'A Mix Of Art And Science': CMOs Talk Risk-Taking, Creativity At Benzinga Fintech Awards

Marketing leaders from the micro-investing app Stash, online brokerage TradeStation, leveraged ETF issuer Direxion and the nation’s largest mortgage lender Quicken Loans shared their philosophies on how to present their companies to the public in a Tuesday panel at the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards.

An ETF Education

Direxion sells to financial professionals, and the ETF issuer is focused on educating potential clients before they invest in the company’s nontraditional funds, Chief Marketing Officer Andy O’Rourke told the marketing panel’s moderator, Benzinga's Spencer White.

The ETF issuer has used approaches such as a game-based marketing campaign created by a fintech provider, O'Rourke said.

“A lot of times what we need to do is ensure that people using our products — we really want them to understand how the products work before they use them.”

Selling Mortgages With Golfers, GIFs And Superheroes

Quicken Loans’ 245-person marketing team is producing “contextually relevant” campaigns with “Avengers: Infinity War,” PGA golfer Rickie Fowler and GIFs that have generated more than 300 million views, said CMO Casey Hurbis.

Hurbis described the decision to market with a Marvel film as “a leap of faith,” as it also represents a loss of control over the final product.

“When I see work that comes in that’s too safe, I’ll push back, because I want work to make me uncomfortable,” he said.

TradeStation’s ‘Mix Of Art And Science’

TradeStation launched a rebranding and lower price model with a pop-up barbershop earlier this year in New York’s Oculus building where visitors could receive free haircuts and shaves — and dye their hair blue.

Without the giant marketing budgets of firms like Charles Schwab SCHW, TradeStation takes a different approach, said Jodi Fronczke, vice president of marketing at the online brokerage.

The company dropped its advertising on CNBC this year — “where every broker runs” — and struck a partnership with the startup financial news network Cheddar instead.

It’s important to avoid basing a marketing strategy entirely on data, Fronczke said.

“Marketing is still a mix of art and science, and I think we need to make sure we’re still taking some risks.”

Stash Earns Mindshare With Gameplay

Investing platform Stash created a campaign around a launch of investments in gaming stocks with a game that drew 75,000 players, generated 10,000 hours of play and 200,000 Reddit messages, said CMO Dale Sperling. The marketing impact was made without any spend, she said.

“Creativity has to come top-down,” Sperling said. “Management has to buy into it, invest in it and show they can be creative too.”  

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Photo: Benzinga Creative Catalyst Spencer White, left; Stash CMO Dale Sperling; TradeStation Marketing VP Jodi Fronczke; Direxion CMO Andy O'Rourke; and Quicken Loans CMO Casey Hurbis at the Benzinga Fintech Awards in New York City on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Photo by Mandar Parab.

Posted In: Andy O’RourkeCasey HurbisdirexionQuicken LoansStashTradeStationFintechNewsEventsTop Stories
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