Forefront Communications

CMO Survey Report: Traditional Marketing Campaign Methods Still Have Value

Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Below is an excerpt from our 2022 Fintech CMO Survey Report, a deep dive into the opinions and mindsets of a wide range of senior fintech marketers. Over the next few weeks, as firms across the industry set their marketing budgets for 2023, we are highlighting some of the report’s key findings. Download the full report here.

Many firms want to delve into the latest digital tools – and rightly so – but don’t sleep on the value of tried and true fintech marketing campaigns like traditional media relations, press releases and in-person events

The trade media that used to cover institutional fintech is disappearing. Companies are becoming more skeptical about the value of live events. Zoom is rapidly replacing previous forms of communication, including face-to-face. If you’re a fintech marketer, you’re likely aware of all these trends – and not just because we covered them earlier in this report.

But that doesn’t mean that these more traditional program elements have no place in a modern integrated marketing program. Our conversations with several fintech marketers revealed that, deployed correctly, these tactics can still be highly effective when it comes to reaching the right audience, explaining your value proposition and securing unique validation.

Marketing/PR Strategy

For starters, nearly 90% of respondents said they currently employ PR/media relations as part of their fintech marketing program. That tracks with the 83% of respondents who believe these areas still warrant significant investment, more than half of whom stated that they are “more important than ever.” To some, the value of traditional PR/media relations lies in its ability to create synergies with more modern program elements, bolstering a tried and true channel with a more digital and analytical approach.

“Having good media relationships is still of paramount importance,” said Daitch. “In addition to potentially generating valuable third-party validation, the traditional press release can also generate an SEO boost, and hopefully a conversion boost too. It’s all about having an integrated process and making the most of all the news you have to share. Talking with the media is crucial, but so is enhancing it with email, social media, search strategy, advertising and so much more.”

As for events, our respondents bucked what had become a longstanding, cross-industry narrative: the decline of in-person conferences. Nearly 15 years ago, when tools that enable remote and hybrid attendance still had a long way to go, this trend was already in place; Trade Show Week Magazine reported in 2008 a significant downturn in live event attendance due to budget cuts, travel expenses, productivity concerns and other issues. When the pandemic hit, many assumed it was a death knell for the traditional industry conference, with travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines bound to accelerate their inevitable decline.

Instead, it appears that the opposite has occurred. After a difficult year in 2021, nearly 90% of our respondents said they plan to increase their spend on in-person events this year. Meanwhile, 60% of respondents said they believe Zoom fatigue is setting in on remote and hybrid events, while nearly one-third said they are no longer or were never effective. All these stats support the idea that while virtual channels are nice, real relationships can only be formed face-to-face.

When we speak with clients for case studies, as much as they talk about how they value the platform, features and the like, the true story is often about how they came to trust us and how they felt heard and understood.”

Mirielle Adebiyi, CMO & Head of Global Marketing & Communications, Itiviti

According to Adebiyi (Itiviti), even though some events might appear to consist of “seeing people for the sake of seeing people,” they can be an invaluable way to build relationships.

“When we speak with clients for case studies, as much as they talk about how they value the platform, features and the like, the true story is often about how they came to trust us and how they felt heard and understood,” said Adebiyi.

Fintech PR: Finding a Balance

Finding the right balance is important – old-school fintech marketing campaigns consisting only of PR/media relations and events won’t get you very far – but whether it’s credentializing your firm or forging relationships, these tactics offer benefits that are hard to replicate. In short, fintech marketers should embrace modernity – but don’t reject tradition.

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