Market like a fintech: Financial education and marketing with Katie Perry
Hosted by Araminta Robertson, 'Market like a fintech' is the new podcast for fintech marketing professionals and enthusiasts who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry, and level up their marketing knowledge. Subscribe here to never miss an episode.
Fintech is supposed to be about financial education, empowerment and literacy.
But we can probably all agree, that sometimes there’s more talk than action. Or even worse, hypocrisy. When it comes to education, it can be a little unclear what that means. Does it mean Youtube videos? Blog posts? Webinars? Books?
The good news is there are some fintech companies that are taking the financial education challenge head-on. They’re not just publishing a few blog posts about budgeting, but instead are designing curriculums, hosting virtual events and building a community.
One of those companies is Public.com, a social trading app where members can invest in stocks and also share ideas within a community of investors. The Public.com team understood right from the beginning that the number one barrier to investing is psychological, and therefore the best way to overcome this is with a community.
We’ve talked about community before on the podcast, specifically about how to build a community through a Slack group. But Public.com has taken a different approach and made community literally part of the product.
Today, Araminta's chatting with Katie Perry, VP of marketing at Public.com. They walk through three different marketing plays at Public: their recent partnership with the NCAA, how they’re focusing on financial literacy and community, as well as their recent drops, which are individual campaigns designed to make a statement about who they are.
We’ve just launched our own Slack group for fintech marketers. That’s right, a Slack community where you can meet other fintech marketers and founders, engage in group discussions with industry experts and chat about upcoming podcast episodes. Join us now here.
Listen to Katie's complete interview below.
I think being a marketer is a lot about being culturally relevant. It's just being open, open to things and experiences, and ideas outside of your little lane.
What it means to be a marketer - One thing I've realised with marketing is that I never truly see myself as a marketing expert, because I think just the nature of marketing is changing so much that rather than being an expert, it is more important to be curious and open, and flexible. It's more about being kind of like a student of marketing, and like a lifelong student versus being you know, a girl who knows everything. Because the reality is nobody knows everything about marketing at any point in time, because it's changing so quickly.
As a marketer, it's always important to me that whatever I'm marketing or promoting, I actually believe in and feel like that it's a reality in the business. I think, one trend you've seen in marketing with the rise of social media and just consumers being more in tune with how marketing works is that they can really sniff out inauthenticity pretty easily. And part of the reason I joined Public was I felt like the product actually served the mission, that the integrity and that the business was really being all levels around the mission and not just a marketing tagline.
Our brand is our incredible customer support team that's applying empathy.
How Public has embedded financial education into the product - Strategically from the beginning, we wanted to set a different kind of tone and use social in a very different way.
So we aimed to drive this kind of diversity of thought in the community of people coming from different places, and setting the tone of it being social as a means to share ideas, and collaborate. I think that was really key. And that was sort of the starting point.
Since then, we've started building some features that are designed to give people content in ways beyond just the typical blog posts, or FAQ articles. Of course, we have those, I think those are kind of the baseline, but things like Public life, which you mentioned, the daily audio shows, we have journalists who are running them, they're credible, but they're also talking about these topics in accessible ways. I think for long-term investors in most of our community 90% are long-term, they might not want to turn on a business news network and see the intraday movements of a stock. But they might want to hear a talk about a specific sector they're interested in, or have somebody break down the jobs report. We see incredible reception from the community.
The other thing you brought up was the town halls. And this is essentially an opportunity for people to ask questions directly of the people behind the companies they might be interested in investing in. And, typically, the only people who get to ask questions to these leaders are analysts or institutional investors, and you hear that in the earnings calls. I love kind of following these town halls, because you see that retail investors care about different things. We have people asking initiatives at companies, we have people asking about sort of their how they evering people, it's it's kind of a more robust and diverse conversation.
So those have been two amazing things we've built. We're always working on new things in the app. Another one that we did early on was safety labels. So we actually label when a stock might be more volatile than others according to kind of the SEC guidelines around that. Again, I think it's all about context and not paternalism. We want to have people make their own decisions, no two investors are the same. But the context at the moment in the app they're investing in is really critical for kind of this next wave of investors.
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What does community mean for Public - The opportunity we saw at Public was to break down a second barrier, which keeps a lot of people out. And that's a psychological barrier to entry. People have trepidation about the stock market, if you look, it's been represented in culture over the past few decades, you have Wolf of Wall Street, those like these Wall Street movies, it's very, like intimidating and accessible, and for a lot of people just not an appealing culture to be around.
So we've created this community that really set a different tone and culture around the stock market, where people feel comfortable, they feel welcome. And they're not intimidated. And I think the psychological piece is, is kind of laid down a little, it's a big thing for a lot of people. If you talk to someone who has the means to invest and ask why they're not, they'll say, I don't know what I'm doing. And the community is really a beautiful place where we have people supporting each other. One hashtag that's super popular in our community is "my first investment". And when someone makes a new investment, you see immediately people welcoming them. That moment is huge because that first investment is scary for a lot of people. And so that's kind of the beauty bill, it's just creating this different culture that people find really appealing. If that kind of traditional stereotypical Wall Street culture isn't for them.
We're a financial services product...the trust and the credibility, the education, that's kind of the most important thing. But we also like to have fun and we bring some humanity into it. The Michael Bolton thing was a good example.
For more interesting insights, listen to Katie's complete interview below.