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Marketing Strategies for Scaling the Largest Fintech in Europe: Lessons from Bitpanda's Unicorn Journey

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Join Eric in this insightful episode of Scratch as he interviews Magdalena Hörhager, the VP of Growth at Bitpanda. Bitpanda is a challenger brand that’s had a meteoric rise to become one of the most significant and trusted investment platforms in Europe. Magdalena sheds light on Bitpanda’s marketing strategies that focus on trust, consistency, differentiation, and cultural relevance. 

(Listen 🎧 to this episode on your favorite platform here.)

Magdalena emphasizes the importance of having a product that speaks for itself and encourages word-of-mouth marketing and stresses on the need to be agile and creative while setting up tracking and KPIs from the outset. She also discusses why hiring the right people, establishing processes, and organizational structures is a must, along with measuring the effectiveness of campaigns to ensure they resonate with the target audience.

The discussion also covers the challenges faced by traditional financial institutions, the impact of regulations on growth, and the value of building a strong brand identity that is culturally relevant. The episode is packed with valuable insights into Bitpanda's mission to make investing accessible to everyone. The discussion underscores the importance of data-driven marketing strategies, having a strong brand identity, and customer-centric approaches in the competitive fintech landscape.

[If you’re a brand-side marketer and want to join the AMP community, check out the application form here]


00:00 - Introduction

04:50 - What is BitPanda?

06:25 - Ice breaker - What challenger brand are you the most passionate about?

08:50 - Scaling to 4 Million Customers

13:12 - What are the key pillars in your marketing Playbook?

15:50 - What is the balance in being culturally relevant?: Top-Down (Global to Local) or Bottom up (Local to Global)

21:25 - What are the things that a head of marketing or CMO of a pre-revenue business should be focused on?

24:35 - What advice would you give to early sage marketers?

27:14 - What changes in terms of priority after revenue starts coming in?

30:45 - What changes with 7-figure customers, and unicorn status- for a marketer?

36:30 - How do you make change happen fast?

39:00 - Lightning Round

"Scratch" is a production of Rival, a marketing innovation consultancy that helps businesses grow faster by developing effective strategies and capabilities.

Every week, Eric interviews the CMO of a challenger brand, exploring their innovative marketing strategies that challenge established incumbents. Immerse yourself in the world of challenger brands and learn valuable marketing lessons from industry experts, as you discover their secrets to success.

Find Rival online at, LinkedIn, Twitter

Find Eric on LinkedIn and tweet him @efulwiler

Find Magdalena on Linkedin 


Eric: Hey everyone. Before we get to today's episode, I wanted to share what I think is a pretty exciting announcement, we are opening up our rival amp community. So some of you listening have been part of AMP. From the beginning of the company. It has been our small, very small friends and family community around rival where we post updates asked for feedback, kind of share what's going on in the business. But actually, we think there's a lot more potential as we've grown as our community has grown, as we've met more of you to actually build and scale a proper community within rival amps. So what rival amp is going to be is it's going to be a community for challenger marketers on WhatsApp, we're going to share ideas and observations from the Challenger marketing world that we see and ask everyone to contribute to that share about challenger brands, marketing, news, industry events, job opportunities, ask for feedback, and input use each other as a sounding board, we think it's going to be really great. So if you are interested in joining in or not already a member, please either reach out to me, if you know me, or go on over to our website, And you can apply from there, this is free. But we do want to make sure that we're adding people that are really interested and can really add value. That's it onto the episode.

Magdalena: The macro economical situation, I think everyone is aware of ended up in a lot of markets crashing from one day to the other. And also the crypto market was affected to a certain degree. On top of that we had love insecurities with other platforms that went bankrupt because of regulation or problems,etc. And suddenly, this entire picture changed a little bit. And we we moved away from this bull market. And we had to actually think about very quickly, what and who is our target group and our target audience right now. Because if he would have continued trying to get those users at the beginning of the funnel, so meaning the early adopters to wants to try want to try crypto for the first time. First of all, there weren't many around anymore for a certain period. And second of all, they weren't the ones spending the money on your platform, because they just kind of like tried around a little bit. And and weren't the one really driving your revenues up as well.

