The law of shitty clickthroughs

A decade ago, I worked in financial derivatives sales.

We had a fairly typical setup: phones, email, a website, a CRM that we were not entirely using, a bit of PR. I left the industry at the time when social media for business took off — it came with the promise that there was a better way to reach customers.

That promise eventually gave way to the “Law of Shitty Clickthroughs”, a term coined by author and venture capitalist Andrew Chen. Although finance and fintech are lagging in their adoption, using multiple channels has become the norm. …

The move from Mad Men to Math Men should favor organizations with an affinity to data, yet they are lagging behind in their marketing practice.

From Mad Men to Math Men

Marketing is often absent in the B2B space, especially when the offering is technical, as it is in FinTech or SaaS. The role doesn’t exist, or the team called ‘marketing’ lacks strategic initiative.

It is not new. Throughout my personal experience in financial markets sales, the marketing department was typically in charge of some of the following: PR, campaigns, creating branded material or key investor documents, organizing events, sales support… These are related to marketing, but they are peripheral activities. They are missing the considerable opportunity offered by the data and tools available in the digital era.

It is natural…

Just making “a video” is no longer an option for marketers. It is particularly challenging in industries that are not visual and where expertise — not entertainment — is what customers value.

Meanwhile, on YouTube, Creators are reaching huge audiences on technical topics such as finance, economy, computer science.

The answer lies in the Format, the structure of the content. It is a crucial but often neglected question to ask before producing any branded video. Defining what formats work for you will help the creative process. It will also transform the impact of your content. Ultimately this is about ROI.

There is a new WeWork at Waterloo Station in London. As you enter the lobby and head towards the reception desk, you will walk past a DJ booth and a skate ramp. You can enjoy a free barista coffee and chill in what looks more like a lounge bar than an office reception. When I last went there on a gloomy mid-week November morning, there was no skateboarding action, but the DJ was playing house music, and there was a party atmosphere.

For the “We” company, owner of WeWork, the party stopped when its IPO plans unravelled spectacularly October 2019…

In January 2019 we launched InvestOrama: a channel about Fintech and financial education, based on 4 observations.

  • Many Creators, mainly on YouTube, find success with complex, niche, business topics ranging from science to business to law.
  • Businesses covering similar topics typically struggle to build a significant audience.
  • Successful Creators in their field develop their own style and inject their personality
  • Businesses communicate generally with “talking heads” or format inspired by business TV (interviews, panels) but not adapted to social media

This led to testing a few assumptions with potentially far-reaching impact for the marketing and communication of financial services firm.

Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash

2018 was a year of relatively slow growth for Vanguard. It was unable to repeat the feat it had achieved in 2017: when it pulled in more than $1bn of new business each day.

Still, the investment manager, who became famous for introducing the index fund to the world 4 decades ago, gathered $232 bn in total. Three times as much as the second fastest growing asset manager, Blackrock.

It’s been holding the title of fastest-growing asset managers for 7 years running. …

If you haven’t gone through a pregnancy yet, you must have heard about cravings anyway. There are a lot of amusing tales of special food envy, from exotics fruit to normally gross dishes that suddenly become a pregnant woman’s urgent need.

What it normally means for a soon-to-be-father is frequent trips to the supermarket, characterised by the randomness of their timing and their purpose.

Here is a quick guide for the supportive partner based on 9-month of research and practice.

You can’t stock it

One cunning approach for craving could be to make a list early on during the pregnancy in order to stock…

Financial firms were late adopters of Instagram. Goldman Sachs, who had been active across most other platforms, including Snapchat and Spotify, finally opened an account in September 2018.

There is a common misconception that Instagram is not a good match for the Fintech world, especially for those operating in the B2B space. This is, after all, a world that is more analytical than visual. Yet, as Instagram hit one billion monthly users, more than LinkedIn and Twitter combined, it is becoming impossible to ignore. It’s not just about reach, its ever-expanding toolkit makes it a powerful arsenal for marketers.


When I go on holidays, I try hard not to work. I say ‘try hard’ because like most people who run their own small business I find it hard to switch off completely. In my case, it means checking emails once a day and only respond if it’s urgent.

But I’m allowed to read non-work stuff. I was off last week when I saw The Wackiest Crypto Press Releases of October, I thought this should be fun and opened it. I would have deleted it in ‘work mode’.

In terms of entertainment value, it was absolutely disappointing. But the anecdotal…

George Aliferis

Fintech Marketer & Filmmaker, ex-derivatives & ETF. I write a newsletter about fintech marketing & education:

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