1. You might need more than one agency
Sure, everyone loves having a central point of contact and a single source of truth. Here’s the thing: a well-rounded growth strategy will cover many different marketing disciplines — each requiring some specialization. Your partnership with agencies should account for the specialization required to make your growth strategy sing. Instead of finding one agency “savior”, consider finding agencies or freelancers that are best-in-class for the following:
Content Marketing: A content marketing agency can help you determine how to tell your best stories to connect with your target audience. This may include creating audience personas, doing competitive research, conducting keyword research, placing articles in trade publications, managing your blog, writing white papers for demand generation, and more. This should be your go-to team for all things content-related, though they will likely work closely with some of the other agencies that focus on distribution/amplification.
Performance Marketing: This type of agency will leverage data and analytics to create digital advertising programs that see results. They manage all types of paid advertising, including Google PPC, paid social, and more. They can be trusted to work on writing and testing ad copy, ad targeting, remarking, bid management, ad creative, and lead ads.
Public Relations: Working with a PR firm can help you manage your company’s reputation via owned, earned, and paid media. If you anticipate working with the press often, you’ll probably want to retain a PR firm that can help you drive brand awareness and manage your organization’s image. They may help with speechwriting (and finding speaking engagements), social media, outreach, event planning, media training, and more.
2. Know Your Audience
Depending on your business model, you may have one (or more) of the following audiences/buyers:
- Consumers (B2C)
- Businesses (B2B)
- Financial service providers
- Businesses to Consumers (B2B2C)
Understanding all about your customer goes much deeper than that. You’ll want to have a solid grasp on who you are selling to before hiring one or more agencies. If you haven’t honed in on your target audience, you won’t be able to expect anyone else to, either.
Embarking on a growth strategy without a clear customer persona in place sets you up for failure. This concept is especially important in fintech where building trust and credibility with customers is paramount. You’ll need to understand what they really need — even pain points they have not yet identified. Consider what is most important to your customers: security, convenience, speed, personalization? These are all critical questions to answer before you bring an agency on board to streamline growth.
3. Start at the Top and Work Your Way Down
When engaging with one or more fintech growth agencies, you’ll want to make sure you cover all your bases. That means looking at the top of your funnel and working your way down. How are you handling top of the funnel content that drives awareness? Are you blogging? Creating videos? Leveraging social media? How are you getting that content in front of your target buyer? Are you using paid advertising? PR?
It can be helpful to run some marketing and advertising audits and inventories to get a sense of where your organization stands in terms of growth initiatives. This will help you identify strong points and areas of opportunity. It will also help you establish what types of agencies you may seek help from.
Maybe you have a killer in-house writer that can crank out content but lack good distribution methods to publicize that content. You may want to consider working with an agency that specializes in paid advertising or even a PR firm that can help connect you with journalists and editors that are interested in the story you have to tell.
4. Focus on Accountability
While it’s important to hold your agency/agencies accountable, you also need to be accountable to your agency. Holding weekly standup meetings or setting aside time to touch base is going to be critical to managing the relationship with your fintech growth agency. You’ll want to check in with them to understand how campaigns and initiatives are performing, but they’ll probably need to check in with you, too.
One of the quickest ways to derail the relationship with your fintech growth agency is to ghost. Even organizations that feel confident in allowing their agency to take things and run with them know that being available to answer questions or provide information is essential. You are the best source of information about your organization and its customers. Your fintech growth agency will need to tap into that information to put together the best growth strategy possible for success.
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