Eric: I'm Eric Fulwiler. And this is scratch, bringing you marketing lessons from the leading brands and brands rewriting the rulebook from scratch for the world was today.

Hey, everyone really excited about my guest. Today, Magdalena Horhager is the VP of growth at bitpanda. Bitpanda. If you live in Europe, you definitely know them. If you live in the UK, US maybe not. But they are a trading platform that provides cryptocurrency exchange commodities and securities trading, and ETFs. They are the largest of these platforms in Europe, they just pass the 4 million customer mark. And their last valuation valuation, which was over two years ago, had them valued certainly as a unicorn, but four times over with an over $4 billion valuation. So an incredibly successful challenger brand in the FinTech space. Here in Europe, and Magdalena aside from leading the pandas unstoppable growth across Europe, she spent time in many hyper growth startups and also spent some time at Rocket Internet, which you may have heard of, and it's really interesting to hear her experience from there. So we've a really interesting conversation, we structured it. In our prep call, we kind of got into what are the principles that she has for marketing overall, but then we structure the conversation talking about how to apply those principles, and what to think about as a marketer, in a pre revenue, so no customer business in the early stages of growth. So a couple 100, maybe a couple of 1000 customers. And then in the hyper growth stage, like bit Bitpanda has gone through getting up to a million customers, some great insights here, some stuff that really resonate with me, and certainly some things that I learned, as well. I think you're really going to enjoy this conversation with Magdalena of Bitpanda

Eric:Hey, Magdalena, how you doing today?

Magdalena: Hi, Eric. Very well, Friday afternoon, and very much looking forward to our session now.

Eric: Amazing. Well, thank you so much for making the time I have been following with great interest, everything that you and the team have been Bitpanda been doing for a while because I actually got connected to Lucas and the team a couple of years ago. And obviously you had already been on the scene and we're growing, but it's just, it's amazing what y'all have done and what y'all have accomplished. So I'm looking forward to hearing more about how on the marketing side you've contributed to that success. So why don't we start with you know, certainly people within financial services and definitely here in the UK in Europe would have heard a Bitpanda but have a lot of listeners in the US and other markets that you might not be in yet. So could you give a quick overview of what Bitpanda is as a product and platform

Magdalena: More than happy to do so. So we are the database company that was founded in 2014 by two Austrians and a German guy that actually dead really saw a problem on the market, because back then you did not have the opportunity to easily buy bitcoin in Europe very easily on a platform. So probably you all still remember those shops where you had to walk into. And, and everything was still a little catchy around this. And I think they really, were the first ones at least on the European market who wanted to make it easier accessible for for the mass market, so to say. So we founded Bitpanda back then as a purely a main crypto company, which is a little different to what we're today because today we are more of an investment platform, because over time, we added a lot of different different assets. So today, you can you can purchase on Bitpanda stocks or fractionalize stocks, you can get commodities, you can get precious metals, and we're constantly broadening up our, our, our offers on the platform as well. So today, we're more like investment platform started off in the crypto sphere, mainly focusing on the European market as of now, but slowly expanding to other markets as well.

Eric: Amazing. Alright, before we get into the meat of the conversation, the icebreaker question that we ask every guest is can you please share with us a challenger brand that you are very passionate about right now and why?

Magdalena: So I think in the in the crypto and investment platforms fear, there are a lot of players and they're popping out of out of the out of the garden, like shrooms, right. But there are a lot of players to do a lot of great things and do the right things as well. For me, it's really hard to kind of like pinpoint down to this kind of one company. But if I would have to choose one, it would probably eToro. The European platform that was founded in 2007 already, so they're on the market since a while. And I think for me why why they're always the ones that I look at first is because what they've managed is always being a little bit ahead of the curve when it comes to product as well. And I think they have a great way of approaching their product and marketing their product, where they where they tried to stay super close to the customer, they manage to bring across quite sophisticated and difficult to understand products in a very, very easy and playful way, while at the same time put trust at the forefront, which is especially in our industry, something that is so so important. So probably this is the reason why I think eToro for me are one of the although they don't have a product that is one to one what we're doing. But in the in the kind of like bigger scope of pictures. They're the ones that in my point of view, right now at least do the right things at the right time.

