Competing with half the marketing budget with Emmy Granström, Marketing Director at SteelEye

In this episode of the FINITE podcast, host Alex Price sits down with Emmy Granström, Marketing Director at financial services and regulatory data platform SteelEye.

Emmy leads marketing for SteelEye with a small team and in an industry previously dominated by some big legacy technology companies with large marketing budgets. Alex and Emmy dive into how it’s possible to compete with just a fraction of the budget.

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Full Transcript

Alex (00:07):

Hello everyone and welcome back to another FINITE podcast episode. My episode today is with Emmy Granstrom. Emmy is the Marketing Director at SteelEye, an innovative business in the regulation technology space within the FinTech world. 

Emmy joined SteelEye as the first in house marketer and has gradually been building out the marketing function, but we’re going to be talking about how marketers with limited resources, limited budgets can begin to compete against much larger, more legacy enterprise technology companies, such as the case for SteelEye. So hope you enjoy.

FINITE (00:41):

The FINITE community and podcast, are kindly supported by 93x, the digital agency working exclusively with ambitious fast growth B2B technology companies. Visit 93x.agency to find out about how they partner with marketing team and B2B technology companies to drive digital growth.

Alex (01:03):

Hi Emmy, thanks for joining me today.

Emmy (01:04):

Thank you, Alex. It’s great to be here.

Alex (01:07):

I’m looking forward to talking. As we always do I’m going to start by letting you introduce yourself a little bit. Tell us a bit about your background experience and kind of current role and team.

About Emmy’s background in marketing and her current role at SteelEye

Emmy (01:16):

Absolutely. So my name is Emmy Granstrom. I’m originally Swedish, but I’ve been in the UK for about seven years now. And I came here to study at university. I never knew what I wanted to do with my life or a career, so I studied business, which then covered marketing to a large degree. I then got my first job off the back of university in a sales and marketing capacity. Again, it wasn’t particularly targeted to either of those functions, but marketing stuck with me and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. 

So I started out in technology surrounding telco and voice recording. And that then led me to the FinTech industry subsequently. And I’m now working for a company called SteelEye who specialise in regulatory technology, which is a subsection within FinTech. And what we do is we help financial institutions comply with global financial regulations. 

I’ve been with SteelEye since May, 2019. And when I joined, they didn’t have a marketing function in house. So they started in October, 2017 and they went through a journey of working with a PR agency and having ad hoc branding support. But in their journey, they realised that they needed someone in house who could just coordinate all the marketing functions. And since then I was able to hire a marketing analyst about six months ago, so we doubled our team. Which is a fantastic stat. So, that’s a bit of background about us.

Alex (02:48):

Cool, I’m always interested in the education side. Slightly off topic before we dive into things, but a lot of marketers I speak to, very few of us studied marketing formally. I know that marketing was a component of the business degree by the sounds of it. Then you said one of your first roles was sales and marketing too. Do you think the sales side of things makes you a better marketer as such?

Emmy (03:09):

I think the link between sales and marketing is so incredibly important that I think having an understanding of the sales side of things, the sales cycle definitely helped me out. I mean, we’ve maintaining that balance and that relationship with marketing and sales. I think it’s probably a challenge every single marketeer will tell you, but yes, I believe understanding that side will help.

Alex (03:32):

Cool. So let’s dive into the topic which we’re going to be talking about. I guess we’ve tied to it competing with half the marketing budget, but I guess for a bit of context, maybe it would help you to start by just explaining a bit about how SteelEye fits into the landscape and the world in which you operate and give people a sense of? 

What that competitor landscape looks like? And I guess there’s a number of probably more legacy technology companies that are huge and enterprisey that overlap with what you do. So it’s interesting to hear how you fit into things.

About the RegTech space 

Emmy (04:02):

Absolutely. So I think the RegTech space is an interesting one because we’ve had so much change over the past 20 and 10 years. So we have our incumbents, our legacy tech providers that have been around for ages and they’ve provided technology that helps financial firms do things like regulatory reporting or market abuse oversight. But what we’ve also had in this market, and particularly since the financial crash in 2008 is a huge amount of new regulations. And with this, masses of innovation in this space. 

