Good software shapes the way that modern business is done. It allows companies to stay lean, implement data, save money, and reach the consuming public in ways that were never before possible. It can also be pretty confusing for the layperson.
You know you need finance-related technology. You know that your marketing division needs access to data. But how are these two facts related?
In this article, we explore how a good Fintech stack can help you revolutionize the way you appeal to customers.
What is Fintech
Fintech is shorthand for financial technology. Once you begin to get acquainted with the SaaS (software as a service) industry, you will quickly find that they love their abbreviations. It’s pretty advanced stuff. In fact, several decades ago, experts were looking at the trajectory of financial technology, and making a pretty wild prediction: Pretty soon, it would replace accountants.
Obviously, that hasn’t happened. Instead, finance professionals are now able to automate many of the more tedious aspects of their work, freeing them up to focus more attention on big-picture stuff.
It is fair to say that some jobs in the financial aspect of business operations have shrunken. For example, accounts payable/receivable can now comfortably be handled by one or two people, even at large companies. Even then, their work is often just to supervise the software.
However, the impact hasn’t been of the existential crisis variety, as was once thought. Instead, of mass layoffs, we’re looking at “heightened scalability.” In other words, businesses can now expand their customer base without endlessly increasing their personnel and other overhead.
The finance profession has changed, forever, and it will continue to do so. However—
Oh, yes. You in the back.
That’s all very fascinating. Planet Money should cover it in an episode of their podcast. But what does it have to do with marketing?
Ah. A very worthy question. Let’s take a look.
How Finance Relates to Marketing
Let’s consider a scenario. You run a subscription-based meal service. You’re into year two and growing. A fact you take no small amount of pleasure in. You read up. You know that once startups hit year two and report growth, they are much more likely to experience long-term success.
For the most part, you’re doing well. The product is great. Customer retention is solid. Sales is hitting its goals comfortably each month. But when it comes to marketing, things are falling a little flat. There’s some good copy being written, but no unified voice. No tone that says, “This is who our brand is.”
And that’s because, frankly, you don’t know. You aren’t sure who your core audience is, let alone how to reach them. What is a subscription food service to do?
If you answered, “Take a look at their Fintech generated data,” then it’s time to give yourself a cookie. That’s right. Fintec produces historical customer data that your marketing team can use to understand who your core customer group is, and what they like.
It’s called an “ideal customer profile,” or ICP. Basically, a rough outline of a hypothetical person who is most likely to not only take interest in your product, but also recommend it to their friends, and maybe even go in for upsells.
That information is contained directly within your billing or subscription management platform. You know what else is in there? Churn statistics. Who is leaving your business? At one point in the customer lifecycle do most people make their exit.
All of this information can help your marketing and sales divisions to hone their materials and target only serious customers.
Otherwise, you’re wasting your energy shooting from the hip. Many startups make the flawed assumption that any sale is a good sale. In fact, depending on your industry, you may not even begin making money from a customer until several transactions.
For example, this meal make-believe meal subscription service. It costs thirty dollars in marketing and sales resources to land a customer, but a monthly subscription price is only $20. That means that if you don’t keep a customer for more than two months, you are actively losing money.
By taking advantage of your Fintec, your marketing division can target the best possible customers, making the most of your resources.
Ah! I knew there was a catch.
Isn’t there always? Cross-departmental tech implementation is a tricky business. It requires a well-honed tech stack. Here’s a word to bake into your brain: integrations. In software, integrations are programs that are naturally designed to work together.
For example, the billing platform described in the last heading might partner with a specific marketing tool, or sales tool, or both, to help businesses build a tech toolbelt that can communicate seamlessly.
Without well-honed integrations, you get what industry people call “data siloes.” In other words, your business has all the information it needs, but it is squirreled away in different spots, inaccessible to those who might otherwise take advantage of it.
When selecting software, it’s not just a question of finding the best of everything. Like a sports recruiter, you need to find elements that can work well together.
If that sounds like a bigger job than you are up for, don’t sweat it. There are professional consultants who can come in and help you refine your tech stack to make sure that it communicates in a way that is conducive to your goals.
Obviously, these experts cost money, but they tend to be less expensive than buying a whole slate of useless or underperforming software.