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If you come to me and say, “We’ve got this original piece of insight, and here is how we can turn that into a campaign,” you’re going to get my attention pretty quick.

Welcome Sam Oakley

Head of Marketing

Bud - Beyond open banking

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Sam Oakley is a financial services marketing leader, one of Creative England’s ‘50 most creative entrepreneurs in the UK’ and the co-founder of a multi award winning marketing technology company. Listen now as he sheds light on the evolving, diversification of the fintech landscape.

Transcript:

Nathan Anibaba:

Same Oakley is a marketing and product specialist, one of Creative England’s ‘50 most creative entrepreneurs in the UK’. He’s also the co founder of a multi award winning marketing technology company. He has a deep understanding of the evolving fintech landscape, and is now helping Bud, and open banking platform, gain deeper penetration into leading banks, and offer better deals to the consumer in the process. Sam Oakley, welcome to Client Side.

Sam Oakley:

Thank you. Great to be here.

Nathan Anibaba:

Well, you’ve got a really interesting background and career. You work with one of the most disruptive fintech startups in the UK, and you’ve got a really deep appreciation of how the marketing of financial products and services is really evolving. But you started your career in politics, of all things. How do you go from politics to fintech?

Sam Oakley:

Via a long and sometimes torturous route, I think. I started off with … I thought after university I was working on a local election, on one of the guys there, with running the campaigns around the regional referendum. So my first job was working at comms, like youth comms, for one of those campaigns. That led me into some time with local government, and eventually into PR agencies from there. Then during my time at my last agency, Well Stars, we noticed that there was a real challenge around some of the areas we were looking at in the social analytics, and that there was really poor provision within the market.

Sam Oakley:

So we brought in a developer to have a look at some of those problems. I run that project. Eventually, span that project out from there into a new company. That was my last company, that was Deft Metrics, which we ran for four years, before we wrapped it up. In the process, it was the end of Deft Metrics, I was looking at fintech as a space. I’d done some work within product services in the PR space, and at [inaudible 00:02:30]. That was two years ago. The rest is history.

Nathan Anibaba:

Fantastic. Well, let’s back up a little bit, then, and talk about Well Star, because you said that you were there, they’re a social media agency at the time, and you were there for about seven years. Tell us about your time with the company, what was your role there? What did you learn? What did you take away from your experience at the agency?

Sam Oakley:

So, Well Star was a really one of the first agencies to be thinking about social media seriously, from a public relations perspective. It was making the argument then, and it was probably the right argument, that the natural home for a social media function within a business is within something that has that kind of earned mindset, and PR is the obvious staying point for that. So I joined Well Star as an account manager, and left it as one of their directors. Over that seven years, working with some awesome clients, you know, Semi Mobile, [inaudible 00:03:43], Unilever, lots of great people. It was one of those … A real step change in terms of the way I was thinking about marketing at the time. Particularly towards the end of that, when you started looking at it, not so much from a marketing challenge perspective, but from a business challenge perspective. That was kind of where the whole Stash Metrics thing started.

Nathan Anibaba:

Huh, quite fascinating. So from your time, after your time with Well Star, you co founded Stash Metrics, as you said. Tell us a little bit about the problems that you solved for your clients, and how did the company come about?

Sam Oakley:

So I was working a lot on putting social media analytics capabilities into our client’s businesses. It was a really tough job, because a lot of the early social media analytics tools are kind of always been built based by engineers first, looking at what questions we can solve, and what value we can bring into a business. But they didn’t answer the right questions, from my perspective. So you could quite easily find out what everyone was saying about a given topic. But if you had a clear idea of who you were trying to target, what you couldn’t do was find out what your target audience was saying about life in general.

Sam Oakley:

From my perspective, as a marketer that’s trying to isolate and understand a target group of people, and understand what they consider to be valuable, and provide that value back through marketing campaigns, that’s a really core function that just didn’t exist. We started Stash looking at that. Over the course of the time we were working on it, that kind of morphed into looking closely at small groups of people that really drove behavior change amongst wider groups of people. So that ended up becoming a kind of influence, at least-

Nathan Anibaba:

[crosstalk 00:05:58], right.

