Fifty percent of consumers complain that their financial services provider doesn’t deliver a personalized experience when communicating with them. Clearly, this is a tremendous opportunity that fintech companies can seize. As today’s consumers increasingly expect digital and mobile experiences tailored to their unique needs, the fintech companies that succeed will be the ones who meet this rising bar.
The pressure is on for fintech brands to craft a new standard of “Netflix-inspired banking” that hinges on hyper-personalization and targeted marketing communication. And, yes, this new era of humanizing fintech means companies are allowed (and encouraged) to infuse fun into their apps—from gamification to lively notification language—to drive engagement and retention.
Creating personalized experiences requires fintech companies to have the data in-hand to deeply understand their users’ behavior. Brands should have a firm grasp on why their customers downloaded their app, what content they engage with (or don’t engage with), their financial wellness goals, pain points, and more.
Even knowing your customers is only half the battle. Brands must then determine the most effective methods to guide and communicate with them in ways that drive conversions. This can be optimized by continuous experimentation, listening to the user base, and making sense of data.
Below are three best practices for today’s B2B fintech marketers to keep in mind when building out engaging digital user experiences.
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Educate Customers to Get the Most Out of Your Services
One of the best ways fintech brands can engage customers is through educational marketing. This requires brands to harness a deeper understanding of customers’ individual behavior, then tailor their experiences to feel thoughtful with a human touch. Like all things marketing, it’s not a one-size-fits all approach; each customer has their own unique needs.
When you know who you’re talking to, what they want, and where they’re getting stuck, the conversation between customer and marketer flows more naturally. The goal of these conversations should be to educate customers: to provide end-to-end support in their digital journey.
There are two main educational challenges that marketers need to tackle. The first challenge is finding ways to guide customers unfamiliar with the brand’s apps towards those channels. The second is proactively suggesting solutions to customers unfamiliar with their benefits.
For example, a financial brand could send an email or SMS message to their customer encouraging them to download their free mobile banking app. If the email highlights the convenience and security of the app, it’s likely that the consumer will download. Fintech companies could also push a well-timed offer for consultation on joint college savings accounts or emergency funds for parents, for example.
For many, the realm of financial services is intimidating, but with educational guidance, financial wellness can become more accessible. Make your marketing messaging the trusted tutor with instructional in-app push notifications, relevant feature recommendations, and a clear path to getting a question answered.
This commitment to education should be reciprocal. Fintech apps should continuously take a seat on the opposite side of the desk, as a student, to listen to their users. By learning from customers, brands gain valuable insight into when to drive deeper funnel engagement. Educational messaging should be informed by an analysis of customer behavior at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
Harness Data to Drive Personalization and Goal-Crushing
The fintech landscape is future-focused, and to mold that future, brands must do more than simply keep pace with ever-evolving customer expectations. Gaining a lead here means leveraging data-driven insights to empower users to reach their financial goals on their own terms. In essence: automate everything while staying human.
Success lies in this delicate balance of AI automation and empathy-driven personalization. One way smart fintech marketers can strike this balance is by using data to hyper-segment customers into clusters based on mutual histories or goals.
Take Jerry, a fast-growing fintech startup, as an example of the power of segmentation. Their micro-segmentation strategy has resulted in almost 30 separate customer journeys that are mapped out and customized. By having a granular understanding of so many different customer profiles and utilizing A/B testing, the app is able to drive conversions and deepen customer loyalty with relevant communications. This approach has allowed Jerry to increase conversion rates by 20% and retain an app rating between 4.75 and 5 stars.
A strategy like Jerry’s allows fintech brands to be adaptive in creating tailored user experiences, which in turn drives better retention.
Ingrain Frequency, Familiarity, and Fun into the User Experience
When you think of the traditional corporate brand voices of financial institutions, you probably think of dull color palettes, sterile language, and a lack of personality. That’s all changing.
Today’s consumers want to be spoken to at eye-level and are shifting away from boring legacy banks to more approachable branding. To keep your marketing fresh, keep the three F’s in mind: frequency, familiarity, and fun.
First, frequency. Providing well-timed, relevant communication is a great way to encourage brand interaction. However, there’s a thin line between interaction and irritation. To avoid the latter, fintech brands should frequently shuffle their channels and messaging. Dhani, the app belonging to Indiabulls Group, one of India’s leading home finance companies, follows a simple principle known as the “model of four.” The idea, drawn from data and numerous campaigns, argues that four is the optimal number of times to reach a customer early in their journey. Dhani reaches out to a customer four times on four different channels to ensure they learn about the product.
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Second, familiarity. This goes back to fine-tuned personalization within the digital customer journey. By humanizing the brand, customers should feel a sense of familiarity with their financial services provider. This can happen through consistent communication, friendly brand voice in messaging, and relevant content that makes users feel like the company is meeting their individual needs.
And last but certainly not least, fun. Gamification (turning traditionally non-game activities into games) has become an exciting aspect of many fintech brands’ engagement strategies. Khatabook, a B2B ledger app helping small and medium-sized businesses manage transactions, pushes out videos and quizzes that educate. The Dhani app has a Spin the Wheel game and loyalty points scheme where rewards convert to cash. Incorporating gamification—and leaving room for further perks and surprises—is an effective way to keep users engaged.
We are witnessing a seismic shift in the way consumers perceive and interact with their financial institutions. Fintech brands are now faced with an opportunity to move away from corporate sterility and towards humanization. In a world that is increasingly digital and mobile, fintech marketers need to harness innovative technologies and craft memorable, personalized customer journeys that create loyal brand evangelists.
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