OLD BANKS, NEW TRICKS: THE 3 BEST MARKETING LESSONS FROM FINTECH PIONEERS


The fintech industry has rewritten the rules of banking, but their lessons don’t end there. Here’s marketing advice that can help any business.

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In the not-so-distant past, when you opened a bank account at a traditional bank, you’d be issued with a cheque book along with your cards. You’d be able to pay all your bills with these little pieces of paper with your scribbled signature. And before all you younger readers say, “Ok Boomer, keep this in mind: it wasn’t decades ago; some banks still offer cheque books by request today.   

These little books have gone the same way as fax machines and Blackberries, and now we’ve all got plenty of paper-free and contactless ways to pay bills and spend our hard-earned money. Most of us are walking around with less physical cash, and the pandemic has poured gasoline onto the eCommerce fire. It’s bad news for traditional banks, a report by Accenture shows that 32% of consumers have lost trust in their banks during the pandemic.   

To make things even tougher for legacy banks, the rise of fintech pioneers and blockchain technology have broken down the traditional banking rules. The total investment in fintech brands is valued at over $33.9 Billion globally, and it’s now disrupting all industries, not just banking. We’re  talking about the rise of cryptocurrencies and Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which have literally rewritten the rules in creating value and sharing it.

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The best part of this future-forward stuff is when we get to work with clients that are fintech pioneers. Their progressiveness means we get to play outside the lines, and that’s where the greatest marketing magic happens.  

Here’s what we’ve learnt from working with these leading brands:

LESSON 1: MAKE IT EASIER AND CHEAPER TO BUY THINGS

It’s not enough to just lower transaction fees and create banking apps (I’m looking at you, traditional banks). To really help the customer, you need to offer a seamless way to pay off things without interest and bank fees.   
 
Case in point: we’ve got a fintech client in the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) movement. If you haven’t heard of BNPLit’s a service that lets you pay off a debt with four payments over six weeks but without having to pay any interest (yes, you read that right!). This seamless, friction-free option is available at tills in brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce baskets.  
 
A study by Klarna showed that the BNPL service results in a 7% higher conversion rate than normal card transactions. How does this affect your brand? This BNPL offers new opportunities in ticketing, eventing, and future experiences. It makes your customers more likely to hit the buy button online or add more to their checkout if they know they can pay it off over time. It also teaches customers more about their individual shopping habits, which empowers them to make smarter choices.  
 
The BNPL market will grow 39% annually, and it offers immense economic potential for retail partners. We’ve looked at the biggest trends in retail, and now we’re adding BNPL to the list as it’s already helping to incentivise shoppers to head back into malls and stores. Legacy banks are now waking up to its benefits, either by investing in it or creating their own.   
 
As with all credit offerings, there’s a great responsibility to make sure your customers aren’t extending themselves beyond their means, and that’s where these new BNPL pioneers use proprietary software and algorithms. 

LESSON 2: BE TRANSPARENT, AND OFFER FAST ONE-ON-ONE HELP ON THE RIGHT CHANNEL

No one likes bank queues or having to deal with traditional banking hours (what other business closes at 3pm?). The fintech industry is filled with companies that use instant digital solutions to speak to their customers and to answer them on the channels that their customers prefer. And it’s not just about instant replies; it’s also about offering total transparency. Traditional banking is notorious for hidden fees and complicated billing.   
 
A case study of proven fintech success is the Revolut banking app. It puts customers’ needs first and offers absolute transparency and no hidden fees. They also use data and tech to solve issues quickly, and they listen to their users. The result: they grew from 150 000 customers in 2017 to over 8 million by 2020.  
 
However, it’s not just about answering quickly in real-time or having easy-to-use apps. It’s also a mindset. David Schwartz, the Chief Cryptographer of the cryptocurrency platform Ripple, organised an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit. It generated over 500 comments and grew into Twitter discussions. When last have you seen a traditional bank manager or CEO offer this kind of access and transparency? 

3. LESSON 3: THE MORE DIGITAL YOUR SERVICE, THE MORE EXPERIENTIAL IT NEEDS TO BE

Without a physical presence, it can be challenging to get customers to experience your brand physically, but several fintech pioneers have turned this perceived weakness into a strength. Their solution: to create pop-up experiences, digital collaborations, virtual festivals, and events in different cities by working with different merchants. These experiences can be hyper-personalised to the needs of both the customer and easily incorporated into social media.   

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One of our favourite digital experiences is the rise of live shopping. We call it shopstreaming, and yes, we called this trend ages ago. It allows consumers to buy in real-time on specific channelsincluding social media. It leverages social media engagement and the collaborative power of using influencers and carefully chosen brand partners. Last year, Klarna launched a live fashion show called Lifestyle with the help of technology from BambuserIt allowed customers to open up live video shopping from within the Klarna app and offered a full shopping experience along with Klarna’s signature BNPL service and four interest-free payments. The Lifestyle show offered weekly episodes with special guests and experts, and its special mix of engagement, entertainment and direct sales helped build a much stronger emotional connection with the brand

WRAPPING THINGS UP...

Fintech isn’t just changing how and where we spend our money; it’s also showing other industries how to harness innovation to put their customers first. These pioneers are using the latest marketing techniques, from gamification and experiential smarts to OOH and VR to target and engage a massive, growing audience segment that wants to leave their homes and spend money in malls and events.  

Thankfully, that growing audience segment has always been our sweet spot. Our wheelhouse is using creative technology to engage, amaze and craft bespoke experiences. Now, we’ve got even more tech toys to play with, from immersing customers in new Augmented Reality (AR) worlds to dropping blockchain-powered Virtual Atoms right into people’s homes. These tools and toys couldn’t be further from cheque books.  

If you’re ready to invest in future-proof growth, drop us a line here, and we’ll craft a rich, safe, live campaign experience together that turns your brand into a pioneer with plenty of profit. Or, if you want a live sample of our marketing mojo, let us host a FREE masterclass for you.

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