Finicity, a financial industry pioneer, lacked media exposure and credibility. To change this, Walker Sands created a thought leadership and media outreach program that positioned the brand at the center of important industry conversations. The hundreds of placements and thousands of social shares helped Finicity achieve its goal of ranking alongside its main competitors in search engine results.
Read the full project overview
Finicity approached Walker Sands to raise its profile as a financial data aggregation leader in front of major financial institutions. Despite an impressive track record in the industry, Finicity lacked the media exposure of other firms in its space. At program launch, the brand needed to position itself as a key player in major focus areas at the time, including the future of the open financial web, the development of global data sharing standards and the digitization of the banking industry.
To achieve Finicity’s goals, Walker Sands planned to create a robust thought leadership and media outreach program, placing the brand at the center of important industry conversations, while shining a light on Finicity’s unique contributions and perspectives.
The Walker Sands team kicked off the initiative by evaluating the competitive landscape and identifying messaging opportunities that aligned with Finicity’s philosophy and objectives. Leveraging the insights captured from this process, Walker Sands worked with Finicity to develop a thought leadership strategy that included aggressive media outreach to top-tier and trade outlets.
The thought leadership stories Walker Sands crafted for Finicity covered a wide range of topics, with a focus on empowering consumers’ financial wellbeing and helping FIs best address shifting industry expectations.
In addition to thought leadership outreach, Walker Sands took advantage of key Finicity announcements, such as a $42 million funding round led by Experian and partnerships with Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Fannie Mae, to capture media exposure. The team also built out Finicity’s newsroom and made recommendations for improving the brand’s digital assets.
As Finicity’s strategy shifted, so did Walker Sands. With a solid thought leadership platform established, Finicity’s messaging evolved to focus on digital lending. The Walker Sands team pivoted to meet the client’s new goals – pitching mortgage-centric media outlets and focusing on credit-decisioning story angles and speaker proposals/award submissions to increase Finicity’s influence in the space.
Thought leadership topics expanded to include digital disruption in credit decisioning and the results of increased consumer data and transaction history access. A new credit score product, UltraFICO, was launched in conjunction with Money20/20, an international fintech conference, and Walker Sands leveraged this development to its full potential.
Prior to the engagement, Finicity was absent from search engine results for important industry topics and keywords. But within six months, Finicity ranked alongside its main competitors, largely due to the valuable placements and mentions Walker Sands garnered in high-profile publications. In the first year alone, Walker Sands secured more than 100 placements for Finicity in targeted outlets.
By leveraging key company announcements, including the launch of a new product partnership with Experian and FICO, Walker Sands generated a steady stream of monthly placements in top-tier media outlets as well as in leading publications that speak directly to bank audiences. Walker Sands secured more than 60 placements for the new product, UltraFICO, alone, with more than a third in top-tier outlets.
At the beginning of the engagement, Finicity identified American Banker as a priority outlet for publication. The team not only secured placements for Finicity thought leaders in American Banker, but used Walker Sands’ relationship with the outlet to make Finicity a go-to resource for its reporters and editors. Today, Finicity routinely receive inbound requests for commentary from the publication.
Walker Sands achieved similar results for Finicity through agency relationships with The Wall Street Journal, PYMNTS.com and other top-tier and fintech outlets:
- Forbes: New Credit Score System Might Make It Easier to Get A Mortgage
- The Wall Street Journal: Want a Better Credit Score? Soon, Your Cellphone Bill Could Help
- CNBC: Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree: The system that determines credit scores is ‘broken’
- Mic: Paying off debt and buying a house by 30 matter way less than you think
- Associated Press: Liz Weston: Is better credit worth exposing your bank data?
- American Banker: JPMorgan Chase and Finicity ink data-sharing agreement
- PYMNTS.com: Technology Safeguarding The Age-Old Practice Of Financial Data Sharing
When Finicity’s messaging shifted a year into the engagement, Walker Sands quickly pivoted its program strategy to expand Finicity’s influence in the digital lending space. Thanks to this success, the partnership grew into a multi-year program with incredible media results:
- 550 total media placements
- 276 top-tier media placements including WSJ, Forbes, Fortune, PYMNTS.com, American Banker and more
- 85%+ YoY media placement growth two years in a row
As Finicity continues to impact the financial industry and improve millions of consumers’ financial lives, Walker Sands remains a trusted partner, evangelizing Finicity’s messages of empowering the consumer and improving the future of credit decisioning.