Podcasts

William Mills’ Scott Mills: ‘We have to think about how technology is consumed’

  • Now the largest independent agency in finance, the William Mills Agency was founded in Atlanta 40 years ago.
  • CEO Scott Mills joins us to talk about what successful firms are doing to generate more press.
close

Email a Friend

Scott Mills has fintech PR in his blood. Along with his dad and his brother, Mills has built William Mills into the largest independent PR and marketing firm in the financial industry. The 40-year old firm is based in Atlanta and has found a niche for itself by helping companies sell technology into banks.

On this edition of the Tearsheet podcast, we talked about how this class of fintech companies is different, primarily because today’s financial technology is ending up in the hands of the end consumer. In other words, Mills has seen fintech move from business-to-business — where financial technology ended up on inside a bank — to business-to-business-to-customer and that’s created unique challenges for young firms to elevate their visibility and acquire new customers.

Subscribe: iTunes I SoundCloud

Below are highlights, edited for clarity, from the episode.

The evolving market for fintech
“When I use the term ‘fintech’, it can refer to those companies who provide technology to financial institutions, like FIS, Jack Henry, or Sunguard. Or, it can mean, like the media tends to use it, young innovative companies that want to peel business away from financial institutions with marketplace lending or small business, small dollar lending.

What I find interesting is for traditional fintech companies, they’ve been around for a long time helping financial institutions automate something or do something better, like decreasing fraud or increasing cross-sell. What’s happened is that we’re having to think through this technology because it’s now ending up in the hands of the customer. Where fintech for a lot of us was the B2B industry, it’s now more B2B2C. We have to think about how the technology is consumed.”

How marketing and PR has had to change
“Traditional fintech firms have had to go out and get talent from places like Google and Amazon. Our clients have elevated what they talk about internally and with their customers, with more of an appreciation on user design and customer experience. It’s an arms race in terms of being able to make your stuff easier to use.

Firms need to make sure they’re addressing the different audiences that will influence their success. It could be bank consultants that are often involved in technology buying decisions. It might be ensuring that a firm has enough talent coming in. Do I need to do something local so people know we have a great place to work? Is it industry analysts, like Mercator or IDC, who have influence? Should I work with state banking associations or national ones? All these things are part of the fintech company’s marketing toolbox.”

 

Defining success with PR
“It’s really up to a specific company and where they’re up to in their lifecycle. Views are easy to measure, but aren’t the most important thing. For example, I can get an article in a really nice publication that few target clients read. I can deliver on a number but not on the impact. Some clients use scorecards, but few do.

Generally, we want our clients to get famous for something. It will happen in a PR program that publishes news that shows we’re consistently making progress as a corporation.

The second area we focus on is thought leadership. Most people in fintech are successful because they sell what’s in between their ears.  We want our clients to get known for solving problems or addressing bigger issues than just the features of their product.

Lastly, you want to capture customer success stories. There’s nothing more important to a fintech than being able to demonstrate how you’ve helped a bank, credit union, or mortgage company do something really well.”

0 comments on “William Mills’ Scott Mills: ‘We have to think about how technology is consumed’”

Podcasts, The Green Finance Podcast

The Green Finance Podcast Ep. 3: Banks’ role and responsibility in the climate crisis with Chris Skinner

  • In this episode, we explore the role of banks in the climate crisis – big banks historically supported the global fossil fuel industry, but now they’re being pressured to change.
  • My guest today is Chris Skinner, a financial technology expert, global commentator, bestselling author of multiple books, and owner of the website The Finanser.
Iulia Ciutina | June 24, 2022
Where Credit's Due Podcast

Where Credit’s Due Ep.3: Looking at the future of lending as a service with Amount and Stilt

  • As banks and fintechs increasingly focus on the end customer, lending software companies are coming in to help them improve their underwriting services, giving rise to lending-as-a-service as a new market segment.
  • In this episode, we chat with Adam Hughes, who’s the CEO of Amount and Rohit Mittal, the chief executive of Stilt.
Iulia Ciutina | June 22, 2022
Podcasts

Tearsheet Podcast: Takeaways from this year’s Money 20/20 Europe

  • Taking place on June 9, Money 20/20 Europe is the largest European fintech conference of the year.
  • Tearsheet sent two reporters and this was what they had to say about the show.
Zachary Miller | June 21, 2022
Payments, Podcasts, What's Happening in Payments Podcast

What’s Happening in Payments Ep. 8: Klarna and the future of BNPL, PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’, and Mastercard’s ‘Smile to Pay’ system

  • This week, we discuss whether BNPL offers a sustainable business model for providers, and whether it’s even viable as a standalone business.
  • We also talk about PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ offering, as well as Mastercard’s ‘Smile to Pay’ system, and what it tells us about the future of privacy and security in payments.
Ismail Umar | June 17, 2022
Acquire Podcast, Modern Marketing, Podcasts

The Acquire Podcast Ep. 11: Movement as marketing and transformation with StrawberryFrog’s Scott Goodson

  • StrawberryFrog’s founder and CEO Scott Goodson joins us on the Acquire Podcast.
  • We talk about doing marketing with soul and intention, the shifting pyramid of power where the boss is no longer God, and the power of truly taking on corporate responsibility.
Rebecca Cohen | June 14, 2022
More Articles