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Market like a fintech: Marketing innovation in crypto with Marija Riba

Hosted by Araminta Robertson, 'Market like a fintech' is the new podcast for fintech marketing professionals and enthusiasts who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry, and level up their marketing knowledge. Subscribe here to never miss an episode.

Market Like a Fintech with Marija Riba

Crypto can be a tricky market to build a product in.

It’s still quite a niche, which means a big part of your marketing is helping it go mainstream. It’s also not so obvious just yet what the pain points crypto solves for many consumers.

And yet Wirex, a crypto company that allows customers to buy and exchange crypto on its app, is doing a good job of standing out and leading the market, by branding itself as an innovator and by having a clear target audience. They’ve been around since 2014, and keep releasing interesting features in the DeFi and crypto space.

In this episode, Araminta is chatting with their product manager, Marija Riba, who also used to work as their marketing project manager. They talk about the difference between being a product manager and a marketer, what pain points Wirex is focusing on, Wirex’s recent Crypto Female Power list campaign and what they look for in people when it comes to hiring.

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Listen to Marija's complete interview below.


Key takeaways:

Why Marija moved from marketing to product management - [Initially] I became really close with the teams that are able to define the product, which would be the engineering team, as well as working with our developers in order to have a more in-depth understanding of the product. Initially, it was to understand how to make the product better, however, the more I delve into that world, and had a better kind of understanding of all the different disciplines at play, like how to build a product, I became really interested in product management. I was lucky that my company enabled me to make that transition.

Marketing has helped me to become a better product manager by helping me become very focused on the consumers. This is because when you're marketing to someone, you need to specifically know what it's they're seeking. Nevertheless, you cannot market one without the other, meaning you can't market as much as you want to try, or you can't market a poor product. Nevertheless, if you have a great product, but don't have a good marketing strategy, your desired consumers might not come across your product.

Wirex's customer acquisition strategy - Through our product we aim to seek a bridge between the gap, by offering both the crypto enthusiasts something that's familiar to them, in a nice and more user-friendly way. But also leverage the benefits of blockchain and the benefits of crypto for a mainstream audience, which includes a lot of educational content. Over the past couple of years, we have witnessed a massive boom within the crypto space. Which I think has gone extremely well for us because we have a specific product that straddles the line between crypto and fintech, as well as offering a bit of everything to everyone. In terms of our target audience, which is everyone, we are trying to be as diverse and open as we possibly can be.

The main marketing channel we use to reach our target audience is social media. This is because social media helps us attract [our target] audience, but we also have retention through CMR, which is through email within our community channels.

However, there is an important key factor to every company, which is all about building the brand. The way you build a brand is by essentially making your product associate with specific things. For us, we've built up this reputation for innovation. We have launched the world's first crypto-enabled card, the world's first crypto rewards program, and we are also continuing to build on that by creating new products. For example, this year we upgraded our card to MasterCard in Europe, and then we also launched a new crypto rewards program called 'Extras'. Furthermore, earlier this summer, we also launched X accounts, which is a crypto savings account, essentially offering up to 16% back in interest.

On Wirex's "Crypto Female Power List" campaign - The idea of the rising women encrypted power list, was to do with recognizing the talent, but also focusing a little bit less on the big names and promoting women who are doing something really innovative or who are working in adjacent sectors.

So, I think this year is a really good example of that because we've had advocates, for example, Lavinia Osborne, who is the founder of Wome in blockchain talks. So she's obviously evangelizing crypto and making women feel more welcome. We've had educators like Alec Unani, who is the founder of the Satoshi Centre in Botswana. She's taking a very educational approach to it. Therefore, she's exploring how blockchain can make a big difference for companies in Botswana. For example, we've also got entrepreneurs like Natalia Banarsi, who is the founder of the bancor protocol, which is very crypto-focused. She has actually built up one of the protocols and it has its own cryptocurrency, which is available on Wirex. So overall it's about widening the net a little bit.


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On the importance of product in marketing - A lot of people say that product managers are the mini CEO, which is why they're the ones that come up with a vision and roadmap for how a product needs to be implemented. On the other hand, we also have marketing, which then looks at the product, understands the product, and goes and markets in the way that appeals to the consumers that the company wants to attract. It all depends on how you've structured it and what your product is. Therefore, it comes back to what we discussed previously, that if you have a bad product idea, even all of the marketing in the world will not save your product, because you might attract a couple of customers, but in the end, the customers will try your product and realize that it's not a very good product.

If you're a marketer, you might not need to know just the marketing, but also need to know what the regulations are, as well as speak to different departments to really come to grips with what the product is. What I'm trying to say is that you basically need to be as open as possible in order to learn as much as possible about the industry and about the specific product that you're working on.

For more interesting insights, listen to Marija's complete interview below.


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