Good messaging, as most appreciate, is critical to the success of any marketing and communications program, particularly for a space as complex as institutional fintech. Without it, stakeholders are likely to receive an inconsistent, disjointed story about your business and have a much more difficult time determining why they should choose you over a competitor.
Done right, well-crafted messaging provides the market with a uniform description of your company and its value proposition from all touchpoints – your employees, website, sales collateral, PR, client communications, social and traditional media, other fintech influencers, etc. – creating a consistency that is essential for your story to take hold.
Messaging is also vital for efficiency and scale. When precise language, as opposed to general themes, is agreed to in advance, crafting marketing communications of all types – press releases, interview talking points, thought leadership content and so on – becomes far less onerous and time-consuming, enabling you to bring in additional resources to execute your marketing programs with minimal oversight and iteration.
Fintech Messaging: Key Success Factors
While no one will question the value of “messaging,” people’s definitions of it can vary widely. In our experience, the best key messaging for institutional fintech meets the following criteria:
Crystalizing exactly what sets you apart is a key component of any messaging exercise, and it’s imperative that this process starts with an analysis of how your competitors position themselves. Ideas, themes and specific language must be distinctive if you’re to rise above the noise.
Along those same lines, your messaging needs to be bold. Yes, this is a highly regulated industry, and yes, it has historically been comprised of more cautious decision-makers. But times are changing, and many of those in positions of authority today are looking for their technology partners to be agents of change for their businesses. Convincing these decision-makers that you’re the disruptor they seek requires more than just a vibrant color palette.
The best messaging creates a small number – usually four to six – of discrete and simple themes that can easily be remembered. Encapsulated in one or two sentences at most, this will enable anyone on your team to tick them off on their fingers, even after a vodka tonic or two.
While there are certain themes that apply to many institutional fintechs (technological sophistication, fast and responsive client service, etc.), messaging should not be generic or riddled with platitudes. Instead, it should be very specific so that your audience will know exactly what asset class your offering pertains to, where it will fit within their organization, who will use it and so on.
One common mistake with fintech messaging – often made by branding and advertising agencies – is failing to account for all the ways in which the messaging will be used. Grandiose, inspirational language might work great in a Super Bowl ad, but will it have the same effect in more low-key contexts, such as media talking points, thought leadership articles or sales scripts? Making sure that your messages are usable in everyday, practical ways is crucial.
Your messaging should be just one component of your fintech’s cohesive brand strategy. It should inform everything from your company’s tone of voice and website navigation all the way to content and media strategy. It should also be supported by a compelling visual brand. For example, in our work to rebrand Broadway Technology, we learned that firms turn to them to solve their toughest fixed-income workflow challenges not just because of their technology, but also for the bright minds that work there. That led us to a compelling tagline (“Where Tech Meets Intellect”) and a visual brand system that highlights imagery of contemplative, serious-looking individuals with an original design concept – which we dubbed “Dataways” – overlaid to abstractly represent the intersection of both tech and intellect.
In our view, it’s imperative to take this kind of holistic approach to a company’s brand. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a situation where decisions on logo, typeface, color palette, design system and so on are made based solely on individual preference – which is obviously highly subjective and nearly impossible to create consensus around – rather than an agreed-upon strategy based that’s supportive of a broader brand objective.
We’re big believers in the power of messaging, and virtually all of our engagements with institutional fintech clients begin with an intensive messaging exercise. If you’d like to learn more about our process or discuss how we can help you stand out, we’d love to chat.