FSF MARKETER OF THE YEAR 2023: Dimensional’s EMEA Head of Marketing

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Rachael Smith, Head of Marketing EMEA at asset manager Dimensional, reflects on winning marketer of the year at the Marketing Effectiveness Awards 2023.

You can catch other winners of our Marketing Effectiveness Awards at our showcase event next week. Rachael will also be speaking at our Next Generation of Marketing Leaders Summit 2024.


Congratulations on being the marketer of the year- tell me about the last year and the work that has led to you winning the award.

Thank you. It was quite a surprise to win, but a huge honour and a wonderful event. I’d urge anyone to consider entering themselves or their team for the awards – just do it!

It was a combination of a few things. I’m lucky that Dimensional has so much quality content that is focused on client needs rather than our wants, so a big one was our campaign-focused content push, which allowed us to package and deliver our best content in a meaningful way for our clients and prospects.

I’m passionate about changing  the perception that marketing is the “colouring-in” department and presenting it as a team that drives business growth. In any organisation, marketing should be working in partnership with sales to build the pipeline of commercial opportunities and I’m constantly working towards this goal. I also try to provide my team with a career path and an environment that excites them.

And, I think my D&I work was a contributor both within Dimensional and externally. Where I grew up there were few visible roles within financial services, so I’m keen to promote the industry as a valid career path for the younger generation – wherever they live or whatever their background.

Why did you go into marketing?

If I’m honest it wasn’t an active decision, I ended up in financial services by accident after studying Biomedical Science. I moved into a product marketing role in asset management because I really like the mix of the art and the science. I liked understanding investment products and thinking about how they could help investors. But I also like that in marketing there is often more than one way to think about positioning, and that may differ depending on the timeframe, budget, opportunity etc. In marketing you are constantly providing solutions, choosing the best options and then evaluating what worked. So, it changes every day.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Don’t measure yourself with someone else’s ruler. You should not use someone else as a benchmark for what you think you should be achieving at work or in your personal life. I focus on comparing myself to where I was – that way I can see my own personal progress, not the progress I think I should be making based on other people.

What advice would you give a marketer starting out today?

It can be easy nowadays to think everything is about social media and that social media is the only way forward. For many financial services companies, it can be difficult with regulation and internal constraints to use social media to its full potential. I’d say be open, bring in new ideas to your business but equally be willing to evolve those ideas into something that will work for your company, your brand, and your style of communication.

What companies do you most admire from a marketing standpoint?

I’ve always really enjoyed Guinness’s marketing efforts; they are always really timely and beautifully shot.  More recently I enjoyed the KFC advert – “We saw you. We heard you. And we ignored you.” Humour goes a long way for me. I also like marketing that makes me think, so Netflix and CPB London have both turned my head recently.

What marketing skills do you think will be most in demand over the next few years?

I like to work with marketers that are comfortable with ambiguity and can navigate new challenges. The industry evolves quickly. We need marketers who are willing and able to adapt and realise that what has worked before, may not work going forward. Do not be afraid to test and learn and try new things. These new activities don’t need to be very time consuming or expensive. Do a small pilot or proof of concept and go from there.

What are you most excited about in 2024?

I’m excited to see how technology will evolve and how that will improve the data marketers are able to access, how they can process that data, consolidate it, and join it up with the data in the rest of the business. We’re working hard to get a better view of what content is most engaging, in what formats, on what topics. Key engagement insights will join the dots between the work marketing and sales are doing, and help us meet our audience where they are with the things they want.


Click here to find out more about our Awards for Innovation and Transformation Summit 2024.

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