Goji came to us to help them move from an outbound call center-based business model to a re-branded inbound company focused on mobile and web. They also wanted to design a unique, fully integrated quoted engine and power the auto insurance sections of other major brands.
Rebuild and redesign their core product and website design and structure + expand partnerships to drive traffic and new revenues. Jack and team revamped the website design and structure, and developed a mobile strategy that included a new native iOS app and a responsive web experience. Rory headed up the company’s effort to build a successful partner channel and drive new revenues.
We’ve got zombies on the brain here at CSTMR, and not just because of the recent mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. As we brace for the hordes of virus-infected undead to storm our televisions again in a couple of months, we’ve been thinking about marketing zombies. You know, the campaigns you keep funding even though they’ve long ceased to have a pulse.
Companies that constantly monitor their campaigns don’t lose money. Instead, they identify their weaknesses and pivot to more profitable tactics, and do so quickly. But those that funnel money into strategies that have hit a plateau or have declining results? They’ve got problems, as they continue to pour money into campaigns that are already dead, they just don’t know it yet.
Build the following three components into your strategies and you’ll avoid marketing zombification:
Even the best articles and most brilliant ads can’t thrive in isolation. Media mentions are great for early-stage startups, but you can only milk those for so long. You can’t scale your PR efforts 100 times based on articles and interviews alone. Different channels should complement and support one another. If you have an avid Twitter following, use your influence to breathe life into some of your under-appreciated articles or videos.
The nice thing about digital marketing is that you have tight feedback loops, so you can see when SEO results decline or customer acquisition costs increase. When you have multiple channels in the mix, you amplify one while retooling another.
Think of each division as an oil well. Imagine that your PR department gets an article placed in The Wall Street Journal, and you gain exposure in front of more than 2.5 million people.
A single ant can bear 5,000 times its own weight – not too shabby for such a small insect. But strong as they are individually, ants are most impressive when seen in their colonies. Each ant serves a necessary function, whether that’s gathering food, laying eggs, or protecting the queen. Together, they sustain a thriving, dynamic colony.
Marketing teams, whether internal or a collection of outside resources or contractors, can learn something from these tiny heavyweights. Rather than each person toiling away in isolation, everyone should collaborate and innovate together for the greater good of the company.
When you draw customers into your pipeline, you must give them a coordinated path to follow. You can’t delight them with a fun social media post, then expect them to follow up on their own. Clear calls to action turn prospects into customers.
Establishing that path requires a team effort,
Marketing departments are like a middle school dance. The content writers huddle next to the punch bowl, the SEO team tries to liven up the dance floor, the directors live out their DJ fantasies, and anytime different divisions try to come together, there’s a lot of sweaty palms and stepping on feet.
If the dynamic in your marketing department has you flashing back to your own awkward adolescence, you’ve probably got a silo problem. Lots of companies staff up with smart, dynamic marketers, then prevent them from ever collaborating effectively. No one does this intentionally, of course, but by emphasizing technical know-how over coordinated campaigns, you end up with a highly segregated department where no one works particularly well together.
Maybe you have an SEO rockstar on your hands, but he’s focused on a very narrow set of assignments. Sure, he may improve your search rankings,
When you first launch a new site or even a new digital marketing campaign, traffic seems like the Holy Grail. All you want is to see those numbers climb in your analytics data, so you sweeten the deal for prospective visitors. Maybe you run a free iPad giveaway or a car sweepstakes. Everyone likes free stuff, and those shiny contests will bring people to your site in virtual droves.
But somehow those droves turn into barely a trickle when it comes to conversion numbers. Your brilliant marketing strategy brought in lots of eager giveaway participants and very few actual prospects. The sales team often takes the blame for those low conversion rates, but the fault actually lies with marketing. Your sales representatives can’t do much with leads who are only interested in freebies.
The Price of Traffic
There’s traffic and then there’s good traffic.
Start talking business loans or investment options, and you suck the life right out of a room.
