Victoria At Work
How did you get into crypto marketing?
While I was at J.P. Morgan, I kept my eye on the space (my brother was an early bitcoin investor—wish I had followed his lead then!). When Galaxy Digital contacted me in 2019, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s a top firm in crypto, and I’d been following the CEO, Mike Novogratz, for a while. He’s a bold leader. I wanted to be part of his team in this exciting space.
Can you tell us about an average day in the life of a crypto marketer?
I start my day catching up on crypto news. This is a 24/7 market and the space moves so quickly; nearly every day there’s a major development that I need to be aware of. I also monitor how sentiments about crypto are changing: on the institutional side via research reports and surveys, and on the retail side via influencers and social media. After that, no two days are the same! On any given day, though, I have multiple projects that span the marketing funnel. It can be a lot of context switching. For deep, strategic work, I carve time at night. As much as I’d like to be a morning person, I typically have bursts of motivation and inspiration after 9 PM.
Which skills would you recommend aspiring crypto marketers cultivate to break into the industry?
Simplifying the complex. This is an important skill for any financial services or tech marketer, but it’s even more critical in the crypto space. Distilling a complicated topic into a concise content marketing piece, for example, is harder than producing a 30-page report on that topic. Analogies help here, but make sure you aren’t being reductive. Overall, you have to be extremely clear with your partners throughout the production process. I recommend studying military communication frameworks, like bottom line up front (BLUF), and always keeping your target audience’s needs top of mind.
What do you think the biggest marketing opportunities are in your field right now?
Capturing new entrants. Interest in our space is expanding beyond crypto natives, and it isn’t the flash in the pan that we saw in late-2017. More dollars are entering this space from institutional to retail investors, and the brands that act as their trusted partner will win in the long-term.
How does Galaxy Fund Management’s marketing differ from other competitors in the space?
Galaxy Fund Management’s content is more straightforward than what you typically see in the B2B crypto space. There’s certainly a place for in-depth, technical analyses, but the data I collected on my target audience showed that the vast majority was starting at square one. We met them where they were, content-wise, and made sure we answered their key questions and concerns while avoiding too much technical detail. This accessible approach then opened more lines of communication to dive deeper as appropriate.
Can you tell us about some crypto brands that you think are doing a great job with their brand and comms right now?
It’s hard to stick to just a few examples here! I have so much respect for my crypto marketer peers. On the identity side, Kraken does an excellent job differentiating itself from other exchanges. Think futuristic mavericks, but rooted in humanity so that it doesn’t feel inaccessible. On the campaign side, Gemini and Cash App have excellent approaches for two different audiences. Institution-oriented Gemini did an excellent OOH activation about their commitment to regulation. This attracted some criticism among the crypto community, but they were taking a longer term bet on the institutionalization of this space. It turned out to be a smart one. Gen Z-oriented Cash App was on fire last quarter. Their streetwear collection and Megan Thee Stallion bitcoin giveaway were both *chef’s kiss*.
What do you think the role of marketing is in terms of helping drive mass adoption of digital assets and Decentralised Finance?
Critical. We need to simplify the complex for a broader audience, but first we need to make them care. There is increased interest, as I mentioned, but it’s our job to capture and deepen that interest.
If you could give 3 key marketing tips to blockchain brands (whether a crypto exchange or a digital art platform), what would they be?
First, identify your target audience and stay focused on it. While it’s tempting, you can’t be everything to everyone. Second, remember that every external touch point is an expression of your brand—are you always acting like who you aim to be? Third, think outside the box. What works in traditional industries isn’t necessarily what works in crypto, which is part of the excitement!
What’s the coolest part about working in your industry?
Having a front row seat to this seismic shift toward decentralization (while increasing the adoption of something that I believe in on a personal level).
In terms of raising awareness for digital assets, what do you think the most under-utilised method of education/marketing is?
Traditional print and OOH! Just because the assets are digital doesn’t mean your placements have to be. You can get quite clever here. And, as older generations still control vast amounts of wealth, meeting them where they are can make sense (depending on your strategy). Last year, Galaxy Fund Management scored a bunch of added value print tied to a large-scale sponsored content program. Then we ran what we think was the first bitcoin ad in a major newspaper (The Financial Times). Things like that and Gemini’s OOH campaign signal to many that crypto has arrived and can no longer be ignored.
Victoria After Hours
What’s the best part of living in NYC?
The energy—you can’t help but feel inspired here. I love how multifaceted it is… there’s finance, yes, but also an enormous creative class.
What’s the city’s best kept secret?
I’m biased, but: my husband’s new store on the Lower East Side, Spirited Away. It’s New York’s only booze-free bottle shop and it carries all the best alcohol-free brands, like mood-altering concoctions by Kin and Three Spirit. There are other cool specialty shops nearby on Ludlow and Orchard: CW Pencil Enterprise, Sweet Pickle Books, and Coming Soon. So you can make an afternoon of it and end up at SakaMai for dinner, a Japanese restaurant with a super nice owner and incredible service.
Have you developed any new habits for really looking after yourself during this global pandemic?
I now make a conscious effort to get on my yoga mat (almost!) every day. I love Open’s online classes. After the first few weeks in my apartment, I started to feel one with my screens. Yoga gets me back into my body.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be less serious!
What are your biggest motivations and inspirations?
My dad always says: “Life is not a dress rehearsal”. He constantly leaves his comfort zone; that’s how he at 78 years old became a “dadfluencer” with over 60,000 followers on TikTok! The fact that we have this one life is my biggest motivation to explore new things and, most importantly, to leave a positive impact. People who embody this spirit are my inspiration: my dad (of course!), Richard Branson, Diana Vreeland, and Diane Von Furstenberg. They embody that life is an adventure.
Do you have a mantra you try to live by?
Assume-toi, a French expression that DVF loves. It means “own yourself”. I believe we all have unique talents, and this phrase is my reminder to work with what I have. Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not; have confidence in who you are. The flip side of your weaknesses are your superpowers.