Updated: Apr 14, 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.
"Successful fintech marketing requires a deep understanding of the market gap you're trying to create or fill. With fintech products solving customer problems in new ways, marketers often have to build the category - ie. explain what it is - before they can do product & brand marketing - ie. explain why customers should choose your solution."
Mariette Ferreira is “part of a small group of marketers that actually studied marketing, and worked in marketing pretty much from day one”. Her experience spans different sectors including education and manufacturing, and various strategic business models like B2C, B2B and B2E.
After more than 5 years at one of the world’s leading chemical suppliers, Sun Chemical, Mariette entered the fintech industry in 2013. And the main driver for her move was her personal experience as a consumer of the UK foreign exchange and payments provider FairFX.
“I was a FairFX customer first so when the opportunity came up to join them, I had a headstart as a customer, and a motivation to help them grow.”
Right now, Mariette is a Marketing Director at probably one of the most popular and vivid brands in the sector, the London-based challenger consultancy 11:FS. There, she is responsible for leading and shaping the company’s marketing function so it can "help connect customer problems to the relevant 11:FS solutions".
Founded in 2016 by bank veterans David Brear, Jason Bates, Simon Taylor, 11:FS is one of the pioneers in modern fintech marketing and a prominent example of a brand and community-led company. Realising the power of user-generated content in today’s digital world, 11:FS focused its entire business model and brand proposition on building a branch of its own media outlets like podcasts, events and digital publications for everyone in the community, including individuals as well as big institutions, regulators and other market participants. Its FinTech Insider podcast has become the #1 business podcast for fintech innovators and influencers, listened to in more than 150 countries.
Back in 2019, 11:FS raised the bar even further by releasing the first fintech documentary film, 11:YEARS - The Rise of UK Fintech, that revealed the untold story of “how the UK created a thriving fintech ecosystem from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis”. In less than an hour, the film shines a spotlight on some of the most successful UK fintech entrepreneurs like Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky and Starling Bank’s Anne Boden.
About her experience at 11:FS, Mariette said “11:FS truly understands the value of brand and the role of marketing, which means we can focus on the customer, try things and learn, rather than having to spend time convincing the business of the importance of brand”.
To learn more about Mariette’s journey in the world of fintech, her successes and failures and why she believes understanding the exact customer needs and market gaps is one of the biggest challenges for fintech marketers, 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?
I'm part of a small group of marketers that actually studied marketing, and worked in marketing pretty much from day one. I've worked across different sectors incl. education, manufacturing and fintech, but always in marketing roles which means I've been applying - and learning! - marketing strategy for B2C, B2B and B2E throughout my career. But my move into fintech was actually driven by personal product interest - I was a FairFX customer first so when the opportunity came up to join them, I had a headstart as a customer, and a motivation to help them grow.
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?
Successful fintech marketing requires a deep understanding of the market gap you're trying to create or fill. With fintech products solving customer problems in new ways, marketers often have to build the category - ie. explain what it is - before they can do product & brand marketing - ie. explain why customers should choose your solution. This is common in all disruptive sectors but particularly in fintech - and even more so in B2B fintech - where disruption is happening daily.
Before 11:FS, you worked in the Chemicals and Education sectors. How is your previous experience helping you in your current fintech marketing role?
It's been invaluable to experience how other sectors are solving similar problems. Companies often source ideas and compare themselves only within their sector, but I've been able to think differently by taking learnings from B2B tactics in the Manufacturing industry for example, and applying it to FS.
What do you love about your role at 11:FS?
11:FS truly understands the value of brand and the role of marketing, which means we can focus on the customer, try things and learn, rather than having to spend time convincing the business of the importance of brand.
What has had the biggest impact on your career so far?
Having the opportunity to work with really smart people. People that challenged me, inspired me and sometimes even frustrated me, but I learnt so much from them. From data to design to product - it's helped me grow into a position where I can work and collaborate effectively across various disciplines. Working with smart people that make you feel like you need to raise your game, is what drives me, I seek it out. It's also one of my favourite things about working at 11:FS.
What’s your favourite fintech marketing campaign?
From a brand perspective, you can't talk about fintech marketing and not mention ANNA Money. They had the guts not to limit their creativity when building a B2B brand and touchpoints that stand out.
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement in your fintech marketing career so far? What about a failure?
During my last few years at FairFX, we acquired 4 other companies over a fairly short period of time, which meant we had to integrate 5 brands, teams and ways of working. It was challenging, it was hard work, but we did it. And I learnt a lot from the process.
As far as failures go, I've made many mistakes, but I remember once trying to run a UCG campaign that failed miserably. I was lucky that my boss allowed me to try things, even allowing me to learn from failure.
What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a career in fintech marketing?
Fintech is full of opportunity, but I'd recommend all new marketers make sure they have a strong understanding of and appreciation for the role of data, regardless of the marketing function they're pursuing. Applying and pursuing useful data and insights shouldn't be limited to performance marketers.