An interview with Jonathan Marriott, Marketing Manager at Electroneum
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.
Jonathan Marriott is the Marketing Manager at Electroneum, a UK based blockchain company that aims to give people in emerging countries access to the global digital economy.
Jonathan 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 Electroneum?
Jonathan: For the five years prior to Electroneum I worked for a publisher that produced industry-leading B2B magazines, websites, and conferences. Some of our clients included household names like Pfizer, Siemens, GSK, and Nokia. In addition to overseeing the digital marketing activities of the brands, I personally led the development of the webinar product ranges, the sales of which which grew over 1000% during my tenure.
“Crypto is unlike any other industry. The people, the news, the regulations. Everything is fast paced and changing all of the time. My advice to anyone entering this sector is to not get bogged down in the detail.”
Rochelle: What things do you wish you’d known before you started?
Jonathan: Crypto is unlike any other industry. The people, the news, the regulations. Everything is fast paced and changing all of the time. My advice to anyone entering this sector is to not get bogged down in the detail. Be adaptable and test everything. Don’t fear mistakes or failures, as they WILL happen. The fact is, so much is out of your hands, and some aspects will always work against you. You just have to be focussed on your long term goal and stick to it. How you get there will never be the way you plan it.
Rochelle: Has your marketing strategy changed since you started?
Jonathan: Absolutely! Over the last two years, we’ve undertaken no paid initiatives beyond our ETN Rewards programme. We’ve been focussed entirely on user growth and adoption in emerging countries. Whilst this focus still remains, we are placing greater emphasis on widespread marketing campaigns in the crypto space, including influencer campaigns, podcast sponsorship, and television. Our numbers are big, and we know it. But others in the crypto space don’t see it. Well, they will soon! We’ll make sure everyone knows about Electroneum.
Rochelle: What would you say is the most challenging aspect of leading marketing efforts for a public decentralized network?
Jonathan: Public sentiment, definitely. It’s challenging to remain focussed at the job in hand when community members are understandably concerned about the price of ETN. This, unfortunately, is not a subject we are allowed to discuss; our lawyers have made this very clear from day 1. This, unfortunately, can be perceived by some as us ignoring the community, when in fact this is not the case. We see and read every comment … we’re just as frustrated that we cannot talk to them about their concerns. However, we remain incredibly positive on the outlook of the Electroneum project. We’ve been incredibly cautious with the $40 million we gained during the ICO, to the point now we actually hold more than what we started off with. Electroneum is in an incredible healthy space, and we’re looking forward to what the future brings!
Rochelle: Do you remember the first time you learned how to market? What was it that clicked for you?
Jonathan: My parents had always dreamed of owning a property in France. In 2002, they made this dream a reality. Following several trips back and forth to France, they decided upon three properties, all of which needed drastic renovation. Over the years, they renovated each property, selling on one to renovate the next. Almost 20 years later, they still cater to UK holiday makers in their small gites complex. They always said, without the website I built for them back in 2002, they wouldn’t be where they are today. It all started with a copy of Microsoft Frontpage and a ‘For Dummies’ guide on website design. This is where my love for marketing began.
“It all started with a copy of Microsoft Frontpage and a ‘For Dummies’ guide on website design. This is where my love for marketing began.”
Rochelle: Tell me about your first trade show in crypto – what was that like?
Jonathan: My first trade show with Electroneum was Mobile World Congress in 2019, just two months into the job. With the help of an incredibly talented set designer and builder, we had designed and built an local authentic South African store, from which we announced the collaboration with South African mobile operator, The Unlimited. The show was massive, several football pitches in size. Every tech brand under the sun was present. It was an incredible experience, and certainly one I would love to relive again in the future.