Sophisticated product deserves sophisticated marketing

In my prior role as Head of Data Analytics at a multi-manager hedge fund sponsor, I oversaw a multi-million dollar Alternative Data budget and evaluated more than 200 data vendors and service providers.

Throughout that time, I was a consumer of various types of data such as spending data, app data, geolocation, and clickstream data. Many times I found the vendors data product quality and delivery to be excellent. However, as my conversations with similar companies progressed, a gap became apparent. There was a divide between where these data and fintech companies need their marketing to be focused and where they are currently allocating their resources.

For all the rigor with which they treat their data and product offerings, Marketing is almost never treated in the same systematic manner.

In our industry, many vendors fall into the trap of lackluster Marketing: they lack automation, lead attribution, lead tracking, disciplined content creation, and Market Qualified Lead (MQL) scoring. You probably know how many of your prospects are in "contract negotiation" as of today, but how many MQLs did you generate in the last two months and what is the likelihood they convert?

Many companies I spoke with also lacked a methodical sales outreach to highest scoring MQLs (with no ability to target the prospects that are actually ready to talk). They had no effective marketing campaigns, such as targeted drip mail campaigns, which are crucial for nurturing and converting leads. Finally, their message on the website and marketing collateral often fell flat, focusing only on the product, instead of my workflows (That often could have been helped by the product)

They lacked this because of a misconception of marketing. They believed marketing is more art than science and too fuzzy to measure. This is not true. In fact its a numbers game.

I thought to my self: Imagine what these brilliant people could do if they optimized their marketing dollars and treated marketing with the same rigor they do their product?

Marketing is a numbers game

Let's consider a scenario where your goal is to add 100 new clients over the next year. From a marketing funnel perspective, you'll start with "N" prospects and aim for an "x%" conversion rate over a "t" sales cycle. Experience tells us that a 10% conversion rate over a 6-8 month sales cycle is a great achievement when selling high ticket products to Institutional Investors and money managers. More likely your conversion today is around 5% with a 12-month cycle (Of course, great marketing improves these numbers)

If you want to add 100 new clients in the next year with a 12 month sales cycle and a 5% conversion rate you need to solve for N in this simple equation: (N * x) / t = 100

if t=1 (one year sales cycle), x= .05 then N will be 2,000

That means you need 2,000 prospects now, and a process to continue generating new prospects if you want to continue growth beyond the 12-month cycle. Note: if you reduce the sales cycle to 6 months then you will only need 1,000 prospects to get to 100 clients in a year. You can also increase your conversation rates to get the same effect.

The real question is: do you have enough engaged prospects?

If the answer is no, consider creating content that will attract new prospects to your brand. You can use SEO-term-optimized blog posts, articles, and news releases to generate more traffic. This will increase the "N" part of the equation, we also call it the "Top of Funnel" or Attract-stage prospects. (I am simplifying here since there are different stages of prospects and someone reading one blog post does not make them an MQL)

You can also influence conversion rate (x) and the time it takes to close the deal (t) by nurturing your leads with value-added content aimed at the middle of the funnel - Engage-stage. You can use case-studies and other content that serves as "proof of value" to the prospect (we call this "Convert Stage" content) that helps reduce the sales cycle by effectively doing the proof of value work for them.

Read more about Marketing structured as a funnel.

Ready to talk to us? Reach out and let's grow together!