My team and I put together the Fintech Marketing Hub inspiration days this last week (http://www.fintechmarketinghub.org) and I got inspired by a number of young Fintech entrepreneurs who are challenging the banking and financial services industry. The Solvay Fintech Marketing Hub is an innovative independent world-class lab specialised in the marketing of tech-based financial services. We launched it 2 years ago with the support of a major actor in the finance industry.
A number of you may not be aware of the huge development of this new branch of finance. Fintech becomes a sector competing with traditional services like banking. It’s made of startups allowing customers to access a service (payments, investments, crowdfunding, peer to peer lending…) with no intermediaries. Banks are worried. Some are not conscious of the danger of cannibalization. Some others now realized how fast they could be replaced by these new players and are moving towards collaboration with them. But it’s the same clash of culture as we saw a few years ago in other industries.
As marketer, I’m most interested by detecting and understanding the new challenges appearing in these businesses. One of the goals of the Fintech Marketing Hub is to help Fintech entrepreneurs to address these challenges in the most agile way, train them and also advise them so they can be more successful.
Let me first restate what marketing means today.
For a long time marketing was restricted to a support function aimed at just generating more sales. Then, it evolved as a set of techniques aimed at delivering value to customers and generating satisfaction. This led to the emergence of customer-focused corporate cultures, solution-based products and services, customer care programs and the like. This is called demand-based marketing.
Now we entered a new era, a time when marketing is at the heart of the entrepreneurial process. Detecting opportunities, practicing creativity as the source of innovation, setting up new business models leading to market creation. We call it innovation-push and it’s the new game of marketing.
This new game means new rules but we don’t know yet what these new rules are. We must invent them day by day. Of course we have new buz words like « agile marketing », « content marketing » or « digitalization » but most entrepeneurs I meet ask me basic questions like « how can I recruit more customers ? », « how can I make my customers loyal ? », « how can I build trust in my brand ? », « how should I price my services ? », etc. This is reinforced by the fact that most Fintech managers are coming from the IT or the financial worlds and lack marketing knowledge.
That’s why Fintechs are an ideal field to invent marketing of the future. Marketing of the past is easy to grasp ! Just google « marketing plan » and you will see dozens of templates, book references or articles that will inform you about what was (and still is) usually done. But it is of no use here !
We face new challenges like :
- How do we make sure that our product meets a market ? And by the way , which market ?
- Besides a product, what is the real « value proposition » ? And how should we price it ?
- How do we differentiate our business vs competitors now and in the future ? Who are the real competitors ?
- How do we set up a strategic marcom plan ? Target, content, tools, budget…
- How do we recruit enough customers to reach breakeven as soon as possible ? What are the right customers to go after ?
- How do we create and monitor customer delight ?
Success of business comes from a smart combination of strategy, marketing, money economics and supply chain architecture. The new Fintech sector now needs to address marketing issues in a professional way. Marketing people can find here new opportunities to show their talent !
Be inspired !
For those interested in knowing more about Fintech, here are some links :