Those who work in finance are detail-oriented, consummate professionals. They can seem like outsiders, working a monotonous—often thankless—job, but the work that finance professionals do is critical to any business.
Engaging with finance professionals is challenging when you consider that they can fall into one of two distinct personas, based on their position:
- Mid-level professionals tend to be more introverted, yet self-confident, preferring quiet recognition versus being in the spotlight.
- Conversely, those who work at larger firms may be a bit more ambitious, placing greater value on status—think a tamer version of Wolf of Wall Street.
If your business relies on gaining buy-in from this group to thrive, your marketing team will need to take a special approach when it comes to engaging these professionals.
Who is the finance professional?
They’re analytical, logical, and natural leaders. They tend to use a formal tone in the way they speak, and dress the part—always. Don’t expect to see them stroll into the office in a pair of jeans and sneakers.
It is about quantity
Finance folks are meticulous, a good thing since they deal with critical numbers on a daily basis. Given this, they’re most likely to take a quantitative approach to tasks.
Introvert and extrovert
According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator scale, CFOs and those who work in accounting or auditing fall into the ISTJ classification: they’re Introverts, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging people who are committed to responsibilities, organized and who logically analyze every situation.
On the flip side, higher-level finance professionals like financial officers can also be extroverted and those who work in bookkeeping or accounting tend to be more Feeling than Thinking.
They want to be recognized (sort of…)
Finance professionals love to impart their knowledge, share their credentials, and be used as a source of information. However, they prefer quiet but direct recognition; they want to be the hero among their peers, not necessarily the public face of the company.
They’re busy bees
Because their work has far-reaching implications across the company, finance pros are constantly working on multiple tasks relating to different facets of the business.
“Their work is cyclical and driven by unmovable deadlines, which may impact the time and the way they interact with an advocate marketing program,” says Lisbeth Hansen, Director, Customer Advocacy at Demand Spring. Keeping your requests clear and simple is the best way to pique their interest.
Addressing their concerns
So how do you best reach this direct, serious, no-fuss group?
Eliminate the fluff
Quite simply, cut the fluff. They want the facts, so forget gratuitous content, and don’t try to be too funny. Authenticity, brevity, and tangible data are key.
“It is very hard to catch their attention,” says Elisabetta Pierallini, Director of Global Events, Customer Advocacy and Italy Marketing Manager at Tagetik. “They like to take part in third-party research if they think the content will help them in their business.”
Let them participate in a simple challenge, then get on with their day. This could include multiple choice feedback surveys or quizzes, or trivia challenges around product and industry information.
Help them show off a bit
Let them put their credentials on display without appearing arrogant. Ask them to share what they’re currently working toward, which associations they’re part of, what MBA school they attended, or if they have a CPA. Or, let them write reviews that showcase their in-depth product knowledge.
“The challenges that have resonated the most with our investment banking, legal and private equity audience have been a three-way tie between fun, surveys and educational ones…They have asked to learn more about what’s on our product roadmap, how they can use our tool to be more efficient, and what other tips and tricks we have to share,” says Stephanie White, Senior Manager of Customer Marketing at Firmex.
Reward them appropriately
Did we mention they covet credentials? Reward them with the opportunity to gain more. Maybe it’s a way to achieve additional training and education, resources like ebooks, infographics, and research, or simply a path to encourage peer recognition. They want to be recognized as experts.
Finance folks are straight-up professionals that dot every “i” and cross every “t.” But that doesn’t mean they don’t like a little bit of fun, too. Just keep it short, succinct, and provide something valuable in return. Showcase them as the experts they are. Provide a space for them to share without appearing arrogant. In return, they’ll help spread the word to other about your brand. It’s a win-win for both sides.