Welcome to the third and final installment of our series, The State of Fintech Marketing in 2019 and Beyond. While we may be wrapping up our conversation about brand authenticity and customer-centricity in our series, this theme will continue to be an ongoing and important theme here at CSTMR. Today, we’ll specifically address how fintech companies can leverage both authenticity and customer-centricity to connect with their audience and build loyalty in a virtual, highly competitive market.
In Part 1, we identified three key metrics to help measure brand authenticity in fintech marketing: interaction, engagement, and participation. In Part 2 of the series, we took a deeper look at the first metric, interaction—or the place where the relationship between your brand and target customer begins.
As a surface-level glimpse into an audience’s perception of your brand, it’s important to remember that interaction is not engagement, it’s not indicative of a purchase commitment and is certainly not enough to capture hearts and wallets. Not alone, anyway.
Which is where engagement and participation come into play in your fintech marketing plan. These final metrics, when understood and applied correctly, have the potential to transform the way your fintech company is perceived by your target customers.
Thanks to the rise of social media platforms, the voice of your audience is louder and more confident than ever before. Gone are the days when consumers were content to sit back and listen while brands talked at them. Now, more than ever, consumers are leaning forward to actively engage and participate with the companies they support.
What does Brand Engagement & Participation Look Like?
The success of your fintech company depends on gaining the trust and loyalty of a largely virtual audience. While interaction can get you clicks, likes, and views—engagement and participation lead to sales.
So, if brand engagement isn’t a click, a like, or a view—what is it?
In essence, brand engagement happens when an individual forms an emotional connection to your brand. The connection turns into participation, compelling customer loyalty, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Unlike brand awareness—which stops at basic brand recognition—brand engagement compels action. When an audience member moves from the interaction phase to the engagement and participation phase, they’ve made a commitment to that company. They have transitioned from being a passive observer to an engaged member of the brand’s community.
Why Engagement & Participation Matter in Fintech Marketing
Before we outline how to use engagement and participation to build your fintech brand, here’s a quick refresher on what brand authenticity and customer-centricity are:
- An authentic brand is one that is consistently true to itself, its consumers, and is motivated by responsibility and care.
- A customer-centric brand is one that is empathetic to the customer, strives to see itself through the eyes of the consumer, and places the wellbeing of its customers at the center of everything it does.
As we all know, the growth of fintech has caused a major shift in the world of financial services. Unlike traditional financial service companies that must adhere to strict compliance regulations and work around technical barriers, fintech companies have been able to build authentic connections with their customers like never before. They’ve been afforded a luxury that their traditional counterparts have never had—absolute accessibility to their audience. Aside from being a tremendous opportunity, this is also a major responsibility for building and sustaining brand authenticity and customer-centricity in marketing.
Tips to Move Consumers from Interaction to Engagement
The lines of communication will continue to open between your fintech brand and its audience. Here are some tips to help ensure your brand is delivering on its promise of authenticity and customer centricity:
- Be consistent: Inconsistency in any form will come across as disingenuine to your audience. From the tone of voice you use in your marketing, to the images and links you share on social platforms—ensure brand consistency. If you haven’t already, create a brand document that outlines how your company will interact, engage, and participate across all platforms. Share it with every member of your team and adhere to it, without exception.
- Be transparent: When you fail, admit it. When you succeed, celebrate it. And when you make a mistake, own up to it. Because when you put the needs and desires of your customers above your pride, you build a level of trust and authenticity that is almost impossible to deny.
- Be human: Behind every successful company is a team of people. Human people who make mistakes, sometimes fail, and experience the same emotions as the customers they seek to serve. The most successful companies don’t shy away from these facts, but celebrate them. They let their audience glimpse the reality of who they are and where they’ve come from. Your audience doesn’t want to connect with a logo, they want to build an emotional connection to the essence of everything that logo represents. So let them.
When brands grow in size and success, so does engagement and participation. When consumers have consistent, transparent, and human interactions with a company online, they begin to engage and actively participate as a member of the brand’s community.
When a brand lacks authenticity and customer-centricity in its marketing, consumers will stop at the interaction phase. They may like a post or click on a landing page, but they will never convert and become the word-of-mouth ambassador that every fintech company needs to experience long-term, sustained growth.
Be Authentic and Customer-Centric in 2019 & Beyond
The importance of brand authenticity and customer-centricity in fintech marketing cannot be disputed. When your brand is authentic and puts customers first, consumers will want to build an emotional bond with your company, become engaged, and be active participants in your brand’s ongoing story.
This three-part series may be coming to a close, but the potential for your company’s growth and success through brand authenticity and customer-centricity is just getting started.
Don’t let your audience stay in the interaction lane. Let CSTMR’s growth engine and purpose-driven marketing strategies help move them down the path to engagement and participation—a journey that will spark lead generation and propel your company into the future.