Sam Oakley:

Yeah. Where we basically built a search engine where you could describe the audience you wanted to reach, and it would then go and dive down into all of the data we had on that audience, analyze the kind of things that they were interested in, and find the people that were driving that kind of online behaviors within that audience.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure. Let’s talk a little bit about Bud, because Bud is an open banking platform that uses customer transactional data to understand where we can help them save money, and give them better deals, IE, if customers are paying too much for an electricity bill, it also improves your credit file in the process. Talk a little bit about where the company is today, and what is the company’s mission?

Sam Oakley:

Okay. So going back to that kind of point we were making about aligned value change, right? If you look at the way that commercial banking, or retail banking happens at the moment, it’s like the bank creates a value store by giving away free current account banking. Then in order … Most of the bank’s costs are aligned with that process. Most of the bank’s profits, or revenue, is aligned with what they then do to try and degrade that value store that they’ve created by selling products, selling loans, etc.

Sam Oakley:

So what Bud, what we’re trying to do is say it doesn’t have to be that way, right? There can be an alignment that is, sure, you create the value store by providing the free current account banking. Then with the right level of data and intelligence, you can understand what your customer is trying to achieve. You can align your revenue models to helping your customer do the things they’re trying to do. Whether that’s introducing your own products, great if it is. But also introducing third party products, or helping with [inaudible 00:08:18] advice, or savings, etc.

Sam Oakley:

So what we try and do at Bud is to provide that intelligence, and the capacity to fulfill with those [inaudible 00:08:30] products. We do open banking, like we are an open banking platform, you were right to call it that. But from my perspective, at least, the aggregation part of it, be it the accessing the data, the transactional data, it’s kind of commoditized now. There is a lot of players doing that. I don’t want to … It’s still hard, and it’s still … There is definitely value in it. A lot of the market is currently there. But the real value, the differentiation and the place where Bud is going to really start to rise above the pack is through the way that it deals with the intelligence layer, and then the distribution. Because accessing transactional data is really important. But it’s still just data at that stage. It has no inherent value back to the customer, unless you can understand it and do something with it. That’s where Bud kind of steps in.

Nathan Anibaba:

Huh. So I’ll use Clear Score as an example. So talking about those third party products, I use Clear Score to help improve my credit profile. But while using the app, I’m introduced to a lot of other services, be it loans, be it credit cards, be it mortgages, etc. Are those the sort of third party products that you’re referring to, once you-

Sam Oakley:

Yeah, absolutely.

Nathan Anibaba:

Right.

Sam Oakley:

Absolutely. Clear Score got a really good model in that way. I mean, the way that we’re kind of looking at it is a bit different to that in that we know that about 13, 14, sometimes up to 16, 17% of people are willing to go off and get a standalone app to help them do things like that. But the vast majority of people are happier not doing the thing. Even if they know that they want to do it, they’d rather not do it, because the hassle of going off and engaging with finances, there is a huge amount of cognitive load involved, and it’s a complicated, intimidating thing to do. There are people, like yourself, and like many other tax savvy, relatively affluent, I’m not making any comment about your levels of income, but relatively-

Nathan Anibaba:

[crosstalk 00:11:01] any of those. I wouldn’t put myself in either of those categories. But anyway, continue.

Sam Oakley:

When I say relative, I mean relative to the entire population.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure.

Sam Oakley:

There is a group that is always going to go off, and is going to find the right products for them, to help them. But there is a much, much bigger group that isn’t going to do that, because engaging with their finances is frightening. We’re for those guys. So we’re trying to work with the bank that you already have to try to help that to start deliver those products, and to be able to use a lot of the intelligence that we can provide to make those journeys really, really easy, so that you don’t have to be somebody who is going to be engaged with their finances. The fact that you’ve got the credit score out puts you in, easily, the top 15% most engaged with their finances people in the country.

Nathan Anibaba:

Oh, really? Interesting.

Sam Oakley:

Yeah. I mean, the fact that you’re willing to do that. It just puts you in a minority of people who are willing to get involved and tackle that.

