How a $2 billion fintech is helping banks adapt to a digital world
boost in lead volume in just three years
Roll-out account-based marketing (ABM) across the business
Secure strong, account-qualified leads to speed up the sales cycle and accelerate deal closure
Launch a new website to complement outbound sales and marketing efforts
546% boost in lead volume between 2016 and 2019
100% improvement in deal closures
48% increase in Account-Qualified Leads between 2016 and 2019
Cut deal times in half, from 24 to 12 months
Chief Marketing Officer, Fenergo
The 2008 financial crisis revealed a harsh truth for banks: very few were adapted to the realities of a digital economy. Seeing the need for change, Fenergo CEO, Marc Murphy mortgaged his house to launch a new kind of fintech company, one that would help established financial institutions adapt to the digital era and modernise their business - from their customer experience to the way they handle compliance.
Fast-forward to 2020, and Murphy’s Dublin start-up has gone from humble beginnings to major player. Following an $80 million dollar funding round earlier this year, Fenergo is now valued at nearly $2 billion dollars and helping the likes of UBS, HSBC, State Street, Royal Bank of Canada, BNP Paribas, Nomura and many others to transform their operations around the world.
In addition to its unique value proposition, Fenergo’s rapid growth is down to an increasingly focussed and effective marketing approach, led by CMO, Conor Coughlan, and built on the strategic use of customer data.
The turning point for Fenergo came when the company replaced Constant Contact with Marketo in 2016, which allowed it to clean up its digital channels and take control of its customer data. From that point forward, Fenergo began its transition from basic lead flows to sophisticated outreach and ultimately Account Based Marketing (ABM).
“In the early days we were recognised for our thought leadership which we often shared outside of fully developed nurturing programs. We were giving away all that great value, without bringing people on a true nurture journey” Coughlan recalls. “This was before we looked into optimising our processes and how we could be more account focused.”
That all changed with the transition to Marketo and with the help of integration specialists Digital PI initially, which worked with Fenergo to optimise the solution for the fintech’s specific needs. “We had the right technology in place, but we needed help to reconfigure and reset our approach to make ABM work for us, and Blueprint played a part in making that happen,” said Coughlan.
The shift to ABM did not happen overnight. Fenergo launched its first ABM pilot in early 2019 and quickly realized it needed better control and visibility into its data. Working together with its partners Blueprint Partners & Digital PI, they overhauled the project, incorporated analytics into Fenergo’s ABM approach, and optimised the company’s use of Marketo.
It was a steep learning curve, but with the right pieces in place, Fenergo soon gained a clearer picture of its campaigns and marketing activities. More importantly, Coughlan and his team could see whether customers were getting the information they needed and be more targeted in their outreach.
“Prior to the introduction of Marketo like many B2B brands, we shared similar content with many of our customers and prospects depending on general classifications. Marketo allowed us to personalise the experience, define clear audience segments / lists and to target customers with relevant content, which has been a game-changer for our team,” said Geraldine Flynn, ABM Manager, Fenergo.
Indeed, account-qualified leads at Fenergo jumped 48 per cent between 2016 and 2019, and lead volumes increased by an impressive 546 per cent. The transition to ABM also sped up lead conversions, cutting the average time to close a deal in half from 24 months to just 12 months.
“Our customers need to act fast, which means we need to help them make decisions quickly,” says Coughlan, “We don’t chase MQLs, which are better suited to long-lead sales processes. Instead, we focus on driving AQLs and delivering results right away, which benefits both Fenergo and the clients we work with.”
For Coughlan, one of the biggest challenges throughout Fenergo’s transformation has been to educate other stakeholders in the business about the value of ABM.
“Key to our success was securing buy-in with our senior stakeholders. We are very fortunate that Marc our CEO and Paul Kavanagh our Chief Revenue Officer were natural innovators and could see the benefits of ‘doubling down’ on account based marketing and the benefits it could bring,” said Coughlan.
With these strategic stakeholders on-board, Coughlan’s team began with a beta program, inviting three salespeople with an innovative mindset to experiment with ABM on their accounts. It took time, but once all the pieces were in place and Marketo was running at its full potential, the experiment began to deliver measurable results and the rest of Fenergo’s sales team was eager to jump on-board.
This is only the beginning. “Our aim now is to roll ABM out across our entire sales organisation, with Marketo orchestrating the entire operation,” says Geraldine Flynn, ABM Manager, Fenergo.
In October 2020, Fenergo complemented its Account Based Marketing with the launch of a new website. The site, also powered by Marketo, allows Coughlan and his marketing team to share useful information with customers and collect relevant data to drive further conversions, all in a GDPR-friendly way.
“It’s an entirely new look for us, one that’s been designed from top to bottom with our customers and prospects in mind. From the buying journey, to the user experience, every piece of the new Fenergo.com integrates seamlessly with Marketo,” says Coughlan.
Fenergo’s new website comes at a crucial time for its audiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major turning point for banks, who are now racing to adapt their services to a digital customer base and turning to Fenergo to help them navigate this change.
Looking back at his company’s evolution, Coughlan lays out how much work has gone into this journey. “We’re a SaaS company that’s global, dealing with a great deal of complexity and selling to B2B businesses in a highly regulated environment. To further complicate matters, we had to completely overhaul our database, comply with GDPR and pivot to digital all at the same time,” he says.
It took a bold vision, persistence, and a little help from the right technology, but Fenergo continues to grow at breakneck speed and roll out increasingly sophisticated marketing campaigns. “We’re busier than ever,” Coughlan says, “and at the core of it all is Marketo. That’s what has allowed us to get where we are today.”
Chief Marketing Officer, Fenergo