Tech Tales

Content is a fundamental part of any marketing strategy. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. The channels you choose are entirely up to you, and will vary wildly depending on your market, but the subject matter must be engaging, value-driven, and in my view, entirely cliché-free.

Business blog pages suffer from two things: lack of originality and lack of consistency. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited an agency’s blog area only to see that they gave up after posting their first three, one of which was a meet the team feature. About the office dog. Understandable though. At times it can be hard to secure internal resource to drive strong and unique content, and it can be even harder to get buy-in from stakeholders who don’t see the value in content.

That’s why I was glad to get the okay from Kyan’s founders to run with an interview series on fintech – an industry with strong ties to the agency through the events they run and the clients they work with. My idea was simple: an interview a month, with influential leaders heading up disruptive brands or new ventures. Thankfully, there is no shortage of mavericks in fintech, and I was lucky to secure eight brilliant people to take part in this series.

This would have been very easy to run via email or a Google Form, but where’s the fun in that? I endeavoured to meet each individual in person, to record the interview, and to take their photograph. In fact, for every single encounter, these just felt like coffee chats with friends rather than a series of questions fired one after the other. Everyone was so accommodating of my time and my mission, and I got to see the many beautiful spaces in which these people spend their working hours, whether the smart and sophisticated offices of Starling Bank or the cool and cultured Camden home of Yulife.

Three or four interviews into the series, I was seeing some common threads in how great leaders drive their teams and bring bold and brave ideas to market. There was no talk of ‘the hustle’, or ‘fake it ’til you make it’. Just good, honest work by people determined to bring better security, wellbeing and flexibility to consumers who were desperately fed-up with mediocre digital products in the personal finance space.

The personal way in which I conducted the interviews built up some great ‘micro-friendships’ with those I spoke to, the knock-on effect of this being that they all happily shared the interviews with their own networks once live. The engagement from that quickly adds up, more so if they shared it again from their branded channels, which 80% of them did. This personable and engagement-focused mindset quickly paid off, with Kyan picking up inbound leads from the series. Ultimately, this is what your content should be doing for your business – not just looking and sounding great, but being able to attract new business.

I’ve pulled out some of the key messages from the interviews below, with further links to the full series. Please have a read, and if this helps in any way convince you, your business or your boss that content is important, then great. If I can help you build a strong and original content strategy, drop me a line:

Megan Caywood, CTO, Starling Bank on collaboration.
“I find that London in particular has a very collaborative ecosystem. I love that in my day-to-day job I get to meet with a lot of different companies. Silicon Valley is great for tech and venture capital which leads to lots of entrepreneurs flocking there, but London is actually more conducive for fintech.”

Michael Rolfe, CEO and Founder of Yoyo on validation.
“The best thing you can do when you start anything is to validate. Validation is about selling the idea. Have you got enough people that believe in what you’re doing? They should be saying yes to your idea and therefore look like customers, look like employees, or look like people that are going to give you money. These are the people that are going to go with you on your journey.”

Edmund Hargreaves, Deputy Editor of Moneywise – cool apps don’t reach all demographics.
“The challenge that fintech has now is to take that next step. They’ve built their cool infrastructure, they’ve built the cool apps, and they’ve got the ideas for reaching people. The next step is getting people access to the real valuable services that they need. Opening it up for everyone — not just people who can afford an iPhone, people who can already afford a house.”

Melanie Palmer, CMO at Exo – AI isn’t taking over.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a moment when we don’t need people anymore. I think human interaction is really important. We see it a lot more of taking away the bits that humans don’t really need to be doing and giving you more time to have that face-to-face contact.”

Josh Hart, CTO at Yulife – users come before technology.

“User experience design for the finance sector is what it seems to be all about at the moment. Tech execution is incredibly important, but I think there is also the feeling that the products give you. The emotional journey that you take your users on is just as important, if not more, as the technical and UX prowess.”

You can read the full set of interviews via Kyan’s site here:

Tech Tales №1: Megan Caywood, CTO at Starling Bank
Tech Tales №2: Jonathan Lister Parsons, CTO at PensionBee
Tech Tales №3: Josh Hart, Co-founder & CTO at Yulife
Tech Tales №4: Edmund Greaves, Deputy Editor at Moneywise
Tech Tales №5: Will White, COO at Loot
Tech Tales №6: Elise Nunn, COO at Plum
Tech Tales №7: Melanie Palmer, CMO at Exo
Tech Tales №8: Michael Rolph, Co-founder & CEO at Yoyo