Nathan Anibaba:

That’s really interesting.

Sam Oakley:

We did a survey of millennials about of years ago, talking about the kind of financial anxieties that they have, and that kind of thing. The reticence to actually engage with their finances was quite astonishing. They were referring to the way your thumbs kind of are hovering over the bank app, and you don’t know whether to press it and see your balance or not.

Nathan Anibaba:

Interesting.

Sam Oakley:

They don’t really want to see their balance.

Nathan Anibaba:

Finance is so emotive. Money is probably the most emotive subject on the planet. It’s filled with so much baggage, and I think organizations and companies like yourselves, that are tackling that space, you have to deal with the emotional, psychological baggage that comes along with managing money.

Sam Oakley:

Yeah. Absolutely. Bud, when we’re taking a use case into a bank or something like that, we’ve got our own app, our own personal financial management app, that we use to test out new ideas, and new kind of services, that kind of thing. So a lot of what we try to do is to understand, how can we really be unashamedly consumer first in the way we think? So we invest quite heavily in building and maintaining, and engaging with the users of our own app. That kind of keeps us honest in that respect. If we’re taking a use case into a bank, it’s because we know it works.

Nathan Anibaba:

Hmm, quite fascinating. You’ve grown significantly over the last two years. When you joined, there were 15 people there, now 85. But it’s grown in awareness and reputation over that period of time, as well. Tell us, what role did marketing play in that growth? How have agencies supported you in that transition?

Sam Oakley:

Good question. I guess a lot of that depends on how you define marketing, in terms of what role does that play? Because obviously our brand has been part of it. But when you’re a small startup in a scene where a lot of people know each other, there is a huge bleed between the brand, and the product, and the people. It’s difficult to attribute progress to any one of them. Certainly, when I joined Bud, it was already sort of a well known startup within the fintech space, because the founders, and the people here were known for talking sense, being different from the kind of … Being in a banking world, but being a bunch of [inaudible 00:15:15] mid ’20s, with this kind of crazy ambition to go out and disrupt the entire banking system.

Nathan Anibaba:

Interesting.

Sam Oakley:

Somehow being successful at it, despite the fact that there were certainly a lot of surprise about who quickly Bud gained traction. But once that happened, that really started to cement the beginnings of a kind of [inaudible 00:15:41] space. So a lot of what I did, in the early marketing activity, was about trying to keep that section of the brand moving forward. But then to also try and add in some more robustness to it, as we started to work with bigger banks, and they don’t want that kind of aggressive level disruption. But they want someone who is going to be able to innovate at pace, but be able to do that in a collaborative way. So I think that process was already underway by the time I joined. But a lot of the early focus of what I was doing was further in that.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. What mix of agencies have you used, or did you use, to sort of help you take you on the journey?

Sam Oakley:

Quite a lot. I mean, our biggest agency engagement was with a PR agency. So we worked with Hot Wire for about eight months, nine months, something like that. Particularly around our series A, because we knew that was a real inflection point for the business, and it needed to be handled in a sensitive way. So there was that. We also used … We’re a small team, so we used agencies to outsource stuff that I think, particularly in a [inaudible 00:17:16], you normally have it in house, like a [inaudible 00:17:21], that kind of thing.

Sam Oakley:

A lot of the lead gen stuff, basically, gets outsourced. But recently, we’ve been working with a kind of disaggregated agency model. A lot of our inbound funnel is built around content marketing. So we have a hot spot at the center of that. Our work with some journalists from the space, who I just know are going to be able to write really on point copy, and who know the people to go and talk to, to make sure that what we’re writing is genuine thought leadership. So I think there is a lot of bad content on the internet. So content marketing, if you would do it, if you’re going to call it thought leadership, it has to actually be thought leadership. It can’t just be front out the opinions that you hear at conferences. So-

Nathan Anibaba:

It has to be well researched, original content, sort of backed by data, which is very hard for a lot of organizations to do. Especially if they are cash strapped, they don’t have a huge amount of investment to do this. What’s your approach to creating original though leadership that is differentiated in the market?

