How NEUROMARKETING can propel a FINTECH business

Enrico Morandi, founder of MIND:IN, spoke about the power of neuromarketing to the
Fintech District community during a lively and populated mentorship session. We asked him
to share his knowledge and experience also in an interview dedicated to the fintech sector.
Enjoy reading it!

Neuromarketing: can you give us a definition to convince us that it is not a marketing
invention?

Neuromarketing is a discipline that makes it possible to measure the effectiveness of
measuring communication
and marketing possible through the direct measurement of
emotions and basic processes linked to purchasing decisions.
It stems from the convergence of the most recent neuroscientific and brain image research,
traditional marketing and consumer psychology, and therefore operates on a solid basis.

What advantages does this discipline offer? What tools/opportunities does it offer?

It aims to assess what happens in people’s brains in response to marketing stimuli related to
products, brands or advertising. In fact, the techniques on which neuromarketing research is
based make it possible to verify with greater precision the variation of the emotional
condition determined by marketing stimuli thanks to the analysis of psychophysiological
indicators correlated with emotional states, assuming that this can help companies to
determine a greater involvement of their target audience.

How can it be exploited by an innovative startup?

It can be the basis of any marketing and communication choice. The design of a website can
integrate user experience processes with neuromarketing measurements. Images and texts
are undoubtedly more effective when verified with these techniques. Not to mention the
entire Customer Experience, which becomes more relevant in terms of channels and modes
of engagement. It is precisely an innovative startup that should forget the usual marketing
methods and start from its customers and design and reason around them – or rather, their
brains.

What are the first steps in approaching neuromarketing?

There are many courses and books. To get a general idea of the techniques and
specificities, one book above all needs mentioning: “Neuromarketing, communication and
consumer behaviour”
by Vincenzo Russo.

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Fintech lead generation, tips by BTREES

Btrees is one of the technical partners that Fintech District has selected to enrich its community. It’s a company specialized in providing diversified and multichannel services ranging from social media strategy, advertising, email marketing, SEO and much more. We asked founder Christian Zegna for some tips on lead generation, with a focus on the fintech sector.

How do you make the choice of channels for lead generation: what factors impact a FINTECH reality and what’s your advice?

The digital channels on which it makes sense to invest must be planned and chosen before starting the communication activities. In fact, they will influence the production of content and will affect the editorial style to be held. If we choose, for example, to use YouTube intensively, we will have to be prepared to make videos, while if we focus on Instagram we will need high quality images.

That said, the choice of channels to use is to be made according to some simple rules:

  • On those channels in which people talk there is a buzz and we can compare ourselves on my market, in this case on Fintech.
  • Which channels are frequented by my target and by my interlocutors?

There is also a third factor that is, in my opinion, fundamental: how many channels am I able to monitor and follow consistently?

In fact, people often underestimate the effort needed to update, manage and monitor their communication channels. In this sense, the rule is “few but well attended“: avoid opening many profiles and then not being able to follow them effectively. It’s better not to be present on a specific channel than to be present in an unprofessional way!

The Fintech world sees LinkedIn as its main channel. In addition to this platform the visibility Facebook and Instagram can provide should not be understimated especially through their platform ADV. In the European context, on the other hand, Twitter is given secondary importance. The creation and care of a blog, a strategy of vertical content on your specific activity, are in my opinion a winning choice especially if combined with an SEO optimization of your website and content.

How important is the target audience analysis and how should it be done?

The analysis of your target audience is undoubtedly fundamental. In putting into practice a marketing campaign we always address a starting target, which is defined in the business plan phase, and which is built by identifying the buyer personas, the interlocutors to whom my communication activity is addressed.

There are tools that allow me to analyze the audience I am able to intercept with my activities: Google Analytics, for example, returns demographic and personal data on visitors to my site, ditto for social business accounts. This allows me to understand how much my

activity is in line with my expectations in terms of audience. The analysis of this data allows me to calibrate my action, to assess its effectiveness and consistency with my personas. I can then adjust the pitch or, as often happens, discover new specific targets interested in my product and my activity.

How to choose the tone of voice?

The tone of voice must be chosen in a manner consistent with the soul of the company and representing the style and positioning the company wants to have on the market (both online and offline). In addition to consistency with the positioning of the company, it is very important to be consistent on the different channels. It does not always have to be “institutional”, I find it interesting indeed to find a personal tone of voice and identity, when possible. In addition to the tone of voice, I recommend choosing some terms, some keywords on which to focus and insist on in order to tie them to your identity and image.

In your opinion, what are the main lead generation strategies and tools that you would recommend to a company operating in the fintech sector?

At the level of strategy, always remember that before trying to acquire a lead I must have informed my audience of my existence (the brand awareness phase), I must have made them discover who I am and what I do and I must have aroused their interest in my business and my project. Only then will I be able to effectively ask him to leave me his contacts, to try my products, to meet me or to schedule a call.

