An interview with Maggie Ng, Head of Marketing at Crypto.com
Blockchain marketers face a very unique challenge. Not only do they have to compete with thousands of other platforms to attract a limited set of developers, but they also have to raise awareness about nascent (but powerful!) technology that the mainstream still associates with hackers and criminal activity. To top it off, they have to grow this product globally from the get-go, to keep the network decentralized. All that, without any playbook of course.
Maggie Ng is leading all growth and marketing initiatives at Crypto.com, the ninth-biggest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of about $3.4 billion, after surging about sevenfold this year.
Maggie made the list of the best marketers in Blockchain for 2020 – a list of 35 individuals whose organizations were measured by the lift in FCAS Rating, which indicates user and developer activity as well as overall market risk, and growth in Twitter mentions as measured by The Tie.
Rochelle: What were you doing before going into marketing for Crypto.com?
Maggie: I started my career in advertising at Ogilvy. It didn’t take long before I noticed my ambition to be an in-house marketer. I got the opportunity to lead the digital marketing function for the Asia headquarter of Prudential. That’s where I spent almost a decade in, insurance and financial services, before joining Crypto.com. It was a precious experience, as it’s trained me to be able to process and break down complex financial products, which has been proven essential for crypto marketing in the past three years.
Rochelle: Do you remember the first time you learned how to market? What was it that clicked for you?
Maggie: I was still a junior executive at Ogilvy. We were working on a CRM campaign for a leading financial servicing client in Hong Kong. We selected the target segment and did a personalised campaign and delivered conversions at double-digit rates. That was my first taste of success…after lots of bumps along the way.
Rochelle: What things do you wish you’d known before you started?
Maggie: Don’t ever be intimidated by what you don’t know (yet).
Rochelle: How is marketing in crypto different from what you were doing previously?
“Don’t ever be intimidated by what you don’t know (yet).”
Maggie: It’s nothing like what I did before. I mostly worked for Fortune 500 brands before, where multiple weekly announcements was unheard of. Not only is Crypto.com a young and fast-growing company (3mil+ users upon our 4th anniversary), the young crypto industry at large is also rapidly expanding. The community is curious, involved, opinionated and very often financially and emotionally invested in projects and principles they believe in. Any marketer must adapt to its pace, and community involvement to be effective.
“It’s nothing like what I did before. I mostly worked for Fortune 500 brands before, where multiple weekly announcements was unheard of. The community is curious, involved, opinionated and very often financially and emotionally invested in projects and principles they believe in.”
Rochelle: Has your marketing strategy changed since you started?
Maggie: Yes. We have evolved from a startup with 40 staff to 600 worldwide today. When I joined Crypto.com three years ago, our key product – the Crypto.com App – hadn’t even rolled out to the market yet. Additionally, in 2018 the market was slowly recovering from the ICO bubble that had just burst. We picked and chose what was needed for a stronger foundation, which was a major rebrand following our acquisition of the domain crypto.com. While there was a lot of distracting speculation around how much we spent on the domain name, retrospectively speaking we wouldn’t have reached our current level of brand awareness without that bold move.
We didn’t start heavy on brand and acquisition campaigns until we launched the crypto Visa Card in the US last July. Sticking to our brand vision of driving mass adoption, we placed billboards in San Francisco, LA and Miami to raise the curiosity of the general public.
As our brand matures,, we will strengthen our corporate identity through the right partnerships, thought leadership and the appropriate communications strategy that goes along with it.
Rochelle: What was a failure you thought was really interesting about how this industry works?
Maggie: I think many aspects of the crypto space need to mature and evolve to be more professional. One example is journalism in this space is very clickbait-y and often inaccurate.
Rochelle: Tell me about your first trade show in crypto – what was that like?
Maggie: It was the RISE Conference in Hong Kong, which is not just a crypto event, but is also a tech and startup event.. I was assisting our CEO Kris Marszlek on a panel. It was the first time I met Joe Lubin and Michael Novogratz. So it was a really memorable experience!
Rochelle: The Tie worked with us to analyze Crypto.com’s growth on social. Looking at Twitter, they found that CRO’s number of mentions grew by over 260% since the beginning of 2020, from around 20 mentions a day to 72. How important is social media in your marketing strategy and how do you think its role differs from other industries?
Maggie: Crucial, especially Twitter and YouTube. When Facebook banned crypto ads back in 2018, they missed out on a lot of this market.. As I mentioned earlier, pace and community engagement matters in the crypto space. For example, we host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) every week with projects we’ve just listed so that our users can make better informed investment decisions.
Rochelle: $CRO’s FCAS has also increased 35.96% since the beginning of the year, which reflects growth in Crypto.com’s fundamental data. What do you think of crypto ratings that measure the health of assets? Do you use them to measure growth? What type of KPIs do you look at otherwise?
Maggie: I think it’s still a very new area which will take time to mature. We certainly take ratings into reference and also understand how the others would rely on different ratings and metrics to measure our project and token, especially for institutional traders. While token ratings are taken into consideration, as an utility token across the Crypto.com ecosystem, we focus on growing our user base, transaction volume and on product development, which ties directly to the success of the token utility.