May 18, 2023
Life at Cleo

Cleo on the Road: Marketing Brew NYC

Our marketing team recently headed to Marketing Brew in NYC. Here's what they thought of the event!

One of our three values is Learn at Speed. There are many ways to Learn at Speed, but sometimes looking outside of your organisation at what peers in other industries are doing is the best way to do so!

Our marketing team headed recently headed to Marketing Brew in NYC to do just that. Marketing Brew is one of the hottest publications in the marketing space, providing daily/weekly insights into the latest trends and social media hacks.

The team has kindly pulled out their favourite talks from the event, so let’s get into it…

Duolingo - Approach to Social Media

We found the talk from Manu, Duolingo’s Head of Global Marketing, fascinating! At Duo, they have a social-first mindset, approaching social media as a brand builder. Manu outlined how the majority of their marketing work is reactive, based on trends, with the remaining 30% in more produced campaigns.

The most interesting part was when he jumped into how they use the (now TikTok famous) owl mascot as the main protagonist on their Tiktok account. It’s great to see them leaning into fun and providing entertainment for viewers across the world!

Their recent success on TikTok particularly has meant that Marketing finally gets a seat at the Leadership table. And, while it’s always great to hear what works, it’s also reassuring to hear about how some things don’t work! Manu mentioned that ~50% of the time, experiments fail at Duo, but learnings will always trump results when it comes to marketing, which is something we agree with here at Cleo!

MailChimp - Using AI to improve marketing decisions

We’ve all heard the hype about Chat-GPT, in fact our CEO loves it so much that all Cleo employees can expense their monthly GPT-4 subscription cost!

Katie Potochney, Executive Creative Director at MailChimp, gave a great talk about how you can use AI in marketing. She started her talk by outlining how you ideally need really strong brand guidelines to truly see value from your creative teams using AI in their day-to-day.

Once those guidelines are in place, it’s up to your creatives in your business to use AI to inspire, run things by, and polish your pieces of content.

Strava - Building a Brand Beyond the Core

The Chief Business Officer from Strava, Zipporah Allen, gave an insightful talk on understanding core users and keeping users motivated. Although the app is based around fitness, it’s easy to draw comparisons with our users here at Cleo, who we want to keep motivated towards their financial goals.

At Strava, they use their platform and sense of community to empower and enable their creators to inspire and motivate each other. There’s a social media-style networking element to their app, and with a key user value being competitiveness, it’s important that this element is providing the features that users want.

The networking element has also enabled them to shift their marketing strategy away from product features and towards featuring more user stories.

OKCupid - Swiping Right on Data Driven Marketing

In an already saturated dating app marketing, OKCupid actively works on differentiating itself by leaning into data and cultural trends.

After running a climate change survey, OKCupid found that 97% of respondents believed it was real and 81% were concerned about what’s going on with the environment. Based on this data, they created a dating filter in app focused around the environment. In this sense, marketing drove product features and by leaning into the environment story, they were able to create press-ready stories that helped differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Additionally, with the recent trend of integrating AI, OKCupid acted quickly and became the first company to use AI in the dating app space by leveraging ChatGPT to generate matching questions.

Finally, OKCupid lent into a big cultural moment around Vanderpump Rules (a show we haven’t actually seen, but have heard of thanks to trending hashtags like #TeamAriana on Twitter). They quickly hopped onto this trend, giving all Ariana users free OKCupid premium for a year so they wouldn’t end up with a Tom and conversely, as an April Fool’s prank, announced banning all Toms. This became a great social play and saw audience engagement skyrocket!

The main takeaway was the importance of valuing data in marketing and really understanding what is own-able to your brand in the space and what sets you apart from the rest. If another brand could do your idea, it’s not different enough.

Overall, we had an awesome time and we’re already looking forward to the next event!

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