Fuelled by developments in technology and a raft of new regulations, the financial services sector is in a state of flux. Where traditional banks once controlled the market, customer demand has seen an influx of new entrants come forth to innovate the way we make payments and manage our money. For the majority of businesses, marketing is rarely a walk in the park at the best of times. However, in an increasingly crowded industry in the midst of major transformation, PR for FinTech has become a competitive game that only the forward-thinking can win.
Needless to say, an effective FinTech PR strategy that is targeted and well thought out is the bread and butter for any established or start-up business in this sector. With the industry boom set to continue, the focus for FinTechs should be fixed on promoting innovation they bring to the market and showcasing the value they can add to financial institutions through collaboration and data aggregation.
Part of this can be achieved through well-established PR practices such as media relations and story development. By building newsworthy stories with your brand’s unique insight and data and distributing this via a network of key contacts, you can begin to shape external perceptions of your company. Similarly, cementing your reputation as a thought-leader within your field demands a strong content marketing strategy; it rests in large on the creation of engaging content that includes original opinions, well-researched arguments and supporting data.
However, as the sector continues to evolve, FinTech PR will increasingly extend into the use of technology. In order to make data-driven decisions with regard to marketing spend, FinTechs eager to retain their competitive edge will start to tap into artificial intelligence and business analytics. In doing so, marketing teams will receive clear guidance in the form of empirical evidence drawn from data insights on which methods yield the highest returns.
As well as The Innovators, FinTech companies have a unique opportunity to present themselves as a breath of fresh air with regard to transparency. Traditional banks have long considered trust to be a foundational strength, thanks to the familiarity of their brands and prevalence of their branches across the globe.
However, a raft of high-profile scandals has gradually seen the erosion of consumer trust for banks, fund managers, insurance providers and financial advisors. In fact, figures from a YouGov poll on behalf of campaign group Positive Money found 66% of adults in Britain do not have faith in banks to work in the best interest of society.
In 2016, EY conducted a study that revealed new market entrants and FinTechs had already achieved parity with traditional banks when it comes to trust. Ten years after the global financial crash, a new generation of account holders are putting their trust in tech over traditional banks. For an innovative FinTech firm, capitalising on the collective sense of growing trust means positioning yourself as open, honest and transparent in everything you do.
If they want to capture the attention of potential customers, however, FinTech firms must ensure they are visual, relevant and targeted in their marketing approach.
According to research into buyer behaviour from Google and the Corporate Executive Board/Gartner (The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing), customers reported being 57 percent through the sales process before engaging a sales representative, irrespective of price point. During this time, prospective customers are actively researching your brand and your position in the market to qualify you as a vendor.
Building brilliant experiences for members is part of the puzzle – if people love your product and your brand engaging, they will talk about their experiences online; they will be inclined to sing your praises on social media. Beyond user-generated content, however, FinTechs must make use of channels such as Instagram and Twitter to show the human side to their business and build a profile with their target audience. In the age of reviews, social proof is invaluable – a lack of presence on such social channels is as good as a shutter over your shopfront.
FinTech PR in 2019 and beyond should further focus on educating the market. As disruptors to the industry, they have a duty to inform the public of who they are, how they are different and what this means for financial services moving forward. After all, it’s one thing to convince digital natives to download a FinTech app, it’s another to win the hearts and minds of those who have spent decades relying on brick-and-mortar banks.
Even in a market as competitive as this one, every business is different and so is every engagement. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all silver bullet solution to PR and marketing: the key to success lies in getting to know your target audience and developing your strategy around that.