The Forum Buzz: hippos, decentralized currencies and martech

Jasmine Butler Burnham

Marketing Manager

The Financial Services Forum

You may be wondering why this rather dapper looking hippo has found his way onto the headline spot of this week’s newsletter.

Sadly, there will be no actual mangrove-dwelling herbivorous animals taking part in our April-June webinar programme. But, we will be discussing how to avoid basing critical decisions on opinions, historical assumptions – or the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) – to unlock better decision-making in fintechs.

For those who want to challenge the HiPPO, or indeed, HiPPO’s who want to be challenged, take a look at the event pages on our website and register to join Optimizely’s Chris Stein on the 11 May to find out more.

You’ll see that our full agenda from April to the end of June is now available on the website, so please take a look and save your place at the webinars of interest. In addition to challenging HiPPO’s, we’ll be talking about marketing decentralized currencies, the impact of the introduction of Investment Pathways for pension providers and the subsequent marketing implications, plus much more.

We have a fantastic lineup of speakers confirmed, including Independent Age Chief Executive, Deborah Alsina MBE, who will be joining us on the 15 April to discuss the issues faced by millions of older vulnerable people amid COVID-19. Deborah will also discuss how, with the FCA focus on vulnerable customers, financial services providers should be responding to this challenge.

We’re also delighted to confirm Raj Kumar, Group Brand and Reputation Director at Aviva as our keynote speaker for our upcoming FS Martech 2021 conference on the 21 April.

Raj will be joined at the event by Colin Bennett, Global Head of Digital Distribution at GAM to discuss the digital transformation that GAM have undergone, and Izzie Rivers, CEO and Founder at Realm, formally Global Chief Strategy Officer at Merkle.


What’s New on the Knowledge Centre?

Alex Sword, Editor

This week on the Knowledge Centre we feature a career-spanning Q&A session with Raj Kumar, group brand and reputation director at Aviva. The informal discussion saw the winner of the 2020 Marketer of the Year award sharing insights from his career, including his philosophy and approach to marketing.

Kumar discussed how Aviva established a niche for itself in a crowded market and shared insights into his attitude towards and use of data. He also shared life lessons for younger marketers who might wish to follow his career trajectory.

We also have a write-up of a workshop run by Campbell Macpherson, a business advisor and author about the process of change within organisations. Macpherson and other participants discussed how leaders can help employees adapt to unexpected changes, whether in role, title, status, team or way of working.


Coming up next week…

Next week we’ll be hearing from Matthew Loughlin, Receptional’s Head of Paid Search, on Thursday from 1000-1100am, to discuss how to get to grips with AI powered display ads and how best to position display alongside your other online channels in your marketing mix.

Then, on Tuesday from 1000-11000am, we’ll be joined by ENGINE Transformation’s Research Director Phil Brooks, Associate Director Dave Jackson, User Researcher Natalie Harney and guest speaker Julie McCallen, Service Manager of HM Courts & Tribunals Service. The panel will be showcasing an award-nominated project ENGINE is currently delivering for the UK Government, who are paving the way in helping to make essential services accessible for the most vulnerable.

This session should have excellent learnings for financial services businesses, so I hope you can join us.

Have a lovely weekend, and I look forward to hopefully seeing you next week.


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