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MoneyLion’s Bill Davaris on partnering with NASCAR, addressing the gender pay gap

  • The MoneyLion CMO riffs on a recent marketing campaign.
  • Pave the Wage ran in honor of International Women's Day, trying to make a dent in the pay gap.
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MoneyLion’s Bill Davaris on partnering with NASCAR, addressing the gender pay gap

We’re experimenting with an interesting new series on the podcast called Marketing Talk. We’re talking to top finance and fintech marketers sitting on the front lines of their business, hustling to bring in the next cohort of customers. We want to hear from marketers — in their own words — what’s working for them, how they’re structuring their teams, and what channels are delivering.

Today in the hot seat is Bill Davaris, CMO at MoneyLion, a challenger bank that offers zero fee banking and investing, as well as credit and reward products. Bill talks about the full funnel, from awareness to acquisition and the various channels he uses to incentivize behaviors. MoneyLion is definitely the first fintech firm we’ve had on the podcast that’s inked a partnership with NASCAR. Bill describes how and why that partnership came to be. Lastly, we talk about the campaign he launched around International Women’s Day that tackles the gender pay gap.

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The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

Marketing’s mandate at MoneyLion

We are a full funnel marketing organism, from awareness to engagement to conversion. Whether it’s getting the higher level brand story about MoneyLion and reaching the appropriate customer segment through awareness, we do that well via partnerships like NASCAR.

Active engagement every single day within the product and incentivized offers and behaviors is a very big focus for us. We work every day to create a more valuable customer.

Lastly, we work to convert all this interest in our top of funnel. The art is converting it into actual customers, whether through onboarding or creating a frictionless way to enter MoneyLion. We also do a lot of paid, like our competitors. We have a team that’s data driven and analytical using all the paid performance channels available to us.

How the marketing team is structured

Common in Silicon Valley, we’ve created pods. We don’t do anything isolated. There’s always a product lead and a marketing lead partnering up together. This enables us to be very nimble around our customers’ needs.

This comes from the culture our chief product officer Tim Hong has instilled in us. We’re a product-first company, so everything is about how do we move swiftly towards creating a story, a narrative, and a behavior that promotes a feature or MoneyLion offer. To do that, we created pods.

Marketing KPIs

A lot of our KPIs are driven around usage of our products and features. Whether it’s spend or card usage or connecting direct deposit — all of the behaviors you would want for a person to have full access to MoneyLion.

One of our most important KPIs is whether a customer uses all our products. When you use all our products, you get the full value of MoneyLion. Our grand slam is when someone gets thousands of dollars of value from MoneyLion every year because they’re using our investing product and debit card.

We pride ourselves around having great customers who use us everyday.

Channel mix at MoneyLion

When we release a new product, we try our best to make sure influencers can sample our products ahead of time. They can see the power of the product and see results.

With our Financial Heartbeat product we recently launched, we wanted reporters to tie in their finances so they can see where they stand in their Health Score. Then, they’re informed about how this can impact the lives of millions of people.

We always want to be an authentic brand and have the product sell itself. So, whenever we approach marketing activities, we want to approach it in an authentic manner.

That’s why we partnered with NASCAR and chose Team Penske. Why we invested in a young driver. It’s why our drivers have invested in our company. They’re using the products and giving us feedback. It’s funny: Joey Logano gives us feedback. Ryan Blaney gives us feedback.

MoneyLion’s Pave the Wage campaign

Most of our membership is female. When we were planning for International Women’s Day, one of the big things on the wall was the gender pay gap. We had a lot of great marketing ideas — some were emotional, funny, gimmicky. Our CFO walked into the room and said, instead of spending all this money on advertising, why don’t we just try to close the pay gap a little bit? Why don’t we put our money where our mouth is?

He offered up to $3 million to close the paygap and our Pave the Wage campaign has done well. Refinery29 partnered with us and we’re getting other corporate partners to join us. We’ve had a lot of earned media and a huge increase in search, impressions, share of voice, and clickthroughs from women. We’re seeing increases of 30 percent in mentions and searches and the program is doing very well.

We love doing programs and offers that work within our walls and outside our walls as a front door and an enhancement of our existing customers. It has a brand halo effect that’s a big part of our strategy.

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