So a lot of small startups that have come in and that are solving very, very new problems. And in clever ways, we didn’t have a first movers advantage, which you should say is a benefit. But in our case, not having the first mover advantage has really helped because what our founders were able to do was look at how this RegTech market was developing and actually realise what the key issue was now. The issue isn’t all these individual challenges, that all the firms have to manage, but what underpins all of that is data. And that is true for every single regulatory mandate across the board, bringing together vast amounts of data. 

And so by assessing this marketplace, our founders discovered that if we can actually build a data platform and then a bunch of regulatory solutions on one platform in one place that uses the same data, that’s how we can really help financial firms in this industry. So our competitive landscape is an interesting one because on each one of our solutions, we have a plethora of competitors, but the whole offering, which is our USP as such, there isn’t a single other vendor that does what we do when it comes to the data management.

Alex (05:50):

Interesting. And give us a sense of kind of size and scale,without naming names, but in terms of like functions that you’re effectively competing in games in some respects, I assume we’re talking like mobile marketing teams with tens of employees, if not more.

Emmy (06:06):

Absolutely. I mean, I think we’re looking at this traditional space. We have the incumbents, you know, we have, if you have firms like NASDAQ, they’ll have hundreds of marketeers in house, I can help them and, and very large budgets, so very, very different. But of course there are benefits with being the new kid on the block because you can be much more creative if you work for a very large company that’s been around for years, you’ll have such structured approval processes. That means it’s very hard to get things moving.

Alex (06:36):

Yeah, definitely. So even with a small team or limited resources or limited budget, I guess some marketing foundations are still needed just to make things work in a basic sense. I guess maybe this strays into marketing operations almost, or I guess there’s like some pillars and foundations of marketing that are required in some form. What do you think those are when you were kind of coming into a role such as this one where you were the first in house marketer? 

The marketing function for the first in house marketer 

Emmy (07:05):

We can look at it in two ways. You can, first of all, look at the kind of qualities and skills you need in the marketeers you’re working with when you’re starting out. And we can also look at the pillar. So the elements of marketing you need to adopt as a company when you’re starting a new company, or you have a small company. 

I think when you’re hiring your marketing talent, you want to make sure they’re all rounders initially. Communication skills are absolutely vital because you need to be able to communicate, write press releases, blogs. And quite often what you’ll find is the SMEs within your company will be too busy building the product that they won’t be able to translate what you’re doing into a language that is readable by your clientele. And that’s the role of the early marketeers that come on. 

Another thing is creativity is very important because you need to wear a lot of hats when you’re a small team. And also just a positive, can do attitude. But if we look at the pillars that you want to consider when you’re starting out, I think I’ve always believed in PR. I think PR is very important and that’s something we focused on a lot at SteelEye even before we had me on board, we made sure that journalists knew who we were, what we were doing so that when they were writing about topics that relate to us, they knew who to come to.

Alex (08:22):

Do you think that’s potentially FinTech specific or like financial services? Is it more important in that space? To some extent?

Emmy (08:28):

I think B2B are more important than FinTech, and especially if you’re in a niche market. And then another pillar I think is those touch points. So events and webinars are very important to engage with your audience, I would say.

Alex (08:46):

Cool. And are there any bits that you’ve done that you think are kind of tips, tricks, hacks, things that have allowed you to make things travel further? I guess, yeah. Anything that’s sped things up or allowed you to make better use of budget that you think is worth exploring? For any other marketers that might be the sole marketer or in a very small marketing team? 

Tips for doing creative marketing without an agency 

Emmy (09:06):

Absolutely. I think, don’t think you can’t do anything, especially on the creative side. When I joined, when I started my first job in marketing, you know, we had a person we hired to do all the illustrator, brochures, design work, creative tiles for social media. Now that’s fantastic. And they’re much more qualified to do so than I am, for example, but by bringing at least a little bit of that in house, getting the Adobe creative suite or building out some social media tiles on programs like PowerPoints, you can actually do these things yourself and you can move quicker quite often. 

