Getting noticed without a budget.

How FinTech startups can win customer trust with a dual language marketing campaign

February 15, 2022 Jim James
Getting noticed without a budget.
How FinTech startups can win customer trust with a dual language marketing campaign
Show Notes Transcript

We know how hard it is for service-based businesses to attain real scalability; exponentially increasing revenues without incurring significant costs. In this episode, Alejandra Slatapolsky, Strategic Partner at Scale Alto, shares with us how they could help entrepreneurs #getnoticed and boost our business' scalability using bi-lingual PR, through branding and communications perspective, and by identifying your own niche.

Alejandra also shares one of Fintechs' biggest challenges - building trust, their X Alto program as a way to approach of creating a business strategy, why she tells dual-language companies to 'never just translate', and how to convert leads to loyalty, and her own dose of her marketing strategies to #getnoticed.

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Jim James:

Welcome to this wonderful episode to Alejandra Slatapolsky joining us from Miami. Alejandra, I hope I have pronounced your name, or names, properly.

Alejandra:

You did. You did. I know it's, it's, it's a multiple.

Jim James:

Well, and I'm British and we're not famous for our language skills, but, what we are famous for on this podcast, The UnNoticed Entrepreneur podcast, is introducing really smart people who can help entrepreneurs to get noticed. So all the way from Miami, originally from Argentina, can you tell us how do you, and Scale Alto, help people to get noticed?

Alejandra:

Basically, we start by our blueprint, which we call the X Alto program, in which we define your three main verticals to scale. And for us, the main one where you should always start at is of course your business strategy. And I know that sometimes it's hard to get to that when you're in the, you know, in the meets launching a company and sometimes you leave it behind or you say, I'll get to the business plan later. But we have an approach that is not about sitting down and making like a 50 page business plan. We focus on, what is your core value proposition? So we like to say, we, we just look at your ourselves inside first. So what are you bringing to the world, really? What is your purpose here? How do you want to impact, et cetera? Of course, we're big fans of the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek, which I'm sure a lot of people have mentioned it. We do a couple of exercises that just get you to that point of really describing where you're coming from and why you want to make any pattern in this world. And then we actually go the other side and go outside and say, okay, how does these feed the current situation in the world? What are your growth options? What is the space in the market there you're going to occupy. And all that is, no marketing talk, no lead-generation talk, no 'What can I sell?', nothing, you know, 'What is my business doing in these market?' And 'What market is that going to be?' And after that, we actually do get to work with, okay, what is your marketing communications strategy? And I have a journalistic background, I used to be a journalist way back then, and went into PR, and ended up in marketing and communications. But for me, everything you say, everything you do builds your brand and builds you, right? And now, with of course, everything is digital. So, there is online, that's who you are, right? So, we work on really seeing how you are going to take ownership of that space that you decided you want to take ownership of, and what you are going to contribute to the world. Like for example, you are in PR, you decided to contribute help to the entrepreneurs out there, right? And that's your niche and that's your message. And you, you know what you're going to talk about, right? So that's what we, when we say we work on content pillars, when we say, what are you going to talk about? What is it that, you know, if you were going from party to party, networking to networking events, what would you repeat every day? And what would you try to teach everybody? So those are the content pillars and your brand story, and we work on all that. And then we say, okay, who are your stakeholders? Who's involved in your organization? Who do you want to influence? And then try to do a lead generation process for each of them, which is different one from each other. Like every target is not in the same space, they're not in the same room, they're not in the same platforms, they don't have the same interests. So, try to personalize that. And the third component that we work with is the customer journey. I am a huge, huge believer in that client experience is making a break in a company right now. No matter what type of company you are, your client has superb experiences from the biggest companies in the world Amazon, Facebook, Google. Everything is seamless, right? So whatever you do, go back to how your client is experiencing your process. Take a look and improve all the time. So that's the work that we do with working on your client experience.

Jim James:

Well, so it is pretty complete. So really like, like me, you feel that PR and reputation of a brand really is the entire package, isn't it? It's not just press relations or social media.

Alejandra:

No, not at all. And then we have what we call the Marketing Engine, which sort of works as a traditional marketing communications platform for clients and that's when we do the awareness, the getting noticed, the everything that you need to do day to day, every single day, to work on your marketing process. And just before we hit record, you were saying, how do we scale that process? And that with my years as an agency, as a marketer, I had too many times people coming to me saying, 'Hey, I need a website.' or, 'Hey, I need leads.' 'I need-', you know, it's one single thing that they're looking for, that they think that is the solution that I have always have had to go back and say, 'Okay, but what's your strategy? Where are you trying to get?' I want to make sure that the tool that you're asking for is the right answer. There's many times it ended up not being the right answer. With, you know, with customer journeys, that's the beauty of them. When you really analyze lead to loyalty, you know, everything that happens in between, right. There is, most of the time, and I talk to CEOs and entrepreneurs all the time and tell them, 'Look, it's not a problem of lead generation. I'm sure you can find a cheaper lead down your funnel, down your journey. I'm sure there are cheaper leads in the middle that you're missing because you lose in the conversion process.'

