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The Future of Fintech Marketing: Key trends and insights | Part 1

03 June, 2021

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This podcast was originally aired on 03 June, 2021

Tom Newbould

The Future of Fintech Marketing: Key trends and insights | Part 1

As part of our Thought Leaders Voice podcast series, we are thrilled to be in a conversation with Tom Newbould on ‘The Future of Fintech Marketing Key trends and insights.

In the Thought Leaders Voice podcast series, we explore the world of how independent thought leaders bring their ideas to scale within the business world and share powerful, thought-provoking insights with our listeners.

Our objective from this podcast series remains to educate senior-level marketers & thought leaders to help them solve some of the most quizzing marketing questions propping up right now.

This is an independent and self-sponsored series aimed towards enhancing the profiles & importance of thought leaders amongst CXOs.

With over 20 years of experience in Digital Marketing and E-Commerce, Tom Newbould is an Experienced Financial Services Senior Leader Well versed in start-up and scaling via paid and organic growth in highly regulated and competitive business environments.

Tom Newbould is a results-focused and dynamic professional with extensive experience in generating and increasing sales in B2B and B2C markets throughout Europe and the World.

Join the conversation to access actionable advice shared in an incredibly insightful way.

Key Takeaway

  • How is Fintech marketing evolving and driving innovation in Financial Services?
  • The future of community marketing in Fintech and how to best leverage it.
  • With the Fintech app market getting increasingly crowded, how can brands gain a competitive advantage?
  • How does Fintech Marketing play a role in protecting and enhancing the company’s reputation, especially communicating the values of trust and security to the customer?

Full Transcript of Podcast with Tom Newbould

Rachael Kinsella Hello and welcome to the thought leaders voice. I'm Rachael Kinsella, editor at iResearch services and your host today. We're excited to be joined today by Tom Newbould, experienced CMO and CEO at the Fintech marketing association. Thank you very much for being here today, Tom.

Tom Newbould A pleasure. Thanks very much for having me.

Rachael Kinsella Tom's got a really rich background, marketing tech, financial services, business consultancy, and journalism. So I'd like to welcome you very warmly today, Tom, and invite you to start off with telling us a little bit more about yourself.

Tom Newbould Well, thanks very much Rachel, for that lovely introduction. So yeah, I mean my, the last 10 years of my career has been spent in Fintech and financial services and that's really, you know, the area that I’ve found that career wise, I’ve had a lot of fulfillment, a lot of excitement and really been within the tremendous change and innovation that's happened within those industries. Prior to that, you know, I had no less exciting time in some other industries, including healthcare, which were very exciting education, but I think what drew me into financial services was almost an accidental opportunity to start a Fintech business in the UK for a very successful what was then European-wide and is now global digital finance provider. And that was really a fast track into the world of Fintech because, you know, this was going back to the 2010, a lot of things were changing in that time. And there was a lot of innovation happening, particularly in the fusion between some of the Fintech developments and the world of wider financial services. So I think, you know, within the marketing side of that again, there's been a lot of tremendous change. If we look at the range of marketing technology available now, it's incredible compared with 10 or 15 years ago. So the two things came together really and, you know birthed out of those roles. I was doing the Fintech marketing association, which is you know, something I'm involved now and gives me a lot of insight into what's going on in the Fintech world.

Rachael Kinsella Brilliant. I think it's really impressive to be so heavily involved in an industry that is moving so quickly, as you say, seeing the innovation that's at play. So a little bit more on that. Could you tell us a little bit more about the Fintech umbrella and how Fintech marketing in particular is evolving and driving innovation within financial services in a broader sense?