It’s like, can we change this sentence with that sentence and this word with that word and that, when you’re coordinating with an external agency, it can take a really long time. So even if you’re not comfortable doing all the creative work in house, just to get familiar with the other creative suites and also with PowerPoint, PowerPoint is a fantastic tool for design because you can do videos and creative work and PDF documents, and you can change. You don’t have to have the traditional, you know, 16:9 layout. You can do so much. So that’s a way of being able to save a lot of resources, I found anyway.

Alex (10:13):

I think that’s a good tip. And I think it almost aligns with: don’t underestimate the power of a good spreadsheet as well. I think people are so keen to move to SaaS tools and spin up different products. Naturally a spreadsheet can conserve you pretty well sometimes. So it’s nice to hear someone fighting PowerPoint’s corner as well.

Emmy (10:30):

I think there’s such value that agencies that you work with, creative agencies in particular can bring, so let them do what they do best and bring on board the more adminy things where it’s just the change, this for that, and those kinds of things. And if you’re working with an agency, get them to build you the templates, but then when it comes to the creation, that we want to do a new image for a press release, do that in house. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to do that yourself.

Alex (11:01):

Yeah, absolutely. So I think, I’m just going to jump around the questions a bit, because I feel like this segways more neatly into balancing out the kind of skill set of what you have in house and that kind of generalist versus specialist marketing skills. So you mentioned, I think it’s fair to say we talked before that you’re more of a generalist marketer and what’s the kind of skill set of the marketing analyst that you’ve brought on board?

Being a generalist marketer can be financially beneficial

Emmy (11:25):

So yes, I’m absolutely a generalist. I’m good at many things, but not, you know, I’m not a Google Adverts absolute specialist. Jenny, who joined us about six months ago is very analytical, data really is everything. And we’re collecting masses of data and I just don’t have time to use it. We brought her on board so she can do things like look at our marketing performance and not just say, well we’ve increased our website visitors, we’ve increased our following. That’s great, but breaking down our campaigns, which ones have done better, why have they done better? 

And trying to slowly get to a point where we can have a cost per lead? I mean, we are still a long way away from that in our journey, but that’s why I brought on someone who has a little bit more of an analytical data driven focus, which I think is important too.

Alex (12:15):

Yeah, makes sense. And how do you, the question I was going to ask is around prioritisation, because I think most marketers will be able to relate to the fact that there’s a lot on the generalist marketer job spec these days. And I see some which are almost horrifying in terms of how much they ask, because everything from like marketing automation specialists through to AdWords specialists, to graphic designers, to web developers and everything in between, copywriters, it’s like every skill set you can imagine and 20 jobs in one. 

I think there’s always a degree of that in a smaller marketing team and as a generalist marketer. So do you find prioritisation is a struggle and has it become, obviously you’ve got, as you say, you doubled the marketing teams so you’ve got a bit more help now. But is it still a challenge to kind of divide time and stay focused on certain things between yourself in general?

Tips for prioritising marketing efforts 

Emmy (13:04):

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, we doubled our team because we’ve got ambitious growth plans. So we doubled our team, but we also doubled the work or even tripled the work we want to achieve and what we want to do and where we want to go. So prioritisation is very hard. 

And another thing I think all marketers will agree with is that everyone in the company almost thinks they can do marketing. And I think that is a great benefit because we want input and we want feedback, but you get a lot of people saying, why don’t we do this? And why don’t we do that? And how about we do, this is a great idea and we should go to this event and we should do that webinar. And everyone was talking about this topic, let’s do a blog on it and that’s fantastic. And we want those ideas, but we also need a way to be able to push back and say, that’s great, but we have a plan. This is what we’re doing. 

And so what I found helpful with prioritising is making sure I always have a well-defined plan annually and quarterly because annually at the beginning of each year, we do a plan. But then that changes as we progress through the year. But when someone comes up with a brilliant idea, measure it against that plan and say, will it help me achieve my goals? 

