Updated: Apr 14, 2021
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“Too many Fintech companies focus on features and products versus the benefits of helping end users improve their life. They fall in love with their products and then forget who they are serving. Marketers should remember to focus on the end-user rather than talk about how great their product is.”
In this edition of the “CMO talk” series, I’m chatting with Scott Henderson, CMO of US-based Fintech startup, Qube Money.
Qube Money was founded by financial health coach, Ryan Clark. Throughout his career as a financial coach, he saw time and time again his clients failing to stick to a budget. The budgeting apps they used lacked the necessary features and none of them addressed the main issue with budgeting: spending. He would help clients build comprehensive budgets, only for them to fall off track a few months down the road. The only method that worked was the Cash Envelope method: one separate cash envelope for every individual budget category: groceries, rent, bills, etc. With this method, every envelope is filled with a specific amount of cash. You can only spend what’s in that envelope, and once you’ve spent it all, you simply have to wait till the next month.
The only disadvantage with this system is that it has to be done in cash. And in today’s world of crypto, mobile payments and neobanks, it’s a little too unpractical. That’s when Ryan Clar, decided to found Qube Money: a digital envelope system.
Scott Henderson joined Qube Money in November 2019 and helped rebrand the company from Proactive Budget to the current fun and trendy brand of Qube Money. Here’s what he had to say on his experience:
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How did you end up doing marketing for Qube Money?
Like Qube Money’s CEO, Scott also has a background in financial coaching:
“My background is in financial services, financial coaching and financial planning. My degree is in business, and over the years I have cultivated an interest in business, corporate business and marketing. Before Qube Money, I was the CMO of a traditional financial planning firm. After that, I became interested in the Fintech space and made the leap last year in November”.
What’s the biggest challenge for fintech marketers nowadays?
Scott is confident that the Fintech marketing space has a lot of potential for growth in the next few years, but there is still the main challenge:
“The biggest challenge is building trust. It’s absolutely key, and it’s quite hard”
Fintech companies are at the intersection of financial services and technology: one of the oldest industries in the world and one of the newest. Not only that, but people want to be able to trust the companies and institutions they put their money into. Fintechs need to compete with centuries-old banks in order to gain customers, which means that trust is absolutely key.
How do you manage to keep the balance between short-term performance tactics and long-term brand building marketing strategies?
Scott is a big believer in implementing long term marketing tactics:
“Many of the people I’ve worked with have a short term view of marketing: doing giveaways, competitions and other short term tactics.
I try to maintain a long term view so I can build a long term brand. I try to find the tactics that will help create a scalable and sustainable business. This means we’re not doing much in the short term and mainly focusing on the long term.”
What has had the biggest impact on your career as a fintech marketer so far?
“Definitely the tools and software available. Thanks to new software and tech, I’ve been able to work much more efficiently and automate the workflows. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them.”
Why do you think the traditional budget isn't working for people?
Scott is very clear as to why it’s not working:
“The traditional budget is not working because it doesn’t hold people accountable.”
That’s why Ryan, the CEO, couldn’t get his clients to stick to their budget. People don’t stick to debt repayment systems or even the 50/30/20 budget, because there are no incentives in place to do so.
“Qube Money requires people to look at the money they have left in each Qube before they go to spend their money. This helps users stick to a budget since they need to manually view how much they set aside before spending.”
Qube Money address the root of the problem: spending.
What is the Qube marketing tactic/strategy that you are most proud of?
Scott is most proud of having built a brand that people know, like and trust:
“People tell me: “Oh, I’ve heard of that company before. You guys have a solid brand.” I’m very proud of that.”
What will the fintech industry look like in 2021?
Scott is very optimistic about the Fintech industry in 2021:
“There will be a huge demand for digital products and digital banking services, as people move online for more convenience. We’ll definitely see an uptake in online services.”
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement in your fintech marketing career so far? What about a failure?
“Qube Money is still in development mode. This time next year we’ll have more achievements, but for the moment the fact that we get 20,000 users per month to our site is a pretty big achievement. We’re also on the app store without even having a product.
In terms of failures, the one lesson I’ve learnt is to not try building too many relationships when you don’t have a product. We got too many people excited too early, and this lead to people just waiting around. So we’re working on the timing and offering concrete plans on when we’re launching.”
What is one thing you wish Fintechs would do less of in regards to marketing?
“Too many Fintech companies focus on features and products versus the benefits of helping end users improve their life. They fall in love with their products and then forget who they are serving.
Marketers should remember to focus on the end-user rather than talk about how great their product is.”
What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a career in fintech marketing?
“There’s a lot of potential in the next 5 to 10 years since this is a growing industry compared to other industries. To people thinking of getting started, I recommend learning about the basics of marketing and then applying them to the Fintech you work for.”