Contagious Marketing lesson with Mark A. Bell

How much does Fintech need to invest in time and resources in order to promote its brand? Is it really necessary and how can it do this effectively? The mentor of our mentorship program Mark A Bell, Marketing Strategist and Brand Value Builder at Bell Consulting tells you us how to keep an eye on things and what mistakes not to make.

A young brand must set off on the right foot, even in marketing. Three mistakes not to be made?

  1. Thinking that marketing is a set of activities, more or less tactical, developed to launch on the market a product already created. Marketing, on the contrary, is a process that must be integrated into the product itself. That product is marketing.
  2. Thinking that product innovation is the aim and not the means of their own activity. Thinking that innovation is so irresistible and differantiating that it can be sold without any effort
  3. Forgetting that the world has changed: today the real competition is not generated by other companies but by strong background noise present in the market. The human mind solves this problem in the best possible way: it almost totally ignores it. Only a few things, the most useful or interesting, are labelled and stored in mental boxes. Barriers to the competition are no longer controlled by companies but by consumers. The boxes that people build in their minds represent brand boundaries. A brand exists as long as it can be relevant in people’s minds. You may be the best in the world but it’s not enough. If people don’t think of you and don’t talk about you, you are irrelevant, you don’t exist. This means that before thinking of “market share” you have to think of “share of mind” you want to conquer for your brand.

Three main actions to take in order to position yourself well?

  1. People 1st: identify first of all who the people are we want to attract, what are their needs, their disappointments, their strong motivations, what they really want, their behaviours and their attitude regarding change. The world is driven by people’s needs, not by technology.
  2. Purpose drives people: to define the underlying deep reason of why the brand exists and the values in which it believes, a reason that “frames” emotionally what we do and how we do it, creating difference and relevance in the minds of the people we want to attract.
  3. Create content people want to share: create content that attracts people’s attention, content that is so relevant and engaging that people will want to share with their friends and colleagues. “Contagious” content that turns into conversations (customer becomes ambassador). Contents that require the same care and attention we devote to product innovation.

Is there any special attention to be paid to the fintech sector?

Yuval Noah Harari reminds us that “money is the most universal and efficient mutual trust system ever conceived. Money is the only system of trust created by humans that have been able to override almost any cultural gap, and that does not discriminate in terms of religion, gender, race, age, sexual orientation. Thanks to money, even people who do not know each other and who have no other reason to trust each other can still cooperate concretely”. But trust is built with behaviour (not simple declarations) day after day, it is an infinite process made of micro attentions, listening, caring, a process the traditional banking system, in general, has forgotten becoming thus a commodity.

How aware are young fintech companies of the importance of promoting their brand right from the start?

Generally unaware. Too often the focus is almost exclusively on product innovation, thinking this is enough to differentiate your brand. They are forgetting what Marty Neumeyer reminds us: “Your brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is”.

The world of communication and marketing is also evolving rapidly and continuously. What do you think are the trends to keep an eye on in the next few months?

Data-Driven Creativity will become a strategic differentiator in building effective Customer Experiences. Creating engaging CX requires an integrated mix of creativity and intelligence. A recent study found that companies integrate data and creativity into their daily practices benefit from twice as much growth versus companies that have these resources but manage them separately.

An example of good management promotion of a fintech brand?

N26 “The first bank you’ll love” has conquered in a few years a large part of those people tired of the traditional banking system that is both distant and self-referential. It has succeeded in doing this by focusing on their needs and requirements. “Marketers sell products. Customers want relationships”.

For more information about our mentorship program and to find out who our mentors are, click here

Author: Fintech District

27 September 2019



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