Based on personal experience, CMO BTA-Alpha Anzhelika Hroholska tells readers of Alpha Stories about her way to master marketing tactics and strategy in the blockchain industry as well as about skills that have the most value in her daily work.
After graduation, ex-students often face the fact that finding a job in their specialty is extremely difficult: everyone needs people with experience and practice — and in Ukrainian universities, you are often not provided with all these “keys” to successful hiring. Therefore, I started working at the university, in my second year. Working as a journalist for a Ukrainian online media about business and IT, I was sure that this is my future work of a lifetime.
From the very beginning, constant daily communication with representatives of completely different professions has become a significant experience for me. Startups and world-famous Ukrainian companies — and not only from the IT world — have become heroes of my articles. Then there was iForum, a series of conferences, and while communicating with representatives of teams and startups, I caught myself thinking that it was much more interesting for me to study marketing and PR issues, and not just tell stories about others.
This is how an understanding appeared: it was time to try yourself not in journalism. I immediately talked to the editor-in-chief and said that I was leaving — it was some kind of exit to «nowhere».
«It’s true, at that moment I had no idea what I would do next, but my intuition said: «Keep calm, the time to move on will come.» And after a couple of weeks, I was offered to go to work in a startup»
It was a consulting mobile app. This is how my experience in IT has started. In a startup, I acquired the skills from which my professional growth began. I came to the position of a copywriter, yet soon I realized that I could do more and better. Therefore, I began to work with designers, and also actively study all the areas that are needed for integrated marketing. At one point, I did not notice how quickly I came to community management and targeting.
A year later, an inner voice prompted again, «You should go further.» This was the moment when the cryptocurrencies in Europe were actively growing and have become a widely discussed matter — projects of this kind were developing in Ukraine, where teams were formed for a number of international platforms. This was the moment when I joined the BTC-Alpha team — one of the best crypto trading exchanges in the CIS countries. As in my first IT project, I started with content tasks, and after a few months, I got the task of rebuilding marketing from scratch — and even creating a department in the company that would deal not only with content but also with comprehensive promotion and brand building.
The most unexpected time came for me in my 20 years: I was offered to head the marketing department in a «test mode». What was in it for me? Hundreds of pages of professional literature in the evenings, Telegram-chats at the late-night with marketers and PR specialists, staying late in the office because I have not yet studied/tested/planned, etc. And the main thing is the incredible support of the team — they are the best specialists and just wonderful people. I remember how I felt like a squirrel that has no right to stop. The most important mine achievement is the psychological work that I have done on myself. I just realized that this is not some period of time — this is life itself. We all need to learn and develop every day, no matter if you are 20 or 50.
«Realizing that you do not know much more things than you already know, spurs in you the desire to upgrade your skills and teamwork»
A certain number of difficulties are always present. However, marketing in blockchain projects (especially those related to cryptocurrencies) is complicated by a number of limitations in terms of contextual and targeted advertising. In the law Australia, a class action lawsuit has already been filed against Google and Facebook in connection with the ban on cryptocurrency advertising. It is not yet clear what this will result in and whether the ban will be lifted, which means that it is necessary to use other tools, such as content marketing, organizing and conducting contests among users, and developing referral and bounty programs.
The second point that complicates the work of a marketer in such projects is low literacy in data security issues and working with digital assets. Scam projects created for fraud damage the reputation of cryptocurrencies as a digital asset, and exchanges as platforms for transactions. New users are poorly oriented and practically do not analyze markets, digital currencies, and risks. Such users blame the platform for failed trades. That is why we create analytical materials, launch our own training course on trading, develop a corporate blog, and a virtual Support Center.
The third aspect that introduces difficulties in marketing a product is the periodic divergence of views on «packaging» and marketing campaigns that occur when the product is initially created exclusively by «techies». While launching a new product, the team often disagrees with certain things. Probably, every marketer can publish a book called "Where To Put The Button On A Screen — or 1001 Ways To Quarrel On A Team Call.» In this case, you as a marketing specialist should provide all the necessary arguments about why it is worth using this particular logo or text. Yes, sometimes a compromise is the best option. However, at critical points, the key decisions must be made by a specialist in a particular direction.
The first conference abroad was the most stressful day in the entire history of working for the company. In 2019 I flew to Estonia with thoughts of an imminent fiasco — it was the first exit to a large audience with the team. Even though I didn’t perform, I was very nervous. Then I realized that I should take full responsibility not only for herself but also for my colleagues. It's no secret that the crypto industry is quantitatively dominated by men (much older and more experienced than me). This was also a stressful factor for me at first. I was afraid to say something wrong. On that day, I thought, a panic attack is quite possible. I am not a public person, yet the situation dictated its own conditions, in which it was inevitable to adapt. After I’ve accepted what was happening, the stress and fear went away. Here, I realized that if you are in the marketing team, you have to be the second person of the company and no one wants to see him scared or hidden behind many others. The most striking experience in the BTC-Alpha team for me was a trip to Singapore. The incredible scale of the conference, great concentration like-minded people, and a huge number of smiles on their faces added confidence to me. And the competitors became my motivation. To understand that everything is in its place, and you are doing what you need, is a solid foundation for a successful specialist.
«Now, having worked remotely from home for more than 4 months, I realized how much I value our office routine. The path traveled and the results are what drives us to go further, no matter what, — these are my two main stimulants to go further with these people»
Marketing isn't learned in a day or via a $100 online course. It's a path filled with trial and mistakes. It is important to have skills and a willingness to work, to perceive information quickly and easily, and also possess critical thinking. What helps me every day as a CMO? Let’s take a quick look at the tools that can be useful not only in the crypto industry but in different businesses as well.
Try to read as much as possible. Industry news, fiction, non-fiction, scientific books — all these sources develop the ability to think, analyze, decide. A must-have book for every marketer on the shelf is «Everything is negotiable: How to get the Best Deal Everytime» by Gavyn Kennedi.
You should know everything about your product — and even more. You will never be able to sell something that you yourself do not fully understand. Although I am not a professional crypto trader, I am constantly studying the experience of our competitors, researching bottlenecks in my own product in order to continuously improve it.
And of course, don't forget about tools to optimize routine tasks. Here are a few tools that I use in my everyday practice:
I found myself and my product in BTC-Alpha. I can work until the night or on weekends when I need it, but I don't forget to give myself some rest. I'm not afraid to say that work has become a way of my active rest. It is important to love what you do and bring results, create high-quality innovative products, look for solutions, attract new partners, and, of course, customers. I strive to be that part of a huge team, without which it will not become a great powerful mechanism which it is now.