstream. The EY FinTech Adoption Index 2017 reports an adoption rate of 33% for FinTech products—a sharp increase from 14.3% in 2015.
Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Digital Banking Transformation 2017 agrees with this finding. Most segments in FinTech have already made it past the hype phase (e.g., robo-advisor 2.0 and social messaging app wallets), with some technologies now entering mainstream adoption (e.g., wearable banking apps and mobile wireless payments).
Still, in a nascent vertical like FinTech, companies face some very unique set of challenges when it comes to marketing their newfangled products. The main obstacle is getting target users to trust what could potentially be unfamiliar tools to help them handle their financial transactions. Even if FinTech products’ main selling point is to simplify and streamline finance, many of the technologies that power FinTech products can appear complex and opaque to most users. Privacy and security concerns, as well as vague terms on fees, charges, and rates, can put off potential customers.
Another likely source of FinTech marketing friction is that people and businesses tend to favor the status quo over new ways of doing things. FinTech products are, by their nature, innovative and ground-breaking. This can mean that users will need to change how they carry out specific financial tasks in order to start using a FinTech product. In some cases, FinTech adoption can require a drastic shift in behavior for consumers and a substantial process overhaul for businesses, adding to switching costs and inertia. ( UPDATE: Industry Insights: How to Influence Today’s B2B FinTech Buyers )
To clear these hurdles, FinTech startups need to get a bit more innovative with marketing. It’s not enough to highlight pains and gains in the value proposition. Both B2C and B2B FinTech companies have to build a reputation as financial experts looking after their users’ interests. This is going to take some major rethink of conventional marketing practices.
That’s why we’ve hand-picked some tried-and-tested FinTech marketing strategy tips to get you started in this direction:
#1. Pivot toward a lean marketing mindset
Practically all tech startups are intimately familiar with how the lean product design model works. A company identifies and develops its minimum viable product (MVP) and brings it to market as quickly as possible. This accelerates gathering user feedback that guides future versions of the product.
The lean model is built on a test-driven approach at making incremental improvements. The same hypothesis-driven, iterative method can and should be applied to marketing. Lean marketers launch small test campaigns and use the results to tweak individual components. The key idea is to “fail early and fail often” so that you’ll improve your marketing setup with every new trial. Learn from these 5 Lessons From Epic Tech Flops That Will Make You Better At B2B Sales.
#2. Embed the sharing economy into marketing campaigns
PWC predicts that the sharing or “gig” economy, which took root in ride-hailing and room accommodations, will become embedded in every part of the financial system by 2020. For example, borrowers will no longer need traditional banks to secure financing. They’ll instead turn to peer-to-peer platforms that directly match sources and users of loanable funds.
A key reason why the sharing economy has grown (and will continue to grow) to such epic proportions is that it’s built on trust and transparency. That’s why FinTech marketers need to apply these lessons into their strategies. In the gig economy, word-of-mouth drives people’s decisions. This means marketers must rely on peer reviews and recommendations above everything else. Here’s how to build a tremendous credibility and make clients refer you.
The sharing economy brings another important benefit to FinTech marketers: it allows better collaboration. Marketers can now count on peer-to-peer platforms to tap into the right marketing expertise for each campaign. These platforms typically run on algorithms that ensure, for instance, that a campaign for a payment gateway targeting hotels and restaurants is matched with freelancers who specialize in exactly that segment.
#3. Understand that “too big to fail” doesn’t apply in FinTech marketing
There’s no question that FinTech is upending traditional banking and financial services, especially in the lending and payments space. But FinTech startups aren’t just displacing banks at their core business. They’re also beating established companies at digital marketing.
A poll by the Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group shows that 87% of consumers think banks are “annoying, boring, or unhelpful” on social media.
That’s despite the massive marketing resources these institutions have at their disposal. This presents an opportunity for nimble startups who are better able to engage customers online at little or no cost. It’s not the dollars in your marketing budget that counts; it’s how you make each dollar count.
#4. Master and deliver CPC
No, this isn’t cost-per-click. Here, CPC stands for customized, personalized content. Educating potential users is an effective approach to build your reputation as an expert, and doing this through relevant and actionable content is one way to show you’re looking after your customers’ interests.
But providing CPC isn’t only good for branding. It can also translate into higher revenues.
So, whether you’re in B2C or B2B (or both), it pays to have a robust content marketing program in place. Be sure that you’ve identified your target audience segments and mapped out your sales funnel. Knowing what content appeals to different segments and what topics resonate with audiences at various points in the buying cycle are the building blocks of a workable content marketing plan. You may want to check our guides below:
- 12 Tools to Hack Your Content Creation Workflow [Plus Free Content Calendar]
- You Can’t Hit Two Birds with One Stone: Creating Content for Demand Gen & Lead Gen
- How to Reach Influencers and Grow Your Content Audience [VIDEO]
#5. Play by the rules, but don’t be driven solely by compliance
TechCrunch reports that uncertainty in the U.S. regulatory environment is threatening the rise of FinTech. Not only do FinTech startups have to avoid running afoul of evolving federal regulations, they also need to navigate a maze of state-level laws. As a result, the U.S. has fallen behind Asia in terms of regional investments in FinTech.
It’s only natural for FinTech companies to make sure their marketing strategy doesn’t break any applicable laws. However, compliance often comes at the cost of compelling marketing messages. FinTech marketers sometimes opt for watered-down versions of their value propositions just to stay on the right side of the Law. But, regulation shouldn’t erode the quality of your marketing materials. There’s always a sweet spot between offering value and staying compliant.
FinTech startups are starting to reap the benefits of disrupting an age-old industry. With the right marketing strategy in place, an agile FinTech company can easily reach double-digit growth and carve a decent market share. Use these five crucial FinTech marketing strategy tips to help you achieve these goals.