Jim James:

Right.

Alejandra:

So that's what happens without you, know, with, if you really work on constantly and rethink the way you're using your strategies and not just do them because you see everybody doing it.

Jim James:

Alejandra, you talk about customer journeys and often people.associate.that.particularly with the, for example, the financial services and FinTech. I know that's an area you're particularly skilled in. Do you want share with us? Are there some specific aspects of.marketing.and B2B and FinTech, or as a FinTech startup that you think people should about?

Alejandra:

Well in FinTech, what_we_have going for them that financial services did not have is, the technology aspect. What most of Fintechs I ran into, the main challenge they have is trust-building. I think that money is the, the latest frontier on converting clients because of the trust issue. You have no problem buying soap or a dress or whatever online. But buying Financial services in, I don't know, transferring money into a fund that you don't know about, or, you know, buying bonds that, sort of, like still an issue that people are having trouble with, especially high net worth or ultra high net worth individuals, because they're used to very personalized approach to their service. So, fintechs that I've run into that's the main issue they have, they think that they can put the product out there and just like opening a Facebook account, people will use it.

Jim James:

Okay, so how do they overcome that? How do they overcome this trust issue? Because that is central to actually.all.brand.isn't.it? But if it's commodity product, the risk is relatively.low.isn't.for.the consumer, especially with the buy.and return. How do you help them, Alejandra, with the idea of overcoming loyalty.

Alejandra:

Well, we, we have to work a lot on thought leadership. We have to work a lot on exposure, and on a lot of augmentation, and on hyper segmenting your targets. So basically I say, 'Okay, we have, Right. I have a client that has this product that is for Latin Americans, which is great. So latin Americans, we have millions and millions of people that's, you know, segment a little more segments a little more. You have to really communicate with them in a way that the message is just right for them, and it's talking to their pain, the very specific pain. So once you find them, then you start nurturing them and talking to them and providing solutions and ideas to promise that you, you know they have. So just become super, super knowledgeable person about your client. That's all I can tell you, because if not, it's, when you used to go to a bank branch and open a bank account, well, you would still do, is pretty straightforward. You have so many in front of you and you know what they're doing. They're showing you what they're doing. In technology's sort of everything is in the background. So you have to open up as much as possible. And that's what financial services companies, you know, historically have been very bad at with compliance and all that. And it's like, 'Oh no, no, I can't, I can't show that much.' or 'I can't tell them I'm going to do these for them because then compliance is going to stop me from saying it' and dah, dah, dah. So it's still about being open, simple, and really, connecting constantly and saying, 'I know you have this pain, let me solve it for you.'

Jim James:

Now you talk about customer journeys, can you just give us an idea then, Alejandra, of, you know, you went.from.lead.to.loyalty. What are some of the practical steps.that an entrepreneur.can take when it comes to mapping out that journey? 'Cause often something that entrepreneurs don't even think about, really? They think about, 'I made it.' People might.come.and.buy cause.I.like it. So tell us, how do you, how do you, how do you map their doubt?

Alejandra:

Well, the bigger is, the bigger your organization, the harder it is going to be, for sure. But remember there is a lot of talking retail about that, the Mr. Shopper, right? So, you had to do that exercise and put yourself, you know, if you can do a mystery shopper, do it. Go ahead because that's really gonna work for you. But if you can, not, because it's harder for new finishes. It's just really hard to do that. But I miss the times when we would get together in a meeting room, grab post its, post-its and just start, you know, saying, 'Okay, I have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. That's where my data are coming from. And then they're going to my website or I have where the mouth, where are they landing? You know what team is getting that? Whose face are they seeing? Right. And then you put that, 'Okay. What happens once they see that face. Who do they talk to?' So think of it in terms of touch points and make that path describing each touch point, who they see, what email they get, what webpage they see, right. Sometimes it's very simple, sometimes it's very complex. So really depends on your organization. If you can not do it with.your team, then split it up between awareness, conversion, and service. I'm trying to simplify. Yes. So if we say awareness, okay. What happens right before a client comes into your website or comes in touch with you? It comes in touch to. Then conversion. What happens between the first time that they hear from you until the time that they actually buy from you? And there are many things that happened in between, and having mind that it requires a lot of touch points for them to buy from me. That's one thing that people do not understand.

Jim James:

Yeah. Alejandra, can you recommend software or, I mean, you've mentioned post-it notes, but where people are distributed, so can you recommend a customer journey? Or do.you.use.something like lucid chart to map it out. Or are there.some good customer journey apps that you recommend?

