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Someone wise once said: ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.’
This is a surprisingly common problem in fintech marketing. The solution is to formulate a great fintech marketing strategy.
When utilised effectively, marketing strategies lead and invigorate fintechs’ marketing efforts.
But how can you come up with one? What factors need to be considered?
What is fintech marketing strategy?
Fintech marketing strategy is any broad objective that guides a fintech company’s marketing activities. It provides an over-arching vision, principles and framework for messaging, audience targeting, goals, and more.
Fintech marketing strategies can vary in how detailed they are.
For example, ‘we will grow our audience this year‘ vs ‘we will grow our under-35 audience by 50% this year’.
The origins and elements of strategy
The word ‘strategy’ itself became ingrained into the English language from early 19th century French (which itself got it from Ancient Greek) – stratégie meant ‘art of a general’.
The definition of it is sometimes disputed. One leading historian of military strategy writes:
‘Goals, methods and outcomes all play a role in definitions of strategy… but so also do habit, inclination, institutional practice and personal preference.’
The same could be said of the strategy for fintech marketing.
Like strategy for war, marketing strategy can also be paradoxical. Si vis pacem, para bellum is a famous Roman statement – if you want peace, prepare for war.
In fintech marketing, you often need to impress audiences with your authenticity, differentiate yourself from traditional financial institutions whilst tapping into the trust inherent in them, avoid focusing on your products in order to sell your products, etc.
Strategic goals are an important part of strategy. They are high-level and long-term objectives that a company sets itself.
They can also vary in specificity.
For example, there is no universal one-size-fits-all timeframe for all fintech companies. A balance needs to be struck between being too specific and rigid and being too vague and unstructured – both extremes can be very detrimental.
Whether a company sets a strategic goal like ‘become the highest revenue-generating company in our industry within 3 years’ or ‘being a leading player in our niche in about 5 years’ depends on several factors.
Fintech marketing strategies vs fintech marketing plans
Though often used interchangeably, ‘strategies’ and ‘plans’ are different.
Marketing strategies are broad objectives, whereas marketing plans are the detailed steps needed to achieve these.
For example, your fintech company’s strategy of ‘increasing brand recognition’ might be pursued with a plan involving ‘increasing social media marketing activity on all major platforms using images and PPC ads.’
Similarly, strategic planning is often confused with tactical planning. The latter is made up of short-term, actionable steps that will contribute to achieving the former.
The difference between the two was summarised well about two and a half thousand years ago in The Art of War:
‘All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.’
Theory & practice
There are many business books and blogs out there proposing to teach you the best marketing strategy. Amazon.co.uk has 30,000 results for ‘marketing strategy’ alone.
Many of these no doubt contain valuable insights. But strategies also need to be created and adapted with direct knowledge of your organisation in mind.
As one leading scholar on (warfare) strategy put it:
‘Because strategy is neither straightforward nor transparent and never was, it is more easily absorbed intuitively than consciously learned.’
However, it does no harm to understand useful frameworks related to strategy. Below are two popular ones we think worth mentioning.
The 4 Ps
The four Ps of marketing are a set of factors that should be considered about goods or services. They are: product, price, place, and promotion.
This concept has its roots in the 1950s. It has been refined over time – 3 more Ps are now often added: people, process and physical evidence.
The basic theory is that these Ps and how they interact with one another should form the pillars of a marketing strategy.
HubSpot’s inbound marketing strategies
As we’ve discussed before, inbound marketing is particularly relevant to fintech. And when it comes to inbound marketing, HubSpot is one of the leading software providers.
HubSpot recommends companies build marketing strategies around their attract, engage and delight methodology.
These aspects are all interlinked and self-reinforcing, which makes basing coherent strategies on them very simple.
The benefits of fintech marketing strategies
Clear, well-executed strategy provides a number of significant benefits to fintech companies.
Customer experience (CX) and fintech brand coherence
Though your target audience shouldn’t be consciously aware of your strategy, they will hopefully experience the benefits or it via coherent interactions with your marketing.
A well-articulated strategy will help guide the different specialists that make up a fintech marketing team in step. It spares them creating separate content that confuses customers because of how different each piece feels.
Imagine a new customer enjoys one of your videos online. It delights and engages them, they identify with your brand and want to learn more.
