Rarely a day passes without us hearing about a “new, leading, next-generation platform” that is going to redefine or disrupt financial markets. But many fintech companies fail to clearly describe exactly what it is they do, which costs them valuable business.
Whether you are an established brand bringing a novel FinTech product to market, or launching a new company on the back of an exciting innovation, it is easy to get caught up in marketing buzzwords.
This is usually at the expense of establishing exactly what your product or company does and how it is going to help your customers.
This is where the value proposition comes in.
What is the value proposition?
Put simply, which is the point of it after all, the value proposition clearly and succinctly explains what it is your company or product actually does. Unfortunately, however, many businesses in the FX and FinTech space do not appear to have a value proposition.
In general, it is very hard to distinguish many FinTech providers from one another in terms of what their products do and where they position themselves in the market.
You may be reading this thinking that your company is not one of these. Perhaps it’s not, but it’s easy to find out.
Go and ask several colleagues from different departments in your organisation to explain exactly what your company or core product does, and how it helps your customers. If your colleagues from sales, customer services, finance and IT all give pretty much the same answer – in no more than three sentences – then congratulations, you have a strong value proposition.
If not, then you could be in danger of confusing your customers.
Why is the value proposition so important?
If you and your colleagues struggle to explain exactly what it is your company does, then you can certainly not expect potential customers to grasp the benefits of investing in your offering.
And describing your company as a “cutting-edge, next-generation solutions provider” isn’t going to make things any clearer, whether you are “award-winning” or not.
Before you embark on any form of marketing, you need to establish exactly what solution your product or company is providing to your target audience. To quote the famous US inventor Charles Kettering (who had 186 patents to his name): “A problem well stated is a problem half solved.”
Once you have made this clear, then you can explain exactly how you are different from your competitors or why your product is particularly innovative.
If it can pass the ‘teen test’ ie If an intelligent teenager can understand your value proposition, then you are on the right track.
Why the value proposition should be consistent
Having established what problem your product or service solves, and clearly described it, you then need to ensure that messaging is consistent across all your contact with clients.
If your offering is described as a “compliance platform” on your website, don’t then refer to it as a “compliance solution” on your LinkedIn page and a “compliance system” on your Twitter bio, just to make it sound a bit different. Regardless of whether clients or prospects have seen all, or a fraction, of your marketing output, they need to come away with the same, clear understanding of exactly what it is your company does and the solution you are providing.
Visitors to your website, Twitter feed and LinkedIn page need to know within seconds exactly what your company does and how it can help them. Otherwise you are in danger of losing potential business that even the most buzzword-laden marketing campaign will struggle to pull back.
Top tips for developing your value proposition:
• Clarity – A good value proposition should clearly explain to prospective clients, in two to three sentences, what the company or product does, what is different about it and what it can do for them. If an intelligent teenager, with limited knowledge of your industry can understand, then you are on the right track.
• Consistency – Ensure that all content, whether online or offline, is consistent in explaining what you do. Have a content ‘owner’ who is responsible for checking that all existing and future content conveys exactly the same message.
• Avoid jargon and buzz words – You can save the technical gobbledegook for in-depth product guides. The value proposition should avoid hyperbole and language that is going to alienate the budget holder, who purely wants to know how you can help them conduct their business more efficiently.
If you would like to read more of Martina’s insight you can find it here.