Forefront Communications

Fintech Marketing: Why a Niche Industry Requires a Holistic Approach

Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Fintech marketing has changed considerably in recent years. Once upon a time, the model was fairly straightforward. With a well-orchestrated product launch, a few buzzy articles, a basic website and maybe a report from an industry research firm, you could be reasonably sure that your target audience would have a baseline level of familiarity with your company, and that your sales team would have all the tools it needed to close the deal.

For many reasons, this PR-centric approach is no longer effective. One reason is that the robust trade media has contracted. But beyond that, the internet has democratized the way prospective buyers gather information. They can Google your firm, peruse your website, find out what others are saying about your product – and compare each criterion against your competitors. Yes, news announcements, feature stories, award wins and the like should still be part of a fintech marketing strategy. But in a media landscape that is increasingly forcing companies to take control of their own message, fintechs must adapt.

This dynamic is true for institutional buyers as well as consumers. So how should firms respond?

Fintech Marketing

Make no mistake: a nice trade magazine write-up on your firm is an important point of validation. But what do your prospects see when they finish the article and proceed to do their own research? An outdated website, slapdash sell sheet and a non-existent search presence just won’t cut it.

A good fintech marketing strategy should also prioritize messaging and positioning. Are you speaking to your key differentiators? Your clients’ most frustrating pain points? The industry’s most difficult and longstanding challenges? If the answer is no, chances are you’re not communicating your firm’s full value.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges. While some aspects of life as we knew it have returned, the sales process has been forever changed. Sure, you might still have your share of face-to-face meetings with clients and prospects. But the ability to make up for outdated sales collateral with an engaging in-person presentation, followed by a nice meal or a social event, has been compromised. In this day and age, there are simply no guarantees. And that means other program areas need to do more of the heavy lifting.

Fintech Marketing Campaigns

Today, effective fintech marketing means accounting for all these considerations. The exact program needed will vary. The market, product and competitive landscape are all important variables. But here are a few components that should be part of most every campaign. We’ve already touched on some of these, but you can read more details below.

  • Messaging and Positioning – This is the “source code” that all program elements will refer back to. It should speak to all relevant audiences and highlight key differentiators. Everyone at your company should know this like the back of their hand.
  • Brand Strategy – A compelling brand is more than a few cool colors and some pithy copy. Each element must support your messaging and positioning. That means a logo, typography, color palette and iconography and imagery systems that convey your brand at a gut level and are incorporated consistently in all public-facing materials.
  • Website – Your website is your front door. Is it accomplishing what it needs to? If prospects encounter an outdated design or vague copy – or if they can’t find it at all – it may be doing more harm than good.
  • Sales Support – Sales is still a people business, but those people need to be supported with the right tools and frameworks. Materials must have a consistent, on-brand look and feel.
  • Digital – Your internet presence goes beyond your website. SEO/SEM, social media, Glassdoor, industry-specific Wikis and more are all important ways that your firm can make itself known to the world. Take advantage of them.

Fintech Content Marketing

One additional program area that should be an element of most fintech marketing campaigns is content. This can be formal thought leadership, grabbier blog posts or audio or visual content. As long as it effectively addresses your target audience with valuable information, it’s worth exploring.

Given the state of the current fintech trade media, companies must increasingly take their stories into their own hands. And producing insights that can be amplified across a variety of mediums and formats is a natural tactic. The right approach will vary based on the client and project. But in general, any content piece must begin with a great idea, a list of key questions and a clear sense of the target audience.

Fintech marketing content can take the form of company-written articles, third-party reports and whitepapers, event recaps, podcasts, webinars, videos and more. All have a role to play. But identifying which factors are most impactful can be difficult – and may require leaning on experts.

Fintech Marketing Agency

Without this foundation, your fintech marketing efforts will fall short of providing full value. But with it, you can have confidence in your communications. When your client or employee prospects come searching, you’ll have everything you need to make the right impression.

That’s all easier said than done, of course. How should firms resource their fintech marketing efforts? Finding a single candidate who understands the industry and can execute across PR, content, social, events, digital and more can be difficult, especially amid the “Great Resignation.” Assembling a team with these combined talents can be a lengthy process. And while outsourcing offers a faster path, managing a specialized agency for each program element is inefficient and costly.

Instead, industry firms should seek an agency offering an integrated fintech marketing and communications solution. Obviously we’re biased, but we believe Forefront Communications provides the ideal path for institutional fintechs looking to properly build their brands. Why?

  • We know this space intimately. We’ve helped many firms go from launch to leadership, both as in-house CMOs and now as an agency.
  • We enable you to spin up a full marketing and communications department on demand. Chances are, we can get to work in days.
  • We keep everything under one umbrella. No need to chase or ensure strategic alignment among multiple agencies.

This approach is powerful, and the costs are commensurate with the effort required to make it happen. To keep pace with the market at large, an institutional fintech marketing program will likely require a budget of at least $100k – and likely more, depending on your company’s size and growth ambitions – for program execution (conferences, printed materials, digital tools and programs, etc.). If that strikes you as high, consider that a single full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal costs more than that.

We know our approach doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s OK. Some may be searching for a quicker or less expensive solution. But if you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, we can help. We’d be happy to have a conversation about our approach. Don’t hesitate to reach out.