Successful B2B fintech marketing includes identifying the right customers for your fintech products and solutions by first understanding a target user’s unique circumstances—then you’ll be able to better reach qualified prospects with a message that resonates and converts them into buyers.
Financial technology (Fintech) is a term used to describe a growing industry that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services by leveraging new technologies like machine learning, big data analytics, and increasingly, applications running on smartphones.
Most fintech companies are startups with lofty, world-shattering ambitions. Some want to bring about universal financial inclusion, so that everyone, everywhere can enjoy the ease and convenience of borrowing, lending and investing money from their smartphones. Others have developed cheaper, faster and safer ways to send money around the world in seconds.
Probably the most high profile and successful fintech companies today operate in the payment space, offering software and cutting-edge technology systems that link retailers, consumers and the financial system. They collect payment details from the debit/credit cards of consumers when they want to buy something online or in a store, then perform the role of confirming, settling and processing that whole financial transaction, usually in a matter of seconds.
Fintech startup companies have prospered as more financial transactions have shifted online. They have even attracted financial investment from rivals — including from much larger, traditional brick and mortar banks that have either bought them outright to stop them from competing, or partnered with them to leverage their technology, gain speed, increase agility and lower operational costs.
What Fintech Covers
According to a 2020 analysis by CBD Insights and Fast Company, 20 percent of future unicorns (companies that will eventually be valued at $1B or more), are operating in the fintech space. This is ahead of startups in healthcare, cybersecurity, logistics and e-commerce/retail industries, and it illustrates the global attraction of fintech for investors.
The activities that fintech covers include:
- Payments: payment processors and subscription billing software tools.
- Lending: alternative underwriting platforms and small loans to individuals without bank accounts.
- Blockchain/Cryptocurrency: companies leveraging distributed ledger technology for finance.
- Regtech: audit, risk and regulatory compliance software providers.
- Personal finance: tools to manage bills and track personal credit accounts.
- Insurance: companies selling insurance online or data analytics software for (re)insurers.
- Capital markets: sales, trading and analysis tools for financial institutions.
- Wealth management: online investment (robo-advisors) and wealth management platforms leveraging analytics.
- Remittances: international money transfer and tracking software providers.
B2B Fintech Marketing Challenges
For all of their exciting, blue-sky business plans and mind-blowing technological prowess, the fact is that B2B fintech products and solutions are some of the most challenging to sell, and marketers often struggle to connect with their target audiences. Why?
Fintech offerings are mind-numbingly technical, complex and opaque to most of the decision makers in banks, financial firms, insurance, retail and other brick and mortar businesses who are used to conventional ways to perform their daily work. Sending them deep-dive white papers or infographics filled with engineering-speak and cold calling them afterward can often miss the mark with these prospective customers.
Surprisingly, most fintech companies continue to go to market with their products and solutions with an arbitrary, haphazard approach that fails to start with research to understand the actual real-world needs of their target audience and the unique professional struggles their customers deal with day to day.
Content Marketing for Fintech
There is certainly a high level of customer education that must take place when marketing B2B fintech products and solutions, and professional content marketing can help you do this while telling a compelling story in a way that is meaningful to your target audience.
B2B customers are increasingly doing their own research before making a buying decision, and it is for this reason that content marketing is one of the top B2B fintech marketing strategies. According to a 2019 Demand Gen report, 73 percent of B2B buyers are relying on more sources to research and evaluate purchases. They rely particularly on content obtained via company websites and advertising, as these are two of the first channels in which buyers often engage with brands.
B2B fintech companies must ensure that the content, messaging and accessibility of information on their website is continuously on point, or buyers will not waste time looking for deeper engagement with that brand. They should be careful to value quality over quantity, frame content as thought leadership and differentiate from what the competition is doing. Almost all – 97 percent – of B2B buyers surveyed in the above-mentioned report said that sales reps who demonstrated a stronger knowledge of their unique needs was important to them; 66 percent said it was very important.
Best Practices to Succeed
At Elevation Marketing, we have worked with some rising stars in the fintech industry and have gained valuable insight into what works to move the proverbial needle for them. Our track record includes decades of success with market and competitive research to implement data-driven strategic messaging development, branding and content marketing for clients having some very complex technology products and solutions.
New customer acquisition for fintech is extremely difficult due to the learning curve with new ways of working. Focus your content marketing approach by first researching your target customers’ unique pain points, then drill down to segment your audience and develop a consistent, cohesive messaging framework so you don’t miss the mark with scattered, hit-or-miss content marketing.
Segment Target Audience
Banks, insurance companies, retailers and financial institutions often have very complicated organizational structures. It sometimes seems like you will never get to the right decision makers with your pitch. Once you reach the right people, you may struggle if you haven’t done the research about their unique challenges and requirements. Moreover, you are also working fast to convince them before your competitors do. Save time and organize your approach by segmenting your targets at each organization—for example, separating directors and department heads in charge of horizontal and vertical business streams, and C-level executives, EVPs, and VPs who are interested in the financial, operational and marketing aspects of a purchase. This will help you map out a plan.
Develop Audience Personas
Once you have identified the right decision makers or key buyer personas in your market who have the tech-savvy, enthusiasm and motivation to drive the adoption of new technologies and new approaches to solving business and technical challenges, then find the best way to reach them. Develop these personas by identifying each one’s particular industry challenges, or pain points, and how those negatively impact their productivity or bottom line. Failing to do this is a potential pitfall and can actually harm your B2B fintech marketing efforts.
Create a Messaging Matrix
The key to achieving the highest levels of success in the B2B fintech marketplace is to personalize your marketing according to the specific needs of each potential client. Focus on the benefits in high level messaging, not the features of your product, and you will have be ftter success with getting people to take a look at your fintech products/solutions and services.
The messaging matrix will function as the basis for both marketing and sales materials. This will ensure that the messaging, direction and tone are consistent between sales and marketing.
The matrix will include:
- Top-level messaging and value prop copy blocks and key statements
- Competitive positioning statements
- Audience personas
- Industry-specific value props
- Sales conversation statements and objection handling guidelines
There will be time later in the sales funnel for a deeper dive into your actual fintech products and technical solutions, but only after the door has been opened by the appropriate message getting through to the right decision makers. Find out what your potential client really needs to get done and then pitch the benefits in messaging about how your fintech product/service or solution will help them achieve these goals. B2B fintech marketers who follow the three best practices above will set up their sales reps for success.