So they search for you on Google and then… find a website with very different branding. They quickly decide not to engage with your brand further.
Team purpose and motivation
Working on a ‘need to know basis’ may be necessary in some fields of espionage and skullduggery, but in marketing it simply signals a lack of trust and autonomy for your team.
By helping your team work towards broad strategic goals and tangible outcomes, a good fintech marketing strategy adds clarity and purpose to their working process.
Being able to contribute to marketing tactics will encourage employees to take initiative and be creative. These qualities help make innovative content marketing and a great fintech marketing team.
4 Steps to creating a great fintech marketing strategy process
We recommend working through these steps in this order.
1. Get your branding & messaging right
Standing out from the fintech crowd is difficult but important.
For many years, the fintech industry has leaned heavily into its identity as a new, disruptive alternative to traditional financial services. This customer-centric approach often focused on the customer’s immediate and personal needs. It worked well for a long time.
However, now many customers are looking for more than that. They are spoilt for choice with the sheer variety of products and services available. Many are now interested in core brand values – the perceived principles that your company stands for.
Rather than simply using useful financial technology, customers often want to feel they are interacting with a more valuable entity.
This increasingly applies to consumers in general. According to a study by OPOS, 60% of UK respondents and 66% of US ones agreed with the statement: ‘I tend to buy brands that reflect my values.‘
2. Create a core content plan
Whether you’re business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2C), digital content marketing is essential for customer acquisition in fintech.
It covers many disciplines. Once you have decided which ones to focus your resources on, you should next focus on what your core content should be.
Core content is relevant content that is essential to what your business offers. It sits at the top of a hierarchy of content. It usually directly addresses the key pain points around your services for customers.
To determine what your core content is, you should brainstorm all possible content first. Then rank it in order of importance.
Next, define which pieces are ‘core’ and which are ‘supporting’. Finally, work out a schedule for publishing it all.
3. Integrate inbound marketing channels
Inbound marketing is a method of creating valuable content that attracts and engages potential customers, as opposed to reaching out and interrupting them (which is outbound marketing). It is now an indispensable part of digital marketing.
It includes various different types of marketing, including: email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, PPC, video marketing, podcasts, and more.
Customer acquisition often requires multiple touch points across these different channels. Integrating your marketing efforts on them maximises the its overall effectiveness.
The best way to do this is to use a platform such as HubSpot where you can manage and oversee all activities.
4. Review, update, repeat
A quote often misattributed to Winston Churchill reads:
‘However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.’
Industries, competitors, and your target audience may all change at one point. New trends emerge and you will hopefully receive have feedback to consider. You may even surpass your own expectations and need to adapt accordingly.
Either way, you will need to periodically pause and asses your progress. Review whether you have moved closer to your strategic goals – or, indeed, whether they have changed in any way.
A big part of this can be done with data. But not everything is as straightforward as measuring business growth or other target metrics.
You should also consider more intangible areas, such as whether your brand identity has evolved, or do new customers still seem to engage as enthusiastically as they used to, etc.
How you define and measure the success of these areas will be personal to you and your team. After all, marketing is part art and part science – and in the former not everything can be quantified.
Or, as W. H. Auden put it:
‘A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.’
Fintech marketing strategy refers to the broad objective fintechs should create for themselves.
It can be paradoxical and intuitive.
There are no one-size-fits-all prescriptions that all fintech companies can follow. It forms the foundational framework of successful fintech marketing, which more detailed marketing tactics and plans can build on.
There are many different useful theories that can inform the development of your strategic planning, including the 4 P’sand HubSpot’s inbound marketing methodology. However, these need to be combined with your knowledge – and experience – of your brand.
There are clear steps you can follow to help you devise the best strategy for your company.
First, you need to get your branding and messaging in place. Your value proposition needs to be more than just your technology’s utility. Customers are now looking for companies that align with their values.
Second, you need to brainstorm and prioritise what your core content is. This is content that directly addresses customer pain points and information relevant to your services.
Integrating your different inbound marketing channels is the next step. This can be done on a platform like HubSpot. Once successfully integrated, you can manage, track and even automate actions in an efficient way.
Finally, building in time for a regular reviewing process is essential. Strategies need to be adaptable because – much like in warfare – things don’t always go to plan.