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April 17, 2013

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Greg Grimer

Great observations Chris. In fact, many a fintech marketing person knows this, but is powerless to do very much to change it.

1. Not all fintech solutions have a clear value statement such 'saving' or 'making money'. Less than 1/4 do in my experience of selling. Many vendors have "me too" solutions with nuanced differences. Features that might be important enough for one bank to switch to them, but irrelevant to another bank due to their incumbent tech, business priorities, architecture or other reasons.

2. Being creative and innovative with marketing has a high-risk, low-reward profile for the Head of Marketing. If sales go up, it won't be wholly attributed to the marketing department. The Head of Sales or the CEO can easily steal their thunder (I've seen this happen more than once). If sales go down they will get the blame for being a 'maverick'.

The pipeline "tracking" system is an inexact science at best. Everyone in the vendor wants to lay claim to the leads that turn into sales.

3. Half the fintech on sale is 'below average' - by definition. What real "excitement" can you dream up about a 12 year old legacy system with a large install base? "It's clunky, the code is messy and it will cost a small fortune to integrate which specialist staff, but it is the politically safe choice for you to make because 40% of large banks use it in the back office". It's hard to put that in a brochure wouldn't you agree?

Truth be told, I do exactly what you suggest above, (though I don't tell vendors this in the first meeting). I take my fintech client's dull and boring marketing documents, boil the fat of them and cut to the chase over the telephone, with the top level decision-makers then hand back qualified meetings and background questions.

I will decimate 3 page marketing PDFs and 20 slide presentations to just 60 word emails. Just cold hard facts about value, value and value. Who uses it and why they benefit. Who has time to read more than that and what could they remember if they did read it?

This way the vendors have plausible deniability if I claim too much (it has happened once or twice in my exuberance and I can't be 'fired' because I don't work for them.

Some vendors do however do great marketing. Algorithmics, under Ron Dembo, in the 1990s set the gold standard which has never been bettered in my opinion.

christopher perrien

Here's another one. I've gone to three FinTech web sites in search of contacts to meet with 6 Presidents of European banks later in the spring. My conclusion is that the email addresses on the sites are where inquiries go to die. No one replies within 5 days. And one site offers no telephone numbers!? They are copying the wrong policies of traditional banks.

Geisel

One is copy from a other the last copy from the first.
They do not proof the informations and there are many change of positions in the companies and banks too.

Matthias Benfey

I'm having trouble connecting your blog today with your blog yesterday. Surely if we want to restore trust in the banking industry, then one element is truth in advertising, rather than attention-grabbing headlines which mislead in the opposite direction from the boring ones. What are the opportunities for fintech companies to help the banking industry restore client confidence? How can they help with increasing transparency and reducing the cost of regulatory compliance, or even turning regulatory initiatives to client and shareholder advantage? Alas I haven't seen a single example.

Chris Skinner

Matthias

I am absolutely in NO WAY expecting misleading or untruthful headlines. They will get found out. I am just asking for headlines that make me bother reading what these firms do, rather than the bingo word dross they send out today.

Chris

Matthias Benfey

Thanks for clarifying, Chris! I concur.

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