"Career walk" interview with Michael Jaiyeola of Erlang: Fintech Marketing post 2008

Updated: Oct 11

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.

Career walk interview with Michael Jaiyeola of Erlang Solutions

I just feel that fintech is in such a great position at the moment but one with significant responsibility to get things right. So much that might have taken another 3 to 5 years to happen has been accelerated in 2020 and fintech is at the heart of it. There are going to be many more innovative digital tools and platforms being launched to address pain points in the new normal of financial services - it couldn't be a better time to be talking about and marketing these products.

Michael Jaiyeola might appear quite young on his LinkedIn profile pic, but he’s been around the marketing sector for over 15 years now. He’s made his first steps in the financial industry while he was still at university in its glorious days before the 2008 crisis. After that, he moved to one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies and gained experience across various sectors and categories like high-end fashion and energy providers before he entered the tech startup space in 2018.

Since 2019, Michael has been working at the global tech provider of fintech infrastructure solutions, Erlang Solutions. He initially joined the company as a Content Manager and now he’s been promoted to a Fintech Marketing Lead.

Erlang Solutions is a specialist tech consultancy and experts in building sustainable, reliable distributed systems which can scale to billions of users in the financial services industry and beyond. Part of the global Trifork Group, Erlang has been operating for more than 20 years and is serving global fintech leaders like Mastercard, Visa and Klarna.

About his experience at Erlang, Michael says “Working for Erlang Solutions has been great because we retain much of the startup ethos which I find very inspiring but are part of a much bigger group called Trifork which brings together a lot more diverse talents and technologies that we are able to leverage on bigger projects.”

What’s different between modern fintech marketing and financial marketing pre-2008, what 2021 has in store for marketers in the sector, and what Michael believes to be his biggest career successes and failures so far?

Find the answers to these questions and more in Michael’s complete story below.

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Tell us about your career start? How did you end up doing marketing for a fintech?

I have come full circle from working at the Lombard Group (part of NatWest) in Direct Marketing during the placement year of my degree to time spent working on big brand campaigns at media owners in the entertainment industry and then in tech startups to where I am now working at Erlang Solutions where we work on the deep tech which power many leading fintechs and big banks systems.

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?

Well as a software solutions provider whose goal is to enable our fintech clients to concentrate on what they do best, delivering value to their end-users, we are one step removed from the consumer side of marketing financial services. From a B2B perspective, I have found that fintech marketing is quite special in that there are just so many exciting products and solutions that you can bring to clients to solve important problems. Therefore, the scope and variety are immense. I define fintech marketing as creatively ensuring that your target market is aware of and understands just how your wonderful app or technology will measurably improve their business and/or their customer's lives. The biggest challenge has got to be standing out in the crowd - the growth of the sector over the last few years means you can't stand still with what you're doing in the industry from a marketing perspective or a nimbler more agile competitor will eat your lunch.

Prior to your current role at Erlang Solutions, you worked in legal tech. How is your legal tech experience helping you in your current fintech marketing role?

It helps tremendously, law tech is similar in that you have to be very on point in all your marketing activities or you risk losing trust or running foul of the authorities at some point. Obviously, when your dealing with lawyers and legal issues the day to day scrutiny is even greater so it gave me a great foundation for working with the financial services sector again. Ant the whole thing of challenging perceptions of what was traditionally quite an unglamorous industry has so many parallels between the two.