Sam Oakley:

So we have a rule where, sort of a final check before anything goes into production, which is does this add to the sum total of knowledge that is out there about what it wrote about? Right? If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t go into production. Because there is no point in producing something that is just going to parrot something that somebody else has already said. It goes back to the whole understand your community, understand what value [inaudible 00:19:20]. We sold some people who are highly intelligent, highly engaged, really time poor. They don’t have the time or the inclination, to be honest, to be engaging in marketing activity that doesn’t, in somehow, help them get on with their job.

Sam Oakley:

So yeah, we frame things a bit differently. All of that kind of, the stuff we were talking about, like the early genesis of the brand, where it was quite a human centric thing, we make sure that that stays a central part of any content we produce. We work with a couple of really good photographers, so when we’re doing an interview with somebody from the industry, we’re not just getting the headshot that they use on LinkedIn or whatever, we’re getting a sense of what is talked about in those sentences. There is that kind of human centric element of it.

Sam Oakley:

Then we bring everything back to how it affects the consumer and the end customer. So we use insights, and user flows from the app a lot. A lot of that kind of work goes into producing our content. But the real asset to us is if I download this, or if I sign up to this webinar, or if I come to this event, and I am at the digital lead of a major bank, do I leave with something I didn’t know before? Is that thing useful and relevant to me in my life?

Nathan Anibaba:

That’s the key, isn’t it, with thought leadership, and with content. It’s how do I increase, add more value to the prospect’s life, more than what, over and above what they had before they engaged with our brand.

Sam Oakley:

Absolutely. That is, for me, how we build the kind of brand that … A modern brand is built by repeated touch points, where each of those touch points has value to somebody.

Nathan Anibaba:

Yeah, 100%. So if there was a really creative, super hot content agency, thought leadership, and they knew, look, if we get in front of Bud, we can change their approach to content marketing, improve the way that things are done, but they’re not on your radar at the moment. What’s the best way for them to get on your radar and sort of add that value to you?

Sam Oakley:

Tell me something I don’t know about my audience.

Nathan Anibaba:

Intersecting.

Sam Oakley:

Come to me saying, “We’ve been speaking to the following digital directors of banks, or the following CTOs at startups.” It’s pretty obvious who we sell to if you do some cursory research. So if you come to me and say, “We’ve got this original piece of insight, and here is how we can turn that into a campaign,” that’s obviously going to get my attention pretty quick.

Nathan Anibaba:

Quite fascinating. When, let’s say, you progress one step further, and you are actually interested in this agency, and maybe there are a couple of other agencies that you’re looking at as well, what is your approach to selecting, hiring, and ultimately choosing a winning agency?

Sam Oakley:

I think it’s interesting. So back when I was working in an agency, I think I had a pretty clear idea of what it was people wanted when we were pitching to them. Then having gone through running this startup, and doing a lot of investment pitching, obviously, we raised somewhere around a million pounds in venture capital. So going through that process, and then coming here to Bud, where marketing budget is a huge investment for us, I think it’s really interesting to take some of the kind of principles of a startup deck, and a sort of investment they raise, and if you play those to how you pitch. So show me the size of the opportunity. Show me why this is a fantastic idea. But equally, I’m making a huge investment if I bring on an agency, on a relative basis. If I were to bring on an agency, I would be bringing on an agency that would be using up 60 to 70% of my marketing budget. So it’s like-

Nathan Anibaba:

Huge decision.

Sam Oakley:

A lot of the stuff in the startup pitch decks is about de risking why you’re the person, or why your product is the right bet to go off and take that opportunities. I would say in a 10 slide pitch deck to an investor, you’re going to spend two slides on the opportunity, two slides on the product, and six slides on de risking why that product is the right bet. I think a lot of agencies firstly come in with … If I can ask someone for half a million quid in 10 slides, I’m pretty sure you can pitch to me a marketing idea in 10 slides.