Tom Newbould Yeah, sure. So the FMA, the Fintech marketing association is really a professional network and collaboration of people working within marketing in FinTech’s, or who are interested in marketing and Fintech. So, you know, in the membership, we've got CEOs, founders, as well as people who are fulfilling marketing roles or leading marketing functions in those business, and that the members stretch from Brazil right through Europe, right into Australia. So we've got a really good collection of professionals, of knowledge, of people with lots of great ideas businesses with some fantastic, innovative things they're doing. And also a lot of common problems. So a lot of common topics that we would come together to talk about, you know, how has someone done this and how has it been successful, what barriers have they hit. So really, it's a fast track to solving some of the problems that Fintech marketers would come up against. And also some of the issues that Fintech businesses which in the membership range from brand new startups, right through to very, very successful FinTech’s that are operating now at scale. So the range of that expertise is a very powerful thing. And, you know, as a member particularly in my role, I'm able to interact and see what those businesses are doing and also help them you know, help maybe join up people with the same problem, same ambition or particular where the services is a complimentary, you know, where I can see if that business go to that business that would really accelerate what they're doing. So some of those things, you know what the FMA is all about. I think in the world of Fintech generally, you know, it's a hugely exciting place. So if we look at, you know, the level of investment into Fintech globally, now, I think in 2019, it was about $34 billion. Now that's estimated to be about $50 billion. So, you know, the scale of investment going into FinTech’s is huge. Likewise we see a lot of, you know, ground level investments in terms of angel investment, right through to crowdfunding campaigns. And I think crowdfunding campaigns now brilliant for people who are interested generally in FinTech’s, because we can invest into a Fintech business with as little as 10 pounds if we want to. And it gives us a real glimpse into what that business is doing and have a chance to be involved in that way. I think if you look at the number of Fintech startups now you know, there's over 10,000 in the American's region, I think almost 10,000 in EMEA and 6,000 in Asia Pacific. So, you know, there's no electorate really in the number of FinTech’s being formed. And the reason that that is happening is simply because, you know, if you look at the bigger financial services market, the bigger financial institutions, they're almost monolithic in size, it's very difficult sometimes to effect change, but you know, in a business of that size, and this is where Fintech can really come in and play a role because you know, has the ability to do things faster. It's got the ability to offer services and think and develop services that are brand new that potentially are really helpful to that wider financial services sector. So I think, you know, Fintech is absolutely about innovative technology solutions, two of the great examples we can look at would be mobile wallets and payments. So, you know, I think if you look at something like the consumer adoption rate for money transfer and payments worldwide that reached 75%, if you look at the number of say, Americans using something like voice assistance now for banking, that's reached 20%. So all of these things have their roots in Fintech and, you know, that's why I find it particularly exciting because it's the fusion of finding the world of [0702 inaudible] Korea. Recently would be Gold X, which is, you know, a brand new technology to what is an industry that's thousands of years old, you know, gold trading. And it's brought technology to that industry in a very leading edge way, you know, completely transformational. So things like that are quite incredible, you know, and I think how we access money, how we spend money, how we save money, how we invest is all changing. And it all has its roots in Fintech.

Rachael Kinsella Brilliant. Yeah. I mean, it's staggering, the numbers that you were reeling off there seeing how much the market is growing and across different areas of Fintech as well. And as you say, a lot of these innovative companies have got their roots in Fintech innovation and that innovation, that ability to move quickly to scale up quickly as well is what's really driving the market at the moment. And I'm sure there's many lessons to be learned from other industries and for other industries from that and collaboration as well. And one of the reasons that you've started the Fintech marketing association is to create that community of Fintech professionals and to share knowledge and an expertise. And that it seems that there's this sense of community spreading across Fintech in terms of their client base and approaches to market. Could you tell us a bit more about the community marketing side of things and how that's developing?

