"Career walk" interview with Brad Michelson of eToro
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
What’s it like to be a fintech marketer? In our “Fintech Career Walks” series, we’re revealing the career stories of some of the most inspiring and successful marketers in the sector. Subscribe to the Fintech Marketing Monthly Digest here so you don’t miss any of our future stories.
The great thing about fintech in general is that the industry was made for making financial products easier to use for everyone. So much so that the fintech industry has become oversaturated companies pushing the same message and value propositions. The biggest struggle now is to stand out and give consumers a reason to pay attention to what your brand has to say.
Brad Michelson started his career journey on the other side of the fence, at a digital agency. But he’s always had an interest in bitcoin and personal finance, and he was “lucky enough” to quickly transition into his first fintech marketing role at the US-based P2P crypto trading platform, AirSwap.
“Like many young marketers, you work at an agency for a few years, master your best practices, and move on. I was lucky enough to transition pretty quickly into my first fintech company and have been working in this sector ever since.”
In 2019, Brad joined one of the most successful social trading platforms, eToro as a Senior Marketing Manager and he was responsible for navigating the company’s overall US marketing function. Earlier this year, he was promoted as a Head of US Digital Assets Marketing.
Since its foundation in 2007, the Israeli company has become the global leader in social trading. In 2018, eToro entered the US market and has quickly gained traction. According to the company’s latest reporting, it added over 5 million new registered users and generated gross revenues of $605 million in 2020, representing 147% year-over-year growth. Only in January this year, the company attracted more than 1.2 million new registered users and executed more than 75 million trades on its platform. In comparison, the average monthly registrations in 2019 were 192,000 and 440,000 in 2020.
About his current role at eToro, Brad said “The thing I love the most about working at eToro is the company's interest in trying new things. We have a lot of room to test new channels and strategies for bringing in new customers. This makes the job very rewarding.”
Earlier this year, Brad was recognised as one of the top 30 most influential fintech marketers on our annual list. He is a regular event speaker and commentator on all things crypto marketing, and he publishes a weekly fintech and crypto marketing newsletter called the Market Mix.
To learn more about Brad’s career journey and his view about the role of fintech marketing, read his complete story below.
Tell us about your career start? How did you end up doing marketing for a fintech?
The truth is that I kind of fell into it. I started my marketing career at a digital agency that specializes in e-commerce marketing, but at the same time, learning about bitcoin and personal finance was always a hobby of mine on the side. Like many young marketers, you work at an agency for a few years, master your best practices, and move on. I was lucky enough to transition pretty quickly into my first fintech company and have been working in this sector ever since.
What’s unique about marketing a fintech? Can you define the term “fintech marketing” in a few words? What’s the biggest challenge for fintech marketers nowadays?
One of the best things about the fintech category is that it covers so many different things: payments, trading, savings, earning, etc. It's also one of the fastest-growing categories for marketers to work in. Traditional financial marketing was boring, bland, and made for very specific demographics. The great thing about fintech, in general, is that the industry was made for making financial products easier to use for everyone. So much so that the fintech industry has become oversaturated companies pushing the same message and value propositions. The biggest struggle now is to stand out and give consumers a reason to pay attention to what your brand has to say.
What has had the biggest impact on your career as a fintech marketer so far?
Bitcoin's push into the mainstream has had the biggest impact on my career as a fintech marketer so far. I've been working in the crypto industry for about four years now and the level of awareness among consumers has skyrocketed. All of a sudden we've gone from working in an industry that was a niche to something that everyone has at least thought about participating in.
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement in your career so far?
The thing I'm the proudest of in my career so far is my track record for helping to launch and scale-out brands into the mainstream of their consumer categories. One of the most rewarding things you can do as a marketer is take something no one has ever heard of and make it something you see people talk about every day.
What do you love about your current job at eToro?
The thing I love the most about working at eToro is the company's interest in trying new things. We have a lot of room to test new channels and strategies for bringing in new customers. This makes the job very rewarding.
What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a career in fintech marketing?
One thing I always tell marketers looking to break into fintech is to not be discouraged by not having prior experience in the industry. Marketing best practices are the same regardless of the vertical. Good marketers know how to take those best practices and apply them appropriately. Learn how to demonstrate what you've done in the past and how you can apply that to the company you're looking to join.