Eric: I saw a lot of their advertising, they blanketed London for a long time. But actually, I'm not sure that I've seen them recently. But I know a bunch of people that use them and swear by them say that they're great. So I just made a note because we have an email, our email newsletter is focused on kind of mini case studies of successful challenger brands. And I made a note because I think that's a great one that we should cover at some point. So getting into the conversation, and I love the way that we've structured this, we're going to talk about the key pillars for you, as a CMO, how you think about an approach marketing and growth, and then we're gonna get into, you know, I know you haven't been there from the very beginning. But whether it's with big panda or just in general, as startups scale from zero all the way up to I know, I know, you all hit 4 million customers last month, so congratulations. And even if it's not 4 million scaling to a lot of customers, how those pillars and how your mindset, your model, the frameworks, the approaches that you use, evolve with the business and with the function overall. So starting with the key pillars, can you set the scene a little bit talk to us about what are the key pillars in your marketing and growth? I guess playbook that have that you've brought to bear on the bitpanda business and clearly have had a big impact on on driving growth of the company and brand

Magdalena: So I think probably for I go into this question in more detail. It's also important to give you a little bit of the history of the company, a little bit of the history of crypto in general, because it's been it's been not even at the cage yet, but we've been through extremely interesting phases within within within within 2014 Since we were a launch so at the beginning I think our marketing approach was very, a friend one to the one that it is today. And this has given very much of what happened in the world, but also how fast the entire crypto industry evolves over the last couple of years, right? So when he founded the company, in 2014, it was all about getting crypto out there, making people familiar with it, letting them know that it's a great opportunity. And that it's that it's actually a secure thing to do. Right, that it's not, it's not gambling, it's a way of investing your money and diversifying your portfolio. Whereas over time, we're cryptid. Today, more or less our audience, they all know crypto, right. So it's a very different marketing approach, then to what we did at the beginning. But I think probably the main pillars always stay the same, I think, for us trust with our customers, and security is that key, most important thing. So this is in whatever marketing approach, we're doing the message that we want to send out to people, because if you guys are following the industry a little bit, you know that a lot of things happen. And I think what we always want to make clear and have to make clear is that bitpanda is probably one of the most secure platforms where you can purchase and where you can leave your money because we're dealing with people's money, right? So the most important thing for them is that they can trust us. I think it's also differentiate differentiation to others, something that became much more important over the last five years, where you have so many companies coming to the market, where you really say what do we actually stand for what makes us different, I can very quickly outline what this is, because it's always been the very same thing. And it's regulation within the crypto and investment sphere. So Bitcoin probably is a company, a European company. And that's why it's not that big in the US yet, is a company that grew probably much smaller to many of the big competitors that you know, but the reason for that is that we very, very early on, decided to go down the very regulated, but probably also very, very difficult and slow way of making sure that in whatever jurisdiction we act in, we stick to all the rules that adhere there, which now actually, many years later, very, very much pays off, because we all know what happened with FTX and probably other players in the market recently. So I think it's kind of like distrust with the company with it with the customer. It's the differentiation that we have, I think, especially now that we're focusing mainly on Europe, something that we're very much focusing on is that we say we have to be regionally relevant. And culturally relevant Europe is a very difficult market, compared especially to the US where you can very easily have the same marketing approach across the entire US, Europe have a lot of different cultures, has a lot of different languages, a lot of different regulations. And what we learned is, you have to go fully local in order to win those markets, especially if it comes to if you're dealing with people's money, right? media and PR extremely important for us. Because that's a way of really generating trust in people if you're present in in your daily newspaper in the in the most important financial media of the respective countries, this is something where you really gain the trust of the people. It's about building a brand. That would be the next one, differentiate yourself a little bit. And and then I think in the end, it's also financial education, because still today, people don't have access to an easy way of investing. And this is something where we help people and make it very clear and make it very, very easy for them to access.