People associate numbers with boring, calculated deal brokering. And who can blame them? Even for those of us who work in the industry, talking technology and money all day can make us forget that finance isn’t an emotionless trade.
Money is an integral part of people’s lives, the thing on which their mortgages, vacation plans, college funds, and annual Christmas parties rely. Put it in those terms, and you’ll see all kinds of emotions arise.
And therein lies the challenge for fintech marketers. Too often, they approach B2B clients in cold, hard terms, talking interest rates and banking security systems as if they’re divorced from customers’ everyday lives. In reality, if you’re in fintech, you’re in just as deep as your consumer-facing clients.
Both B2B and B2C clients want to know that fintech vendors get it. They need to be sure you can provide them with the right technical support and that you’re along for the journey. Finance may be a fact-driven industry, but buying decisions always come back to emotions.
Marketing to Captain Kirk
If people based decisions on logic alone, there’d never be need for deliberation, and there wouldn’t be much room for marketing. The specs would speak for themselves, and the most efficient and cost-effective companies would have monopolies on their industries.
But we can’t all be Mr. Spock and operate on logic alone.
Most people are similar to the more emotional Captain Kirk,
What makes a company cool? Nothing more than we like what they are doing and how they are doing it. This completely subjective category is made up of companies and technology that has impressed us, or new ways of doing things that made us say, “hmmm.”
So without further ado and in no particular order, here are CSTMR’s “8 Cool Companies to Watch” at Money 20/20:
- NYMBUS – While other companies have nibbled around the comfortable edges of banking, NYMBUS is taking it right to the heart of the bank – the core.
Today’s Topic: Security
If there’s one certainty in financial services, it’s that every new service will be accompanied by new ways to commit fraud. The massive proliferation of online and mobile services has led to an equally massive number of attempts at hacking those services. Luckily, those black hats have also spawned a new breed of sentries at the gate. Here are three trends in security to look for at the show:
- Tokenization making moves – What massive hacks like the Target breach have highlighted is the danger in having a single card number that, when breached, can be used with relative impunity until the fraud is discovered. While technology like EMV is great for protecting your physical card, tokenization helps in card not present transactions. Tokenization involves substituting a card’s Primary Account Number (PAN) with a unique, randomly generated sequence of numbers, alphanumeric characters, or a combination of a truncated PAN and a random alphanumeric sequence. Tokenization is nothing new, but there are new applications that make it more accessible and easier to implement. Able to stunt the ability of ne’er-do-wells to exploit your information and spurred on by the growing number of mobile transaction types, this is certainly a technology poised for wider adoption.
Companies to watch:
- Abine (www.abine.com) combines financial, email, and password protection together into their Blur application. With flexible security options, users have the choice of selecting their real card number or a “masked” card number for transactions.
Today’s Topic: Payments
Payments represents one of the largest segments of fintech in terms of new investments and number of start-ups tackling the thorny issue of paying and getting paid. Payments is a big, broad space with a wide range of products and services. We identified three payments trends to watch at the show:
- Alt Pay services on the rise – “Alternative payments” means different things to different people. To us, alt payments encompasses any payments outside of the traditional channels (although what really is traditional any more?). For example, there has been plenty of coverage of bitcoin and for a while it seemed a trendy new cryptocurrency was launching every week. Now these alternative payment companies are making a go for more legitimacy.
Companies to watch:
- Blade Payments makes legacy payment rails interoperable with blockchains and makes crypto-currencies backwards compatible to traditional debit cards. While there is no shortage of bitcoin plays, their tie-in with traditional payment types is particularly interesting.
- FuturePay is really a lending play in payments clothing. They offer a “credit tab” that can be tapped to pay for items, as an alternative to credit cards. If they can get enough retailers onboard, it could be an interesting option.
- Payments-as-a-Service becomes (even more) commonplace – Rather than integrate with multiple payment services individually, “Payment-as-a-Service” providers usually offer access to multiple payment types through a single interface or gateway. These companies can come in a couple of different flavors –