As we approach 2015, many will find themselves feeling a sense of déjà vu from past years, sitting in meeting after meeting discussing how to maximize marketing spend return on investment. While the solution to this question may seem like it requires a crystal ball, for many companies, an evaluation of core messaging and audience may be one of the most beneficial exercises they can conduct.
As a new mentor for Yodlee Interactive Incubator and as the founder of Leverage PR, a strategic communications firm specializing in the financial services and technology industries, we work with financial technology companies from around the globe helping them launch new products and services and expand market share through strategic communications initiatives. Here are some of our most impactful tips to help you start your New Year off right.
Know Your Customer and Speak to Their Needs
It sounds simple enough doesn’t it? However, you would be surprised at the amount of money that is wasted either chasing the wrong customer or worse, highlighting aspects of your offering that do not benefit your customer’s business or match their goals and objectives, which ultimately decreases your perceived value. You should know who your target audience is and create messaging that highlights your value and experience, which reinforces why you are the right choice. While there is typically some SEO and overall brand benefit to coverage in a variety of publications, you also need to ensure that you are communicating through channels that your customers frequent, instead of wasting valuable PR spend on column inches in publications that are less beneficial. Now is the time to review your earned media hits and determine if they are attracting the right kinds of customers. Also, think outside the box on publications that may not be exactly about your industry but that many of your customers might read. For example, you could target high-net-worth investors through luxury lifestyle periodicals like Travel & Leisure.
Selling through Education
There is a reason why you never run across slogans that tout, “We’re just okay.” Everyone wants to be the best, but in FinTech, it is absolutely critical to differentiate a company from its competitors. FinTech companies merge two areas that require the most credibility and trust from their customers: financial services and technology. Whether your customer is a major bank or an individual using a new personal finance app, customers have to trust that you will keep their data safe and believe that you will be around for the long haul. While referrals and “word of mouth” within the industry can be effective, the majority of all businesses – regardless of their size – educate themselves on who is the best in the business the same way, through Google and other popular search engines.
Individuals and companies alike are looking to see who you have worked with, what results you secured for them, what your areas of expertise are and more importantly, what independent third parties are saying about you. Some of the most powerful independent third parties are national and trade media outlets. Quality media outlets also typically have some of the highest-ranking search results, helping to build exposure in your target vertical and are also viewed as credible external sources of validation.
Maximize Tradeshow Attendance
January 2015 is not just the start of the New Year, it is the kick-off of the year-round tradeshow season. Many FinTech companies have acalendar packed with events like Money 20/20, SXSW Interactive and Finovate where they will be either be exhibiting at or attending. How do you make sure your participation turns into more than just a three-day vacation for your marketing staff? Having run PR for dozens of shows, including this years’ SXSW Interactive festival, Leverage PR often prepares clients months before the show to make sure ROI is maximized on the ground. Here are a few tips so your company can too:
One event that we’re particularly excited about is the Yodlee Interactive FinTech Meetup during SXSW Interactive Festival 2015. Join us on Friday, March 13th at Icenhauer’s from 4-8PM to connect with other thought leaders in FinTech and enjoy great food, drinks, music and entertainment. Register to reserve your spot as space is limited!
In conclusion, we hope you find the top three ways to maximize your marketing spend helpful. For additional ways to maximize your PR ROI, contact Leverage PR at [email protected] or call us at 512-502-5833 for more information.