I recently met with Edward Taylor, Senior Director of Business Operations and Chief of Staff for Marketing at one of the world’s largest Financial Technology firms, Finastra, to discuss the future of FinTech marketing.
An insight into FinTech marketing from an industry expert...
Edward has the responsibility for marketing business operations in order to increase maximum efficiency, effectiveness and collaboration with both internal and external parties. His role at Finastra is heavily focused around data insight and intelligence in relation to ensuring marketing’s return on investment for the business is as high as possible and that the correct strategies and channels are being utilised.
What are the key differences between traditional Financial Services vs. FinTech marketing?
You’ve got to start by looking at the target audience of the two types of organisations. Traditional Financial Services firms will be marketing products and services directly to their customers. Those customers could be consumers or corporate organisations, for instance. Marketing departments will run different types of marketing campaigns as they will either be looking at mass market consumers or a relationship-driven approach for corporates.
Within FinTech, our clients are mostly banks and Financial Institutions (FIs). We need to show ourselves as true innovators and market ourselves in a way that makes FIs want to collaborate with us. It is crucial that we are targeting the right people, at the right time, with the right solution or service.
A few years ago, traditional FIs saw FinTechs as disruptors and competitors. This was a great opportunity for agile, fast-moving FinTechs to go to market with a new strategy and approach. Now that we are in the era of “Open Banking” we are seeing a more collaborative approach where banks, FinTechs and other developers come together with aligned goals. Today it is about co-innovation rather than competition.
How do you anticipate FinTech marketing will look in the next 5 years? What will be the key areas of investment and why?
If we look back to the dotcom era in the late 90s/early 2000s when some of the major technology firms that lead the industry today were born, interest in what they were developing was huge and business valuations were sometimes very inflated because of their association with dotcom. I see FinTech going through the same transition. Right now FinTech is such a hot topic but as the sector continues to morph, with market opportunity increasing, coupled with the explosion of enabling technologies, FinTech marketing has to keep innovating to keep on top of client retention and attraction.
I envisage key areas of investment to be weighted towards the use of technology. Business analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence will help FinTech communities make more informed decisions around what they do, who they target and how they go to market.
Social media and digital marketing will also continue to develop but it will be important for firms to differentiate themselves. Two thirds of the sales lifecycle is taken up by research before a vendor is in contact with the FI and so it will be important for FinTechs to be visual, relevant and targeted in their approach.
Finastra is a Global operation, present across 130 different countries, with over 10,000 employees and an established brand in the FinTech market. What is your top tip for building a successful FinTech brand?
Firstly, the Finastra brand was only launched in June 2017, following the combination of D+H and Misys so actually our brand is very young. We have a loyal customer base and deep heritage which certainly helps us, but there is still a way to go and we need to continue focusing on the value add to our current clients as well as our future clients.
Did you know…The name Finastra was born from the term “Astra” meaning “star” and “Fin” derived from Financial Services; “The stars of Financial Services”.
In order to build a successful FinTech brand, it’s important that you are truly customer centric. There is no point innovating for the sake of it; you must focus on where you can add the most value to your customers. The FinTech market is highly competitive and you have to make sure your brand stands out from the crowd. Despite being a young brand, we were just recently awarded Superbrand status.
Here at Finastra, we have one of the broadest ranges of financial software available and can offer integrated solutions to our clients, but we have to make sure we are able to evidence this and have the “proof points” to back it up. Whilst we are one of the largest FinTechs in the world, we cannot rest on our laurels and we continue to face the challenge of how to be heard above all others in the industry. Our brand in the market is reliant upon this.
Therefore, my top tip would be to emphasize the value of your solutions to your customers. Build your arsenal of relevant customer references and success stories, and use these to your advantage. As these value-based case studies build up, you will see that this information is one of the most powerful ways to market your brand both internally and externally.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about moving into the FinTech industry?
FinTech is the buzz word in Financial Services right now and more and more new business opportunities are arising on a daily basis. FinTech sits at the core of new technologies, high growth finance and innovation – it is probably one of the fastest evolving industries around. This means the need to fill roles, including marketing executive jobs, will only increase further.
“If you have a real interest in Financial services, see technology as a true business enabler, and enjoy working in a fast-paced, agile and innovative environment then FinTech is the sector for you!”
If you are looking to develop your career in FinTech Marketing or are looking to make a hire into the space, please do contact me on 0207 092 0257 or email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org