Four Killer FinTech Marketing Campaigns that Achieved High-Growth

November 3, 2022


The Current FinTech Market

FinTech is booming. At last count, there were 5,779 FinTech startups in America and 3,583 in Europe. And, these figures continue to grow. For Q1 in 2019, the FinTech industry saw a 41% increase from Q4 2018, representing growth of $1 billion. Innovate Finance reports that, so far, the industry has generated a whopping $2.9 billion from 123 deals, so it's no surprise that FinTechs are looking for innovative ways to advertise their services and increase growth.

Challenges FinTech Brands Need to Overcome to Create Kickass Marketing Campaigns

Finding the Perfect Balance Between Finance and Technology

While technology follows rules of fast growth and quick market dominance, finance plays a whole different game. Mastering the two by effectively bridging the gap between much-needed financial services and modern technology offers the best formula for success. By bringing products to market at speed FinTechs can satisfy investors and increase funding, and overcome traditional investment barriers.

Harnessing the power of data.

Established FinTech leaders like Lending Tree and OnDeck, depend on the accuracy and reliability of their data for success. They gather and purify data while focusing on growth to expand upon conventional marketing tactics. Innovation is a priority for minimal risk and maximum prosperity/growth.

Welcoming change

Large banking institutions typically don’t like to challenge the status quo,  wary of innovative solutions and marketing strategies; these players generally prefer to play it safe.  Resistance to change and indecisiveness leads to little, or at best, slow growth.  This reticence however, does create exciting opportunities for challenger banks and FinTechs to grow and compete with large-scale institutions claiming a place amongst the treetops as FinTech leaders.

Paid & Organic

When it comes to growth marketing, most successful campaigns strike a balance between paid and organic. Whether it’s SEO or PPC, organic or Facebook ads, paid and social marketing are a match made in heaven. Investing in both almost always leads to higher ROI, a wider reach and overall more effective campaigns, recent research shows content marketing’s unequivocally and continuing power:

  • 55% of marketers say creating blogs remains their top inbound marketing priority
  • Marketers who prioritise blogging have 13x better ROI than those who don't
  • Content marketing garners 3x as many leads as paid search advertising

Almost half of consumers view 3-5 pieces of content before speaking with a sales rep. All of the successful campaigns below use a mixture of the two to achieve high growth.

Fintech Businesses Bucking the Trend

Here are some of our favourite examples of FinTech businesses kicking ass.

1. WealthSimple: Content Is King

While catching and holding attention, good content can also build credibility and boost brand awareness, benefits WealthSimple, an online investment management company, have demonstrated convincingly with their content marketing campaigns.  

These successes began with a simple insight; most people view investments. as… well... boring, so WealthSimple struck out on a journey to flip this notion on its head and make investments relatable and fun. Using inspired content and a generous dash of humour, they created   groundbreaking campaigns like "A Totally Not Boring Guide to Life Insurance" and "Nine Rules for Not Being Dumb When the Market Goes Down." Other pieces feature successful entrepreneurs, like Jen Agg, a successful bar and restaurant owner in Toronto. Agg's commentary is straightforward, irreverent and, at times, even profane (she’s not shy about dropping an F-bomb on occasion). 

Content like this not only captures attention—it also makes potential customers think differently about a brand. Especially if the message uses powerful headlines and eye-catching graphics. WealthSimple knows that success is in getting the attention of the right people with head-turning content,  earning a closer look and sharing the message with their peers. A proven award-winning strategy; by March 2018, WealthSimple hit the $2 billion in assets mark and secured $65 million in new funding. Pretty impressive results!

2. Starling Bank: Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably familiar with the social media campaign of Starling Bank, a British disruptor bank. Their campaigns aimed to boost awareness of their mobile-only approach to banking and tempt new customers to engage as well as open new accounts. . 

Starling used Facebook, as the main platform for their June 2017 campaign installing Facebook SDK, a Facebook feature allowing developers to integrate Facebook into a new app. Using SDK, Starling could easily share engaging content on the social media site—and send data from their mobile app to Facebook ads. 

Starling discovered insights into potential customers’ actions on their banking app and avoided sending ads to people who had already viewed the content. They could also accurately measure the performance of different ad formats, providing the insight that video ads performed best. Starling's success is unquestionable. They managed to:

  • Decrease costs per banking app install by 36% within 2 months
  • 44% of all account opens in November 2017 came from Facebook or Instagram
  • 32% of Facebook leads converted to new accounts in November 2017

Quantifiable results! 

3. Monzo: Disrupting Marketing with Radical Transparency

Monzo, another disruptor, certainly had ambitious goals. They wanted to gain new customers, to become known for delivering outstanding customer service, and successfully secure crowdfunding. They needed something radically different to reach these goals. 