If it won’t and if you don’t think it’s a good idea, or if you think maybe just not now, then having that plan is a very good way of pushing back and saying, yes, I can do that, but it’s going to cost this much money and it means I won’t be able to focus on this, this, this, and that. If you want me to prioritise and do that instead, I’m happy to do that, but just know that time is money and time is what we’re dealing with here. And that’s what’s been a very powerful tool for me, especially when you have an entrepreneurial CEO and management team. And you’re a fast moving startup. That plan, I think is key.

Alex (14:49):

I think managing expectations is what that comes down to some extent in communicating, isn’t it? Cause it’s easy to have so many ideas and to be pulled in so many different directions, but you’ve got to have something to keep everybody on course. I guess the same kind of applies when you think about actually going out to the market and targeting clients. 

I guess you’re in a relatively niche space, which I guess lends itself to a kind of more enterprisey account based marketing approach, maybe quite naturally to some extent. But I think something that a lot of startups struggle with in the B2B space is particularly they have a kind of entrepreneurial leadership team. They kind of want to take as big a chunk of the market as quickly as possible. And actually it’s almost, although it feels like it doesn’t make sense, starting small and really gaining some early traction with a very focused segment of the potential market is usually the much wiser thing to do. How do you prioritise that side of things in terms of how you actually go to market and who you’re aiming at?

Targeting one specific market when launching a product 

Emmy (15:45):

So we’ve actually, similar to what you just mentioned, our initial sales pitch was any financial firm in the whole world could use us. Now that is technically true, but it does help the marketing function to focus on the area and the field that will really make a difference. And so certainly defining an account base that you want to fit that point in which you are in relation right now helps, because when you’re starting out, you probably don’t want to go straight to a massive enterprise deal because you have to build up so much operational infrastructure and teams and processes to support those. 

So as you grow, the account base will change and it’ll get more sophisticated and bigger, but evaluating that and defining these are our top 100 or even 50 or even 200 accounts, helps you to really understand your clients. It helps you understand where they hang out, what they do, all these kinds of things. So, that’s a journey we are still going on. So everything is very fluid in a startup. You start out with a we’re the best company in the world, let’s take it back a notch.

Alex (17:02):

Yeah, it’s tough, isn’t it? But I just feel like everything falls into place when you have that account list and you really define that ideal customer profile, however you approach it. But content strategy, messaging, everything just aligns behind that once you’ve got it. And without it, everything just becomes watered down and a bit lost and turning out blog posts on random topics every week. And there’s just a lack of alignment across everything. 

I see this often and I know I can kind of relate to it to some extent. It’s an entrepreneurial thing, that I want to go and take the biggest chunk of the market as quickly as possible and appeal to everyone. And it’s not natural to want to limit yourself so much, is how it can feel sometimes. But the traction you can gain and the amount you can learn as well from feedback from one segment is so much better as well.

Emmy (17:51):

I think you’re right. And it goes back to the prioritisation question you asked before, if you truly understand your audience and you’re aligned between the sales target and the marketing function, it becomes so much easier to prioritise everything that you’re working on. And of course, where you’re marketing and how you’re marketing will be defined by that segment. So everything becomes easier to control and to measure and to understand. 

I mean, the measurability is an interesting one because if you know that you’re only targeting 50 companies, all of a sudden the success of your campaign is so easy to understand. Did we get in touch with any of them? Did any of them come more from our website? Did it turn into many deals? And did we win any business? That is all you essentially want to know? Isn’t it. And then it’s so much easier than ABC company converted, we don’t know which marketing initiative it came from, but it’s great that he’s here and hopefully it goes somewhere.

Alex (18:42):

That leads us on nicely to the approach and structure of campaigns. I guess the marketing world is in many respects, almost shifting from campaigns based to some extent, always on approach in some ways, but there’s still certain campaigns that run throughout every company’s calendar year. What is a campaign for you in terms of what does that mean in terms of time period or anything else? And how do you structure and approach campaigns with limited resource limited budget?

How to structure campaigns with a limited budget 

Emmy (19:14):

Well, this has been another interesting journey because when I joined, we very much did what you mentioned earlier, random bits of content, press releases, a webinar here and there, without any overarching theme red thread or purpose, really. And that is something we’ve shifted a lot. So rather than doing that, of course there are the press releases that do pop up, and the things that you can’t control that you have to be reactive to, but we now plan quarterly campaigns as best we can and make sure that those are aligned to what we’re trying to achieve.

