Unpacking What Went Wrong at FTX: A Senior Marketer’s View

Episode 15 | 18.04.2024

Unpacking What Went Wrong at FTX: A Senior Marketer’s View

This week’s guest is Amber Skinner-Jozefson, CEO and Co-Founder of ePOP AI, a company at the forefront of analysing retail consumer behaviour within the fintech sector. Amber has a diverse background that includes leading marketing and communications at SWIFT and various other fintech startups. Transitioning from journalism to fintech leadership, Amber has consistently prioritised ethical marketing and transparency. Her experiences provide valuable insights into the importance of ethics in marketing, especially in light of the FTX collapse.

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In an time where technological advancements are rapidly transforming financial services, the fintech sector stands at a crossroads between innovation and ethics. The recent legal developments surrounding Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, underscore the dangers of neglecting ethical standards. Amber Skinner-Jozefson, CEO and co-founder of ePOP AI, offers insights into navigating this landscape responsibly.

 

The Importance of Ethical Marketing in Fintech

In fintech, where financial stakes are high, transparent and ethical marketing is not just beneficial; it’s imperative.

“Marketing isn’t just about what you sell; it’s also about communicating your values,”

Amber explains. This philosophy is particularly vital in an industry where trust is the cornerstone of customer relationships.

 

Case Study: The Fall of FTX

The collapse of FTX, a giant in the cryptocurrency exchange market, clearly illustrates the consequences of ethical neglect. Amber comments,

“The FTX saga shows us that no amount of marketing brilliance can save a company if it’s built on unsound ethical practices.”

Mismanagement and misleading marketing eroded investor and customer trust when the firm failed to honour withdrawal requests, revealing deeper financial instability and misuse of funds. This crisis highlighted the essential role of ethical practices in maintaining both compliance and trust.

 

The Broader Impact of Ethical Marketing

“Ethical marketing fundamentally shapes the longevity and reputation of a fintech firm,” Amber states. She highlights how ethical practices contribute to sustained growth and customer loyalty, distinguishing companies in a crowded market. By adhering to high ethical standards, fintech firms not only enhance their reputations but also build robust defenses against market volatility.

 

Regulatory Framework and Compliance

Engaging with regulators is not just about compliance – it’s about collaboration. Amber advocates for ongoing dialogue with regulatory bodies to ensure that marketing strategies not only meet current standards but also anticipate future regulatory landscapes.

 

Technological Innovations

Discussing the potential of AI in marketing, Amber mentions,

“AI allows us to enhance the user experience significantly, offering personalisation that respects the user’s privacy.”

This approach aligns with modern expectations of data usage without infringing on privacy.

 

Educating and Engaging Consumers

Transparency is key in educating consumers about the benefits and risks associated with fintech services. Amber supports initiatives that empower consumers through knowledge, enabling them to make informed decisions about their financial interactions.

 

A Call to Action

Under Amber’s leadership, ePOP AI exemplifies the integration of ethical practices in every aspect of business operations. As the fintech industry continues to evolve, the commitment to ethical marketing will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping its future. The path forward requires a concerted effort from all industry players to embrace transparency, responsibility, and consumer-centric practices, ensuring fintech’s growth is both sustainable and respectful of the very consumers it serves.

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The Role That Psychological Safety Plays in a Marketing Team

Episode 14 | 11.04.2024

The Role That Psychological Safety Plays in a Marketing Team

This week, our guest is Rebecca Heald, a leadership and well-being consultant renowned for her approach to fostering healthier, more productive teams within organisations, emphasising the crucial role of psychological safety. Transitioning from secondary school teaching to overcoming personal adversities and mental health challenges, Rebecca’s journey showcases her resilience and commitment to empowerment, underlining the importance of creating safe environments for innovation and growth.

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In this episode, Rebecca Heald, a consultant specialising in leadership and well-being, discusses the value of psychological safety within marketing teams. Through her journey of personal challenges and professional success, she illustrates the essential role that psychological safety, genuine leadership, and support play in the success and growth of marketing teams.

 

From Adversity to Advocacy

Rebecca’s path through significant personal challenges, including a difficult marriage and mental health issues, to a position where she champions positive change, highlights the strength found in resilience and self-reflection. Her narrative goes beyond simply overcoming obstacles; it’s about using her experiences to drive her passion for creating more nurturing and supportive workplaces.

On her career shift, Rebecca states,

“I ended up going to retrain… as a nutritionist, of all things. But I think, at this point, it was like a cry for help. In a way, I think I was still trying to help myself.”

This move towards a profession focused on healing marks a critical step in her aim to improve well-being and leadership across organisations, linking personal development directly with professional goals.

