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  • Writer's pictureSteveVision57

Why FinTech Marketing is Broken (and What to do About it)

Updated: Feb 5

I talk to many Fintech CEO’s in my travels and most are charismatic, smart, determined, and business savvy, And yet, very f

ew have a real grasp on what marketing is and how it should be used to power a business towards its goal.

Let's start with a simple thought experiment.  Which of the activities below best describes what marketing is all about?

1 Generating qualified leads for the sales team

2 Creating and building brand awareness

3 Attending trade shows and conferences

4 Creating content 

The answer is none of them. Why - because all these activities, useful as they may be, are about marketing execution - rather than marketing strategy.  To make it worse, focus on execution without a coherent strategy behind it leads to increasingly tactical thinking and ever decreasing circles in terms of useful outcomes. 

Over the next few weeks I thought I would share some of my experiences and thoughts in this area and why a clear marketing strategy is crucial as we enter less certain times in 2024 and ever greater competition for client wallet share. 

So let's start with three of the basics.

Marketing - There's a clue in the name

Every firm is part of a broader ecosystem of customers, suppliers, other vendors and so on.  This is the market you are swimming through every day and so understanding your place within it and, most important, your right to make a living from it is crucial.  Knowing who you product is aimed at, the problem it helps them solve for and how it does it better than their current approach is an obvious starting point.

Too many firms obsess on all the wonderful features and capabilities they offer but this conversation is only relevant once you have a prospect engaged.

Be Part of a Bigger Story/Journey

My eldest son lives and works in Berlin and advises new fashion brands on their GTM (Go To Market) when they “drop” new products (so yes, obviously he is way cooler than me 😀).  But we were chatting the other evening about one of his projects aimed at Gen Zedders (12 to 27 year olds).  Being a Gen Zedder is tough  - it's a scary, noisy uncertain world out there.  Apparently many are looking to astrology as a way of finding some meaning, permanence and reassurance.  So Max hitched the new brand to the signs of the zodiac which meant he could instantly get their attention and deliver the new brand in a way that was still fresh but anchored to something his audience cared deeply about.  It’s early days but it looks like being a great success.

In my time at Fidessa I obsessed on trying to position each of our brands as best I could in the cross hairs of regulation, market structure and technology.  This was summed up nicely by an industry colleague who said “it's much easier to surf the wave than try and create it”.  So whether it's AI, T+1, IPO issuance, passive v active investing or something else find an anchor point that resonates with your customers for your messaging.

The F word - Focus

If you really believe in your product and your research shows that there are enough customers who will buy it at an acceptable price point then don't get distracted.  This can be hard to do particularly if you are a smaller firm with one eye always on costs but chasing down (and even executing) on non core projects distracts resources (management, sales through dev to support) from your core mission.  I’ll talk more about this in later posts as it can be very hard with “toolkit” or platform technologies that have potentially broad applications.  But, the point remains that by building a reputation as the guys that do xxx enables you to turbo charge your marketing efforts.

Anyway, if you found any of the above useful or interesting (or just want to chat)  then let me know ( or leave a comment below.  If you didn't then sorry for wasting your time but thanks for reading anyway.

See you next time


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