Tom Newbould Yeah, I think you know, that's a very good point and I think the community side of marketing is something that businesses, you know marketing teams, founders of businesses, CEOs are starting to realize is potentially a hugely powerful thing, because if you can bring together and maintain a community of people that are interested in not only your service, but something around you know, the periphery of what you offer, it becomes a great breeding ground for everything from ideas to customers, to, you know, lifetime value of customers to service has been extended. And I think, you know, if we look at something like crypto, for example, you know, within crypto, there are some very well developed communities with hundreds of thousands of people in them, the same for gold, the same for, you know, some of the payments technology that's used by different industries. So I think people are starting to realize the value of these communities and building them and investing time into that. Where it comes back to marketing again, is there's a collection of people that are potentially advocates of your product or champions of your product or your service, or again, the flow of ideas. And I think where the two things come together very well is, you know, usually if a Fintech, which maybe doesn't have the power of the marketing budget of a bigger organization, you know, it doesn't have that spending power because it's still being formed or developing or scaling up. I think one of the things that it can do is leverage that community of people, the way it can do that is coming back to what can be done to give added value to these people, to give, you know, knowledge that's useful to them to give white papers, to give things that they're going to want to receive. So that community can be used in a, in a whole load of ways. I think, you know, the key is to resonate with the person who is in the community, or you want to join the community. So again, usually the incentive for them to join is either interest based or it's incentive-based you know, the incentive can often be this thirst for knowledge and the business providing knowledge to it. So again, you know, I think there are, for the end user, for the consumer, it's brilliant because we can go into all these different places and get this brilliant knowledge for free. So, you know, in the crypto world, it might be information about how to use crypto better and make a bigger return. Again, going back to Gold X, we launched a gold trading academy, which is completely free, completely free content around learning how to trade and becoming better at trading in gold. And there's numerous examples. I mean, if you take a business and on the payment side, like modular, modular gives out some brilliant content through its newsletters, which are free to sign up. So there's this, I think communities, you know, people have realized that communities are replaced to get very, very good knowledge very quickly and serve to you. Businesses realized that community marketing is a very good way of reaching the end user in a much more synergetic way than just saying here's our product come and get it. So I'm a big fan and advocate of that side of marketing.

Rachael Kinsella Absolutely. It just takes it to the next level, Doesn't it?
I mean it is beyond products, solutions, pain points, and actually providing genuine knowledge for free to people who genuinely want to hear about it, to learn more and to understand it better, which I think is a huge development looking at even the financial side of things. If you look at just over the past five, six years, how that's developed in terms of community and consumer knowledge about who they're engaging with, how they're being provided digital financial services and also investment. And as you mentioned with gold and how you were able to, to build that community quickly, it's pretty impressive how the market has moved in that direction. And it must be a good opportunity for marketers to leverage.

Tom Newbould Yeah, absolutely. I think some of these things have their roots very much in the businesses that are doing very good CRM. You know, CRM was the conventional tool within marketing that allows marketers to serve content and news to people. And I think community is an extension of that. It doesn't take away the need to do CRM, but CRM is often the lead into someone going from the product to being a loyal customer, to join in the community in taking part. So even, you know, back in, let's say 2014, 2015, you know, one of the FinTech’s I was working for at that time, [1341 inaudible] you know, we made a great investment into what we termed added value content for customers, which wasn't about you know, come, and get a loan from us. It was purely about, here are some things that we think you will be affected by either the rising cost of this or the hidden cost of that. And here's some tips and content that we can give you that will be helpful. And I think where you've seen that become much more wider and broad now is then, you know, just about financial services generally will with their customers through the process, serve up to the customer, a lot of useful content and knowledge to help them manage their finances better, for example. So, you know, for the consumer both Fintech helping financial services, you know, offer things digitally and offer the customer different ways to access products. And this knowledge, you know, the world is becoming a better place. And Fintech has been a great driver of that, you know, to show what can be done.

Rachael Kinsella It's thought leadership at play, but in a very interactive and innovative way, which is really nice to see. With that in mind, how do you FinTech’s and other financial institutions who are either working with FinTech’s or leveraging the services or style to be able to provide different digital services to customers, how can they really capitalize on the sense of community and, and thought leadership and knowledge and how can they match that with user experience? So obviously the traditional FinTech’s are the front runners in terms of the technology and being able to create that seamless user experience. I wonder if you could share with us your thoughts on how more traditional financial services might be able to leverage that sort of activity.