Eric: Yeah, so I think probably, those are the most important pillars. Yeah, those are great, great ones. So building trust with the customer pushing for differentiation, which is a huge part of what we believe in and focus on in the brand development work that we do. And also, what we see as such a common ability, or common investment from successful challenger brands is really pushing to differentiate themselves and find some type of white space in the market. Moving quickly remaining culturally relevant, I want to I want to ask you a follow up question on that one, media brands and then also pushing on the education front as well when it comes to culturally relevant because we actually don't know when this is gonna be released. But yesterday, we did our q&a podcast and one of the questions that came up was, how do you approach marketing to a culturally or ethnically diverse audience and the person who asked the question, use the example of, you know, FIFA and the World Cup where you're talking to so many different people who are interested in in that topic in that in that brand that you're partnering with, but I also remember talking to Lucas, you know, whenever it was a couple of years ago when I think that bit panda I forget the exact stage or whatever, but he was very focused on how do we expand into different European markets? But how do we make sure that we are really kind of building bottom up my words, not his to be culturally relevant and fit for purpose in those countries? Because each of them, of course, have their own culture and need states within the audiences that you might be trying to reach? I'd be curious to just double click on that one. You know, I guess I guess the obvious question is, how do you do that? But, but maybe maybe a better way to ask it would be what, what are the most important factors in getting that right? Because having done a lot of advertising over the years, big global businesses, I feel like, companies just tend to cycle through either the top down, we're gonna go global, local, or that's not working grass is always greener on the other side, let's go bottom up local to global. What's the balance that you found that works? Well, when it comes to being culturally relevant?

Magdalena: Yeah, I think I think it's a very good question, Eric. And I think, I think, even today, after after doing this, with many, many companies, also in the past before joining joining bedpan, I think it's still I still can't tell you what's the golden rule, right? Because, again, it's also very different to different companies in different topics. But I think we, we, we've literally found the roadway for bid panning out. But it wasn't clear from the very first moment onwards, right. So don't get me wrong, it wasn't, it wasn't that we started off with expanding to other markets. And it immediately the approach that we had at the beginning was the right one, it took a while. But I think what we found out is that

it is important to do everything local. And I think it was kind of like for us a little bit of a hard wake up call. Because what does that mean? That means a lot of people, very expensive setup.

And, and probably also a remote organisation across many different countries, countries in Europe. So ideally, the the easiest approach is to go global. But we just saw that, especially with investment, and I briefly mentioned this before, already, if people trust you and give you your give them give you your money, you have to appear to them as even as if you would be local. So we really went down the hard way where we said, Okay, we're translating everything, we have a local team on the ground, we have country managers on the ground that that build up their own marketing strategy. That can be very, very different from Germany to France, for example, right. And I think it took a while to really accept this. And it's also for an organisation quite difficult to adapt to that, right, because what's the best organisational setup that fits this in the end, and I think now we found a really great way where we have local, quite lean local teams, and a very strong global team that acts like a service distributor to them. And so for us, right now, we see that that's actually the best approach, we also realise that you can grow that quickly. But we also saw that it's for us, not only from a revenue point of view, but also from from from, from a general success point of view, it is better to win more market share in one market, rather than peanut buttering across Europe. So the initial plan was one country after, after the other. And I was working for a company builder called Rocket Internet before where it was all about speed, right? It didn't really matter in the end on, on how we achieve this, but it had to be fast. That was probably one of the most important things. And with bitpanda, we came to the realisation that it's better to focus on a few markets, build up a brand that is locally relevant, that has a decent market, share in those markets, and then get over and open the next market.

