There are countless IT service providers in the UK, many of which would like to make big inroads into the banking sector. Competition is tough, and getting engagement from those with any real influence is not easy, but with our help nui has been able to start building valuable relationships and make significant progress – a valuable first step on the way to captivating this lucrative market.
IT services provider nui has an impressive client list that includes McDonalds, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and JD Sports. They had also completed projects for Metro Bank and Cambridge & Counties Bank.
Let’s get big in banking
On these two assignments they had gained valuable experience about how best to deliver agile, affordable and compliant IT solutions to challenger financial service providers. They now wanted to build on this experience and develop a knowledge-led marketing campaign that would enable them to gain further business in the competitive and rapidly evolving UK financial services sector.
Just the job for Cohesive
Cohesive was already a trusted partner of niu, having collaborated with them on numerous marketing and PR projects over many years. They now asked us to help them package and communicate their banking related skills, services and experiences into a proposition and content-led marketing campaign that would resonate with the banking community, drive brand awareness and build a fresh sales pipeline for long term sustainable growth.
We worked with niu’s internal knowledge holders to create a powerful proposition, supported by relevant and timely assets, to achieve this goal. The objective was to demonstrate niu’s unique knowledge of the banking environment, show an understanding of the challenges facing IT leaders and to showcase niu’s innovative solutions and latest successes.
Sharing the knowledge, pushing the benefits
With this in mind we developed a three month knowledge-led marketing campaign. The content was highly focused, pointing out at every opportunity how niu’s solutions added value.
- Refining the proposition and producing two weighty thought leadership and case study articles to communicate the key points to the banking community and lay the foundations for a regular flow of future content.
- Purchasing and researching data, integrating it with CRM customer/prospect data, and segmenting it for targeted campaigns to very specific groups within the financial services sector: established challenger banks, early stage start-up banks, crowdfunding organisations and innovative mid-market financial institutions.
- Devising an editorial schedule and creating corresponding self–published blogs, advertorial pieces, high-value ‘earned’ editorial articles and social activity, to help fuel outbound communications.
Within this we:
- Engaged with our media contacts to secure opportunities. This resulted in considerable editorial coverage, including a thought leadership opinion piece in Global Banking and Finance Review, lead commentary and case study in Banking Technology’s 30th anniversary edition cover feature and a best practice article in FSTech based on a case study, all talking to different aspects of the proposition.
- Social activity included fuelling niu solutions’ twitter feed to drive the message and audience to the content and website, as well as encouraging individual sharing and managing fresh, tailored content for target LinkedIn groups (key partners, industry bodies etc.)
- Creating and distributing a stream of closely targeted, outbound email campaigns to individual audiences, to stimulate interest in our proposition and signpost our expertise via a mix of personalised, valuable content. These were personalised from an individual spokesperson at niu, the author of editorial and content, to develop a natural, informal tone focused on the interest of sharing insight, first and foremost.
- Presenting niu’s expertise in the form of case studies, editorial articles and opinionated blogs to those that would find it most relevant. The campaign encouraged a download or similar action, asking the prospect to signpost areas of interest for future communications and sales opportunities, and thereby flagging the contact as a ‘suspect’ for nurturing.
- Personalising each outbound communication with a timely and relevant news item for the prospect’s industry – such as an article in this week’s CityAM, a statement from the Bank of England Governor, an imminent FCA regulation – all made certain the communication was dynamic, pertinent and above all, noticed.
The combination of earned editorial and self-published blogs, all pointing to real experience and real validation, successfully positioned niu as a thought leader in the burgeoning challenger bank market.
Team nui has the knowledge
This proved invaluable in preparing the ground for the financial services sales team. Even during the early stages of the campaign they reported that the content threads and news stories added valuable support and credibility. The team felt much more confident when promoting the proposition and were able to talk in a more authoritative and meaningful manner during sales and networking conversations.
Prospects who are ready to listen
Although this was niu’s first foray into content marketing, the highly pertinent, highly focused nature of the outbound campaigning saw immediate success with high numbers of prospects engaging with the proposition and opting in to receive more materials and more insight. All of this activity ultimately provided an excellent foundation for smarter lead generation for both the short and long term – it created a fresh new business pipeline for the sales team to nurture, follow-up and convert.