 

Psychological Safety in Marketing

At the heart of Rebecca’s approach is the notion of psychological safety in teams, foundational for sparking creativity and innovation. She highlights the need for an environment where team members are encouraged to explore, create, and view failures as opportunities for growth. Such a setting, which actively promotes taking risks, is vital for nurturing innovative ideas in marketing.

 

A Culture of Support and Growth

Rebecca delves into how leadership is crucial in fostering psychological safety.

“Leaders set the stage for psychological safety, making it clear that openness, learning from mistakes, and mutual support are not just encouraged but expected,”

she describes, pinpointing a moment of realisation about the importance of leadership and organisational culture in promoting ethical marketing practices. She advocates for a leadership approach that goes beyond conventional goals, emphasising well-being, personal development, and cultivating a supportive organisational environment.

 

Authenticity and Sustainability

Rebecca speaks strongly in favor of including genuine authenticity and sustainability in marketing approaches. She suggests,

“It’s all about coming back to our purpose… if you are not that kind of business… be honest about it.”

This emphasis on honesty and staying true to one’s core values underlines the importance of marketing methods that are effective and truly mirror an organisation’s dedication to positively impacting society.

 

Confronting Challenges and Embracing Growth

Rebecca’s perspectives go further than just psychological safety and leadership, touching on the wider issues related to adopting sustainable and ethical approaches in marketing. Acknowledging the intricate nature of this task, she stresses the significance of ongoing learning, flexibility, and the bravery required to confront difficult realities for true change.

 

Lessons in Leadership and Legacy

Looking back on her diverse career, Rebecca presents a future vision for leadership and marketing deeply anchored in honesty, compassion, and dedication to lasting achievement.

“It’s never too late… to start again, to redefine things,”

Rebecca encourages, promoting an attitude of openness to change and ongoing growth, on both a personal and professional level.

Her discussion serves as a powerful encouragement for organisations to focus on developing inclusive, forward-thinking, and morally solid marketing practices. By adopting the concepts of psychological safety, principled leadership, and a true dedication to sustainability, businesses can successfully manoeuvre through today’s complex environment, ensuring their approaches are not just effective but also meaningfully resonant and in line with their fundamental values.

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How a Marketing Team Can Responsibly Enhance Competitive Advantage Through Sustainability

Episode 13 | 04.04.2024

How a Marketing Team Can Responsibly Enhance Competitive Advantage Through Sustainability

This week, we welcome Johannes Wassenberg, an expert in sustainability and finance. As the founder of S-Cubed Strategic Sustainability Solutions, Johannes offers innovative solutions for embedding sustainability into the fabric of business operations. His journey from the COO of Moody’s ESG Solutions Ltd, where he played a pivotal role in its exponential growth, to his accumulation of over 25 years of experience at Moody’s, provides him with a unique vantage point on the importance of sustainable practices in business.

Listen to the full podcast episode on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

In a time where corporate responsibility is paramount, integrating sustainability into marketing strategies has become vital for businesses seeking to adhere to ethical standards and achieve a competitive advantage. Johannes Wassenberg, leveraging his expertise in sustainability and finance, underscores the necessity of this integration. He advocates for a strategic evolution, suggesting that businesses are increasingly recognising sustainability not merely as a compliance requirement but as a key differentiator in the marketplace. Johannes emphasises,

“Sustainability, in the end, is about internalising negative externalities…either cost that companies have imposed on other stakeholders and didn’t have to pay for themselves.”

This viewpoint shifts the perception of sustainability from an operational cost to a strategic investment that aligns with consumer expectations and mitigates long-term risks, highlighting its significance in driving marketing innovation and business strategy.

Meeting the New Consumer Expectations

Modern consumers are more informed and demand higher standards of responsibility from corporations. They expect transparency and authenticity in how companies approach their impact on society and the environment. Johannes points out the critical role of honest marketing in bridging these expectations. He suggests that genuine sustainability efforts can deepen consumer connections, boosting brand loyalty and driving success.

“Sustainability is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do economically,”

he remarks, indicating that authentic sustainability commitments are essential for long-term business viability and competitive advantage.

Marketing in the Sustainability Era

The conversation with Johannes brings to light the transformative impact of sustainability on marketing. For companies, this evolution means crafting narratives that showcase their sustainable practices and resonate with the values of their audience. He insists on the necessity of being transparent about sustainability efforts, which he views as essential for future marketing strategies. This approach suggests that effective marketing lies in stories that seamlessly integrate a product’s benefits with the company’s broader social and environmental impacts.

Overcoming Challenges with Authenticity

While integrating sustainability into marketing offers numerous opportunities, it also presents challenges, notably skepticism around greenwashing. Johannes advises companies to ensure their marketing messages are aligned with actual sustainability performance, which can build trust and credibility in a market wary of empty claims.