Eric: It's fascinating, and I like and if I'm understanding you correctly, you're kind of saying that the responsibility or there's a lot of focus on having local teams, and the global or regional team plays more of kind of a supporting and enablement role. So the local team is guiding how you show up obviously, within certain boundaries. But I think that's a really good one. We actually just started working with a, you know, pretty big restaurant retailer. They're global, but heavily focused in the US and they have a marketer for each restaurant. And the power is really put in the hands of the local team, the local unit, who best understands the culture and the audience that they're trying to reach and are present and I think what is What is very difficult also as a leader is to really kind of like, give over the trust the 100% of your trust into into those local people, right?

Magdalena: Because you will never be able to verify this 100%. Right. So I think hiring is just so so important that you have really, really strong leaders in those markets, then that you can not only fully trust, but it also knows their audience know their market very well, and then just start executing and that are not fear to also change things, right. Because it does not only mean that you need a local marketing approach, it goes down to the fact that you need a local product. And within Europe, you have a bunch of different PSPs. So payment service providers, how you can own ramp your money, you have a bunch of different verification providers. And they're very unique from one country to the other. And if you go to product and you tell them, Look, I need a local verification provider for Sweden, please. This is the business case behind it. Marketing will add sorry, product glow has come up, I have a list a whole bunch of things that have have a global impact, right. So your stuff gets really, really listed at the bottom of the list. And this is something I think, a realisation that we had to make within the company, that you have to approach things differently, because otherwise you're not going to win any market.

Eric: Fascinating. All right. So if we've touched on the pillars, the principles for you overall, now let's get into the different stages. So starting with pre revenue, no customers, keeping those pillars in mind, what are the things that a head of marketing or CMO in a pre revenue business should be focused on and thinking about?

Magdalena: So I think for me with bid Panem, it was the first time a little bit of a different, different, original position. Let's put it that way. Because most of the companies and startups I worked for before we were exactly in this position, right? It Company was founded, no one knew it. We had to build up from scratch, we had to make the brand famous, we had to earn some money, we had limited resources. And I think with big Panda, and the beauty of this entire success story around it, for me from the very beginning onwards was that it was actually really a problem that they solved. And they launched a product that was missing on the market. So we were in an extremely lucky position, from the very first moment onwards, that we had a very fast organic growth. Because there weren't many alternatives on the European markets for us. So at least in the in the, in the in the German speaking area, we grew very quickly, which made us profitable very fast. And marketing, to be very honest with you, in the first couple of years wasn't that important? Because we were in this extremely lucky position, right? Crypto was adopting very quickly, it was lot of word of mouth, the focus was always to have a really good working product in place. And then it was it quite quickly spread, which gave the marketing team their opportunity to really play around with things, to test out things to measure things to move over to other things. So it was actually a very exciting and fun time at that point. Because we didn't have kind of like this pressure in the back of our of our heads that we had to deliver on a daily basis because the business was flourishing to a certain degree on its own. So that was the beauty at the beginning. While we were only focusing on the Deaf region, of course. And then two factors came into place. The first one was now you need to conquer new markets. So there of course, it was different. Because we had to start from scratch, we didn't have this, this this kind of like being there, the local product and player advantage. And the second one was that more and more competition came on the market. And actually there is a third one because that is then also the market sentiment, but that comes a little later in place. So this first, this first episode of bitpanda was actually a really fun, exciting way for a marketeer to test around with things and really be experimental agile and, and creative.

Eric: And what type of if you have that flexibility to be able to experiment, you know, you don't really need to be driving customer acquisition because of word of mouth or maybe because you're not just at the stage where you're ready to really dial up the marketing spend. What are the types of things that you would recommend or advise early stage marketers to actually be doing? What does that actually look like if you unpack it a little bit more?