Sam Oakley:

Secondly, if you think about the way that an agency pitches, they’re going to spend … They’re going to do a load of [inaudible 00:25:21], which useful, I guess that’s part of the de risking process. But agencies need to start getting way more savvy about the way that they handle their own campaign data. I had an agency come to me a while ago, and it was a shame we didn’t end up working together. But one of the things I really loved about their pitch is they said, “We run this campaign, this kind of campaign 60 times in the last three years. Here is our benchmarks for what it’s going to cost to get these levels of outputs and outcomes from it.”

Sam Oakley:

Because they … You have all of this really useful proprietary data, if you’re willing to pull it between campaigns as an agency. But I think a lot of agencies don’t do a particularly good job of the data architecture within the business. Understanding how data from the data that they’ve harvested from one campaign, can and should inform both planning and the expectation levels of another campaign.

Nathan Anibaba:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s really quite fascinating. Just on that point, if you are … You mentioned that you work with Hot Wire PR, two content agencies, or at least journalists, to create thought leadership. So it seems as though you’re using a lot of different types of agency services. Is your view to use one full service integrated agency, where you can go have one point of contact, and everything under one roof? Or do you prefer to work with specialists agencies that have a focus on different service areas?

Sam Oakley:

I’m pretty agnostic, to be honest. Full service agency model, obviously, has its benefits. But from my perspective, I’m not too fussed about how those teams are put together. What I want is the right team. If that is [inaudible 00:27:35] of, for example, for that piece of content that I’m working on at the moment, it’s four quant researches, two journalists, two photographers, graphic designer, SCO specialist. They’re all … None of them work for the same agency. But there is one project manager who has put it all together. So he’s essentially got a full service agency there. Now, from my perspective, as a client, I need to see that team working together and join, but there are so many good digital versions … Good digital ways to make that clear to a client now.

Sam Oakley:

We use Asana quite heavily within that team. We all know what everyone is doing, we all know what needs to get done. We all know when it needs to get done by. Who needs to approve what, etc. That’s a well run project. It doesn’t need to necessarily exist within the confines of some brick walls somewhere in [inaudible 00:28:46] for them to bring that kind of level of expertise together. Now, I guess, the caveat to that is that where a full service agency does have an advantage over that model is what I was talking about earlier with that kind of data warehousing, and how a full service agency can add a strategic layer that maybe a kind of disaggregated model doesn’t have access to.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. Then just going back to, obviously, you’ve worked with a number of agencies over the years. What is the best way for agencies to get the best out of you, their client? What is the best way for you to get the best out of them, the working relationship? Talk a little bit about that.

Sam Oakley:

Yeah. I guess, you’ve probably heard this a lot. But, being honest with me, setting expectations that are reasonable. If my expectations of the agency are not reasonable, letting me know.

Nathan Anibaba:

Okay.

Sam Oakley:

I guess saying yes to too much stuff is a mistake, from an agency perspective. Being unafraid to push back to no, as that’s not going to work.

Nathan Anibaba:

In your mind, does that add more value to the agency, because they’re able to push back from that perspective? Because for a lot of agencies, they just say yes to clients, because they seem like that’s the best way to impress them. But actually, is the better way of impressing the client actually pushing back when they believe that the course of action is not the right one?

Sam Oakley:

Yeah. Absolutely. If I’m hiring an agency, I am paying you at least as much for your expertise as I am for your time.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sure. You’re thinking-

Sam Oakley:

Yeah, definitely there is an element of small inhouse marketing team don’t have the resource to get everything done inhouse. So some of it is just anybody’s to create this stuff.

Nathan Anibaba:

Right.

Sam Oakley:

But a huge element of it is someone who can provide a foil to my thinking, and who can help me to see strategic elements that I haven’t seen. When you’re inside a business day in and day out, it’s really hard to maintain that kind of level of perspective that somebody who works on eight or nine different clients has got. That’s a huge advantage that an agency [inaudible 00:31:47] has, over say their client, is that their client is going to be absolutely knee deep in the details of their day to day. That level of perspective is really valuable.

Nathan Anibaba:

How do you know that you’re not overpaying for agency services?

