Q&A with Arnaud, Product Marketing Executive
I’ve learnt there’s a different way of doing business. Sure, structure and processes are nice, and rules are necessary. But too many rules and guidelines can restrict the freedom and creativity of employees. You can have a real impact if you set your mind to it. This has been eye-opening for me.
Why did you join TransferWise?
I heard positive things about working at TransferWise from someone I knew – she was telling me how different it is and how nice the culture is. So I did some research and looked TransferWise up on Glassdoor and employees seemed very excited and passionate about the work they do here. It was also important for me to have flexibility between work and my personal life. It was a big plus that I’d be able to travel with work, too. TransferWise is at the right size. It’s no longer a start-up where you lack resources but it’s also not an enterprise where there’s too much red tape in place.
In a nutshell, what do you do at TransferWise?
We work with product, marketing, and creative teams. For the product teams we try to be the voice of the customer and deliver customer insights. For marketing and creative teams we bring in our product understanding so they can optimise campaigns and help them do their job even better.
Our mission is for 100% of customers to adopt all the TransferWise products that fit their use case. It means educating customers about our services. For example, so that all customers with a business will know that we provide business accounts too. We’re also involved in is product launches – communicating big news about something new whether it’s a feature or a product.
What’s the biggest challenge working here?
Prioritising your work. Here you can choose the projects you work on, which is awesome. But there are so many exciting and impactful things you could do. It can be difficult to know what to prioritise and how to divide your time. And also, when to stop your day!
Another thing is that our Product Marketing team is based around the world, in the US, Singapore and the UK. The biggest challenge is to keep each other up-to-date with everything.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Launching Google Pay and other mobile wallets like Fitbit and Garmin Pay. I started with the go-to-market strategy where I figured out how we were going to tell both our existing and new customers about it. I worked with so many teams: our social team to plan a social campaign, designers to deliver creative assets, copywriters to do their copy magic and the team’s Product Manager and Analyst to get a better product understanding. At the same time, I had to plan the launch strategy with all the external partners that were involved. Google, Mastercard, Fitbit and so on.
It was a lot of fun, but very challenging as well. I needed to set clear expectations for everyone, draft timelines, share updates with everyone, organise meetings, and lots more.
Most interesting place you’ve used your TransferWise card?
In the middle of nowhere in a jungle in Bali.
What’s your team’s fun tradition?
Every month all of us in the global team have a call where we all have food together and chat. So in Singapore, it’s dinner, London does lunch while the US has breakfast.
What does working with freedom and autonomy mean to you?
It means you get to decide what you work on as a team – we investigate, explore and prioritise projects together. As an individual, you get to work on what you want, as long as you can justify the impact. However, this can sometimes be tricky as you need to communicate what you’re doing to inform others. The danger is losing communication about what everyone’s working on, which can result in clashes.
What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever done?
I worked at a chocolate factory in Belgium where I’m from. I was putting the nuts and spices on the chocolate at a local factory. I felt like Willy Wonka and smelled like chocolate when I went home.
What’s your side hustle?
Before joining TransferWise, I was setting up a business for importing smart devices into the Belgian market. We were in the process of talking about contracts with a few big companies, but once I got the job here, I didn’t have time for it anymore. I’m still thinking of continuing it someday with my friends. I still believe I’m going to have my own business one day, potentially a side hustle next to work.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done at TransferWise?
TransferWise is my first ‘real’ job after graduating. Already during my first week here, I was out of my comfort zone. My lead told me the best way to learn in our job is to call our customers. So on my first day, I called 50 customers to hear about their experience with us, even before I properly understood our product myself.
On my second day, I had to present my findings to 30 people in the business during our planning. It felt crazy as I’d just started, but it’s helped me to push myself. I’ve also presented on our company all-hands meeting ‘Team Call’ a couple of times, presenting to 1500+ people.
In February we had to reset our pricing so that all our customers were paying a fair and correct price for our services. To many customers, we could happily say we’re lowering prices for their transfer routes, but for most people, the prices were going up. Price increases are a taboo topic at TransferWise, as our mission is to always aim to lower them. So it was a tricky one to communicate the message about price changes to 5 million customers – we had to get it right and we’d also never done this before.
I set up the emails. We had 6 different versions, all in nine languages. The messaging had to be different for different types of customers (e.g. API, banking partner, personal, borderless, business customers). It was a great exercise to go through, but very stressful at the time.
Tips for those joining TransferWise as a graduate?
Connect with people and try to learn as much as possible. It’s a challenging place, where smart people give loads of feedback. If there’s a topic you’re interested in and think it can help you do your job better, Slack someone from the team or grab a coffee with them to get involved. Everyone’s helpful here, and people always find time to teach you things. You also have a personal budget for external training, so make sure you use it!
What’s your favourite slack channel?
#cloud-club – it’s a group for people who love clouds. We share photos of clouds. But it’s very underground. Not many people know what it is. When you know, you know.