How Fintechs are rewriting the marketing rule book

By Teamspirit on Thursday, 4 April 2019

This week, Teamspirit was very happy to welcome the Financial Services Forum to our offices for a breakfast discussion on how Fintechs are rewriting the marketing rule book in an omnichannel world.

Joining us for this discussion was:

• Neil Costello, Head of Marketing, Atom Bank

• Jasper Martens, CMO, Pensionbee

• Claire LaRocca, UK PR Manager, Wealthsimple

• Grant Warnock, Brand and Customer Marketing Director, Nutmeg

To kick off the conversation, it was important to first look at the current state of the industry. The need to rewrite the rule book is been a pressing concern since last year’s Bellwether report found that the growth of UK marketing budgets had flatlined, after a six-year run of continuous overall marketing budget growth. Worse, the wait and see strategy to Brexit by many companies has led to company-wide indecisiveness restricting the allocation of resources to marketers. As we could potentially be entering a period of downward revisions for main media advertising spend; more moderated growth towards digital modes of advertising but an increase in sales promotion spend – brands are wary that too much promotional spend has been proven to destroy brand value in the long term. So with the context of political and economic uncertainty, with business as usual being increasingly difficult to achieve, looking at how Fintechs have been rewriting the marketing rule books feels very relevant.

The common thread that ran through the work done by the brands that were present was the need to break the mould in order for them to stand out for the crowd. Not being afraid to question what is commonly considered best practice, whether that’s reducing social media activity in order to gauge it’s true value, to looking at more traditional out-of-home advertising models that can reach a more specific audience. The advancement of recordable metrics for out-of-home advertising, coupled with the increase cost of advertising on social platforms, has driven brands to reconsider their offering, and perhaps look at more efficient ways of reaching their audience. For many present, the use of influencers and online Word of Mouth was a tactic that had evolved from something that was critical to a brands performance, to now being more suited to more ad hoc bespoke campaign activity as they have matured.

The question of regulation was raised, which given how conversation had touched on breaking the rules of marketing, felt like an appropriate counterpoint. For the majority of institutions, ensuring compliance and accountability were part of the very foundation of their business. In fact, some had found that their own staff had taken to taking a third-eye view of work, ensuring their own work was compliant before advancing ideas further! Working closely with regulators to ensure that despite your size, you are still behaving like a company of the size you aspire to be. The good thing expressed by many was that the regulator doesn’t want to see the fintech industry fail, so therefore works closely to encourage innovation and originality, within the parameters of the law. This attitude can have a positive effect on a brands reputation, making talent recruitment easier if people know that they are joining a company that is open and cares about it customers.

With one eye on the future, as uncertain as the times are, the popular consensus was that should a downturn arrive, financial services companies should be prepared to ride out any rough waters and that transparency would be key to any brands continued success. We all know the phrase “Your capital may be at risk…”, if financial institutions are open with their dealings, and customers can see how investment performance is linked to current instability, and adopt a more long terms view on investment, they can continue to achieve respectable returns.

Thank you to all the speakers for giving us their time and sharing their valuable insight. We’ll have another Financial Services Forum Breakfast next month, for details on how you can attend contact a member of team at