Tom Newbould Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think there are some great examples of partnership working between a Fintech and a much more established, you know, bigger financial institution. You know, I think there's a lot of potential for FinTech’s to white label their technology and allow the institution to use it. You know, some of the businesses I’ve been involved in have been great demonstrators of that. So, you know, [1614 inaudible] became a business [1618 inaudible], you know, a lot of the people who are involved in that have formed a business called Tighter which offers leading edge omni-channel, you know, customer management services to financial organizations. So it's really leveraging some of the technology, at heart some of the ways of working to deliver that service, I think on the UX side you know, if I look at a company like, Oak Brooke, who again, I was involved in as a CMO in the past you know, they've spent a lot of time looking at how they can really give their customers, you know, the very leading edge of user experience, you know, so that's an investment into people, into research, into trying different things with groups of customers out of that, again, you know, they've got a great opportunity to white label some of that and allow other bigger financial organizations to use it and indeed startups. And then if I look at Gold X again, again, white labeling that technology is an opportunity for them and it's an opportunity for the wider sector. So I think, you know, there's a lot of businesses in Fintech that looking at problems the customer has, looking at where maybe there's a failure on the UX side or the customer journey side and saying, we've got a solution that you could use to this. So I think the key to all of that is having conversations. You know, it's the institution's acknowledging that we don't have to build this ourselves. We can actually use a very, very good partner to provide that service to us. So that starts with a conversation, you know, it, hopefully it leads to an improvement in the service for the end-user. And I think one thing that accelerated all of that was you know, COVID, COVID basically made customers go online for things because we are all trapped in our homes. We couldn't 't leave them. So we had to access, you know, we had online was really the key and digital finance and services with a key to, you know, managing our money making payments you know, even the way in which payments can now be completely done through mobile, again, that goes back to Fintech at its heart. So a lot of the organizations that didn't have these things in place had to put them in place very quickly and to do that, they accessed Fintech a lot of the time to provide that service to them. You know, so I think I look quite often the involvement of a Fintech in a bigger organization is quite behind the scenes. You know, we don't see it as consumers, but it's that, and it's playing a role and, you know, it's playing an important role in delivering these services to customers. What, you know, to some extent I think a Fintech that has the ability to white label its services, or is selling into on the B2B side to it under the business either has to have a very, very good marketing team you know, reaching these people who are making these decisions, or it's got to have a very good business development team. You know, all the two things working together, because otherwise these conversations don't happen unless they're happening at maybe a C level and introductions will be made by that way. But, you know, I think generally what is true of every financial services organization is that there is generally an appetite to keep improving and keep improving things for the customer. Because again, what's changed. I think the minimum expectation the consumer has the bar is raised. So, you know, we expect to be able to access online banking services. We expect to be able to make all our payments from our mobiles. We expect, you know, that we can have everything served to us digitally now. So anyone that's not, and we expect, you know, an excellent online or mobile experience. So that's the minimum standard, you know, if we don't get that as a customer will think, oh, that's not very good. And I think, you know, where Fintech sometimes, you know, sometimes in Fintech, things that are done, get a lot of funfair. I think the traditional banks might do the same thing, but not get as much fun, fair because the expectations higher of those to be very good. So again, you know, I think the coverage of in terms of the media you know, can be, can make a big song and dance for something that's happening in Fintech. Banking doesn't necessarily get the same treatment. But there is the appetite always to improve, I think, on both sides of the equation.

