I have tried to compile a list of my favourite marketing campaigns run by fintech startups. It ranges from product launches to physical and online campaigns. Here goes!
The “Pop-Up Store” Campaign: iZettle
Image source: Flavourmag
“Launch a pop-up store for small businesses” as a campaign idea rarely comes up in marketing meetings (okay, never), but that is what payments firm iZettle decided to do. iZettle set up a pop-up store in central London which was used for trading by a different business every day for 6 days, but always using the mPoS technology from iZettle. The campaign helped establish the firm as a credible alternative to traditional PoS players by reaching the mass market quickly and creatively. It achieved all this while also creating a unique image as a supporter of the local community and small businesses.
The “Tube” Campaign: Nutmeg
Image source: Twitter
London tube carriages are now the current favourite outdoor advertising venue for UK-based robo-advisory and wealth management firms. It all started with Nutmeg. Their advertising on the underground trains and stations during ISA season was perhaps the most memorable physical campaign by a FinTech firm ever. Legions took to Twitter with tube shots praising the brand. London does not have an underground mobile network, and an average commute is over an hour on the Tube. The campaign gave commuters sufficient time to think about personal finances and what is not working with the traditional modes of investing.
The “Cash Register” Product Packaging: Square
Image source: Wired
Marketing a new technology is very hard – how do you make the public aware of subtle technological differences with competitors who have been established in the market for decades? The best way, as Square proved, is by creating a killer showcase product that demonstrates how well it all works. And how much simpler life can be without the “competition”. When Square launched a new type of cash register, businesses around the world took notice. It proved that all you need is an iPad to get rid of the clunky, expensive machines running credit cards in your neighbourhood coffee shop.
“The Ice Block” Marketing Stunt: WePay
Image source: unibulmerchantservices blog
This one was a while ago, but remains one of the most memorable marketing stunts ever by a FinTech firm. WePay dropped a massive ice block with frozen money where a Paypal conference was taking place in San Francisco, blaming the competitor for freezing the customers’ accounts. The stunt was soon on the front page of tech magazines. WePay had a very clear marketing message established prior to the stunt – including a landing page UnfreezeYourMoney.com. It shows it is not all about the stunt; but also about how you align any attempted stunt with your core messaging and marketing activities.
The “Sports Sponsorship” Campaign: BitPay
Image source: Twtrland
BitPay, a bitcoin-processing startup, decided to sponsor a real college football game aiming to introduce sports fantatics to the world of Bitcoins. The sponsorship is now over, but the success of the #bitcoinbowl hashtag is still talked about in social media. The hashtag was trending for a long time, and is still being used to make Bitcoin jokes. It may have been a short-lived partnership between college athletics and virtual currency, but it is one more example of how FinTech firms continue to think beyond the obvious.
NB: BitPay now sponsors a NASCAR racing team.
The “Help Your Customer Grow” Strategy: Kabbage
Image source: DirectCapital blog
One strategy to help grow your own market is by helping your target customer base grow real quick! Kabbage, a small business lending firm, tries to make its customers’ lives easier by giving them a voice (through a dedicated Small Business Blog) and by giving them advice on how to grow in a tough market. It also launched a separate programme, Karrot, to lend to startups and individuals who may not yet be a small business, but are growing into one.
The “funny TV” Campaign: TransferWise
Image source: YouTube
FinTech can do funny. The ad from Transferwise is an example of FinTech firms going the traditional TV commercial route, but with a very uniquely funny voice. A cross between a spoof and a conventional commercial, the TV campaign hits out directly at the competition: the bankers (yes, the whole lot of them). There was never-before-seen debauchery on screen, but all for the larger good (destroying the banking industry). The commercial was not just cheered on by disruption proponents, but also by the masses of consumers unhappy with their banks.
Please feel free to share any other amazing campaigns!