Alejandra:

There are many, there are many, you know, if you say customer journey builder, you'll find a hundred. There is one exact that I like. I do like one collaboration tool called Miro M-I-R-O. And that one helps you manage meetings and collaborate like live, and you can build it together.

Jim James:

That sounds nice. That sounds nice Miro. Yeah. Alejandra, then just talking then about collaboration. Let's just also think about you've got your own and your own, consultancy service. I want to ask a quick question about,you're.obviously bilingual, what differences do you notice in customer journeys between having to do the marketings in English.and Spanish here in Miami? So you, you must have to run dual language programs. Can.you.just.give.us quick, I don't know, quick, but an answer on how.do you help companies, or what.should companies look for if they're doing dual language?

Alejandra:

Never just translate. Never.

Jim James:

So.never translate. Localise.

Alejandra:

Yeah. At least a filter. You know, your product may be the same, but there is always a switch, a conversion and adaptation to be made whenever you enter a new culture and be conscious about it. I actually have that issue that we are helping a lot of Latin American companies enter the US and scale in the US. And, most of them, the main issue they have is that they don't understand the magnitude of the US market, right. Actually, we are helping European companies into the US, too. And that happened, too. It's like, okay. They, they lose sight of the amount of money that there is in market, which is really good, but also the amount of offer and competition that you have. And that's when everything about finding a niche becomes more and more important. For me it's all about finding your niche. And the other day, I was talking to somebody and they're like, 'Yeah, I know what my thoughts about finding niche, whatever.' I have found it.' I'm like, what do I do when I find it? Like, it's not enough. When you find your niche, make it smaller. That's always my answer.

Jim James:

And then if you're doing dual language, you've got to maybe.I.guess, each one is a unique, right? Each one has his own niche. Now, Alejandra, for you, what about how you're marketing as entrepreneur, your own business scale outs, or just tell us about how you're going about building your own businesses as an entrepreneur.

Alejandra:

Well, I'm taking my own medicine. And I'm doing content, I have my own podcast, we create content online, we are writing some blog posts, and, we try to add value as much as we can. Also, for entrepreneurs, for me was key for many years, I only work through word of mouth and I just, you know, it was good. I didn't need that much more. and I knew that with my niche, it was an easy conversion, honestly.

Jim James:

This is in the, in the, FinTech, in the financial services.

Alejandra:

In the work management.and FinTech scene, you know, you put me in front of a CEO in that area, in the US or you let them, they see me, they're like, 'Oh, you understand my business. I'm good to So the conversion was really high whenever I got in front of them. However, when you grow and this is what's been happening. I had to figure out a way to make it bigger,

Jim James:

To scale, right? Does scale beyond your own brand personal.connections.

Alejandra:

Exactly. But I hate, honestly, networking events. I don't have time to write, and I decided to sit down and say, 'Okay, what do I like doing?' And I said, 'I love the one-on-ones we're doing right now. So I, at first I started saying, 'Let's do a strategy session' and I will do strategy sessions with entrepreneurs and with people in the industry and converted, it was good. Not scalable. That's what I said. Okay. Then me, let me record the strategy sessions. And that's how my podcast got started. And, a lot of entrepreneurs think that, you know, the podcast is just, it has to be, it has to have an ROI directly. It has to have, you know, millions of downloads or whatever. But what I always say, the podcast is just one component that helps you create all of these material for you to be out there. So that's what we call our marketing engine, too. We do digital events that help us that feed into our in dual need for content. And then as an entrepreneur, you don't need to spend that much time. You just, do your podcast, and then we extract, you know, you put your team to extract the content and reuse it. Which is you were saying, this is similar to what, what you do, but it's pretty simple if you have the team behind it. It's just made sure you, do you have the team, create the content the way you like it, for example, my, my partner, she, she doesn't like that man to be in a camera, but she's a genius at doodling. Like conversation, and in our conversation and then at 45 minutes, she'll, you know, she'll show you her iPad. It's like, 'Oh my God, that's the summary. That's where we need to go. That's it.' So we started recording her doodling, you know, explaining concept while she writes. So my point was find what you like doing, where you feel comfortable and expose it. Don't try to do whatever the other one is doing because know, that's what you do. Find where you're comfortable, what you can do and, and do that. If you like writing, write. If you like speaking, speak. If ever that makes you feel more comfortable.

Jim James:

Alejandra, that's.great.great. Advice and plainly very comfortable on the mic. Thank you so much for joining me on The UnNoticed Entrepreneur today, all the way from Miami. Alejandra Slatapolsky joining me from Scale Alto. Thank you so much for joining me today and we'll put all your contact details in the show notes.

Alejandra:

Bye, thank you.

Jim James:

Okay. And then we just.do.sure. I Hasta luego.

Alejandra:

Hasta luego.

Jim James:

Hasta luego. Okay. Goodbye.Thank.you.so much for joining this show.