Rather than hiding terms and conditions in banking jargon and talking at their customers, Monzo pioneered a new approach, grounding their campaigns in "radical transparency". Forgoing traditional media and conventional (read boring) banking marketing strategies, Monzo focused on communicating with future customers openly and honestly in a more human than corporate approach even allowing customers to overdraw on their accounts to participate in the crowdfunding campaign. 

This move, while legal, certainly raised eyebrows and attracted valuable attention. Monzo’s campaign focused on educating their customers on the benefits of investing, making it appealing for those new to investing to engage with the crowdfunding campaign. 

When the team at Monzo made a mistake, they chose to be transparent about it and proactive in rectifying it. Customers loved this refreshing approach and contrary to the conventional wisdom of the banking sector the feedback was almost universally positive.  For Monzo, "radical transparency" included everything from sharing internal emails with customers to publishing annual earnings reports. While old bankers may roll in their graves, Breaking with convention, while risky, in this case paid dividends…Literally. 

  • Raised £20m in one of the most successful crowdfunding financial campaigns ever
  • Increased users to 1.2 million since 2015
  • Replaced First Direct as Britain's number one bank for customer service

4. Klarna: Introducing the New King of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a burgeoning industry now estimated to generate   $5-10 billion dollars. When FinTech company Klarna adopted influencer marketing, they certainly did it with style, challenging conservative stereotypes of finance marketing with one of the pioneers of Hip Hop; Snoop Dogg, who is known for many things, but finance isn’t one of them. 

Klarna kicked off their rebrand with a marketing campaign focused on design, and their playful campaign, Smoooth (yes, with the extra o) featured lots of random items like fish, cheese, and a swimming dog. Arguably the most popular (and strangest) ad featured sound waves bouncing off a fat man’s belly. This video ad quickly climbed the charts, reaching over 15 million views, but when Snoop Dogg joined the Smoooth campaign in 2019, it took things to a whole new level: Culminating with a coronation ceremony where Snoop ditched his name in favour of Smoooth Dogg, tying himself to the brand in a manner that attracted 18,000 new followers. 

Influence pays…fo shizzle!

What Can We Learn From These Rock-Star FinTech Companies?

Each of these rock-star FinTech companies used unique and innovative strategies,  proving that successful FinTech marketing campaigns are possible — with the right attitude. So, how can you and your company achieve similar success? 

  • Get intimate with yourself. To the question, "who are we?" Yes, you're  a Fintech firm, but dive deeper and identify what sets you apart and makes you different? How are you better than your competitors? What are the 3 or 4 core values that define your brand? Finally, how specifically do you benefit consumers in ways your competitors don't? 
  • Turn it upside down. Financial services are traditionally quite stuffy and a bit predictable, WealthSimple’s campaign was effective because it provided something new and exciting that hit all the right notes and embodied their brand.
  • Know what you're trying to achieve. The truth about establishing realistic and measurable goals is that it increases your chances of achieving them. Establish your marketing goals—including specific key performance indicators (KPIs)—at the onset of your campaign.
  • Find your dream customer. It's important to understand and segment your potential customer base and determine your dream customer. Once you know who you want to work with, walk a mile in their shoes, and discover their deepest concerns,  greatest annoyances and unfulfilled desires. Having this information to hand makes it MUCH easier to create a targeted marketing campaign.
  • Leverage available data. In today’s data-driven world, it’s incredibly easy to collect information about your customers. Once you’ve found your dream customer, double down on your campaigns by unlocking data insights and finding their unique pain points.
  • Pick a marketing channel. Decide where you’ll release your content. Will you use social media, organic search results or paid advertising? We recommend not using too many marketing channels, pick the 2 or 3 best suited to your message and campaign. Once you’ve chosen your marketing channel, create a strategy for how you’ll deliver and what type of content you’ll produce.
  • Find your customer value proposition (CVP). Your customer value proposition is essentially how you explain the value of your product or service. Make sure it includes how you're unique, why you're better than your competitors, and why customers should be excited and will be satisfied with your product or service.
  • Make it a date. All good things must come to an end, even your marketing campaign. When setting your goals and KPIs, make sure they’re meaningful by setting deadlines. Don't say, "we'll increase conversions by 10%," say, "we'll increase conversions by 10% within 6 months."
  • Review, refine, repeat. Monitor results and make necessary adjustments. You should know relatively quickly what's working, and what isn't. Be prepared for some aspects of your campaign to fail. When they do, use available data to assess the reasons you're not making progress toward your goals and adjust your strategy accordingly.


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