Sam Oakley:

Yeah, I don’t know that you do. Again, that comes down to expectation assessing and delivery, right? In the end, I think over or underpaying is kind of a big of a red herring, because they’re delivering something that has value into the business. If that is fair value, then you’re not overpaying, or underpaying. I think you get quite a lot of price harmonization, anyway, between agencies, because I think they all know what each other charge for stuff. But broadly speaking, if an agency was to come to me with a wildly different charging model than other agencies, and be able to explain that, because this is the value that they’re going to bring into the business, and therefore this is why the agency is worth that money, I have to make a business case when I’m bringing on an agency to do a project or to work with on a retained basis, or whatever that is.

Sam Oakley:

If that business case is solid, I’m not taking it … I’m taking that business case internally. I’m not taking it to people who have worked with agencies before, so have no level of expectation of what that’s going to be. The difficulty from my perspective is to go in and go, “This is why this is valuable.” If an agency can articulate that in a succinct way, then I have no issue with looking at alternative pricing models.

Nathan Anibaba:

Sam, final question before we get into our quickfire round at the end of the interview. Let’s talk a little bit about fin tech and open banking, and specifically challenger banks, like Monzo and Starling. They’ve raised the bar for customer experience, and now what we expect from banking services as a whole. But they’re still struggling to get users to really fully use their services in a meaningful way, IE, put all of their salaries into their accounts. In what other ways are those challenger banks making money and becoming profitable?

Sam Oakley:

Well, I mean, in terms of becoming profitable, they’re not. I think all of the major challengers banks are still in loss making.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really?

Sam Oakley:

Yeah. I think Starling is getting close to breaking even, they’re predicting breaking even this year. Monzo just went in and does a large raise recently, same with Starling, [inaudible 00:34:59] just raise a huge sum of money at an enormous valuation. But broadly speaking, if you look at … This is a massive oversimplification. But banks make money by borrowing short term and lending longterm. So you put money into your current account, and if enough other people have money in their current accounts, they know what level of liquidity they have to lend out, and then they lend someone that money in a mortgage, and that’s the kind of fundamental retail banking model.

Nathan Anibaba:

The [crosstalk 00:35:38] of banking, yeah. The basics.

Sam Oakley:

So if you look at banks like Monzo and Starling, the challenge for them is to get people to kind of hold decent amounts of cash in their accounts. Like I don’t have any stats to support this, but my gut feel is that that’s not happening at the moment. That most of the customers of these challenger banks are using it as a cool way of managing spending. So money goes in at the beginning of the month, shortly after they’ve been paid, and [inaudible 00:36:23] gets eroded throughout the month, and then they get a top up, which is a really challenging model for them to actually go out and make money from.

Sam Oakley:

So there are some people who are … Starling are now making, I think what they described is like a material amount of money. I don’t know what that means. But they’re making some money from their marketplace, which is very much in marketplace 1.0 at the moment, where they’ve got some products sitting inside their bank that you can use if you’re interested in them. They will then get an introduction fee from the third party provider. So I think they have a few other, integration with Wealth Simple for stuff that shares [inaudible 00:37:12].

Nathan Anibaba:

But is that just because we’re not comfortable enough with the new challenger banks yet? I mean, I opened my bank with NetWest or Barkleys when I was like seven years old. I’ve known them my whole life. Starling has just been around since yesterday. So there is an unease with putting all of my salary, my hard earned cash, into a company that’s just been around for 12 months-

Sam Oakley:

Yeah, totally. People think emotionally way faster than they think logically. In fact, Starling [inaudible 00:37:53] savings are going to, I think it’s 80 grand or something like that. If Starling goes under, it doesn’t really matter to somebody who is looking at it going, “Yeah, but I’ve already got a bank.”

Nathan Anibaba:

Exactly.

Sam Oakley:

Their marketplace is definitely a thing that’s going to happen. Starling marketplace will get better. There is no doubt about that. I can definitely see a place within, say, the next year or so whereby Starling will be able to tell that I’ve consistently got 100 quid left in my account at the end of the month, and ask that I deposit that into a savings account. Those kind of tech world prompts will massively increase product pickup rate, massively. I think there is marketplace as a model.

