Posted by Cognito on Tue, Apr 19 2016

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The Real Outtake from LendIt USA 2016

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Finance is different.

Finance is a business generator. Finance is a lifestyle creator. Finance is a must have, need to have and a want to have. The financial difference is the difference that matters in life, business, governance, society.

Returning from LendIt — the conference for online lenders — I’m reminded of the real rule of financial marketing. Make finance different. What does this mean practically speaking?


Don’t overly focus on trust. 

Finance is not built on the bedrock of trust in the way you may think.

Look no further than anonymous peers in marketplaces originating billions in loans. Or, go back further and reexamine the introduction of mobile banking in 2007; thanks in no small part to the launch of a smart phone designed in California. Neither was built on trust per se. Rather, each made a difference in how we might get a loan and lend money, and access and use our money.

Read this way, trust in finance was neither entirely lost nor to be found post the crisis. Trust that finance can differ from the expected experience was lost and is still only beginning to be found.

For example, in 3 short years, online lending platform Avant passed $3 billion in affordable, accessible personal loans for middle class consumers. Talk about a different experience to place your trust in.


Financial confidence is not of utmost importance.

Let alone as important as you’d maybe first feel.

Robots take in $50 billion of assets under management. Do we suddenly have more confidence in robots? No, it's the difference robo-advice makes.

Confidence in finance is really neither here nor there. Confidence in the difference made is really everything.

It’s what has allowed RealtyMogul to fund over $190MM, totaling more than $700MM in aggregate property value, allowing accredited investors to pool money only for real estate investment opportunities.


Finance is relevant when it is relevant.

Because finance is generally relevant always, being relevant isn’t always the relevant bit. 

Square didn’t bring us one more dongle for merchant payments at LendIt. Sure, that would have been relevant, and was relevant when it was relevant. 

No, now Square brings us Square Capital — a lending network for small businesses, where loans are directly paid through a portion of sales.

A relevant difference at the relevant time.


What is the key outtake from LendIt US 2016?


Difference is the telling, tell all word in finance and its relation with its publics. 

There needs to be in your financial marketing (and there inherently is) something different about having you in finance. Making finance different is what to do.

Trust, confidence, relevance matter only to the extent they differ from what you'd expect. I am confident and trust my very relevant paycheck will direct deposit in my account. But who cares when my bank doesn't rebalance the account to ensure 'my money' is allocated to best serve me? Thankfully Atom Bank is working on it. And many others of you as well. 

Be the difference you actually make and bring your difference in finance to life.

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