A strategy for lead acquisition can be to use targeted advertising. At this juncture there are different types of ad hoc campaigns that can be implemented. For example, you can use SEA (Search Engine Advertising) campaigns on Google thanks to which, through text ads in the search results, can intercept a prospect specifically interested in my product because was struck by my ad during an active search phase.

With social media campaigns, on the other hand, I apply a “push” strategy with which I intercept an audience that is actually often doing something else… I have to be good at attracting their attention and getting them to notice me. In any case, the channels must be tested, measured… we often have big surprises and we are in turn surprised by the performance we get!

Today, a type of campaign that I would definitely recommend testing is the “lead ads” campaign, which is a specific format available on various social networks (Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram) that aims to generate new contacts.

The user who clicks on the ad is shown a form with a series of fields that can be customized (first name, last name, email, phone, role in the company…) that are actually pre-filled by the platform and speed up and facilitate acquisition.

When, how much and why can digital ADV be useful?

Today Advertising, especially on social networks is essential. Companies cannot, in my opinion, ignore the need to accompany their editorial activity with a media investment;it would be like preparing a juicy dinner for two and then eating it alone. Organic visibility (the free one for example) is now limited and will be increasingly so. Therefore, it makes sense to give a “boost” to your content with an adequate ADV budget. This is also a way to optimize your editorial investment and make it more effective

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Performoney, an editorial push for the growth of fintechs

Performoney is a technical partner of the Fintech District, created to help fintechs grow. It is solely dedicated to fintechs in order to better meet the needs of those operating in this specific sector. We asked Nicola Costanzo, Co-Founder, to tell us more about how Performoney operates and what it offers to the fintech world.

When was Performoney born and with what mission?

Performoney was born in the autumn of 2019 which makes quite a young company, but our team is formef by people who have an average of 15 years of experience in the digital field and in particular in performance marketing. As is always the case ,when while creating a new company, we realised there was a market need that was not being met, so we decided to create Performoney. We noticed that fintechs need to acquire a large volume of customers but they have very specific characteristics that make it very difficult for multi-sector companies to understand these last and to, therefore, understand the problems and find solutions. We decided to create performoney by focusing only on fintechs in order to identify their needs and thus help them acquire new customers online.

What services do you offer and to which target group?

Speaking of fintechs, there is also a technological component. We also have a proprietary technology with a predictive algorithm that creates a channel to create leads and sales to fintechs. We create a private partner network, a pool of publishers selected by our algorithm, for each of our clients. These publishers will create user traffic for fintech platforms or sites through promotional articles. This private panel network has a number of advantages, one of which is that we make available the leads of financial publishers, and secondly we are able to influence users throughout their purchasing decision path. Since we have a performance-based model that pays only for the conversions we bring in, we don’t represent a risk for fintechs who will only pay for the results they actually get.

What kind of help can fintechs like those in our community find in you?

We are a strategic partner for fintechs because we help them develop fundamental metrics in the areas of acquisition and activation and, more generally, marketing metrics through to revenue. All this with an almost zero-risk, pure performance remuneration model, therefore based on cost per sale.

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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

UX 4 Fintech: 1st point of the Enhancers Decalogue

Before the summer we presented you the decalogue that our technical partner Enhancers created for our community, to explain how and why UX is essential for a fintech. If you want to read it again, you can find it here. Today we will tell you the first point.

THE BANK ACCOUNT BECOMES A MARKETING SPACE

A data-driven transformation that creates stunning opportunities

1. Goodbye, marketing funnel

The so-called intent, as Google has codified it, is the new protagonist of marketing: the elusive intention, but strongly contextual, that guides the purchase paths, never being linear and predictable. Users don’t go from left to right or from the top down – from awareness to loyalty – as in traditional models anymore; they move in every possible direction instead, often going in circles, and in a way that’s very difficult to predict.
Some examples: more than 125 touch points visited to buy cosmetics. More than 350 for a headset. More than 500 for a trip. It’s a maze-like space where behaviours like webrooming (exploring online to purchase off line) and showrooming (visiting physical stores to purchase online) appear, extending the retail jargon with terms like ROPO (research online, purchase off line) and ROTOPO (research online, test off line, purchase online). Behaviours that cannot be stopped with aggressive actions such as a “tax” for people who try shoes in a store without buying anything. In this context is decisive for any brand to fulfil intent in the shortest possible time. Let’s call it time-to-intent. The proximity to payment and money management tools will get more and more crucial. Enter the bank account.

2. From bank statement to experience hub

The momentous transformation of the bank account into an active space, powerful management tool and operational dashboard, also opening to the outside with the EU directive PSD2, creates tremendous opportunities for marketing and sales. The bank’s knowledge about daily needs, actual expenses, habits and preferences shown by transactions, and also about customers’ goals set through personal financial management tools (PFMs), is certainly smaller than Facebook’s or Amazon’s, but it’s definitely accurate and actionable. Money spent and actual shopping patterns are the most reliable proxies for people’s real behaviours. Enriching these data with the information collected online by players outside of the finance industry could feed the most effective prediction engine.


