If You Build a Winning Fintech Brand, They Will Come: Marketing Insights from Venture Capital and Startups

In today’s competitive landscape, fintechs have a unique opportunity to leverage a variety of marketing channels to highlight their solutions, increase awareness and connect with key audiences. Amidst competing priorities, however, fintechs can deprioritize marketing, overlooking it for sales and product development.

As a strategic investment fund focused on fintechs and community banks, and as an in-house marketing expert at a fintech startup, we’ve seen first-hand that even the most innovative fintechs run the risk of being forgotten when they don’t prioritize marketing. The good news? In the digital age, creating and sharing proprietary content is readily accessible. Now more than ever, fintechs can build a comprehensive marketing program that spells success.

Build up your brand alongside your product

Many fintechs, especially earlier stage ones, put off building a marketing program, opting to wait until hitting key revenue or investment milestones. But – brand awareness is critical, especially at this early stage, as it serves to establish visibility and credibility to target audiences like banks and prospective investors. Early is the optimal time to unify messaging and to establish brand guidelines, ensuring that company leaders are sharing a crisp, clear and consistent story.

Consistency is key

Consistency is a crucial component of any marketing program. The loudest voices in the room are not necessarily those that offer the most unique perspectives, rather, the most consistent. Stick to a regular posting schedule – and don’t be tempted to max out your yearly marketing budget on a blitz for a specific launch. You’ll run the risk of disappearing for the remainder of the year, losing the momentum you’ve built. Likewise, don’t dwell on one-off marketing successes or failures. Just because a promotion worked one year, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work the following. Continuously measure and strategize.

Lead with actions, not acronyms

There’s a silent “P” that all too often gets overlooked in B2B marketing. That is, the people behind the businesses. People are ultimately the decision-makers. Rather than relying on jargon, level-set your messaging so that a broad audience can understand your products and vision. This is key not only for prospects but for investors as well. They may not have a tech background, so tell the plain-speak story behind the technology story. When speaking to banks, understand their motivations, and make it clear your solution is there to help elevate them to the next level, not to criticize their existing technology.

The people-led approach applies to your marketing channel strategy as well. When you think fintech, LinkedIn may come to mind, but Instagram and TikTok may actually be where your prospects or investors are spending time online. Instagram, in particular, has worked on increasing conversion in the last several years, while LinkedIn has become increasingly crowded. By staying consistent on these platforms, you may be able to reach your audience where they are.

Another “P” is for personality. Establish a brand personality. Is your brand loud? Rebellious? Full of life? Don’t be afraid to add bursts of color and fun language to set your brand apart.

Build the content program behind the product

We’ve both found that no matter how many pay-per-click (PPC) ads you buy, performance marketing can only get you so far without a true content strategy. Many times, your fintech’s own content is the best way to resonate with your audiences, whether that’s by mapping out effective user journeys on your website or investing in top-notch content for your developer blog.

Content can come from a wealth of sources – employees, customers, influencers. Start by collecting stories internally, and turn your company leaders into thought leaders – or “FinFluencers” that can educate your audiences. Don’t be afraid of content collaborations. For example, it may be more strategic to be featured in a well-known industry newsletter with a large established following, rather than spending time and resources building one from the ground up.

Laying the foundation for success

Drumming up initial support for a brand-new marketing program can be a challenge in and of itself. To start, meet with your leaders to understand business priorities over the next few months, with a focus on key audiences to reach. Decide what delivering value would mean and attach hard, trackable metrics to it. From there, build a plan that delivers value consistently and at scale.

Once your program is in full swing, always track performance. If a goal established up front is increasing revenue, ask yourself if your marketing program is driving sales. If not, the next big fintech event or social media trend may not be worth pursuing the following year. As long as you remain customer-obsessed, put people first and lead with content, your marketing program’s future will be bright.

  • Pam Kaur

    Pam Kaur is the Head of Bank Technology at BankTech Ventures, where she works closely with BankTech's limited partner banks and portfolio fintechs to facilitate a seamless technology onboarding experience from sourcing to implementation. In her role, she provides guidance to fintechs on what’s needed to become the best fit for community banks and works directly with the Fund's limited partner banks to ensure they have all the resources and information necessary to ease their digital transformation journey. By playing a major role in both the pre-investment diligence and post-investment activities, Pam is integral in de-risking the companies BankTech brings into the portfolio. Prior to joining BankTech, Pam worked as a VP in Information Technology at a $5B+ local community bank in CA. She received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of the Pacific and her Master of Science in Information Technology Management from Golden Gate University. Pam currently resides in the Greater Sacramento, CA area and enjoys experimenting with new recipes, reading, and exploring local trails.

  • Samantha Pereira

    Samantha is a people and value-driven marketing guru with a decade of expertise in B2B and B2C marcomms. As a New Jersey native, she secured her undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and made waves at Grand Central Publishing, Dun & Bradstreet, Allstacks, and GoodData. In the last decade, she’s crafted and implemented marketing strategies, and worked on launching tier-one SaaS products, designing go-to-market methodologies, building PR engines, and developing the souls of organizations-also known as the brand. She is known for her vivid and authentic personality, and her scrappy “make it happy” startup mentality. Currently, she spearheads the marketing and communications efforts at Torpago, a fintech startup shaking up the spend management and credit card space, as the head of marketing.