Challenges and the triumph
12th June 2017
In my humble opinion, every business needs some marketing. Some need more, some less, but it does not change the fact that the marketing initiatives represent an enormous source of a business fuel that makes its heart beat faster. And I am telling you when it comes to fintech, that heartbeat needs to be on a roll.
What is fintech?
Why fintech? Moreover, why fintech marketing? And what does it have to do with the Balkans?
Ok, first two questions were easy. I was suspicious about the third one. However, I did dig interesting insights.
“Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century. Originally, the term applied to technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions. ” – Investopedia
The reason behind me dedicating the article to fintech is related to a short plot. For almost a year, a significant portion of my professional interest has been dragged to fintech. That is all thanks to a small rising start-up called tritra, based in Baden bei Wien. By an unexpected swirl of circumstances, I ended up in an amazing small team of passion- driven people. That passion is provoked by innovations in financial industry, namely a combination of technology, automation, artificial intelligence, and finances. I must say, I initially fell for the first three. It all had started by me being interested and then I fell in love. Sounds like a start of any relationship, right? Soon, without even noticing, I was in the middle of super exciting vertigo of fintech, more precisely- marketing in fintech.
There was a lot of learning by doing, a lot of research and a lot of 10- working- hours- long days. Those who have worked in a startup before can imagine how much time it might take to make some things rolling. But it was worth it!
And what about the fintech in the Balkans?
If you type in “fintech in the Balkans” in Google search bar, the titles you get are quite surprising, I must say. On a very positive note “A snapshot of burgeoning start-ups in Bulgaria and the Balkans” gives credits to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria as a start-up hub. This goes hand in hand with the Bulgarian strive to become tech capital of the Balkans.
On the other part of the Peninsula, the Croatian startup Bspend is mastering the usage of bitcoins and has already started a revolution in banking and financial services. As expected, the traditional banks (namely 76 percent of them) are afraid that their businesses will be taken by the speed development of financial technologies. However, 42 percent of them admit that they are already bonding with fintech sector. In 2016, Oradian, the British- Croatian cloud banking fintech startup, was one of the best in Europe.
I’d argue, that these data are quite promising.
Computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services.
Despite the fintech mushrooming, the Balkan area is unfortunately still under the major challenges when it comes to financial inclusion policy regulations, bureaucracy, and needs for the fund. However, I am happy to notice that financial sector is prone to innovation and that there are events such as FinConf in Sarajevo that welcomes the inspiring developments that will help to skyrocket the fintech in the Balkans.
Thinking about the market itself, it still might take quite a bit of time for Balkan area to reach the fintech level of fast- developing and developed markets. We are not the best ground for raising financial innovation and startups, but based on my small analysis, there is potential. The question is only how to use it. As the public knows a little or nothing about the fintech, every rising company needs to do a hell of a marketing campaign to sustain.
What do marketers need to know about fintech marketing?
One of the main challenges in communicating fintech products is to gain the trust. The relationship with the target group is extremely important. It needs to be on a friendly basis and they need to be sure that you are a trustworthy keeper of their data. Easier said than done, I know. Nevertheless, it is not a mission impossible. A marketing team needs to be patient and dedicate the time to create a strong brand. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This might sound to you like any other marketing tips and tricks that a vast number of sources offer. You are on the right track, it is. But do not forget that every marketing initiative needs to be tailored to your audience, and fintech audience is peculiar.
So where is the magic? In education. Voila! You must have expected some set of words like in Harry Potter movies, right?
Many experts focus only on educating your audience, and they are right. However, I do believe that you need to constantly educate yourself too. Keep in mind that we are talking about disruptive innovation industry which is rapidly growing, so you need to keep up with the rhythm.
Based on my personal experience and a short research on experts opinions, I come up with the list of practices when executing fintech marketing.
1. Attend the events to be up-to-date with the industry trends and practices. If you cannot afford to go to conferences every month, well- use the Google!
2. Connect to an important people from the industry. Build the network of influencers that will spread the buzz about you.
3. Do not underestimate the power of social media! Follow your competition and be present where your customers are.
4. Your content will be your lure. Dedicate some time and effort to its customization. I am talking here about everything from the website to a tweet.
5. Once you establish the relationship- work on it. No place for “go-with-the-flow” here.
6. Always be transparent in what you do. Your customers will want to know what is going on and by including them in your work and development, you are making them important.
7. Automate processes whenever you can and integrate your marketing initiatives. It will save you some time (and you are going to lack the time).
Some fintech companies did a fine homework in tuning their campaigns. For the inspiration, you can check the examples here.
If you are somewhere there sitting in the small office, thinking how to boost your fintech company, I hope this article has encouraged you to define your starting point. Any ideas from your side are very welcome. In the meantime, I am going to keep my fingers crossed that the fintech in the Balkans goes way beyond the myth and trials.
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