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Money Marketing: How banks and fintechs are using tech and communications to boost brand

Marketing a new business is difficult whatever the service or product you're trying to supply. Making your voice heard in noisy marketplaces and prying customers away from established brands is a first hurdle many well-meaning enterprises never overcome. Imagine then how hard it is when your new business provides a service which involves the handling of people's personal finances. To say the challenge is intensified, is somewhat of an understatement.

Undeterred by this reality, new banks and fintechs are emerging and many of them are doing rather well. A common thread amongst those new-starts enjoying successful beginnings is an approach to marketing their brand which deviates from the conventional.

Using the examples of social media and content marketing, we'll demonstrate how technology and communications continue to present new ways of delivering results.

Social Media

It's safe to say that most of us get it now, social media can be a great platform for marketing a business. Heaven knows it doesn't need another blog. That said, some businesses just do it better than others and amongst those businesses are new players in the finance industry.

A social media strategy has traditionally consisted of posting regular content deemed of interest to the target demographic, with as much customer interaction as the Marketing team can handle. This is a tried and tested approach and providing the content is good quality, the posts regular without being intrusive, and the interaction helpful, it can produce healthy results.

However, there are better approaches still, and some of the latest entrants to the finance world are making full use of them. Take, for example, Starling Bank. This emergent player recently caused ripples by unveiling a mobile-only bank account with the intention of returning full control of personal finances to customers via an entirely mobile-optimised service. In order to effectively market their new product to their intended demographic and hit app install and current account open targets, Starling zeroed in on Facebook.

Their strategy began by deploying Facebook's software developer kit to track and measure user behaviour within their app. This facilitated a precise targeting of users allowing Startling to provide an optimised customer experience. Media efficiency was also enhanced as ads were directed only to userswithouta Starling current account.

Facebook's software developer kit also enabled Starling to see which campaigns garnered the best results. Video ads for instance, were shown to perform better than static ads in driving app installs, so Starling ramped up their video ad output to further meet this objective.

By combining tested, effective campaigns with a highly targeted audience, Starling were able to attribute 44% of new account opens in November 2017 to their social media initiative.

Content

Much like the role of social media, the role of content in marketing campaigns has been subject to copious discussion. However, as with social media, newcomers to the world of banking and finance are finding novel ways of utilising content to produce compelling results thereby creating new discussion points.

One such company forcing us all to think differently about how we approach content production is Manchester fintech, AccessPay. Founded in 2011, the faster payments firm have invested heavily in their content marketing output. This has included staple activity such as regular online blogging, publishing of white papers and frequent contributions to online magazines. AccessPay though, in an unusual move for a new, digital-first financial technology company, did something else, they took some of their content offline.

In 2017 they released two books; The Little Book of Payment Horrorsand The Little Book of Big banking Changes. The books aimed to educate readers as to how the banking world was changing and how legacy payment procedures raised considerable risks for banks, businesses and individuals alike. What made the books different to similar material on the market was the way they were written. The books maintained a playful, mischievous tone throughout which smoothed accessibility into complex topics neatly promoting their own product along the way.

By maintaining a confident, regular online presence combined with their two books, AccessPay experienced a surge in qualified leads and adding a sizeable chunk to their sales pipeline.

A changing Marketing landscape

Marketing has always been an organic, fluid process in a constant state of evolution, adaptation and flux. Resisting change is a sure-fire way for companies to find themselves in the wake of their competitors. What the likes of Starling Bank and AccessPay are showing us is that, though the channels we use remain fairly constant, how we use them changes all the time.

Social media and content marketing have become conventional marketing tools, but there are always novel ways value can be extracted from each. Indeed, this is true for all marketing tools and though word count precludes us from exploring them all, these two examples prove the point that technology and communications provide endless opportunity for innovation, it's just about being brave enough to try something different. 

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Comments: (3)

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 19 November, 2018, 09:371 like 1 like

My 25 year old son is well educated and has a good job. He stopped using social media seven years ago because of bullying. He tells me that e-mail, text and telephone enable him to keep in touch with all of his friends and most of them have he same view. I suspect that there are many like him.

In addition, most of my friends do not use social media for a different reason - age. I have never needed it. I have no interest in celebrity culture and grew up on mobile telephony (I got my first mobile telephone in 1987).

So your statement that most people now get social media is quite untrue amongst my and my sons friends.

Katharine McNamara
Katharine McNamara - Konductor - Manchester 19 November, 2018, 11:22Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi Melvin - thanks for reading and commenting.

Social Media is a devisive topic. I had a two year hiatus myself, but returned based on the cross-over between more traditional marketing channels. It's an important channel for communication and works alongside the traditional ones you mention above. it certainly has little to do with celebrity culture in my world - couldn't think of anything worse! 

Communities such as this Finextra one is a perfect example of how Social Media engages across the board, wouldn't you agree?

And the younger generations are using social media in a completely different way compared to my own age range/demographic - it's really interesting to see it playing out. I've been told that Facebook is now for "old people" and that younger people don't have the interest in it, preferring Instagram, Snap Chat and Spotify.

 

 

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 20 November, 2018, 09:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I think you may have missed the point. My son & I do not use any social media whatsoever. Neither of like the harvesting of data and neither of us are interested in following 'personalities'. Most of our friends in our respective age groups think exactly the same. We use e-mail, text and telephone and occasionally use Skype & LinkedIn, but do not use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Spotify. It could be related to our careers in IT, whereby we are fully aware of the consequences of using social media and are also fully aware of the alternatives.

Katharine McNamara

Katharine McNamara

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Konductor

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Marketing in Financial Services

Looking at the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing in Financial Services and Fintech


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