In this blog, We recap the Grow with Inbound 2021 conference interview with Thunes CMO, Irina Chuchkina, to understand her day-to-day role as a leader in the marketing realm.
Grow with Inbound, our annual conference is an excellent place to tap into the experience of marketing leaders and gain valuable tips to inform forward-thinking inbound strategies. 2021 was no different, and we had the opportunity to sit down with Thunes’ Chief Marketing Officer, Irina Chuchkina.
Our very own CMO, Matthew Creswick, sat down with her to discuss what it means to make a success of the role in 2022, challenges new CMOs face and her leadership vision for the coming year.
Here’s what Irina’s got to say about her breakthrough into Fintech marketing, her growth within the industry, her day-to-day activities as a business leader and how she expects to make 2022 an exceptional year for Thunes and its customers.
Watch the full interview in this video.
Irina on marketing her brand
After starting her marketing career in the banking industry in Russia, and then later working with Visa, Irina has since taken her talents to the Fintech market. While remaining deeply informed by marketing best practices and her wealth of experience, she believes there are no set rules or boundaries, especially when it comes to Fintech. Perhaps this refreshing attitude is why she became one of the Top 30 Most Influential Fintech Marketers in 2021.
3 challenges facing a new CMO
Within her first 100 days as CMO, Irina shared that she faced three big challenges at Thunes. While they’re a baptism of fire for any new CMO, Irina put her own spin on how she framed and overcame them:
1. Overexposure. Once you’re part of the management team, you are exposed to much more within the company that you weren’t made aware of while in a position of less responsibility. You also get less time to understand what the company is facing and have to think things through faster and more thoroughly, while often contributing to discussions that affect more than just your own team. However, this exposure to business-wide discussions, and the ability to make decisions faster, can lead to a more positive long-term outlook for your own team and the company as a whole. You’ll also have more context and data points when planning ahead.
2. Prioritisation. After a period of overexposure, resource management becomes one of your most valuable assets. Your leadership role transforms to become more about efficiently prioritising activities that will impact the overall firm rather than just one department.
3. Communication. The way you communicate across all levels and departments changes drastically. You are now providing direction and feedback — showcasing the experience you have learnt along the way, rather than adding in your own creative process. As a CMO, it’s also about using brand-appropriate language consistently throughout the company.
“Your most important role [as a CMO] is to provide guidance and feedback.” — Irina Chuchkina.
What is the day-to-day of being a CMO?
As a business leader, it is often hard to remember your long-term goals when your day-to-day work finds you surrounded by short-term projects. As a CMO, Irina believes that the key to your success is in striking the balance between brand and reputation building activity, and lead generation.
Irina shares that one of the key shifts into her new role has been how she’s shifted the focus towards supporting her team, rather than producing content alongside them. Daily, she prioritises efficiency within her team — like promoting the reuse of successful templates for campaigns. This frees them up to take on the creative aspects her new role prevents her from contributing as much to. She highlights that as a CMO, less time is spent crafting marketing ideas and campaigns, with a larger focus on reviewing them and supporting her team to create them.
What to expect in 2022
As Thunes grows, Irina plans to move towards a data-driven and creative marketing methodology. Irina’s advice for 2022 is not to become complacent in our current era of innovation. For example, she believes the Metaverse will be driving significant changes around how we virtually interact with one another.
Thunes is also set to expand into more countries in 2022. They will remain partners with Huble Digital for their HubSpot support and CRM-powered payments.