Lessons from the 2017 Northside Innovation Festival


Earlier this summer, I attended this year’s Northside Innovation Festival, a two-day conference where tech, news and media geeks learn about innovations in the mural-filled heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Interested in seeing who attended this New York counterpart to South x Southwest, I saw executives from Shutterstock, Instagram, Giphy, BuzzFeed, the New York Times, Huffington Post and Vox speaking on panels and leading floor discussions. Noticeably, I didn’t see our clients or many others from the finance or FinTech space.

At Cognito, we work with banks, asset managers and financial technology companies that are reshaping the way that businesses and consumers interact with their finances. But let’s face it, it’s rare to see too many of them on the eastside of the East River.

After two days onsite hearing about ways to grab the attention and money of millennials through social media, artificial intelligence and even in virtual reality, I’ve summarized some strategies that would help our clients down on Wall Street.

Three lessons:

  • Content is king – as long as your king isn’t Joffrey.
    Customers want to hear from financial companies, but the stakes are high. For today’s savvy consumers, it’s easy to recognize an infographic that’s been created simply to meet a quota. Bombarding target audiences with meaningless content can actually drive customers away.
  • Everyone is a skeptic – advertisers need to prove they aren’t #fakenews.
    We’ve all been fooled once, twice or perhaps a handful of times by something we’ve seen online. This means sponsors need to work extra hard to show that they are being transparent and honest with their audiences while providing something useful and informative. Be upfront about why your piece of content was created and prove to your audience that you (and your content) are worthwhile.
  • Life is multi-platform.
    Financial services firms need to act like media outlets, serving content wherever their audiences are across the internet. CPG and B2C brands have been the true pioneers of this over the last few years, serving content and advertising and thus helping to shape platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and even WhatsApp. Those brands are there because they know that’s where their audiences spend their time.

Source: Cognito Media

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