Practices for Genuine Sustainability Marketing

Johannes’s discussion culminates in practical strategies for businesses to authentically integrate sustainability into their marketing efforts. He emphasises the importance of making sustainability an intrinsic part of the company’s identity. Reflecting on his experience, particularly in scaling sustainability initiatives, he highlights consistency, dedication, and engaging stakeholders in meaningful dialogue as key to bringing sustainability narratives to life.

The Road Ahead

Johannes’s insights provide a blueprint for businesses aiming to lead with sustainability. By embedding it at the heart of marketing strategies, companies can achieve commercial success while contributing to a more sustainable future.

“Embracing sustainability is a logical step not just for the present but for securing a thriving future,”

Wassenberg concludes, offering a vision for businesses at the crossroads of sustainability and success.

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Using AI in Marketing: Insights from the Wonka Experience

Episode 12 | 28.03.2024

Using AI in Marketing: Insights from the Wonka Experience

This week, we’re delighted to welcome Núria Antoja, a seasoned marketer with over two decades of experience with leading FMCG companies like Mondelēz and Reckitt. Núria discusses the fusion of ethics and artificial intelligence in marketing, reflecting on her roles as Senior Marketing Director and the impactful campaigns she’s led. With a rich background spanning sales and marketing across food/confectionery, healthcare, and personal care/beauty industries, she brings a unique perspective on navigating the challenges and opportunities AI presents in the marketing sector.

Listen to the full podcast episode on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

In the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers unprecedented opportunities for innovation and personalisation. Yet, it also brings forth a slew of ethical dilemmas that businesses must navigate with care. Núria Antoja, whose career has spanned two decades with industry giants like Reckitt, shared her invaluable insights on this delicate balance in a thought-provoking discussion on “The Responsible Edge” podcast.

 

AI’s Role in Modern Marketing

Núria, with her vast experience across various sectors, including FMCG and healthcare, underlines the transformative potential of AI in marketing.

“AI, in general, can be effectively utilised for repetitive tasks and those requiring extensive amounts of time-consuming data.”

she points out, highlighting AI’s efficiency and depth in processing consumer data. However, she cautions against blind reliance on technology, emphasising the need for marketers to remain vigilant and ethically grounded in their use of AI tools.

 

A Case Study: The Willy Wonka Campaign

Núria examines the Glasgow Willy Wonka experience, which was highlighted in a Birmingham University article, to discuss AI’s ethical implications in marketing. Promising a captivating adventure through AI-generated visuals, the campaign dramatically underdelivered, leaving families in a sparsely decorated warehouse instead of the promised chocolate fantasy. This incident underlines the gap between AI-generated expectations and reality, stressing the ethical obligation of truth in advertising.

Núria points out the necessity of using AI as a tool ethically, emphasising,

“AI needs to be a tool used in the right way.”

This example serves as a cautionary highlight of the need for marketers to ensure that their AI-generated promotions accurately reflect the real-world experience, maintaining consumer trust. The discussion around the Willy Wonka debacle, as detailed in the Birmingham University article, accentuates the broader conversation on the responsible use of AI in marketing to prevent consumer disillusionment.

The Ethical Framework

Núria envisions a future where AI enriches the marketing landscape without compromising ethical standards. She believes in innovation within boundaries, where technological advancements in marketing are guided by a strong ethical compass.

“Constraints drive innovation,”

she notes, suggesting that operating within ethical guidelines encourages creativity and fosters trust between brands and their audiences.

 

Cultivating Authentic Consumer Connections

Looking ahead, Núria is optimistic about the role of AI in facilitating deeper, more meaningful connections between brands and consumers. She anticipates advancements in data analytics and AI will enable marketers to tailor their strategies more responsively and responsibly to individual needs.

“The future of marketing lies in using technology to enhance our ethical approach,”

she asserts, highlighting the dual goals of effective engagement and unwavering ethical commitment.

 

Maintaining Consumer Trust

The dialogue with Núria brings to light the critical role of trust in the dynamic between marketers and consumers in the age of AI. She argues for a balanced approach where technology serves as an extension of a brand’s ethical values, ensuring marketing practices not only captivate but also respect the audience. This balance is crucial for fostering long-term relationships in an increasingly digitalised market landscape.

 

Forging Ahead with Ethical AI Practices

Núria’s insights from the podcast encapsulate the nuanced challenges and opportunities presented by AI in marketing. Her emphasis on ethical integrity, alongside technological innovation, offers a comprehensive blueprint for brands aiming to navigate the complexities of digital marketing. As businesses continue to explore the vast potential of AI, Antoja’s reflections serve as a timely reminder of the importance of grounding these explorations in ethical considerations, ensuring that progress in AI does not come at the cost of consumer trust and ethical standards.

