Market like a fintech: Why the future is content and partnerships with Stephanie Bowker
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This episode of “Market like a fintech” is a replay of our recent private club event on the new professional networking platform Upstream with Stephanie Bowker, Head of Marketing at Spendesk. A product marketer by trade, she lives by the mantra that customers always come first. Before Spendesk, Stephanie worked at Intuit and was the first product marketing hire at Gusto. She also regularly appears on podcasts and events, and shares insights on all things product marketing, how to build and scale a marketing team from nothing, effective customer targeting, and community marketing. Earlier this year, Stephanie was recognised as one of the top 30 most influential fintech marketers of 2021 on our annual honorary list.
Spendesk is an all-in-one spend management platform built for finance teams. They do company cards, expense reimbursements, and automated accounting all in one place. They now have over 40,000 users and raised $18 million back in October last year.
During her chat with Ani Petrova, the founder of the Fintech Marketing Hub, Stephanie touched on how Spendesk has built their 6,500+ CFO community, their current marketing mix, and how to create shareable content.
This episode is brought to you by VC Innovations.
VC Innovations is a full-stack marketing services agency dedicated to innovation industries with a special focus on Fintech. They work with businesses across 3 key areas of marketing infrastructure, demand generation campaigns and event properties including the must-attend Fintech Talents Festival. Check out www.vcinnovations.co.uk to find out more.
"My definition of FinTech marketing is creating awareness and engagement with any kind of tool that's offering the movement of money."
"I would say with any type of marketing, I think it's important to just start with the customer. And I would say typically, I find that a B2B fintech buyer is a more pragmatic purchaser. And so, therefore, I think that really influences how we run our marketing strategy, which is a very educational-first marketing strategy. Because we're dealing with, I would say, a bit more of a complicated tool and complicated value prop that we really aim to do a lot more teaching, versus selling in a lot of our marketing."
"Education is probably one of the most important aspects, especially in B2B fintech marketing ... [people] always mentioned the word 'trust', and education plays a big part in building and gaining that trust in the end consumer."
"A huge advantage that I think fintechs have that not maybe all other industries have is data ... one of the really key elements not only to use in adding more value for your customers, being able to do machine learning automation, and actually creating services out of the data but also from a marketing perspective, to really drive a lot of our messaging [and] our content."
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"We use [data] for the product. So the fact that we capture all spending that companies do, we use that data to actually give them feedback insights and how they can start to spend smarter, but then we also use it to help indicate trends so that we can use it for more educational content."
"So I think maybe first, you spoke to the fact that we have a separate brand. And that was really important to us from day 1 so that we could really separate the objective of the [CFO Connect] community from the objective of Spendesk."
"So [the community platform] is a long-term investment. And I think that's one of the things I always try to tell other marketers and my CEO when he was really pushing at first is, it's something you don't want to push too quickly to see what are the customer results because I think you'll lose, you lose the essence of what a community needs to be."
"So I think if you create it, where it's something that the whole company gets to really feel a part of, they'll see the impact, they'll see the closeness of understanding the buyer."
"I think, to set up other shorter-term metrics that you can report on, that helps show the progress of what it's doing."
"I'll say for us, some of our major channels, truthfully, one is content ... it's a huge channel for us in terms of a mix of mediums from written, to podcasts, to webinars, to video."
"10 years ago, it was much easier to have only a keyword-oriented content strategy ... but now that everyone has caught onto that strategy, I definitely think the challenges are rising."
"My advice or the guidance that I put to the team is that the way to really stand out is to make it excellent. And make it something that actually provides value enough that someone wants to share it."
"As I go back to fintech marketing, where education is so key - content, it really is essential at every part of the funnel. It appeals to every aspect that you need - you want to inspire, you want to engage, you want to explain."
At the end of the day, it's really about building those human relationships, even though it's B2B.
For more insights, listen to Stephanie's complete story below.