Fintech leader on marketing & the ‘terrifyingly free mandate.’

22nd June 2022

If you get good people to join your company, give them a clear mandate with absolute freedom and absolute accountability. And it is stunning, what people will come back with.”

Recently named the fastest growing FinTech start-up in 2021, Juni’s offering includes an all-in-one platform that helps ecommerce operators grow their businesses with cashback, multi-currency accounts, virtual cards, insights and more.

Mathias Eriksson, is VP of Marketing for Juni. Recently featured in The Drum discussing ecommerce marketing, Eriksson discusses hybridisation, his history of campaign success with global brands, and how to achieve consensus across multiple marketing divisions.

What can you tell us about achieving ecommerce marketing success in 2022?

What works is to be ‘problem obsessed’ with your customers. If marketing is the art and science of turning people with decisions to make into customers, it’s fundamental to understand your customers’ reality.

Caption: Bye bye bank campaign, Juni

It’s also important to reduce the potential for silos within a marketing team. Traditionally, marketers would lean towards being a ‘brand person’ or a ‘demand generation’ person. Brand believers would argue that brand strength drives long term growth, and they’re right. But you can’t drive long term growth without the short term activation created by demand generation.

Prioritising brand and demand together in a single campaign strengthens each.

What works and what I do at Juni is hybridization- a trend of unifying classic brand marketing with demand generation and product marketing. A single campaign which integrates these types of marketing can eliminate the issues caused by having different campaigns with different KPIs that don’t work with each other to raise the value of your company. Hybridisation is more efficient, cost-effective, and realistic than running separate campaigns or trying to balance both.

How Juni unifies the power of brand & demand in 2022

  1. Foster a culture of creative conflict and assemble a diverse hybrid marketing team
  2. Build efficient hybrid marketing campaigns by combining performance marketing, value driven messaging, and practical value
  3. Measure success via hybrid KPIs that are rooted in the harmonised processing of soft and hard data
  4. Use the Juni hybrid KPI framework to identify potential growth opportunities

The other point to consider in 2022 is the context of this time. We’ve been going into a situation with a lot of turmoil in the world including a war and emerging from a global pandemic.  With ongoing struggle, helping ecommerce operators focus on what they do best will be increasingly important.  But building both brand and being great at demand generation at the same time is the winning recipe.

Non-intuitive advice that you would give to other marketers?

If you give your team a clear structure and a terrifyingly free mandate to show results, you’re actually a lot better off than when you’re trying to work everything out by yourself. We have that at Juni and I give that to the leaders in my teams.

If you get good people to join your company, give them a clear mandate with absolute freedom and absolute accountability. And it is stunning, what people will come back with. I find this both as a leader, and within my own roles.

Can you provide an example in which you’ve worked with demand generation and also brand building?

Back in 2013 I worked with a team on product positioning for Volvo. We partnered with classic creative agencies, the big ones in the world on a campaign that was truly incredible.

Part of its success was integrating performance marketing, social media marketing, and PR right from inception. The goal was to introduce the concept of Volvo products being made by Sweden. We ended up utilising three icons to do this- Volvo Cars, footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović, and music producer Max Martin.

As it turned out, Zlatan was an old Volvo lover and he had a Volvo already. He was also one of the best footballers in the game and the largest that Sweden has ever produced. He even had a lot in common with Volvo. And this wasn’t a story that people expected us to tell.

We decided to create a new version of the Swedish National Anthem with Max Martin, a modern interpretation which Zlatan performed. The campaign relaunched a fantastic Volvo product, the XC70. The result was a beautiful film that specifically targeted people who enjoyed the great outdoors (as Zlatan did).

Now this sounds like old branding, right? But it isn’t strictly that, and I’ll explain how.

First, it’s important to note that the campaign did extremely well. We aggravated a lot of different groups. While some people were angry that we created a new version of the Swedish National Anthem, many were very pleased and happy because they’re proud of Zlatan and proud of Volvo.

But what we did in this campaign that was different for the first time in the history of Volvo, was to bring the performance marketing team into the same room as the creatives. With the product team, we were able in a single campaign to measure the success of this campaign through a new Volvo car configurator that had just been launched. This included measuring the return of the ad spend.

But more than that, we used performance marketing, the social media landscape and smart targeted media buying to boost influencer content. The results went through the roof in organic reach and enabled us to drive immense car sales (roughly 3X the baseline).

How do you achieve consensus when bringing different teams together?

It helps to have a marketing director who understands the value of uniting demand generation, brand marketing, and product development teams. If you don’t have that support, it’s difficult to be successful at achieving consensus.

You also need a measurement framework that brings together hard and soft data from both brand and demand generation. We have to have a shared purpose and a shared goal, but we also have to have a shared way of measuring that goal or we won’t be able to collaborate efficiently. So my answer is the right support from leadership, as well as shared goals, shared practice and supporting measurement framework.