Fintech Branding and Marketing Megatrends 2022

How technology, regulation, and a new wave of investors are shaping advertising in the financial sector.

2021 was a year of disruption. An ongoing pandemic, a renewed digital transformation, global supply chain vulnerability, the great resignation — and that’s before mentioning that Google lost its spot as the most popular website to TikTok. 

Within the world of finance, a combination of emerging technologies, new regulations, and a transformative new investor generation have changed the strategy for how successful financial institutions approach investor relations, branding, and marketing. Or in other words: the traditional marketing funnel is in trouble

We may not be sad to leave 2021 behind, but what does this new year have in store? Looking ahead to 2022, here are the top five megatrends that are set to change the playbook for fintech branding and marketing — at least until the next global crisis. 

Increased accessibility means new investors

The last two years have seen a major increase in individual investors, most of whom are young, inexperienced, and disruptive. This surge can at least partially be attributed to a rise in user-friendly investment apps that make it easy to buy and trade a growing pool of affordable financial products. 

This new generation of investors is markedly different from their predecessors. Not only are they younger — investors who entered the market in 2020 or later have a median age of 35, compared to the previous average of 48 — they are also over twice as likely to own cryptocurrencies and three times as likely to use a self-service app. They are also the ones who are driving the remarkable rise in NFTs, with 75% of the market made up of transactions under $10,000, making them an attractive cohort for asset managers. 

But increased accessibility doesn’t only impact new investors. More seasoned investors are also taking advantage of new funds and asset classes, particularly ETFs. In 2021, ETFs had a record inflow, with over $1T globally, primarily driven by institutional investors. 

ETFs also give the opportunity for investors of all levels to explore values-based investing, as ESG investment funds hit record highs in 2021. New funds like Rize offer thematic ETFs that allow participants to support areas from sustainability and green tech to cybersecurity and digital privacy. 

This new wave of investors presents a big opportunity for asset managers, as long as they take the time to understand this new audience and invest in developing products, strategies, and content to help them along their investment journey. 

Next generation of brand collaborations

This new generation of investors is paralleled by a new era of brand collaboration, moving from proprietary and closed systems to a network of integrations, interdependence, and platformification. Rapid technological development and increased specialization has forced companies across many industries to realize that it’s next to impossible to keep up with only in-house resources. 

Within financial services, the trend toward infrastructure development and whitelabeling has made fintech partnership more attractive than ever. 

For example, when setting out to develop and launch new thematic ETFs on environmental impact and digital payments (respectively), Rize announced it would partner with Foxberry’s foxf9 platform. Together, these two firms can provide next-level services to clients looking for ways to invest in emerging and rapidly-changing sectors, without significant internal development resources from Rize.

Another example is Franklin Templeton, one of the world’s largest independent global investment managers, has rapidly expanded its footprint by partnering with and acquiring specialized investment firms. Through strategic allyship, Franklin Templeton is able to offer a boutique investment experience combined with the global support of their analytics, data, and distribution. 

Saxo Bank, a leading investment bank based out of Denmark, announced a new partnership with audio streaming service Deezer to launch a new Arabic-language podcast. This collaboration will allow Saxo to provide investment support and advice to a customer segment they might struggle to reach with internal resources.  

All of these partnerships recognize the truth behind global marketing today: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The effect of strategic collaboration can be exponential — for both parties. 

Global dreams captured by Crypto 

It’s not really news to anyone that cryptocurrencies are on the rise — and everyone seems to want a piece. From Nov 2019 to Nov 2021, the number of cryptocurrencies worldwide grew by 91% (2,817 to 7,557), and last year the total number of crypto investors topped 300 million worldwide, with new investors representing the lion’s share and institutional investors remaining cautious. 

But the outlook for 2022 looks a bit different. 

Number of cryptocurrencies worldwide from 2013 to January 2022Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/863917/number-crypto-coins-tokens/ 

According to Dan Tapiero, Founder of DTAP Capital and 10T Holdings, “total cryptocurrency volume for [2021] will be $60 trillion. That’s versus $10 trillion in 2020 and $4 trillion 2019…and we’ve adjusted for everything.” If that trend continues throughout 2022, we’re looking at a huge opportunity for investors of all sizes.

As would be expected, competition among crypto exchanges is fierce, with the top players shelling out huge amounts of money in marketing and advertising. 

