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The Marketing Challenges Faced by the FinTech Startup

The Marketing Challenges Faced by the FinTech Startup

Earlier this year I presented to a group of seasoned banking executives at the Electronic Funds Transfer Association’s (EFTA) Electronic Payment Innovation Council (EPIC) one-day meeting held in New York City. The agenda was packed with subjects ranging from the future of credit card processing and EMV, the impact of fraud and security in the financial services industry and faster payments and the role of venture capital on the banking industry. The speakers represented companies from FIS Global, Camden Partners, CU Wallet, among a few.

The viability of the future of a FinTech startup is not only about implementing a solution with slick technology but managing the burn rate and becoming cash flow positive. However, although developing a marketing strategy is important, there are still challenges. However, once executed consistently, visibility is raised, contributing to new opportunities and potential revenue.

Below is a summary of Accenture’s 2014 Global FinTech Report findings:

    • Investment in FinTech companies grew by 201% globally in 2014, compared to 63% growth in overall venture capital investments;
    • Digital disruption has the potential to shrink the role and relevance of today’s bank and simultaneously help them to create better and cheaper services;
    • Banks realize alignment with FinTech companies will protect them from becoming obsolete;
    • Global investment in FinTech ventures tripled to $12.21 billion in 2014 with the lion share attributed to the US market. The rise represents both an opportunity and challenge in this sector;
    • Current financial services players are not doing enough to keep up to speed with the surge of new innovation investment;
    • Difficulty for banks having the ability to leverage new technology;
    • Although legacy bank technology could lack innovation, banks are slow to deploy outsourced services;
    • To meet demand for innovation bank resources lack the skills to meet innovative opportunities:

However, based on the findings, FinTech companies have specific opportunities for improvement which should include the following:

Better understand the characteristics of the target audience which includes the decision makers who influence and authorize technology purchases;

    • Realistic view of the sales process within financial institutions;
    • Build a presence and awareness of the FinTech brand for alignment with prospective areas within the banks;
    • Collaborate and partner with mutual industry stakeholders to strengthen the FinTech brand;
    • Identify and promote via the mutual marketing channels to “build the conversation;
    • Banks are using social media to reach out to customers and prospects:

Although the issues and challenges are clear, a major challenge the FinTech startup faces is having an unclear vision and strategy. In short, what do they want to be when they grow up? Without having a clear vision or strategy of their future, a marketing strategy will not deliver strong results.

In working with FinTech companies, some companies found the following simple initiatives to strengthen their brand. The key asset involved is time since and there is no real need for extensive experience in order to execute this strategy.

Blog/Blogging: A blog is the single best way to attract visitors to the website. It’s essential to create educational content that speaks to prospects and answers their questions in order to get the right prospect. It is also a great way to keep the current customers more engaged with the company.

Webinar: Another powerful marketing tool to attract prospects that can be reused in multiple ways. It’s important that webinars are educational and not sales pitches. They are also a great way to get real time feedback. Webinars help to establish FinTech startup as an expert in the field and helps build trust with prospects. Best of all, they can be reused and converted to a recording available on the website, a new blog entry and/or an email campaign.

Email Marketing: It is essential to invest time and money in building a quality list, and use compelling content that will peak a potential prospects interest. If done right, this will either generate quality leads or drive potential prospects to the website in which case overtime can be converted to a lead.

Social Media: Presence: Social media marketing is huge. Successful marketing strategies are all about content and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand.

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. Through our one-on-one CEO Advisory Services we have helped companies develop and execute a marketing strategy to attract both new partnerships and capital.