1. Before we dive into your role at Sharesies, what has your career journey looked like so far?
1)Starting in Los Angeles
My career has been all over the marketing realm, but in a great way. I’m originally from the US, and I started out at a tech scale-up business in Los Angeles. During my time there, we went through a rebrand and an acquisition, so it was a great crash course in building a brand from the ground up, and bringing your audience along your brand’s journey.
2)Moving to Sydney – starting at an agency
Then, I moved over to Sydney and got into the advertising space, working in a hybrid set up where I was an agency employee embedded in the Nestle confectionery team, before transitioning into a full agency role leading a digital team.
3)From agencies to tech
When COVID hit, I decided to get out of the agency space, and I took an e-commerce role at an organic food business. But I was always on the lookout for a marketing role at a tech start up or scale up, because I had really loved that LA experience. So when the role came up at Sharesies, I knew I had to take it!
4)Reflecting on the journey so far
I love that I’ve had such broad marketing experience – I’ve been in-house, hybrid, and agency, across B2B and B2C, and a range of industries from FMCG to health care to baby events.
This has helped inform my thinking and how I approach marketing strategy, and I think it’s really beneficial to have agency experience to know how to work together and achieve the best results from an in-house role.
I’m a big believer in trying out the different areas of marketing that are out there, so you understand the ways that these can all deliver toward business objectives, but also to help you hone in on what you love doing most. There are so many different opportunities within marketing.
2. Transitioning into work, what the heck does a Marketing Manager (Australia) @ Sharesies do?
What is Sharesies?
Sharesies is on a mission to create financial empowerment for everyone. On the Sharesies platform, you can invest in over 8,000 options across the Australia, US, and New Zealand share markets with no minimum investment.
That means you can buy shares, or portions of shares, in the companies you know and love and funds, from literally 1 cent.
The Sharesies platform is for those who have felt that investing is inaccessible – whether you felt priced out, jargoned out, or otherwise excluded. Our focus is on long-term wealth building, so thinking about time in the market, not timing the market.
How is the marketing function structured in Australia?
Sharesies expanded to Australia in April 2021, so we aren’t even one years old yet. We’re very much in the start-up phase. The Sharesies platform, however, has been around for 5 years, with over 500,000 investors using it across New Zealand and Australia, who have collectively invested over $2B in funds under management (FUM). The business is heralded as one of New Zealand’s biggest tech successes.
It’s interesting working for a brand with such big recognition across the ditch, but building it out here from the ground up. I was the only Australian marketing employee until July last year, and now we are a team of three, including another generalist and a social media expert.
Our whole focus is on how we build our brand awareness and point of difference, of course with the proof point being acquisition. So we are constantly looking for new channels and opportunities to help do this, and be different from our competitors.
Some initiatives we’ve kickstarted include:
- Running some content on TikTok in December 2021
- A trial campaign on Twitch
- Finding content partners and working together with them – Tapping into their engaged audiences that are looking to learn more about investing and feel supported in their financial journeys.
Marketing for us is very fluid and ever-evolving, as we continue to seek out new opportunities and test and learn.
What does your role entail?
I was employee three here in Australia, and the first marketing hire. It was my responsibility to map out our marketing strategy for this market. Australia has a saturated, competitive investing landscape – there are lots of different platforms out there. I’ve been really focused on how we build awareness, establish what makes us different from the rest, and acquire new investors.
My role is across and accountable for all areas of marketing, so everything from content to advertising to engagement to PR.
How have you shaped Sharesies’ marketing strategy?
We’re really focused on financial education and empowerment, so I’ve implemented a number of content partnerships with the likes of:
- She’s on the Money AND
- Pedestrian Group
I want to bring the investing conversation into the spaces where people are already engaging, and highlight how accessible and easy it is to get started.
As a new investor myself when I started at Sharesies, I was blown away by the stats on how much your bank account essentially loses money due to low interest rates and inflation, while simultaneously overwhelmed by how expensive and unattainable the housing market is.
It’s been these learnings that’s formed my passion for what to bring to other Aussies like me, and it’s a guiding light for what we do from a marketing perspective. You’ll see that in our advertising outside of content partnerships as well, with messages like “Being a beginner shouldn’t stop you from beginning” and “You don’t need a house to build a future.”
We also are running a promo code with the word GROW that gives you $10 when you sign up, so you have some money to help you get started. All of this is with the intention of speaking to those new investors who are looking for a way to get into this space and get growing.
3. What’s an example of a campaign that you’ve worked on and what was your role in bringing it to life?
Campaign Name: Let’s Get Growing
What was it?
To support the Sharesies platform expanding access to Aussies, we ran an 8-week campaign from late August through October 2021. This was originally planned for July to go live in Sydney and Melbourne, but when COVID lockdowns hit, I halted and re-evaluated, and made the decision to shift some offline activity and add in Brisbane.
The campaign ran primarily across digital (display, video, social, search, app) with outdoor including billboards and impulse. Called “Let’s Get Growing,” the ads really represented who we are as a brand, which is the antithesis of your stereotypical investing platform.
They are bold and bright and aspirational, with playful takes on moments in life where you were a beginner – like learning to drive a car or your first kiss – and how it was worth it to be a beginner then, so it may be worth becoming a beginner investor now.
What was my role?
I head up all things marketing for Australia, so the campaign was my project.
I was responsible for working with our different agency partners (creative, media, PR) as well as our in-house team to bring it all to life.
As I mentioned before, I had to make some tough calls off the back of COVID, but I think they were the right calls. Then once the campaign was live, I was constantly optimising and seeking out additional opportunities to keep driving momentum.
We added in heaps of additional layers, like investing 101 speaking events and content with “She’s on the Money.”
4. What do the entry level pathways for marketers in tech look like?
When I left uni in Los Angeles, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go, so I just looked up lists of top companies to work for, and a tech business then called uSamp (which rebranded to Instantly, and then was acquired by SSI) was top of the list. I decided to apply for an entry-level job, and worked my way up to marketing manager.
Similarly here in Australia, there are plenty of lists filled with cool tech businesses that are great to work for – which I think is so important. There are millions of jobs out there, so it’s worthwhile finding one that will treat you as a whole human being and offer a great working environment.
Luckily, lots of tech businesses have intern programs in place to help bring new starters into the fold, so once you have a list of ones to check out, look on their careers pages for opportunities.
It’s also worthwhile to think about how to make your application stand out. I’m a big believer in sending a LinkedIn message to the hiring manager and introducing yourself.
When crafting your CV and cover letter, make sure that you include results and make it easy to navigate, also conveying your personality and passion for working at that company.
5. What’s one thing you recommend an aspiring marketer do right now?
Find a mentor or networking group where you can learn and grow.
Marketing is such a broad space that’s ever-evolving, so you’ll benefit from building out a network outside your company where you can discuss and keep on top of trends.
My manager set me up with a mentor outside of Sharesies, and it’s been so beneficial to have someone else across the Australian marketing landscape to bounce ideas off of and pick apart challenges.
How to find a mentor?
If you’re unsure how to find a mentor, is there someone in your business at a senior level that you can ask for help? They likely have business connections they can link you up with. Or, explore all the different marketing events and associations, to find others that are looking to network and learn together.