Technology is shifting the way industries market to, acquire, and serve consumers. To understand how technology will impact the financial services industry, I turned to Jonathan Metrick, the Chief Growth Officer for Portage Ventures, a fintech focused VC. Below are his insights.
Kimberly Whitler: How does your experience provide a unique perspective on tech and the financial services industry?
Jonathan Metrick: My unique perspective comes from my experience on both the investing & operating sides of fintech (financial technology). My role as Chief Growth Officer at Portage Ventures allows me to see the breadth of the industry, by advising over a dozen fintech businesses across our global portfolio on marketing & growth. Prior to this role, I was the CMO of Policygenius, the leading insurtech marketplace in the US, where I gained deep expertise building a marketing division of +40 and helping scale the business 10x in three years. Understanding both sides allows me to assess what broader trends are occurring and how easy (or difficult) they might be to operationalize.
Whitler: What are the key ways in which tech will disrupt the financial services industry?
Metrick: Disruptions in other industries like travel (Expedia) and retail (Amazon) have trained consumers to expect faster, side by side comparisons, to help them save money. These same consumers also use financial services, which are renowned for opaque pricing, hidden fees and cumbersome products. This creates a huge opportunity for tech companies to reimagine financial services by leveraging data and lower-cost digital solutions to offer more personalization. This saves customers money and provides better value than traditional products.
Whitler: What advice do you have for marketers working within financial services?
Metrick: Marketers looking to disrupt traditional financial services firms can’t win by outspending their competition. They need to get savvy with new, more cost-effective ways of reaching their customers or finding what I call “channel arbitrage”. Channel arbitrage is when you identify a cheaper way of reaching your audience before your competition. Think paid search 10 years ago (Kayak), podcasts 5 years ago (Zip Recruiter) or SEO today (Nerd Wallet). The companies who invested in these channels early were able to cost-effectively scale vs. their incumbent competition. Tech marketers should always be on the lookout for the next channel arbitrage.
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