Interview with Gabriela Belden, Head of Marketing at Bitso
Gaby Belden is the Head of Marketing at Bitso, a currency exchange offering a bridge for participants to connect between novel financial platforms, like Bitcoin and Ether, and the Mexican Peso. Let’s have a look at her experience in marketing.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional
Please take us through how you got initiated into marketing as a profession and how you grew to be the seasoned marketing professional you are. Also, add a few interesting experiences you had in these years.
I never saw myself as a person that sells. I always loved my mathematics and physics classes – this is why I decided to be an engineer in undergrad. Two years before graduating, I started working at a friend’s women fashion store after school. I was underpaid, but I still loved to go to the store and see how women felt when they entered the store, saw something they loved, tried it on and realized it fit well. I loved to see how their face lightened up and their posture and attitude completely changed with this “new outfit“.
When I graduated, I got obsessed with finding a marketing job that involved numbers. This is how my career in marketing insights started. I worked in trade and consumer insights for 3 years and then moved into brand management to then go back to insights but in a more strategic role.
I’m currently head of marketing of a cryptocurrency financial services startup in Mexico. A huge challenge because it involves brand strategy creation from scratch and positioning a brand in a category that has very low awareness and reputation lead by sensationalist media.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on these channels?
Mom and Pop and convenience stores channel – communication and POS material decisions are usually made in headquarters, far away from day to day operation. Marketers should spend significant time visiting different POS and understanding what works and what doesn’t. They should consider that Salesforce doesn’t always follow the rules regarding POS material placement due to time or lack of space in the store. The more the marketer knows the salesforce usual routine and the different store’s specs the better.
Parties and activations – spend some time thinking who will be invited to your parties and how you will reach them. Aside from considering fun and relevant activities for your users, also make sure you get the basics right! What will happen if it rains? Do you have enough bathrooms? Will they be clean? etc…
TV Commercials – always always always remember brand strategy when evaluating creativity for commercials. Try to keep brand messaging consistent vs. previous ads. Although messaging repetition doesn’t always seem exciting, consider that your consumers need lots of it to remember brand messaging and to start associating your brand with it. Before launching commercial, decide what success looks like because this is a channel that’s very hard to measure.
Paid digital channels (Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube): Spend significant time properly targeting your ideal user. Measure your user lifetime value and optimize your acquisition costs so your economics make sense. For both paid and organic digital communication, consider the role of every channel in your user’s life. Each channel should be communicated accordingly.
With scores of marketing software available today, how according to you should a small/ medium business go about selecting the right software for their needs?
Depending on the budget, I would start using software that simplifies my life first and then moves into more sophisticated software that provides more intelligence. Get the basics right and then move into software that makes your work more insightful and sophisticated.
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used?
MailChimp, Autopilot, ViralLoops, Unbounce, Mixpanel, Kochava.
Advice for the marketing community
What would be your two-line advice to people entering into the marketing domain?
Be curious, creative and brave to always speak your mind.
Some of the learning resources/books that you would like to recommend to our audience
Books: Hooked, The Long Tail, Youthnation, Breakthrough Marketing Plans.
Podcasts: Always in the lookout for new podcasts, can’t recommend a marketing-specific one, but keep curious and you’ll find cool learnings!