Magdalena: I think something and it's something we did not do and we realised the hard way later on. Is that what I would advise If any everyone is set up your tracking from the first day onwards in the right way, because a great way of doing this later on is the most expensive, painful and time consuming thing, right. And, and it made us for a very long time it made us more or less uncapable of doing any actions because we weren't able to measure those, right. And in the end with marketing and where we are today, it's all about KPIs and data. And without that you rather don't spend any money. Because it's kind of like, throwing it down a big black hole. So I think this is something where that I would do differently now than back then. And I think the next one is, is hiring, I mean, in those early days, you tend to be very quick, because you want those people on board and everything moves so fast, right? Take your time, when you're looking for people take your time, it's better to wait one, two, or even three months for the right person than hiring the wrong one. Because especially at the beginning, you probably don't have the financial resources, and training someone, and then probably exchanging this person along the way, is not more time consuming, but also much more costly.

Eric: I think those are great, very practical, actionable pieces of feedback. It's funny, I was debating whether or not I would say this, but I will I gave, I gave a talk like a virtual talk yesterday for an accelerator at, you know, I do this 40 minute presentation about all this marketing strategy stuff I pulled from our rival academy that we do for like training, training teams, and some of the principles and philosophies we have. And then I'm finished. And the first question is, like, you know, I'm paraphrasing here, and he said it very nicely. But essentially, that's all great. We're a team of five people, what do I actually need to be doing? So I wish that I had had this conversation before yesterday, because I probably would have given them the answer that you gave me. So that is fantastic. Okay, moving on. So now let's fast forward a little bit, you have some revenue coming in, maybe it's a few customers, maybe it's 100 customers, what changes at this point in terms of the priorities focus, you know, actually getting under the hood of what a marketing function should be doing at this stage of a startups growth.

Magdalena: So I think what you then very, very clear we quickly need to adapt is processes, because otherwise the ship gets out of control very, very quickly. And I think it's also something that, that we probably did a little bit too late sometimes. But nevertheless, I think today, I would probably start with, with the process, having that in place, before you start executing different things. I think that is extremely important in the second phase, and having an organisational structure and collaboration model in place. Because I think, once your marketing organisation starts growing very quickly, and you onboard people on a monthly basis, you have to make sure that they all still collaborate. Because the worst thing that can happen for a marketing organisation is that you start working in silos. Because in the end, first of all, it needs to be one tone of voice, it needs to be one brand that every department is standing behind, and pushing out. And in the end, you have to use the synergies across those teams, right. And we were very quickly we grew to an organisation of around 50 People with different departments. And if you don't have a PR and media or marketing, the PR, and media department, talking to the social media team, then this is a very inefficient thing that can actually really harm the brand as well. Especially if you're in a highly regulated environment as we are. So processes, making sure you're not working in silos, hiring the right people, all of those things are just super, super important. But also being agile and fast, right? And this all goes back to data. So try out things, find your target audience, measure it, if it doesn't work, kill it, and try something new. And I think what's, what will only, or what will will be extremely important to make this happen is that you always have your people very close to you, that you explain them the rationale of why you're probably changing strategies quite a few times. Because as long as you don't have the buy in of your team, you won't be successful as well.

Eric: It's so interesting. So I mentioned briefly this rival Academy, you know, training that we do and I, my two co founders to boast as the brand strategy bed Jenna does the go to market and kind of performance analytics. And then I do what we call the talent ecosystem, but essentially, you know, how do you build a marketing function and That is exactly what I stress in the scale up stage is yes, of course, you need to get the right people on board, you need to set them up in the right way, but how they work together within the function, but also with the other functions of the company is so key, because it's not up to you, you are not on your own, whether you're a person within marketing, or just marketing overall, it's about how everybody works together to drive the growth of the business. So I loved your take on it. And I love that we have a similar answer for that stage. So moving on to later stage. And of course, there are a few companies and few CMOS that we get to talk to that have actually effectively implemented this, when you start talking about seven figure customers, a million customers unicorn status, that level of of success and scale, what changes at this point?

