Driving results for your B2B fintech marketing program takes time and effort. For smaller organizations with smaller in-house teams, that means hours spent creating emails, writing blogs and white papers, updating web copy, and nurturing leads.
Every hour spent executing is an hour not spent being strategic and finding better make the business money. Your focus should be on producing revenue by partnering with sales and developing a highly-effective strategy. Outsourcing marketing can be crucial to the success of growing B2B fintech companies, though some are hesitant because they have doubts about the upfront cost. If you fall into this category, consider the following questions.
1. Are we effective at generating leads?
It’s 2019, yet many companies still rely on snail mail and cold calls to generate leads. These may be one way to augment your strategy, but your audience is largely online. If you’re not marketing on the channels where you targets are spending time, you’re missing the boat.
Nearly all B2B buyers are doing their own research online and prefer it to talking to someone like a sales rep. Buyers are navigating the marketing and sales funnels at their convenience, thought first points of contact are essential. Buyers notice display advertising and web content, with 68% saying they notice ads from solution providers during the research process, according to a 2019 Demand Gen report. That same report showed that 48% of buyers said that vendor websites were in the top three resources used to inform them about solutions.
But lead generation goes beyond having a pretty website and blogging here and there.
Effective lead generation requires a solid, data-driven strategy that can be tweaked and iterated over time. B2B fintech marketers who are knee-deep in execution rarely have time to develop a strategy, let alone pivot in real-time. Consider whether or not your lead generation has benchmarks — and whether or not you are hitting those benchmarks. If not, it may be time to work with a trusted partner who can set goals and hit them and work to improve results over time.
2. Are people finding us organically?
Don’t underestimate the power of organic traffic and leads. While social media has become a pay-to-play ecosystem and while Google Ads can drive results, people who find you organically may be in a more primed position to purchase. Also note that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. Inbound marketing and content marketing can help you drive qualified leads to your site rather than chasing them down with outbound emails and cold calls.
By optimizing your site for search engines (SEO) and creating content that is helpful to relevant people searching for what you offer (content marketing), you can streamline the path to purchase. Inbound marketing requires a dedicated, data-backed strategy as well as consistent execution. One without the other will not net the desired results.
Look at your Google Analytics dashboard and see if your organic traffic is experiencing an upward trend or not. If it’s headed in the opposite direction — or nowhere at all — it may be time to consider bringing on an inbound or content marketing expert or agency to help you drive more organic traffic. People are looking for you and your services; it’s up to you to help them find what they’re looking for.
3. How much time am I/are we actually spending on marketing efforts?
This is a complicated question. If you’re title falls under the marketing umbrella, you’d think the answer would be “100%”. However, we all know what happens, especially within startups where everyone has their hands in everything and time gets divided between 1,000 tasks.
If you’re in marketing but also wearing an HR, sales, on-boarding, product development, or other hat, you’re probably not spending enough time on marketing efforts. Additionally, specific marketing tactics (like inbound marketing, for example) require specialized expertise in SEO in order to be effective. While marketing generalists are extraordinarily adept at keeping the marketing wheel turning, they may not have the required experience to get optimal results. The same is true for paid search (SEM), social media marketing, and PR.
If one or more areas of your marketing program is struggling or does not have the internal resources to support a valiant effort, you may want to consider how outsourcing one or several elements of marketing might drive improved ROI.
4. Are we being consistent?
The Boss said it best: “Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time.” If Bruce Springsteen ever moved into marketing, he’d probably knock it out of the park with that attitude.
Content has a shelf life, especially in the financial services realm where compliance is an issue. Keeping things fresh — whether it be ads, white papers, blogs, or email content — requires a significant time investment. Research, writing, designing, proofreading, and amplifying with consistency is time-consuming. It also takes time away from other marketing efforts, including strategy development. Don’t forget measuring, benchmarking, and updating KPIs. Without help, this kind of consistency can overwhelm a marketing department of almost any size.
The thing is — you won’t get consistent results without a consistent effort. If your internal marketing department is already bare bones or stretched-thin, consider working with a partner to keep things moving in a positive direction.
5. Do we have the right combination of fintech and marketing knowledge to take things to the next level?
We’ve detailed B2B fintech customer acquisition challenges in a previous post and noted that these center around trust, credibility, and education. Effectively building trust and credibility for your business while educating your targets about the problems they face (and available solutions) requires deep experience and expertise around the fintech ecosystem. But it also requires extensive marketing chops to understand how to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
For B2B fintech startups and organizations in growth stages, harnessing both fintech and marketing expertise can be difficult. Often times, those with a breadth of knowledge on all things fintech are working on product development or other technical projects. Those that have mastered marketing may lack the knowledge of the fintech ecosystem needed to craft and convey messaging that resonates with the target audience. Finding that sweet spot of both is a tall order.
If you find this disparity of deep knowledge exists within your organization, it may be beneficial to see if you can find marketing experts or agencies that operate within your niche. These people can provide the guidance you need to hit the high notes across the board and attract your target audience to your business in a meaningful, compelling way.
Outsourcing can help alleviate the burden on internal teams and speed up results. Working with experts in your industry that have the marketing chops to make an impact can net positive ROI in the long run. Before you wince at the upfront costs of outsourcing, consider your goals for this year — and the future. If you’re off-track, it is probably in your interest to explore the option a little further. Not only will it free up your time to work on top priorities, but it can streamline your efforts and potentially pack the punch you’ve been missing.