From a sales perspective, we talked to our sales team, our management team about what’s happening in the industry, the things, the products we want to focus on. And then we define a campaign that runs across a whole range of the channels and mediums. So, you know, white papers, webinars, eBooks, events, and we tie it all together under one overarching theme. 

Again, it goes back to that measurability, all of a sudden we can understand what campaigns went well and which ones didn’t, in a much better way than if we’re just doing individual items. Because the reality is, especially when you’re small, the sum of the individual, the sum of the parts is quite small and usually insignificant to make any kind of conclusive assessment about whether it was successful. But by tying them together, the total values and stats you’re getting are actually enabling you to make some justified conclusions about which activities.

Alex (20:48):

Absolutely. So we talked a little bit already about the kind of generalist versus specialist split and how things are looking for you at the moment. I guess this, and we’ve talked about this a bit too, but it kind of plays itself into what about internal versus external resources and how much do you rely on agencies, freelancers? And obviously when you’ve got a limited resource and budget, you need to plan those things pretty carefully and obviously big pros and cons to different approaches, but what’s your perspective on that split now? And what about looking ahead to the future as well?

When to hire specialist or generalist roles or hire an agency 

Emmy (21:23):

I think startup means generalist at least the first few hires, but we’re certainly at a point now, as we expand this team, we’ll start going down the route of specialists. So a specialist digital marketeer is actually something that we’re potentially going to start hiring for within the next few months. 

I think you need a generalist in terms of managing a marketing team who can understand all the different parts that are at play, but once you have that, the argument definitely shifts to the specialist route where you’re getting into people who know one specific area and they know it very well, and they’re able to execute that to the best of their abilities. And of course, balance that with agency support as well.

Alex (22:07):

Are there particular things which you feel like are better suited? I think you talked about, kind of performance marketing and media spend side of things as being something that you wanted to bring in house, but are there certain things that you think agencies are better suited to? Or freelancers versus certain other things?

Emmy (22:23):

I think PR is a great thing to use agencies for, the relationships they form with the press and the ongoing relationships they can maintain. And also because they have loads of clients in a similar space that they represent, they have to reach the market constantly. 

We do this well, I mean we do a lot of our creative work in house and it’s fantastic or something I enjoy doing, but agencies again, have a, it’s the same thing when it comes to creating and designing things. By doing it with loads of types, loads of different clients, they’re more efficient at doing it. And it’s something that takes a lot of time to do in house, but you also get a group of creative minds and an agency that can come up with wonderful ideas and problem solve in a way that you can’t always do in a small team in house.

Alex (23:11):

Makes sense. I think it’s impossible to talk about competing with half the budget without actually talking about budgets. I guess budget is one of those things that, particularly in startups now, I talked to a lot of marketers who don’t really have anything that’s kind of formally signed off and projects kind of happen ad hoc. And it’s just discussions with founders and CEOs and things are kind of chipped away as they go. It sounds like you plan things annually and then plan things quarterly too. So does that also include the budgeting side of things? And how do you approach budgeting overall?

How to approach a marketing budget overall 

Emmy (23:41):

I mean for me, when I joined SteelEye, it was very important to understand our spend. And actually when I joined, we did a lot of budget changing because we had about 50% of our budget at the time was being spent on PR, which just wasn’t a good split because it wasn’t allowing us to do a diverse range of things. So we skipped back and looked at what are the, like we talked about before, what are the pillars that we need to build up? And then from that point we then built up again. But we do annual budgeting, and then it’s under review every quarter because things shift and change. 

I mean, particularly with COVID, we had so much budget tied up in physical events that all of a sudden didn’t happen. So things always change. But for me it’s always helped having a number and then dividing that across the year to understand how much we spend, how much are we spending. And of course the budget is super important. Again, if we go back to measuring performance to understand if what you were doing made sense, you know, that the ROI is very important.

