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The Challenge with Executing Marketing Strategies for the FinTech Startup?

The Challenge with Executing Marketing Strategies for the FinTech Startup?

Last month I presented the workshop Marketing Strategies for FinTech to a group of founders at Startupbootcamp NYC.Although executing a marketing strategy is not documented as a key cause why a FinTech startup fails, it is certainly a key factor that can potentially contribute to their long term success. However, during the workshop, based on the group discussion, it became evident that a FinTech startup founder’s marketing strategy is different when compared to a FinTech company that is beyond the startup phase. Despite the similarities such as the need for brand visibility, customer retention and industry education there are some sharp differences.

One difference is the marketing strategys for a mature company is usually a long term strategy. In many cases a marketing campaign can take a year to execute with short term milestones and goals. For example, one of the mandates for our client was to help them implement a marketing strategy to announce their entry in the Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) industry. The company was previous focused in another industry but wanted to merge technology and banking so launched a new product targeting bank treasury managers. However, getting recognition by the top banks is a long term process and the success criteria was included in the plan.

A long term marketing strategy was developed that included merging two web sites into one, under the company brand, executing several press releases for placement in key media channels and developing a case study summarizing the key strategic accomplishments. The second phase of the strategy was to target the top U.S. banks and execute a call plan based on the marketing collateral developed in the initial campaign. Although this plan took over a year to implement, the results were less than expected, but it did create visibility in the market that was new for this client.

Today, the FinTech founder faces a series of challenges that include dealing with regulatory issues, understanding any legal ramifications, launching the product and maintaining liquidity. Dealing with these challenges takes both time and energy. However, despite handling a variety to tasks to just stay afloat, for many founders a marketing strategy is not viewed a priority.

In a conversation with one founder about executing a marketing plan, the response was positive but the company focus is on building a pipeline to show results to investors. Another, startup’s response, when asked about their marketing plan, was simply there is just no time to focus on an area where they are unable to track and measure the results for a short term success.

For the FinTech startup, a marketing strategy’s objective is to deliver a results in months not years. In addition, the strategy needs to target prospective clients, educate the market, pave the way for revenue opportunities and deliver these results in a few months. Furthermore, this will is to be accomplished with a small budget.  Is the FinTech founder realistic or is there a need for something else in the startup world?

In the payment technology world there are a list of acronyms. Whether is SaaS (Software as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service) the list continues. However, since FinTech founders handle a multiplicity of tasks there is a need to help them execute a marketing strategy. In view of this I suggest, MaaS (Marketing as a Service). Maintaining a variety of tools for the FinTech to purchase to help them build and execute a plan would be helpful. For example, through series of templates, which includes, basic content, a company can build a marketing plan. Just making some minor tweaks is all that can be done to execute the plan.

Other industries have implement a similar approach. Companies working in a shared service environment can demonstrate reduced costs and expenses over a period of time. However, a key driver for the startup is costs but with demonstrated results.

In my opinion, marketing remains one of the building blocks for the success of the FinTech startup and developing a MaaS (Marketing as a Service) approach is a need in the startup industry. Who will fill this need? Stay tuned for more information on this.

The Walker Group provides business development and advisory services to FinTech companies. Our varied market segments enables us to identify synergies and opportunities to stimulate growth as we partner with our clients to build their business. We have helped companies to navigate through the key business problems, increase sales, build new revenue streams and gain new customers. A new feature is executing Marketing as a Service (MaaS). This turn-key systems provides FinTech companies with the tools needed to implement a customized marketing strategy. For more information contact wbrown@walkergroupnyc.com