Updated: Jun 6, 2022
Paris-based fintech Spendesk has recently launched its first-ever multi-market brand campaign, Super Satisfying, showcasing the ultimate (and perhaps unexpected) benefit that Spendesk brings to thousands of businesses and their people. To learn more about the campaign, we sat down with Stephanie Bowker, VP of Marketing at Spendesk.
Spendesk is one of the fastest-growing European fintechs, with its 7-in-1 spend management platform. Founded in 2016, Spendesk is trusted by thousands of businesses from start-ups to established brands, such as Algolia, Soundcloud, Curve, Doctolib, Gousto, Raisin, Sezane, Wefox.
Spendesk is looking to do much more than just modernize how businesses track and optimize their budgets but evangelize how every employee can be accountable for the financial fitness of the business with trust, transparency and actionable data.
VP Marketing Stephanie Bowker sat down with us to discuss how Spendesk is bucking Fintech marketing trends with the launch of its first-ever multi-market brand campaign, where the idea for CFO Connect came from, and how to amplify your brand through employee advocacy.
What is 'Super Satisfying' all about?
We just launched our first global integrated brand campaign with out-of-home advertising in London, Berlin, Hamburg and Paris, plus a wider digital rollout. For this campaign, we knew we were speaking to a broad audience and that we needed to catch the attention of very busy people amidst the thousands of other messages they’re inundated with each day. So, we challenged ourselves to sum up Spendesk in one feeling that employees, managers and finance teams alike felt when using Spendesk. It was not an easy task, but after 40+ customer interviews, we found it!
Spendesk = satisfaction.
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Spendesk is also running one of the biggest and most engaged brand communities in the B2B fintech space. Where did the idea about 'CFO Connect' come from? And how important is the community in your overall marketing strategy?
CFO Connect, our global community and resource hub for finance leaders, was one of the first investments we made on the marketing team in response to a real need from early customers. The Controllers, CFOs, and finance directors we built our spend management platform with were asking to be connected. They felt very much alone in their companies - typically a one-woman show in charge of sensitive information. So, we started by organizing local meetups in Paris, London and Berlin. And we quickly realized there was a lot of potential to help even more finance teams in a bigger way. So we built a dedicated team to focus solely on the community.
The community has remained such an important focus for our team because it brings so much mutual value and shared insights to our members and our business.
Why did you invest in a different brand identity for CFO Connect from Spendesk?
We created a unique name and brand from day one to create an unbiased space for finance leaders to connect, regardless of whether they used Spendesk or not. We also wanted to find a brand that members felt really reflected them versus being a shadow brand of our product.
Of course, this means that we’ve had to do double the work to build trust and awareness for Spendesk and CFO Connect. But it has paid off in the long run by allowing us to experiment and branch off into more creative content and events, such as our CFO Yeah podcast and CFO Connect Summit event.
How do you measure the success of your brand efforts at Spendesk?
Measuring brand awareness isn’t as simple as tracking leads. But there are a lot of new tools and methods to get a pretty good pulse on how you’re doing. For us, the main metrics we measure include our brand index on aided and unaided awareness, direct traffic, social mentions, and employee engagement.
I believe employee advocacy is one of the biggest indicators of your long-term brand-building success. They can be a 10x amplifier by helping you spread your message much more than just with traditional advertising. It also helps create a more trusted brand when it’s shared by individuals versus the “corporate voice.”
This is why our marketing team puts just as much effort into internal marketing as external marketing.
What’s it like to lead Spendesk’s brand and marketing department? Any specific challenges you're facing as a fintech?
A real joy! I love how multifaceted the marketing function is, working to grow the business, promote the product and build a lasting brand. It takes diverse skills and perspectives to do it well. We’re an orchestra of sorts with left-brain objectives and right-brain execution. One hour I can be knee-deep in performance spreadsheets and the next reviewing video storyboards for our latest campaign. Personally, I’m proud of the team we’ve built so quickly and am inspired by the challenges ahead.
For the last 4 years, we’ve been laser-focused on solving the pains of spend management, but we have our sights on bigger things to come.
Building a fintech product of course comes with extra compliance and banking considerations. But it also comes with great advantages, including rich data. We have so many opportunities to provide more value for our customers via automation, insights and benchmarks.
What’s next for Spendesk and CFO Connect?
Honestly, we have a very busy summer in store with some exciting product and community announcements coming in September. Stay tuned for some key improvements to our Invoice Management product and the date for our next CFO Connect Summit!
About Stephanie Bowker: Stephanie is the VP of Marketing at Spendesk, leading all things marketing including demand gen, web, field marketing, product marketing, community, content, communications plus the internal brand studio.
Before moving to Paris and joining Spendesk, Stephanie kickstarted her career in San Francisco building products at Intuit and spearheading product marketing at Gusto. Originally from the midwest, she proudly shares the same hometown as Madonna.
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