Alex (24:40):

Yeah. One thing that I talked a bit about with others on podcasts recently, is communicating the success of marketing and just generally talking about marketing to others in the business, to CFO’s and CEO’s, and I’m almost having to kind of talk that language. Do you, from your experience in other businesses as well, is having that relationship with others that might know nothing about marketing pretty key? And kind of making marketing work day to day and proving it’s worth?

Communicating the marketing budget to the C suite

Emmy (25:08):

Absolutely. So I’m lucky because we’re a small team and so far we are in one big room. So everyone knows what’s going on. But as I have a team that’s very interested in knowing what we’re doing in the marketing team and what’s happening, what I do at the moment is I do a quarterly report and then an annual reports. 

So every single quarter, I look at what we did for the previous quarter and that goes hand in hand with our campaigns that we want to do on a monthly basis. And I pulled together stats on our website performance and social media performance, and also our sales funnel. So how many leads did we generate? How many deals did that generate and so on? And then we have a big meeting where actually the entire company tunes in and I present these results. Which is a great way for me and Jenny to feel empowered. 

And so it’s always a very good thing. But then in those meetings, what I love about it is you also get people in the business who aren’t involved in marketing at all, that ask really interesting questions that make you rethink what you’re doing and make you question the information you’re collecting even more. So, yeah, that’s a long winded response to your question.

Alex (26:16):

That sounds good. I mean, I just always think about like, again I come across so many marketers that I think are stuck in organisations that aren’t engaged in marketing, and they think it’s just advertising and they think it’s a place where people have some fun, try things out, but it doesn’t really deliver much business value.

I can never quite figure out whether how much of it is within the ability of the marketer to actually change and how much of it is just culturally predefined by the leadership team and CEO and CFO. Because ultimately if the CEO and CFO and others are completely closed off to marketing and have a completely kind of outdated view on it, there’s only so much I think that marketing can actually do to some extent. No matter how well you communicate, no matter how well you try and take them on the journey, there will always be sadly some kind of limitation.

Emmy (27:00):

I agree. And I think that that goes hand in hand with a budget. So how important is the marketing team? I know a lot of people and I speak to a lot of people in our industry that just feel like they’re doing again, what we talked about earlier, individual bits and bobs, without any idea of the overall strategy. And it just feels a little bit out of control, but if you constantly reiterate the value of marketing and also if you have a bigger budget, but you need to push for it because I’ve certainly believed that marketing is one of the most important pillars of any business, particularly a startup, because if you’re not marketing your product, you’re not going to get anywhere. 

But if you’re carrying that budget, you have to prove that you’re getting a return on it and you’ll catch people’s attention, I think. And then taking time, so one of the things that really helped me change my mindset were these individuals, you know, this very itemised view of we’re going to do a press release and then a blog then a webinar. 

That was when we actually started looking at this information and these statistics and realising that there’s so little I can do with those individual elements, I need to think about this more holistically. I need to think about the strategy from a sales perspective and how we track things better. And that has helped a lot. 

And then when people see the results, they get excited with you and they then want to increase your budget and all this kind of stuff. And then I know what you mean, I think there’s a mindset. I’ve had a lot of people who refer to marketing as colouring in, which I find so offensive. It is such an important field, but you have to push for it.

Alex (28:31):

Definitely. I was going to ask you a few final, quick fire questions. One of which was, is there a MarTech tool, technology, something that you use that is a favourite at the moment?

Emmy (28:41):

I’m going to say PowerPoint. I absolutely love it . We use it for everything. I mean, we use it for social media mainly but it’s worked so well.

Alex (28:49):

That’s great. I think it’s such a good tip because it’s a noisy space, the kind of social media production side of things in terms of social content. And I think pretty much everyone’s going to have PowerPoint on their PC. It’s kind of staring them in the face. So that’s a good tip. What would you say are your biggest challenges right now? Looking ahead to the next few months.

Networking without face to face events 

Emmy (29:10):

I think coming out of the COVID lockdown, understanding how the world’s changing and how we engage with our audience in this new world, or whether we go back. I’m not convinced by digital conferences. And I know particularly in our field physical events, conferences, where you go and you network and you meet people are so valuable and you know, it’s the death of conferences. Do we have to completely rethink how we engage on that one to one basis with our audience? How do we do that? Because I’m not convinced by this online.

