Updated: Jan 5
What’s it like to be a fintech marketer? In our “Career walk” 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.
Diana Georgieva has had a rather unusual career path to becoming a fintech marketer. After completing a degree in Chinese Studies, Diana embarked on her first marketing role at a Sino-American language services company in Beijing. About her passion for foreign languages and technology, and the beginning of her career journey, Diana says: “A talent and a passion for languages led me to become a linguist and a sinologist (China studies geek). My parents' struggle with adopting new technology further inspired me to join the translation and localization industry back in 2011.”
Next, she had the opportunity to broaden her localisation skills and gain key marketing communication experience across a number of different companies and industries spanning real estate, languages and travel tech.
In 2018, Diana entered the fintech industry and joined the leading Danish brokerage, Saxo Bank, as a Marketing Project Manager and localisation specialist. Initially brought in to help shape the company’s marketing localisation operations, she has also been strategically involved in various group marketing campaigns on both global and local scale. Founded more than 25 years ago, Saxo is one of the European pioneers in fintech and investment technologies.
Most recently, Diana has been instrumental in the rollout of Saxo’s latest rebranding that included a new slick logo and a cleaner and more dynamic visual identity, almost fully developed in-house.
“We just rolled out our new brand with a super slick new logo and a cleaner and more dynamic new CVI, almost fully developed in-house. I’ve been driving the effort around planning the rollout for the past four months. It has been tremendously rewarding to experience our new logo coming to life on the go-live date, on all digital assets, and across all live campaigns globally.”
Originally from Bulgaria and with living and working experience in China, a major impact on Diana’s career has had her move to Denmark.
Why trust is the biggest challenge for fintechs nowadays? And how can a global brand adapt to meet the local market needs? To learn the answers to these questions and discover more about Diana's unique career path and experience in fintech marketing, read her complete story below.
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Tell us about your career start? How did you end up doing marketing for a fintech?
It has been a journey that makes sense mostly in hindsight. In 2011, after completing a degree in Chinese Studies, I started in my first marketing-related role with a Sino-American language services company in Beijing.
Over the past decade, I have had opportunities to work in the marketing and localisation functions of several different firms and industries, spanning real estate, language services, and travel tech.
In January 2018, I joined Saxo bank’s internal marketing agency in Copenhagen. Initially, I was brought in to shape up the company’s marketing localisation operations. Over the years, I have worked on many other global and local marketing campaign activities. It has been quite a ride so far!
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?
Fintech marketing is the umbrella term for marketing activities tailored to financial technology companies. Fintech companies typically use new technology to automate and optimise the delivery of financial services to users.
Fintech marketing caters to an industry that is a challenger to the incumbents - the banks and established financial institutions, and the status quo. It is a unique and exciting space to be in; whether you are working to democratise trading or automate invoicing, or simplify expense management, or facilitate micro-lending, there is so much innovation happening in the fintech space. And this innovation needs good marketing people to explain, position and promote it well.
Fintech is also a challenging industry. The tempo is fast-paced; the environment often poses complex regulatory requirements. But most important of all, I think there is a lot of effort required to build trust. Banks and financial institutions are suffering from a lack of trust. So those of us in the challenger space need to focus even more on being transparent and building trust with our users. It is building on the fine line between being approachable and yet, still professional and trustworthy.
Before Saxo, you worked for travel tech leaders like momondo and Kayak. How is your previous tech experience helping you in your current fintech marketing role?
It has been very beneficial, especially when I first joined Saxo – at the beginning stages of a significant digital transformation. At momondo and Kayak, I’ve enjoyed working with some very talented developers on several challenging localisation projects in an agile framework. This work inspired me to get certified as a Safe Agile scrum master, and now I try to bring the agile spirit of continuous improvement to my daily marketing work.
For example, I’ve been almost religious about hosting a retrospective meeting at the end of each large project or campaign to capture the learnings and identify areas for improvement for future campaigns. We move at a swift pace, which I love, but I think it’s equally important to dedicate time for reflection and learning.
Another aspect of what I think tech companies such as Kayak and momondo do well is the relentless focus on solving user issues. Traditional financial institutions serve clients, but in fintech, and at Saxo in particular, we enable people – our users – to make better informed financial decisions and strive to do this with an ever-increasing focus on the user experience. And this is where we can learn so much from other tech companies.
Your background is in Translations and Localisation. How do you manage to adapt the global brand to meet the local market needs? What are some of the biggest challenges you face during the process?
As a truly global brand, we are present in over 20 markets, and our platforms and websites are available in over 20 locales. Serving a multilingual client base does come with its challenges. Beyond the usual suspects such as tight lead times, translation accuracy, and consistency of the brand tone of voice, we face some additional challenges due to our fintech nature.
First, we operate in a heavily regulated industry and need to ensure that we review internally all localised marketing content before publishing. All content needs to be clear and not misleading. Thankfully, I am working with a strong network of exceptional local marketers and compliance officers in our regional offices, who ensure that we are always on brand and fully compliant.
Secondly, we operate in a very niche industry, which means that the pool of qualified linguists with an excellent understanding of capital markets and financial terminology is relatively small. We, therefore, hold on tight to those of our collaborators who consistently deliver good quality. We utilise all standard industry tools such as translation memory, glossaries, and style guides. Our language service partners also conduct training for new collaborators to ensure critical concepts and platform features are understood.
Last but not least, brand localisation requires a lot of stakeholder management as well as stakeholder education. Language is at the heart of localisation. Language is also something we all use every day, so it is a common misconception speaking another language automatically qualifies one as a localisation expert. It is a delicate area to navigate internally while still maintaining focus on our ultimate goal, i.e., a fully localised experience for our users.
What has had the most significant impact on your career so far?
A great question. Moving to Denmark and learning and adapting to a new way of working, building my professional network again from scratch, and working extra hard to land opportunities definitely have had some impact. Yet, I would attribute the most significant impact to a small handful of mentors that have inspired me tremendously over the years and to the people I have the privilege to work with and learn from every day.
What’s your favourite fintech marketing campaign?
I should probably name one of the many great campaigns we’ve rolled out in Saxo through the years, but it is really hard to choose just one. From the fintech space in general, I love Klarna’s Smooth payments ads, especially the latest series with Bretman Rock. It is impressive how they have managed to make something quite as boring as post-purchase payments seem fun. Kudos!
What do you consider to be the most significant achievement in your fintech marketing career so far?
We just rolled out our new brand last week with a super slick new logo and a cleaner and more dynamic new CVI, almost fully developed in-house.
I’ve been driving the effort around planning the rollout for the past four months. It has been tremendously rewarding to experience our new logo coming to life on the go-live date, on all digital assets, and across all live campaigns globally.
What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a career in fintech marketing?
Begin. Or at least try it out. It’s a fascinating space with much potential for growth and innovation.