It's no secret that customers are the backbone of any business, including Fintechs. A successful brand uses customers as inspiration for targeted, impactful messaging rather than relying on shot-in-the-dark marketing.
According to Bain & Company, “companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues 4%-8% above their market.”
Successfully building a strong brand in the Fintech space requires proving the product's functionality and ability to keep financial details safe. At the end of the day, trust binds a Fintech to its huge audience. As of 2023, there were an estimated 5.62 billion Fintech users globally.
The demand is there, but the typical Fintech customer is still a particular one; when it comes to personal and financial data, whether a business or an individual – most want a company that can prove both safety and smooth CX. Despite the mass adoption, 73% of new Fintech app customers churn within the first seven days.
No one does customer-centricity better than Amazon and Apple. To these juggernauts, the customer is the cheerleader, muse, popcorn gallery, and persecutor. For Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, demand is what drives Amazon’s innovation, “we start with what the customer needs, and we work backwards," he noted.
A few Fintechs are catching on, like UK Fintech Monzo. The challenger bank invites customers to invest in the company through equity crowdfunding rounds and often organizes community events at their offices or venues favoured by customers.
The customer could and should be considered the secret weapon for successful Fintech brand outreach.
So how can more Fintechs use this weapon to create resilient brands customers love? How can they show that they can be trusted? How can they protect their marketing investment? How can they increase customer value over time?
It seems like a tall order in one strategy, but possible. There are a few ways to incorporate customer needs first and work backwards to success.
Build customer trust by asking for help.
Author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek said, “We don't build trust when we offer help. We build trust when we ask for it."
Asking the masses for help in making a product or service better is commonly known as crowdsourcing. We touched on the monetary value of crowdfunding previously, but what about the intrinsic value of good advice?
Luckily, customers are always willing to share ideas for improvement, especially if they’re passionate about the product they’ve invested in or use regularly; in fact, 73% of consumers worldwide expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
Many major companies, including Fintechs, have wielded crowdsourcing to improve product offerings. For example, SumZero, an investment platform launched over a decade ago, uses the collective knowledge of over 16,000 users and finance professionals to share investment ideas backed by user research.
But crowdsourcing comes in many forms and is open to creative interpretations. This tool is helpful for Fintech marketing. It involves the crowd in problem-solving or idea generation. It also helps build trust and show a commitment to working together for innovation.
How do you do it?
Gather feedback consistently from as many channels as possible; examples include customer reviews, social media engagement and interactions on support channels. Build a library of knowledge as a way to understand customers but also improve the product.
Start a challenge and ask the audience and potential customers to help make a product better. Luckily, there are companies that can help with that. Multiple crowdsourcing platforms, such as QMarkets, Wazoku Crowd and Openideo, exist to aid users in managing intelligent crowdsourcing processes so they can organize and implement the ideas received into actionable projects.
Build a community, seek out those most actively sharing feedback, and gather a community directed at improving a product, feature, or experience. Successful Fintechs like Finimize, Revolut and Monzo have formed strong communities of customers to maintain and strengthen their brand posture.
Incorporate ideas into messaging and marketing. Customer reviews, feedback and ideas are a form of earned outreach and provide shortcuts to impactful content. Building messaging around what customers say they want makes more sense than going with the gut.
Increase loyalty by using the customer as inspiration for great educational content.
Fintech customers want more personalized financial advice, thought leadership and educational content about the technology they incorporate into their everyday lives and businesses.
Wealthsimple is an excellent example of a Fintech excelling at personalized thought leadership for its Millennial audience. Wealthsimple’s Money Diaries series features famous faces and engaging individuals who share their personal finance experiences. It’s relatable and fascinating, stretching beyond the usual product-driven content, which can be tedious.
When it comes to product-focused content, transparency is essential and goes without saying. A Clearing House study discovered that 73% of Fintech users didn’t realize Fintechs could access their bank usernames and passwords, and 70% didn’t know Fintechs could access their bank account numbers. No one reads every line of the Ts and Cs, so developing informative content that clearly outlines how customer data is used and secured is helpful.
Customer-centric thought leadership doesn’t have to be reactive or pre-emptive. It should be adaptive to what the customer needs most. Building loyalty is a long game but worth the deeper work.
How do you do it?
Audit existing content published within six months to understand what is working and falling flat. If a content refresh is needed, survey groups based on market segments and ask what they need to know more about.
Create content based on where customers ask the most questions and make the most of opportunities for content engagement. Some companies have even promoted content within replies to feedback on review platforms.
Investigate where customers gather to seek answers and build strong engagement there. Sometimes, improvements look like more specific prompts in chat boxes or support pages that are less technical and more conversational.
By effectively utilizing an arsenal of opinions and ideas from Fintech customers, it is possible to create a successful brand outreach strategy that involves understanding the audience and having a clear vision for the brand.
Fintech services are in demand, but many still worry about the risks of sharing their financial information with digital vendors.
Building trust is essential in the Fintech industry, and companies can reduce churn and boost customer lifetime value by focusing on marketing strategies that include elements like collaboration, integration and education.
Crowdsourcing is a powerful tool for customer collaboration and integration, allowing companies to engage customers in problem-solving and idea generation that fosters community trust.
Educational content that is transparent and personalized can increase customer loyalty and provide valuable thought leadership for a specific audience.
Fintech companies should focus on meeting their customers' unique needs and expectations, using feedback and ideas to inform impactful messaging and marketing.