Crypto.com spent $100 million on a multi-national ad campaign featuring Matt Damon telling us that “fortune favors the brave.” It has been met with mixed reviews

FTX, another crypto exchange, is reportedly spending $20 million for a 2022 US Super Bowl campaign featuring Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen and that NBA star Steph Curry will join as brand ambassador. 

These go-big-or-go-home campaigns have a clear message: crypto investing is for everyone. (Yes, everyone, including Paris Hilton, Gwyneth Paltrow, and even Melania Trump.) But as exchanges and brokerages continue to compete for superiority, ad regulations are cracking down. 

New regulations protect consumers and limit brands

Facebook has long held “intentionally broad” policies to regulate ads for financial products and services on its platform, after seeing a rise in companies that “are not currently operating in good faith.” 

It’s not hard to find examples: In 2020, Steve Wozniak sued YouTube for allowing bitcoin scammers to use his name and image in ads and promo videos. And just last year, regulators in the UK banned ads from Crypto.com, Coinbase, and eToro (among others) for promoting crypto investments with misleading and irresponsible messages, including questionable celebrity endorsements.

Now, with the rise of new investors and retail products, more companies and governments are cracking down on where and how financial service providers can market themselves.

In the UK, Google requires authorization with the UK Financial Conduct Authority before it will approve ads for financial services on its platform. And while Meta, Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon have indicated they’ll follow suit, some players (such as Starling, a Goldman-backed digital bank) have announced they’ll boycott these channels until they crack down on scam ads that target their customers. 

For marketers, these regulations present challenges in both planning and execution, especially internationally, so it’s important to maintain a brand presence across many channels. 

One channel isn’t enough — and they’re not the one you’re used to

With so many regulations in place — and more sure to come — it’s important for financial marketers to have a wide array of options. One channel, one medium is nowhere near enough. And even the standard collection of digital media — social media, SEO, and SEM — needs to be expanded to meet people where they are in an authentic way. 

So where is a growing fintech like Coherra expected to seek out new users?

In an online survey, 60% of investors under 40 said they were members of an online investment community. YouTube was the most popular choice (41%), followed by TikTok (24%), Instagram (21%), Twitter (17%), Facebook (16%), and Reddit (13%). 

And if we just look at global internet traffic from the past year, it’s clear that TikTok is poised to become even more dominant. 2021 was the year Google was fatefully knocked out of its spot as the number one most popular internet domain. TikTok took top place, followed by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. 

With so many people on TikTok (some reports list upwards of 1 billion monthly active users), there’s content for every interest at every level, and that includes investing and finance. Fintech brands are jumping on board, partnering with “fin-influencers” to help communicate their message in a medium new to most marketers. 

In the world of social investing, Reddit often takes the number one spot. Investopedia even has a list of the top subreddit communities for traders — though brands who attempt marketing campaigns on Reddit do so at their peril

Still, fintechs need to embrace these new channels as a way to embrace new forms of content, especially video. 

“We understand how quickly the world is changing, and we cannot use just traditional financial research resources anymore,” said Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest. “We are pushing our research into Twitter, into LinkedIn, into Facebook, into Medium, into any social network that we think will help our analysts and our investors live in the communities we’re researching.” 

In addition to the mainstream social platforms, industry-specific channels are popping up to facilitate conversation and education on financial topics, including communities like Coherra which takes a data-driven approach to curating and distributing financial insights videos.

Becoming an expert in this new world

New financial products. New investors. New regulations. New marketing channels. 

There’s a lot to learn — and as soon as you do, what you’ve learned may already be obsolete.

That’s why successful branding and marketing in the new year will hinge on strong relationship building and knowledge sharing. By sharing your unique insights from your own area of specialization, you can stand out in a crowded field and develop authentic connections with both potential clients and potential partners. You can’t please them all, but by catering to a specific audience you can build a loyal customer base who will become your organic brand ambassadors. 

Managing a financial brand has never been easy, but today it might be harder than ever. Starting from a place of authenticity and openness is one way to build resilience into a system that may need to weather a few more storms in the upcoming year.

About Coherra

Coherra is an omnichannel video content distribution platform for financial insights. Founded in 2017, Coherra helps asset managers connect with new audiences and helps investors discover unique investment opportunities around the world. With curated research backed by a team of market specialists, Coherra is the trusted source for both asset allocators and asset seekers looking to engage with new investor experiences. 

Learn more at https://coherra.com

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