Financial technology, or fintech, companies are raking in major investments. Established financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, Barclays and J.P. Morgan are getting involved alongside tech giants like Google, Alibaba and Amazon.
In the race to mature into viable businesses, fintech companies need robust marketing. The buzz of raising capital attracts tech and venture capital bloggers, but clients need details. They want to see how a new service or product can help them.
For many fintech startups, early headcount is given to engineers, evangelists and finance or operational roles. After a website is built and a few slide decks are created, marketing takes a back seat.
Here are four crucial rules for building a fintech marketing platform that can support sales and develop the positive brand identity late stage startups need.
- Hire with Care:
After rounds of restructuring in financial services, finding marketers with experience in investment banking, trading, asset management or wealth management isn’t hard. The same can be said of marketers trained and cut through the grist mill of tech startups. The key is to find someone who will understand the how both work together.
Looking for an accomplished marketer with professional skills in one area and personal interest in the other is often a good solution. Another option may be to look at large tech companies with a financial services division and a distinct marketing function.
A qualified marketer who understands finance and technology will set your young firm in good standing, but don’t neglect the basics. Your marketer will often be the first to hold that role in your company, so they should have solid business and managerial skills. Functioning in a small team also requires a certain personality type so big-corporate marketers will need to adjust to a bootstrap culture.
- Be Social
People look to fintech to change their industry and, more importantly, their business. But it’s worth remembering that while clients expect it to offer new and different solutions to existing business problems, they also expect it to look different.
Fintech branding should actively embrace new media and social integration. Bylined articles and press releases still have their place, but fintech firms are expected to nimbly use Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Slideshare and in some cases, Facebook and Instagram.
In laying out your content pipeline and messaging, remember to constantly look for ways to adapt materials for social platforms. Translating your core messages from traditional to new media outlets demonstrates credibility and cultural cachet.
- Hit the High Notes
Let’s be honest. Most people who think fintech is exciting still don’t get how it works. And that’s ok.
The most effective marketing for highly technical products and services alludes to the technical sophistication, but rarely spells it out. For better or worse, it’s hard to achieve wow factor for clients. Instead, focus on the value your innovation adds and the change it enables.
A great example of this is SAP’s branding around the Run Simple campaign. If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at the way they acknowledge technical challenges without ever explaining them. Classy stuff, this.
- Don’t be Afraid to Speak Geek
Having just explained why you stick to the high points, you should not be afraid to speak geek. CEOs of large companies are often organizational leaders or visionaries, but rarely are they engineers. There are, however, a layer of customers and core clients who are in the trenches, technically-speaking, everyday.
To reach technical audiences, don’t be afraid to show your technical credentials and explain the details of your offering at a granular level. Marketers who excel at hitting the high notes and speaking geek have a better chance of winning business that requires approval from management and operational staff.
Elon Musk of Tesla is famous for this. His elaboration on the Tesla’s Model S crash test safety results were indulgent for the amount of technical detail included. It was a message. He wanted to tell his customers, competitors – the whole industry – this was not accident. We got this result by design.
These steps are drawn from real life examples of late-stage fintech startups who have begun marketing in earnest. These rules apply to new product rollouts or entering new markets. The key is to make sure your marketing is as intelligent and innovative as your product.
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To take your marketing , contact North Point Partners today. We’ll help you say what you mean.