Sam Oakley:

Then the other thing is, so Monzo recently brought back their premium services. So their bundle of paid for stuff, that a customer can pay for, which turns them into a kind of mix between a bank and a software as a service type business, or service business in general, I guess. I think they’ve had, not just Monzo, but challenger banks have had mixed success. Some good, some not so good, with bringing in these kind of bundles. Certainly some of the stuff that, like Revolut did around there, like metal card, the kind of status symbol banking. That’s always going to have a place.

Sam Oakley:

There is ways of making money off that. Revolut are really good at upselling within their app onto the premium, and then onto the metal plans. If you’ve ever gone into their app and tried to do anything beyond the core function that you first unloaded for, this seemed like a really cool idea, and you get three quarters of the way into the user journey, start doing it. But then it’s like, “Oh yeah, but it’s 6.99 a month if you want to do it.” That’s a pretty unique way of handling that, from a [inaudible 00:39:57] perspective. From a customer perspective as well. I think they’ve struct a reasonably good way of adding a fair amount of value for a fair price, within those bundles. Like Monzo did it, and then retired it as a product, and now they’re bringing it back. So I think it’s still to be seen as to what value that’s going to earn.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really interesting. Sam, let’s get into our quickfire round. I’ll fire some questions at you, and if you can fire some answers back, that will be fantastic.

Sam Oakley:

Yep.

Nathan Anibaba:

Single biggest thing that you love about working with agencies, and what do you hate about working with agencies?

Sam Oakley:

I love working with bright, vibrant, engaged, enthusiastic people, and agencies are full of them. What do I hate about working with agencies? I don’t really hate anything.

Nathan Anibaba:

Hate is a strong word.

Sam Oakley:

I find it … Yeah. I find it frustrating when agencies overpromise and under deliver in order to get … Overpromise in order to get the business, and then really struggle to deliver against those promises when if they had understood what my value bar was, they could have managed expectations better.

Nathan Anibaba:

What are you most optimistic about, about the future of fin tech? What are you least optimistic about?

Sam Oakley:

I think fintech is gradually, and painfully, becoming more diverse, and in the process is focusing more on providing good outcomes for a broader variety of people. It’s a good space in terms of the level of risk profile that you have when you first become a fintech is fine. Huge percentages of fintech never even get to agent funding rounds. In order … That’s a really good kind of filter for finding people who really understand a group of people, who really understand a problem, and who are really good at solving that. So it’s a really good way of forcing a company to be really customer focused. Fin tech is brilliant at delivering specific good outcomes for a specific group of people. If we could find a way of making that mass market and delivering it in a way that more people can get access to, then I think it’s got a really bright future.

Nathan Anibaba:

If you didn’t have a career in marketing financial services products and services, what would you be doing with your career?

Sam Oakley:

I make beer.

Nathan Anibaba:

Okay.

Sam Oakley:

At the moment. So yeah, I would … I’ve become a full time brewer. I’d grow a beard and get tapped.

Nathan Anibaba:

I’d join you. What’s the single … Final question. What’s the single biggest thing that you’re yet to achieve that you would like to achieve in your career?

Sam Oakley:

I’d like to go back into politics at some point. I remember working on a campaign, like really, really early on at Well Star, where there was a disease called Plural [inaudible 00:43:20], it has to do with asbestosis, and you used to get compensation if you developed Plural [inaudible 00:43:24], and then the Association of British Insurers lobbied and that got changed. We worked with a pressure group to get that changed back. That was an awesome feeling, that moment of the work that you’ve done going back into … Going into a [inaudible 00:43:42] and changing lives for people. I’d love to get some more work in public policy.

Nathan Anibaba:

Fascinating. Really fascinating. Sam, thank you so much for doing this.

Sam Oakley:

Not at all, thanks for having me.

Nathan Anibaba:

Really enjoyed it. If you’d like to share any comments on this episode, or any episode of Client Side, then find us online at fox.agency. If you’d like to appear on the show, please email Milly@Fox.agency. The people that make this show possible are Milly Bell, our booker/researcher, Paul Blanford, our creator/director. Dan Fox is our executive producer. I’m Nathan Anibaba, you’ve been listening to Client Side from Fox Agency.

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