Rachael Kinsella Definitely. Yes. That's a very good point actually. There's so much appetite for news and so much interest in Fintech, all the new developments, new products coming out, new technology being used, but sometimes when some of the banks and some of the more traditional financial services providers are doing something similar, it might fall by the wayside because the focus is all about the tech which brings me very nicely onto systems. Obviously, there's another big difference between traditional financial services and traditional FinTech’s that many large financial institutions are lumbered with these old legacy systems. And as you said, COVID has just accelerated the technology uptake and innovation required. Many of them have done very well in bringing on board new technology and using it effectively in a very short space of time. Can you share some insight on the kind of background to that and what marketers can be, can be doing in terms of their systems as well, because obviously with COVID, there's the issue of security and trust and in the flight to digital that's paramount. So on the one hand it's providing this seamless digital experience to customers. But on the other hand, it's keeping everything running in the background, making sure that it's secure and making sure that everything's been communicated in the right way. So there's a lot to think about where do you see that fitting? Where do you see marketing's role in that? And I'd just be interested to hear your thoughts on where it all fits together and on what's the route forward.

Tom Newbould Well, yeah, I mean, I think I saw a statistic the other day, which I can't remember, unfortunately, but it was definitely showing how you know, online scams and scams around payments, you know, bills, identity has increased exponentially, you know, through this COVID period because the fraudsters recognize that everyone is online and, you know, everything from a text message sent to your phone, which looks very legitimate with a linking can lead to a whole host of problems. So the way in which, you know, fraudsters are using this opportunity presented by COVID to attack individuals and attack certain organizations, you know, is very worrying. I think, you know, going back 10 there were very sophisticated you know, organizations targeting lenders. So an organization like [2356 inaudible] for example, is very, very important in helping to solve that. It remains, you know, very relevant and important today. I think some of the things that, you know, organizations and particularly marketers can do is to take the expertise that exists in their business, around, you know, things to look out for phishing attempts, you know this type of communication that can be targeted at individuals working in that institution can take that knowledge of how we protect ourselves against that and share it with their customers, through the communities and through the newsletters that we might give them, through the content we might give them. You know, I think that education side is particularly important for, you know, across the whole demographic of customers actually. So if I take in my family, you know, there's individuals of completely different ages, you know, from child to mid-seventies who are potentially, you know, accessing services where they might receive one of these Phishing communications. And it's a very simple task for a marketer to share that expertise with that consumer base. You know, I think what it can do is have, you know, if we don't do that, what it can do is really put people off using some of these services you know, that are available. That may be very, very secure you know, online transactions now, so sophisticated, and so seamless that it's easy for us to forget, to look for the basics sometimes. You know, I’ve seen lots of examples on social media where people have said, I’ve received this message. Is it genuine? Should I click on it? And I think people now are very cautious, which is a good thing, because what's happening is that community of people is helping to educate. Our responsibility as marketers, I think, is to just accelerate that education as far as we can, and to make sure there's good content available for people to access, but to some extent, you know, I think the risk is it does undermine some of the very good services that are available. At the very least makes people more cautious about using them.

Rachael Kinsella Yes. Yeah. You are absolutely right. And we did a survey earlier in the year where we were looking at trust with digital financial services and while a staggering number of over sixties were using digital banking services for the first time, there was a real disparity in terms of trust. And the older end of the demographic are actually more trusting than the younger demographics which I think speaks to their strive for education around security and what to watch out for, for scams and phishing and everything else. I think, you know, we're inherently cautious now because of the complexity and the cleverness of all of the different scams that have come out. So it'll be interesting to see how that plays out post pandemic if you can say that, as we see the relationship start to shift and as that more and more education is coming out about the types of scams that are around. It'll be interesting to see if there's any change in the particular demographics that are more trusting than others, but yeah, I think it's very important for all ages to be educated and informed and updated of new scams or just what to look out for, even if it's just simple steps. Because if you're in any doubt, the example that you mentioned posting on social media, if you were in doubt about it, then that tells you something.

Tom Newbould Absolutely.

Rachael Kinsella Trust your guts on that one. I think.

 

 

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