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Don’t tell me you haven’t seen them? Opinion pieces about how ‘b2b marketing today is so 1920s’.

While it may be true, this narrative doesn’t explain how B2B companies still thrive despite these ‘shortcomings’.

For context, nCino is a bank operating system provider founded in 2012 and went public in July 2020. Its revenue hit $138.2m in the 2020 fiscal year, growing at a 54.2% compound annual growth rate from 2018, according to its SEC filings.

Traffic Sources and Bread Crumbs

In this section, we’ll use estimates of the company’s website traffic sources to lead us back to the things driving nCino (their business model, partners, strengths and gaps.)

Data from similarweb.com

36.03% of nCino’s traffic is direct. Direct traffic can appear to come out of thin air but is often the fruit of online & offline marketing, content, sales campaigns, etc. People type in the URL after repeated brand exposure from these activities.

Also, see the 45.40% organic traffic share in the screenshot? Like grandma Abhaya’s palm reading, take it with a grain of salt. 

A lot of organic traffic often comes from non-SEO activities that trigger searches for the brand organically, marketers just can’t put a finger on the actual number.

This might be true for nCino since 9 of the company’s top organic keywords are brand terms. If the traffic was purely driven by SEO efforts, they’d mostly be problem-focused keywords like ‘best banking software’, what’s cloud banking’, etc.

Data from Ubersuggest

Referrals

A majority of nCino’s referral traffic comes from ncinocommunity-force, a hub for training, documentation, and collaboration on the Salesforce platform. 

This training component in nCino’s business model is vital for creating a flywheel that powers market adoption.

The company has built this through a strong community of partners and customers, at the heart of which is nCino University; a combination of expert-led, onsite and online learning programs and certifications. 

My theory is that this model makes it easier to build a tribe around the product and more likely for clients to give referrals because of the relationships formed.

The company’s community and support have rave reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange.

What do you think these users will recommend if they move jobs?.

Sidenote: Acquisition led growth, in 2019, nCino acquired two companies, one of which—Visible Equity, a financial analytics and compliance software company— brings in the second-highest referral traffic as the referrals screenshot.

LinkedIn and Webinars

nCino’s top social channel is LinkedIn (24,294 followers), let’s zoom in to see what they’re doing.

While Covid has got many b2b companies making LinkedIn rain webinar links, nCino puts an interesting spin on them through collaborations with experts and influencers(more ahead on how nCino users consultancy partnerships as a growth lever).

In their last three online events, nCino leverages influencers to go beyond the typical 1-hour banking software talk and instead tackles sexier tangential topics that still fall within their ideal customer profile’s (ICP) interests.

For instance, nCino invited Daymond John to talk about brand, knowing that decision-makers think about this every day (…and let’s face it, bankers love Shark Tank too).

The LinkedIn posts come in a variety of nCino centric content: from reports, articles, case studies, to webinars.

And with 1,000 plus employees to amplify those posts, they’re getting engagement. 

On the other hand, despite the availability of educative content from its webinars, nCino does not repurpose them for social.

This might be a missed opportunity to be educative and entertaining consistently.

I know we don’t use ‘entertaining’ and ‘bank software providers’ together that often, but nCino is already leveraging influencer content, repurposing could be the next step.

I usually make these types of articles long (3k words plus) but here’s an experiment:

I want to crowdsource suggestions for the areas you’d like a deep dive on.

Drop your suggestions in the comments or on LinkedIn. Also, point at the sections that bore you to (near) death.

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2 thoughts on “A Quick Peek Inside nCino’s $138m Banking Software Marketing Machine

    1. This comment almost skipped me@Dharmesh,snooping on UK property developers sounds interesting, putting it on my hitlist.

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