Today we want to chat with Jan Pleser. Jan is the CMO of Savedroid, a fintech start-up he joined one year ago.
He has always been enthusiastic about good, thought-provoking advertising ideas and after his studies of economics, he dived into the advertising industry.
There, he recently advised major brands such as Procter &Gamble, Nestlé and Kia for the brand and digital strategy, as a Senior Brand Consultant.
When Jan is not working on generate valuable users for savedroid and pushing the brand forward, he likes to move in the water – with a surfboard, sail or snorkel. In addition, he is interested in politics and is keenly follows the developments of digital tech.
RMS: Jan, how would you describe your last year at savedroid?
It’s been great! We had a very successful year since launch and we are really happy with our results so far.
RMS: Startups and the Advertising industry are completely different worlds. How would you summarize your experiences?
Definitely! When I was working in Advertising, my main area of responsibility was Strategic Marketing Consulting. Working on brand and product strategies for blue chips is a great experience and I really enjoyed that time. However, decision-making within big enterprises tends to be a very political and long-lasting process. Besides that, a Strategic Consultant works on specific high-level tasks today and then reassigns to another project tomorrow.
At savedroid our main objective is to build a strong brand and of course grow our user base – And we sit in the driver’s seat! We can iterate and optimize on a very high frequency when we feel the need to. The mission is clear and my team and I are working on it day by day, from high-level KPIs to the smallest campaign detail. High speed, big responsibility, but at the same time a very fulfilling task.
RMS: When it comes to marketing activities, budgeting, execution, which reality is easier? Which one is more amusing?
Well, amusing wouldn’t be the first word that comes into my mind when thinking about budgeting =). But what is still the most fun is to see a marketing campaign that works! And that involves all those realities: budgeting, execution and of course strong analytics.
RMS: We recently wrote about Growth Hacking, in your opinion, which marketing channels have been more important and efficient to your clients/projects? and the opposite?
Not too easy to answer since there are various definitions of Growth Hacking nowadays. When Growth Hacking is defined as ‘constant experimentation across marketing channels to find the most effective’, I see it as a hygiene factor for every startup. Nothing more and nothing less. The positive result is that you don’t get too comfortable. You constantly challenge your status quo. The downside could be that your brand positioning might become blurred, as you focus too much on the specific channel and less on the overall value proposition of your brand.
Some define Growth Hacking as a way to grow fast without an advertising budget. Unfortunately, only a very small number of startups can call themselves a success story to that definition so I wouldn’t rely on that alone.
RMS: You also have a big connection to France. How do you compare the culture, markets and especially the advertisement there? Do you feel that there are many differences?
That is one of the main questions I am currently working on. I am just returning from a Paris trip and I was talking to many French about our offer. I felt that there is a broader acceptance for new digital services and less skepticism towards sharing your personal details. And this matches our research results: France has one of the highest saving quota in Europe, especially within our target group. Besides that, mobile usage and online banking are very high compared to other European countries. That all makes France a very attractive market for us.
In terms of advertising, I do think that Germany relies a lot more on (factual) reassurance, icons, labels and test results while French consumers tend to appreciate a more playful and positive advertising message.
RMS: How do you feel about Frankfurt’s situation and evolution when comparing to Paris, for example?
I just visited Station F in Paris (https://stationf.co/) – the self-proclaimed biggest Startup Campus in the world that will soon have 3000 workstations with a fantastic infrastructure.
Frankfurt is obviously far from having an infrastructure like that, but what we do have is a small but very active and well-connected startup community. It’s almost like a bond between a very motivated and helpful startup crowd, at least this is what I have experienced in the area of Marketing.
RMS: Fintech is possibly one of the areas that will grow the most in the near future in Frankfurt. How do you feel about it? Any inside predictions?
When I started at savedroid I didn’t know a lot of fintechs in Frankfurt and I was surprised to see that there were already so many in the market. Many of them successful but “under the radar”. And especially this year, I see more and more startups launching here, which is great.
One of the other developments I see is financial institutions collaborating with and even launching startups, to speed up their own digital transformation.
Both will contribute to identifying Frankfurt as the German home for the Fintech industry. This might in turn further improve the image of the city, into a modern, startup friendly city.
RMS: Savedroid is very well established and is a reference from your area, but in your opinion, which other projects deserve a good mention?
There are many Startups worth mentioning. We are working door to door to cashlink and dwins here at the Deutsch Börse Fintech Hub, great new startups with lots of potentials. But also more established companies like Clark or flinc are worth consideration.
RMS: Which technologies and trends do you think will impact the most our lives and business in the near future?
Well not really surprising – Artificial Intelligence. I think we are not even capable of imaging today, what’s going to be possible in just a few years. Without being to dramatic, I do think that will have a huge impact on our society, and we will need to question our common view on labour, productivity etc.
RMS: To finish, for those interested, would you recommend any upcoming events from your industry? or any particular book, report, a channel that was particularly useful businesswise?
The Fuck Up Nights are always fun and inspiring. Other than that the Growth Hacking Meetup in Frankfurt just started a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed their positive vibe.
When it comes to good reads, I highly recommend the Storyscaping model by the digital agency SapientNitro – It’s a great approach to bring together story and technology.
Connect with Jan on Linkedin https://de.linkedin.com/in/jan-pleser-95a22718