Henry Feintuch
Henry Feintuch

It’s a pretty good bet that if you’re working with a recognizable fintech brand such as VISA, PayPal, Venmo or other top tier organizations, your press releases are being read and your calls are being returned by reporters at top business, financial technology and vertical trade media.

But for the thousands of fintechs operating in the layers below—including innovative start-ups, critically important but lesser-known infrastructure providers and a broad swath of B2B market providers—breaking through can be quite the task.

Couple that with a radically altered media environment with fewer media outlets, a shrinking news hole and overworked journalists holding down more beats and responsible for far more than just reporting, and you wind up with a significant challenge. How can you break through, build your brand and create a conversation with critical audiences?

Here are three examples. The campaigns or projects referenced aren’t necessarily award-winning or Harvard Business case studies; they’re simply examples of ways to package creative content to reach your critical audiences.

Develop market awareness

When you think of online trading, foreign exchange trading or forex may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, the global forex market is the largest financial market in the world—larger than stocks—with a daily volume greater than $6 billion daily in 2019. The market trades 24 hours a day, six days a week. Our client, one of the first players to go public in the U.S., wanted help in educating investors and broadening out media coverage from the handful of niche publications and newsletters covering the FX market.

This article is featured in O'Dwyer's Aug. '20 Financial PR/IR & Professional Services PR Magazine.

We decided to create a branded vehicle for the company to showcase its in-house research and expertise. “The Forex.com Quarterly Markets Outlook” launched in October 2009. The combination teleconference/webcast was designed for a sophisticated but broad media audience and included a recap of trends in the market during the past quarter, and a 50,000-foot level forecast of where the markets could be trading in the quarter ahead. International media alerts targeted key FX markets and those where our client was licensed. More than 100 investors and a dozen reporters joined the first webcast—more over time—with hundreds of downloads on-demand. Articles appeared on Dow Jones, Businessweek, Forbes.com, CNBC, Business News Network and ForexTV. Numerous requests for interviews followed and our Forex.com was able to use the webcast as an educational and sales tool for its clients for the two-year duration of the campaign.

Utilize a consumer omnibus

In 2018, Klarna was preparing to introduce a “Try Before You Buy” payment option for its existing and prospective online clients. But how do you communicate that credibly to etailers and convince them to switch or add the Klarna solution to their checkout mix?

Understanding the hesitancy many shoppers had in making online apparel purchases since they didn’t have the chance to see or try on those items, we decided to field a broad omnibus survey. We asked more than 2,000 consumers about their attitudes and preferences towards a try now, pay later service that would not charge them anything for 30 days so they could receive, try on and return items they didn’t want.

The findings were a blow-out:

  • 74 percent of consumers said that having the ability to try on or try out goods before paying would remove a major drawback to their online shopping;
  • 37 percent indicated a “Try Before You Buy” option would rank as their preferred payment option for buying apparel from an online retailer;
  • 71 percent of respondents stated they would be moderately, very or completely likely to choose a retailer offering a “Try Before You Buy” option over one which did not offer this option; and
  • 69 percent of consumers surveyed said they would be moderately, very or completely likely to buy more items from online merchants offering this payment option.

Key retail, fashion, fintech and business media picked up the story including Chain Store Age, Fashion United, Retail Dive, PaymentsSource, Luxury Daily, Fibre-to-Fashion and a feature in Yahoo! Finance. The coverage provided the launch boost our client sought and turned a routine fintech app launch into pop culture buzz.

Find an audience

Every fintech product or service has its own natural audience, however niche. Take the case of BasisCode Compliance, a leading provider of regulatory compliance and risk management solutions for the investment management sector. The company’s cloud-based software suite is used by nearly 400 organizations globally for its core compliance, personal trading and insider trading solutions.

Only a handful of financial services trades cover the compliance area, and then not on a frequent basis. So, how to promote the company’s solutions and help generate sales leads? Our solution was a thought leadership webinar.

We approached the key industry association serving the market, the National Society of Compliance Professionals, and proposed a webinar on “How Best to Work with Compliance Consultants.” We suggested a panel of two corporate compliance officers, who had experience in using compliance consultants, and two experienced compliance consultants, together with the CEO of BasisCode serving as moderator.

The webinar would be designed to educate NSCP members on not only on the best ways to utilize compliance consultants, but also when not to and why not to. After agreeing to NSCP non-commercial guidelines, we produced the webinar on Dec. 13, 2018. It attracted 160+ financial industry professionals whose registration information was provided to BasisCode and the panelists.

But we didn’t stop there. We proposed that the NSCP’s key member publication, Currents, run a Q&A/abridged version of the webinar as a feature article. Once approved, we edited the webinar transcript down to a 3,350-word summary which appeared in the June 2019 Currents issue.

Finally, we supported our client in sending out a marketing blast of the reprint to its client and prospect database. Triple impact to a finite and targeted audience

Content rules

Success in fintech and financial services relies heavily on content, understanding your key business objectives, knowing who you need to reach and a healthy dose of creativity. It’s the challenge and joy of our industry.

In the final analysis—and with apologies to James Carville whose 1992 TV quip, helped elect Bill Clinton as President—in fintech and financial services, “it’s the content, stupid.”


Henry Feintuch is President of Feintuch Communications and a past President of PRSA-NY.