This in-depth exploration, inspired by Núria Antoja’s conversation, underscores the importance of marrying AI’s innovative potential with steadfast ethical principles in marketing. Her perspective sheds light on the path forward for marketers aiming to leverage AI in ways that are both groundbreaking and grounded in an ethical framework, ensuring that the future of marketing is not only technologically advanced but also inherently trustworthy and responsible.

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The Daunting Yet Fruitful Challenge of Supply Chain Transparency

Episode 11 | 21.03.2024

The Daunting Yet Fruitful Challenge of Supply Chain Transparency

This week we’re joined by Joanna Auburn, co-founder and CPO at Trace, who brings insight into enhancing sustainability within business operations. With a deep dive into supply chain transparency, Joanna shares her journey from engineer to spearheading product development aimed at reducing carbon footprints. Discover how Trace aids businesses in understanding and minimising their environmental impact, as Joanna highlights the significance of robust transparency and collective action in paving the way for a genuinely sustainable future.

Listen to the full podcast episode on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

In today’s increasingly eco-conscious market, the demand for transparency in supply chains has escalated beyond a mere regulatory requirement. It has become a pivotal element in building trust with consumers, employees, and stakeholders. Joanna explains,

“Supply chain transparency is about building trust.”

This insight underlines the broader implications of transparency, not just in achieving compliance but in laying the foundation for brand credibility and loyalty.

Transparency is more than a buzzword; it represents a commitment to ethical practices and a sustainable future. It involves an open dialogue about the origins, manufacturing processes, and environmental impacts of products, offering consumers the information they need to make informed choices. For businesses, this transparency is not just about avoiding negative scrutiny but about actively contributing to a more sustainable and responsible industry.

 

The Power of Data

The role of digital platforms like Trace in simplifying the complexities of carbon footprint management is transformative. Joanna emphasises the platform’s utility with

“Trace makes it easier to measure emissions and understand them,”

pointing towards a technologically-driven future in environmental strategy. This forward-looking perspective suggests a significant shift towards informed, data-driven approaches in sustainability efforts, where digital analytics and tools play a central role in both formulating and communicating environmental strategies.

The integration of technology in sustainability efforts represents a critical evolution in how businesses approach environmental responsibility. It signifies a move from broad, often vague, commitments to specific, measurable actions that can be tracked, improved upon, and communicated transparently. This digital transformation not only enables businesses to better manage their environmental impact but also empowers consumers and stakeholders with the knowledge to hold them accountable.

 

Overcoming Challenges with Transparency

Achieving comprehensive supply chain transparency is fraught with hurdles, from logistical complexities to the need for industry-wide standards. Joanna’s own experiences highlight these challenges, “Ensuring sustainability…was daunting,” she shares, shedding light on the practical difficulties businesses face in this endeavor. This honest reflection underscores the need for accessible, user-friendly tools and resources that can assist businesses in navigating the path towards sustainability.

The journey towards full transparency is both a technical and cultural challenge. It requires not just the right tools but also a shift in mindset among businesses, suppliers, and consumers towards valuing and prioritising sustainability. Overcoming these challenges demands collaboration across industries and sectors, a commitment to continuous improvement, and a willingness to innovate.

 

Engaging Employees in the Sustainability Journey

Joanna’s insights on employee engagement in sustainability initiatives reveal a critical aspect of successful environmental strategies.

“Sustainability can’t just be dictated; it’s a collective effort,”

Joanna notes, advocating for a model of sustainability that is inclusive and participatory. This approach not only fosters a culture of sustainability within organisations but also leverages the collective creativity and commitment of the workforce towards making tangible impacts.

Employee engagement in sustainability goes beyond mere participation in initiatives. It involves educating and empowering employees to contribute their ideas, challenge existing practices, and advocate for sustainable solutions. This level of involvement can transform sustainability from a corporate objective into a shared mission, driving more significant and meaningful change.

 

A Sustainable Future

The article concludes on a note of optimism, inspired by Joanna’s vision for the future of business sustainability. It envisions a world where supply chain transparency is not an exception but a norm, where platforms like Trace are indispensable in guiding businesses towards sustainability, and where companies view environmental responsibility as an integral part of their operations and ethical framework.

This future is not just a hopeful aspiration but a realistic objective, achievable through the collective efforts of businesses, consumers, and policymakers. It requires a commitment to transparency, innovation, and collaboration, with a focus on long-term sustainability over short-term gains.

Joanna’s conversation offers a blend of inspiration, actionable insights, and forward-looking optimism for businesses striving to align with the evolving standards of sustainability. Her narrative serves as a compelling guide, emphasising that transparency, employee engagement, and strategic use of technology are key to navigating the path towards a transparent and sustainable future.

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