Market like a fintech: How to develop product-market fit as a fintech with Shameer Sachdev
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.
In today’s episode, Araminta's chatting with Shameer Sachdev, founder of the fintech marketing agency Growth Gorilla. Growth Gorilla does growth marketing, channel strategy, paid search, email automation, and a whole host of other marketing services. They’ve worked with over 25 fintech companies and have worked with companies such as Wayhome, PrimaryBid and Change Invest.
With Shameer, we do a deep dive into what fintech marketing really is, how to take a fintech company from an idea to product-market fit and to a scale-up, and finally how fintech companies can make the right decisions based on data and analytics.
It’s an episode that is jam-packed with tips and actionable advice for anyone who’s marketing a fintech company, so make sure to tune in till the end.
"When you're marketing a traditional financial services proposition, there may be an absence of technology. So, you take, for example, say a mortgage broker or even a banking proposition, what you're really doing is that you're driving brand awareness, you're driving users to the site, and then you're asking them to complete a form or perhaps an inquiry or in some cases, to submit an application. The aim of the game is to bring people to your website, or maybe your physical location, and then there's a distinct value exchange. And what I mean by that is, is that they pay some money, and they get a product in return."
"With fintech, it's different from both financial services and these other industries, by the very factor of the presence of technology. So, you'll nine times out of 10, driving your user to a website. From there, you're asking them to download an app, opening an account, sign up. But by and large, what you're doing is that you're moving them from your marketing website, to your app, whether it's a mobile app or a web app, and then you're asking them to go through an unbroken onboarding process, which is the majority of the time self-serve, to expecting your user to go from hitting the website to becoming a customer effectively without really any support from salesperson customer services. A personal banker or salesperson is involved, the big part of that is, that's where sort of marketing and product becomes really, really sort of heavily intertwined. You know, your product is 100% marketing and your marketing is 100% product to a degree, you have to make sure that you're providing users with a premium experience. "
"I think the day you start thinking about mapping out your product, is the day that you start thinking about your marketing activity. Because onboarding onto your platform doesn't start from when they reach the first page of your signup process. It starts from the first touchpoint that they have with your brand, which could be an ad, or on Facebook, or Google Search ad, for example."
"First and foremost, is absolutely 100% clear about who you're going to target and not trying to be all things to all men. It's also then deciding exactly what your value proposition is going to be. So, what problem you're solving."
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"Think about your onboarding process and your marketing stack that you're going to need to age or your acquisition. So yes, you've got your channels, and might be Facebook and might be Google. But once you come to the website, what do you know, what is your going to be, what is going to be your mechanism from getting them from your website, onto your form, or to your signup onboarding process, and then through that onboarding process, and then eventually, once you've signed up to actually being an active customer. So, think about all of those touchpoints."
"If we've got a brand-new product that's incredibly disruptive, in reality, doesn't really have any direct competitors, or even if they do, they're not 100%, direct, there might be some overlap, then there's sort of two things that stand in the way of trying to acquire your customers. One is education. And then the other is brand awareness. And brand awareness is one of those things that, it really, really comes over, you know, money and time really are what you need, you can have as much money in the world, but you know, in the end, the day takes time to develop that brand awareness."
"The second thing is, obviously, education. And education can come in, in lots of different formats. But in trying to establish product-market fit, and just getting out of the front gates, it kind of goes back to the earlier question of you know, how to get started with marketing. And first thing comes down to is being really, really clear on who you're going to put your product in front of, you know, and then what you're going to say to that audience, and being really, really clear as to what value that you're going to provide to them. And then pretty much creating the distribution channels for your product. Now, those distribution channels could be paid, it could be organic, it could be PR, or it could be a mixture of all of those sorts of things. But the reality is, is that actually, you don't know what's going to work and what's not going to work. Because, you know, as we said, you don't have product-market fit. So, there's actually no guarantee that there's anything wrong with the channels or the message or anything like that. It might just be the fact that your users don't need your product and there's no fit there. So, the way to overcome that is through vigorous testing, experimentation."
