Today, the big headlines in financial services are often dominated by Fintechs. The most recent announcement is Visa’s acquisition of Plaid for $5.3 Billion. There’s no question that a lot of the work that these Fintechs do helps us both as consumers and financial marketers. However, their ability to grab the spotlight makes it harder for us to reach our audience. What are we to do, then, as marketers trying to grab customers’ attention? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Find a Niche
Too many financial institutions begin the conversation with “we are a full- service…” company. But, if I have a problem, I want the best solution to that problem. Finding an extremely narrow solution is what Fintechs are great at; this is how they routinely make an impact.
Pro Tip: Financial institutions can copy this playbook. It’s possible to find niches in your community that you can solve.
Embrace Digital Marketing and Social Media Advertising
Startups know that in order to compete with established brands, they often can’t allocate much of their budget toward traditional media. Instead, they have to get inventive and leverage new media. The trend toward digital marketing and social media advertising is continuing to grow; knowing how to maximize your efforts here will go further than any amount you spend on traditional advertising.
Pro Tip: This is why you see startups spending all of their limited funds on digital and social. It gets results.
Don’t Get Discouraged by Age or Size of Your Financial Brand
If your marketing is all about how long you have been around or how many billions of assets you control, you’ve lost your audiences’ attention. These are characteristics that aren’t relatable and are often forgotten as quickly as they are heard. I often ask college students who visit our office where they bank. Frequently, I will have one mention a community bank or credit union and another mentioned a large bank. When I ask whether they know which is bigger, they often don’t know.
Pro Tip: I once heard it said in marketing, “if your competitor could say the same thing, then don’t bother saying it.” Make sure you know what makes you special and keep repeating it.
Make it Easier to Work with Fintechs
This might mean that your staff needs to learn new skills. It may mean charting integrations to make it easier to connect to services like tax planning or mobile wallets. By changing your mindset and working with Fintechs, your organization can adapt to new changes and thrive in the changing marketplace.
You might need to spend time in your staff meetings discussing different Fintech apps like Robinhood, Acorns, Plaid, Bill.com, Expensify, Gusto, Quickbooks and Xero; you may also need to discuss tools for small businesses to sell online like Shopify or website builders like Squarespace, Wix and WordPress.
Pro Tip: Don’t think that Fintechs are always eating your slice of the pie; work with them to help you acquire and retain marketshare.
Showcase Your Expertise
That might mean offering guidance on applications that your bank doesn’t offer. You may find yourself answering questions like why should a small business use Quickbooks or how can someone track receipts within an app? While this may seem counterintuitive to guide someone on services that your bank doesn’t offer, the key to staying in business today is all about providing value.
Pro Tip: Your customer won’t forget that you went out of the way to solve a problem for them. Knowledge really is power.
Growing your reputation as a unique financial brand that embraces new technologies and is always willing to lend a hand will soon result in the headlines coming to you.