The bank account as a channel has been used so far by banks mostly to promote financial products and services from their own catalogue. But new models are appearing, providing account holders with any kind of customized offers – not just about credit cards or mortgages. With highly targeted call-to-actions (such as promotions about flights, accommodations and activities for a trip I’m saving for) and suggestions embedded in the very fabric of the banking experience. Aimed at influencing people’s intent and put it into effect in real-time. This is the field of action of Meniga, the Icelandic fintech whose mission is to bring retail marketing practices for engagement and loyalty to the banking space, including challenges and social media mechanics, like in the ecosystems they have already built with mBank, ING Direct, Santander. Providing relevant added-value services to users is key, with tools that make money management easier and more effective and promoting behavioural change by using data and machine learning in a smart way. Enhancers is already working on solutions like these for groundbreaking projects in Italy.
Another example is Curve, a credit card aggregator allowing users to generate cashback when purchasing from their favourite brands. Current partners include Amazon, Carrefour, Apple, Just Eat, IKEA, EasyJet and Netflix, and new ones are added to the list constantly.

3. Lifestyle banking

The potential is immense, and new business models include subscription-based services, the integration with vocal assistants to boost “a-commerce” (purchases managed by AIs), data enrichment and monetization, and much, much more.
What’s at stake in creating and strengthening an emotional bond between the customer and the bank, which can also help both incumbents and challengers in standing up to external challenges: some years ago the Millennial Disruption Index revealed that 73% of people born between 1981 and 2000 would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Amazon or Apple than from their own nationwide bank. Numbers speak volumes: customers that have an emotional bond with their bank are less likely to try new solutions and generate up to 6 times the profit of a “very satisfied” user (source: Net Promoter Score and Motista). A groundbreaking player like buddybank, that has already carved a space as the first conversational mobile bank in the Italian market, is also paving the road in this new direction, with new services and features that will hit the App Store anytime soon. The multiplier is huge; the challenge is open.

Enhancers and Fintech District have joined forces to engineer a Product Design Pack enabling start-ups and scale-ups to effectively shape their digital products and to quickly move through the seeding, funding and market test stages. It’s filled with amazing deliverables, user excitement and business magic. Read more here

Read the Italian version of this article on Medium

financeAds: an opportunity for future unicorns

A collaboration between Fintech District and financeAds has started. What are the reasons for which this news can affect those who belong to the Italian fintech ecosystem? Let’s find out with the help of Alvise Perissinotto, Managing Director of financeAds.

financeAds is a marketing agency that helps banks, insurances, and Fintech to acquire clients for their online products through its network of relevant online publishers across Europe. It operates with top-tier clients in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Benelux and the UK working on performance, a highly ROI oriented marketing channel, promoting desktop / mobile / app products on behalf of their clients. They also help up-and-coming Fintech to carry out/develop/organize specific branding-oriented campaigns.

The collaboration with financeAds has two basic strands: a mentorship service and an agreement, both aimed at the startups of the Fintech District community.

Alvise Perissinotto, Managing Director of financeAds explains: “We think that FD is the perfect breeding ground for the next Fintech unicorns. We want to work with these realities right from day one, helping them understand what the most effective marketing channel for them is and how to maximize the ROI on the budget spent. We offer the community our knowledge and insights on how to be effective and relevant. This translates into efficient spending that avoids a ‘waste’ of budget and allows, on the other hand, a full focus on growth. We also agreed on a special preferential fee rate for those clients who, after the initial free consultation, decide to work with us”.

financeAds agreed on providing group seminars which are opened up to all startups that are part of the FD community, plus one-to-one sessions with individual companies to suggest the best marketing mix to consider when starting, scaling or on reaching maturity, free of charge. During the first group meeting, last February, Perissinotto talked about how to use marketing channels effectively for a Fintech. “We then had already 5 one-to-one sessions with individual startups” he reveals.

What results can the activity put forward by financeAds give the fintech sector? Is it always appropriate? This is Perissinotto’s answer:

“If done correctly, this can help to scale a client very fast. It depends on a lot of parameters which are, most of the time, outside our control (online funnel, on-boarding process, available budget attractiveness of the commission model paid to online publishers for bringing a client and so on). We can deliver tens of thousands of new clients per month to our clients thanks to/if we have an attractive product, a commission model that is aggressive versus its main competitors, with a good online funnel that converts well and, most importantly, together with the right mix of technology and human resources, to efficiently get on board all those new users. At times, it is more an internal limit concerning/regarding processing the leads that come in rather than the volume of leads we can deliver”.

Want to learn more about financeAds? Read the interview with Alvise Perissinotto

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