Magdalena: So I think, for us, this face and I think needs a little bit of the market sentiment, background explanation, what happened and how did it happen, right. So there was this crazy bull market. And literally from one day to the other, we were we were we were just the entire platform was exploding. Crypto became hyped it was shortly after the after the pandemic, we were in a situation where we were all sent home from one day to the other. And suddenly, this this this bull market appeared and and there were so many people coming onto our platform, which was which was obviously great. But we also had to make sure that we cater them the right way. So I think when you grow that fast and suddenly also have an organisation that is that is completely remote from one day to the other, you really need to double down on what is important and what you need to focus on. So I think what what we very quickly realised is that we back then, in a situation where everyone just wanted to jump on crypto itself, you had a lot of competition on the market. And it went back then to the principles that I mentioned at the beginning is that you have a brand that sticks out that you do differentiate to really make sure that that that you that you did you gain more market share in those respective markets. So I think that was a very, very interesting phase for us where we were really trying to get a bunch of a bit of the cake, while everyone was trying to get a piece all the other competitors. So it was a lot about big out of home campaigns, trying to compete on getting those sponsorships for those football games, etc. which was important back then, because our target audience and I think this is going now more directly into the question that you asked and of what to focus on. And I think this is your target audience. But back then it was the early adopters back then everyone wanted to jump on the horse. So we had to kind of like get the people at the beginning of the funnel, the ones that want to try out crypto for the first time, because once they were on the platform, they more or less state, right, because we had a very, very good, we still have a very good user experience. And great off product offering and people stay once they're there. So it was important to focus on the very beginning of the funnel. And then suddenly, also, very soon afterwards, the entire market sentiment changed a lot. So the macro economical situation, I think everyone is aware of ended up in a lot of markets crashing from one day to the other. And also the crypto market was affected to a certain degree. On top of that we had a lot of insecurities with other platforms that went bankrupt because of regulation or problems, et cetera. And suddenly, this entire picture changed a little bit and we removed away from this bull market. And we had to actually think about very quickly, what and who is our target group and our target audience right now. Because if he would have continued trying to get those users at the beginning of the funnel, so meaning the early adopters, the wants to try want to try crypto for the first time. First of all, they weren't many around anymore for a certain period. And second of all, they weren't the ones spending the money on your platform, because they just kind of like try it around a little bit. And and weren't the one really driving your revenues up as well. So what we what we did very quickly was trying to find a new structure a new way a new marketing approach, a strategy that was very different from what we did before, like 200% different it was focusing on the people that were still bringing money on the platform that we're still trading, we're still interested in crypto, only focusing on that and focusing on organic channels that are not kind of like massive out of home campaigns and that have require much or way less budgets than before. So I think for us, it was a very different and probably, it's because we're in a market that is so heavily dependent on external factors. So we really had to shift around marketing strategies very, very fast from high spending out of home, trying to get everyone on board to a very targeted organic approach.

Eric: So one of the things that we talk about when we talk about the principles for successful challenger brands is the ability to be dynamic. And by brand, I mean, really the marketing function overall, not just brand in terms of how the company shows up in the world. You know, your example, within the crypto and banking space is, of course extreme with what's gone on over the last couple of years, and the rise and fall, winter and all that. But I think every company has the challenge or opportunity, depending on how they approach it, to react to changes in the market, in the competitive set within their own business, within the culture around their audience. And it's such a huge competitive advantage for the businesses that that can do that, particularly when you're at scale. Because the advantage of scale is just that you can have much more of an impact. But typically, the disadvantage of scale is that you're much slower to react. So be curious as a follow up question, if you can talk about it a little bit more. How do you make that happen? Is there is it just about getting the right people on board and prioritising it as the leader? We need to move quickly and make these decisions? Or what else would you share to people that agree with? Okay, I need to be able to change quickly, but don't yet know how they should do that within their team.