Alex (29:48):

I did an episode with a CMO in the US yesterday who said that they run their own flagship conferences. And I think they only have like a few hundred people attend them. One in the UK, one in the U S and one in Australia, I think. And I think they had like 5,000 people actually registered to attend the virtual one. I think 50% of them showed up, but I think the other 50%, or at least another 50% them consumed the content on demand afterwards. 

So her view was actually that she felt like she had to just share levels of engagement that they achieved and the widening of the audience by doing them virtually. And I’m talking about something that they’re running themselves under their own brand, rather than something that they attend, but she felt the pressure to basically do both moving forward, to do physical ones and virtual ones.

Emmy (30:33):

I think I agree with that assessment. I think when we look at information sharing, absolutely we’re reaching such a big audience. If we’re looking at it from the perspective of networking and meeting people in the industry, then you lose that at events.

Alex (30:50):

Yeah. I think again, that’s maybe without stereotyping maybe a bit of a financial services specific thing there. I think that world is maybe more focused on, or historically has been more, face to face and face to face networking. So that’s interesting. And if there’s one thing that you said you would be most excited about in the world of B2B marketing looking ahead, anything that comes to mind?

Emmy (31:11):

What I find really exciting is, again, particularly in our niche within this space, is how far behind the curve most companies are if we compare to the B2C world. So I always find it hugely exciting to take inspiration from the B2C world and look at what they’re doing and doing that. 

And actually almost go, you know, sometimes I’m just gobsmacked at how some of these firms we compete with present themselves and communicate and you know, how legacy they are. And that’s something, it sounds a bit vicious and I’m not excited about it, but I think it’s fun to see how the B2B world is learning from the B2C world and how we’re becoming more data driven and more analytical and more personalised and all these kinds of things.

Alex (31:55):

Yeah, for sure. There was an episode that published recently on the B2C-ification. I’m not sure if that’s a word still, but the B2C-ification of B2B marketing. And we were talking about some of those brands, which Klarna, which is in the FinTech space as well I think at one point had a bright pink poodle running along their homepage on a video. And some really out there, I guess the brand side of marketing, which a lot of B2B tech companies would just be like, no way are we doing anything like that. 

But I think there’s such a big opportunity to cut through the noise with things like that, but very few can really push to make that kind of thing happen. But I feel like we’ve covered as well that it has forced more of that more personalised way of thinking as well, in terms of the more of a B2C outlook potentially. Particularly as we get more data and personalisation and other things, but yeah, it’s an interesting space.

Emmy (32:54):

I agree with that. I was on a panel a couple of months ago, when we talked about the death of physical events and we have so many companies in our industry that physical events are such a large part of their sales and marketing, but they just hadn’t even started looking at digital as a channel. I think that’s absolutely changing. Now firms are realising the need to do digital marketing. We’re doing it in a personalised fashion. And digital marketing is not just sending email blasts once a week. You know it’s a lot more than that.

Alex (33:26):

Yeah. We’ve seen some very bad, even amongst FINITE members, seeing some big shifts and some very large enterprise legacy businesses trying to figure out how to do SEO for the first time, because that’s kind of one of the channels that they’ve never. They wished they’d started investing in about a year ago. How long it can take to build up that they’re realising that taking four weeks to make a development change to their ITT and then just realising how much has to change. 

I think there’s definitely an advantage to being in an environment you’re in now where you can kind of move with some agility and get stuff done to some extent. Because it definitely puts you in a big advantage compared to the more legacy contenders I think. It’s been a pleasure talking with you Emmy. I’m really grateful for you sharing your insights. I’m sure there’ll be lots of marketers listening to this who find themselves in a very similar position to your own and always looking for tips and tricks. So I’m grateful for your time and thanks again.

Emmy (34:22):

Thank you so much for having me.

FINITE (34:25):

Thanks for listening. We’re super busy at FINITE building the best community possible for marketers working in the B2B technology sector to connect, share, and learn. Along with our podcast, we host a series of online events, so make sure you head to finite.community to subscribe and keep up to date with upcoming events.

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