"So next steps are, we're going to have to start targeting platforms like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter to get our audience there. Pretty, we've got a whole new audience there, but they're not low-hanging fruits. And now what we need to do is change the messaging that we're putting in front of them, so it's no longer by x, sign up now. It's, here's our value proposition. This is reason to believe in us and the product that we're providing, and this is what we're going to deliver to you. And that onboarding journey becomes a little bit longer, and therefore the customer acquisition costs increased as well. Now over time, that will go down. And in fact, you could actually go lower than just eat up in stores, but it will take some time there."
"The next step after that, and this is where you start competing with the big boys, if you start thinking more above the line activity, so you're going for TV ads, you're going for media buys, on certain websites, you may be doing out of home, you're doing some really interesting stuff."
"A simple measure [for branding] is just to keep an eye on your homepage traffic and organic searches for your brand. And that will give you a really good view."
"Data analytics is important to have it from day one, the investment that you're making to implementing a product management tool, having the tracking set up correctly, you know, what will pay massive dividends, I mean, it could save you 1000s, if not 10s of 1000s, on your, you know, on your media budget."
"So, look at it from the perspective of when you sort of first start out and you're driving traffic, you know, and volume through your, your, your funnel, you're going to get a lot of traffic and a lot of data points at the upper end of the funnel, which is fairly easy to track using platforms like Google Analytics. But and this goes back to your first question, how are fintechs different from traditional financial services, because a lot of them have a platform, you know, all of them have an app or a platform, they're self serve, effectively, they go through the entire signup process, and where they might be doing it with some nudges from marketing, automation, and emails. But ultimately speaking, that endpoint where they sign up is it's right at the bottom of the funnel that we need to know. Or you as a brand need to know where those users coming from."
"One of my favourites is a B2B client that we had who provides r&d tax software, for accountants and consultancies, looking to do r&d claims. The big success story was that we nailed down the value proposition. We nailed down the audience. We just did various testing of messaging. And after three months of rolling out the activity, we got the dreaded call from the client saying that they don't want to work with us anymore, not because we did a bad job, but because they couldn't handle the number of leads that we were bringing in. And they had to take a step back and review their entire business processes, and how they're going to manage that and how they're going to scale it. And you'll be all glad to hear that they've come back to us. And we're helping them to automate a lot of their activity now."
"It’s never too early to start marketing, there doesn't necessarily need to be paid or huge campaigns. That can be from, the day that you've decided that you will launch this product, start building up your audience, you know, start tweeting, start putting messages out on LinkedIn, start talking to people start building up their audience in try and build up an email list from day one. Because you know, that's worth its weight in gold."
"Track everything. Later on, you can decide what was useless information, what's not useless information, or what's helpful. But don't be afraid to track it, get the tools in there get tracking set up. And I do know of and work with brands that they've done some serious self as a marketing activity, and they haven't had the Google Analytics set up. And effectively, they're having to start from day one, because actually, they don't have any learnings that can be leveraged to take them to the next level. And that's really hampered their growth. The third thing is to be consistent. And, you know, as I said, it can be, you know, it's difficult sometimes to launch into some activity, it doesn't work the way you expect it to."
"Consistency is a really big part of building a brand. And acquisition customers. A really, really good example, is, you know, we were running an activity for a client, they were only running things for two weeks at a time, and in turning it off, we kind of maxed out where we were with them. So we ended up sort of a bit of an old twisting, asking them, to run an activity for at least a month at a time. And what we started seeing was that from week three, you know, the volume started increasing in CAC started dropping, and all it was that then, you know, this onboarding cycle was just a little bit longer than they expected it to be. And that consistency, you're doing that, and then you know, eventually going to always-on approach will be a big catalyst of their growth."
"So be consistent, and then be really, really rigid about the plans that you set out for, you know, ideally, working sort of three-month cycles, and then break that down into activities that you're going to do for each month. But then be really, really flexible about the campaign, the experiments that you're running. Because, you know, sometimes you really need to push a platform to it to the nth degree before you get something out of it."
For more success stories from Shameer, listen to his complete story below.