Magdalena: So I think I think what was really important for me from the very, very beginning onwards, when we just realised that we have to change some things soon that we have to cut budgets, that our our original new user didn't bring the revenues that they used to at the during the bull run. I think what we did is that we got everyone like all the leaders together in Vienna for a couple of days, and we had a workshop where we literally all sat together, thinking about how can we how can we move the needle? How can we straight come up with a strategy, that that will make us successful for how long this winter will take? Because, I mean, we're still in it if things got much, much better. But the situation is not how it was probably two and a half years ago, right? So and I think really bringing everyone on board and making sure that everyone has the feeling that they were part of building up this new strategy, and that you get their buy in and that that it is kind of like a common project, rather something that is coming top down to them. Because then especially if you have a lot of experts in your teams, you will always get a lot of resistance, right? I mean, imagine you have you have a creative and a brand team that we're building out of home campaigns that we're running on the Tube Station in London, and Stephen, suddenly, from one day to the other, you tell them, Okay, we're not doing any of those things in Europe anymore. That's, of course, very hard and difficult also, to keep up the motivation of the people if you're just completely changing from one day to the other, more or less. But I think with a very kind of like personal approach and giving them the understanding of why do we have to do this, because we want to be here for good, right? We want to be still become the number one player. But if we don't move around right now, it's probably too late. And I think we realised is probably much, much earlier than many other companies. So this workshop happened already a while ago. And I think it was it was really good that we did it that early. Because that in the end, made sure that that we survived and that we're probably now in a better position than ever before.

Eric: Love it. There's so much good stuff in there and one rival gets to a million customers. I'll be sure to go back and listen to this episode for your advice. All right. Are you up for a quick lightning round of questions before I let you go?

Magdalena: Absolutely.

Eric: Let's do it. So what is the biggest win that you've had recently?

Magdalena: Probably, I think it is exactly what I was saying right now. This super fast switch from a high spending marketing organisation to an organic at some point, no budget for marketing organisation and still keeping up the motivation of the peat of the team and showing that it actually works.

Eric: What is the biggest struggle that you've dealt with or are dealing with right now?

Magdalena: I think the biggest struggle in in a market environment that we're in is still showing constant growth while being so dependent on external factors. Like the market that you can't change, but still find ways of growing in times when markets go down.

Eric: I think probably everybody listening can relate to that. What is the best marketing resource you found recently?

Magdalena: It's a person probably,

Eric: can you share who it is.

Magdalena: And it's it's my left my right hand that we're head of user acquisition, and it's our head. And our head of operations. So without those, I think we wouldn't be where we are today.

Eric: Great. And the biggest marketing lesson or the biggest lesson overall, you've learned in your career so far?

Magdalena: Data and build the right structure in order to track this data.

Eric: From the very beginning, yeah. could not agree more. And I think people are anyway, sorry. It's supposed to be a lightning round where you're answering not me. But, uh, you know, the more we get into the consulting work we do, I think there's so much opportunity, even with the people that are thinking about it, but there's so many people that aren't thinking about that. So, yeah, I know, this is gonna be the last question, but I'm actually going to answer first for by perspective, the one thing I really think people should be doing differently, after listening to Magdalena today is really think about do you have that data infrastructure in place? I apologise if I stole your answer. But to wrap things up, what is the one thing that people should be doing differently after listening to this episode, from your perspective,

Magdalena: be agile, test things. Make sure they work by proving it with data and hire the right people.

Eric: Yep

All right, Magdalena, thank you so much for joining us. This was a fantastic and fascinating conversation. And looking forward to having you back on when you hit 10 million customers, bitpanda so that we can talk about that stage as well.

Magdalena Thank you so much for having me, Eric it was a pleasure.

Eric: Have a good one

Magdalena: You too

scratch is a production of rival. We are a marketing innovation consultancy that helps businesses develop strategies and capabilities to grow faster. If you want to learn more about us check out we are live If you want to connect with me, email me at or find me on LinkedIn. If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe, share with anyone you think might enjoy it. And please do leave us a review. Thanks for listening and see you next week.

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