Today we are delighted to talk to Martina Doherty, founder of MD Consulting, a specialist London-based FinTech PR agency.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you & what’s your background?
I’m Martina Doherty, owner and founder of MD Consulting, a London-based marketing services agency, providing financial institutions and fintech companies in the Capital Markets with PR and communication services.
I studied Business and then Marketing at NUI, Galway, Ireland before moving to Germany to teach English within banks and insurance companies, which I ended up doing for a number of years. From there, I moved to London where I worked in various marketing roles in Financial institutions and Technology providers before setting up my own agency almost 7 years ago.
What ignited your interest in working in the FinTech space?
My marketing career began in the City of London in 2000 as a marketing junior on the trading floor. The role was incredibly varied and I was able to work on something different almost every day; from covering financial products and systems launches to branding and PR projects, it was this role that sparked my initial interest in financial technology, and ultimately put me on the road to where I am now.
The diversity of the work was really appealing, and is probably my favourite aspect of agency life, so it was a very influential time for me.
Within this sector, are you a specialist in any particular area?
Across the team we have backgrounds in financial markets and the FinTech space as well as different core marketing competencies. I would consider myself an all-rounder with an extensive press network and the ability to develop and pitch interesting news angles; I am very proud of the scoops I have landed for clients in key titles such as FT and Wall Street Journal. Nikki is a former financial journalist, so she’s obviously a fantastic writer and content developer, Fleur is a marketing strategy whizz and and Alice leads on the digital side of things.
So, to answer your question, MD Consulting delivers a wide spectrum of marketing activities, with a specialist focus of financial technology such as trading platforms and business systems for the financial services sector.
Sum up your approach to work in 3 words …
Results-focused; Committed; Flexible
What companies do you currently represent?
MD Consulting currently represents a range of global financial and technology businesses based in London, Dublin, New York and Boston including Barracuda FX, Currency Cloud, Currenex, Digital Vega, Financial Risk Solutions (FRS), FX Capital Group and FX Connect and State Street Bank.
We’re also proud to be a founding member of a soon-to-be launched Global Fintech PR Network, which has been set up to encourage collaboration and sharing among global FinTech PR agencies. We are the only UK member. Other member agencies reside in Copenhagen, Houston, Madrid, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Tel Aviv – so it’s going to be a truly a global organisation!
How do you ensure the new client you are working with is going on the same journey as you are?
For me when working with clients, it is important that from the outset both parties are aiming for shared goals and mutual successes and thankfully we have never been in a situation where our client’s objectives conflicted with ours. It’s also important that there is no conflict of interest between our different clients’ and their businesses. Because we work in a relatively niche sector, this means that we always choose carefully who we work with.
What does a typical day entail for you?
I have built a business around a flexible working model which has attracted untapped talent in the market and helped to create an environment of greater innovation, motivation and ambition for everyone. What this means in reality is that neither I or my colleagues in MD Consulting are chained to our desks for 12 hours a day, and are able to spend vital time pursuing our passions away from the office and achieve a good work-life balance.
I don’t have a typical day, but I am an early riser and am at the gym by 6.30am most days. I am most productive in the morning, so I tend to ‘Eat that Frog’ as soon as I get to my desk at around 8am and get the most important thing out of the way when my brain is most alert. This then frees me up to deal with clients and any challenges that the day will bring.
Do you support your PR with social media?
Yes we do. For MD Consulting social media is a useful PR and communications tool, specifically LinkedIn and Twitter.
Twitter allows us to reach journalists and react to news much faster than we would do over email or the phone. I use LinkedIn for thought leadership posts as it allows me to directly target my immediate network with useful opinion pieces that are relevant to them. I also find it useful for recruitment (of both clients and associates) as they tend to have a pretty accurate view of who you are and what you’re about before the first contact.
Regarding social media however I would say that it is not a communications necessity for every business. It is one activity in the marketing mix, so before deciding to embark on a social media campaign it’s important to have an understanding of why it’s part of your marketing activities – and most importantly you must be consistent; random tweets or LinkedIn posts do little to improve the credibility of an organisation so it’s important to be clear from the onset as to what you want it to achieve.
Where do you think the future of PR/Marketing is moving?
When I started MD Consulting in 2010 I felt that the PR/Marketing function was perceived as a nice-to-have but not necessarily an important contributor to the business. Thankfully I’ve seen a huge change in this attitude with senior business leaders increasingly either having a marketing background themselves, or just a greater appreciation of the commercial impact a great marketing team can have, (whether that’s an internal team, or external agency – or as we advocate a partnership between the two).
As the saying goes ‘if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur’ and I think that there’s just a growing respect for the work we do, and the impact that good strategic marketing can have.
Have you been challenged with a restricted budget but have managed to do something exciting with it? If so, what/how?
It might sound clichéd but we always enjoy the challenge of a restricted budget. Our job is to think creatively about the market our clients operate in and what they want to achieve from their marketing and that doesn’t always mean spending lots of money.
Is there a project you’d like to work on but haven’t had the opportunity to yet? If so, what?
I have been fortunate enough to work on a variety of great projects throughout my career – from launching new companies with disruptive technology in their sector to rebranding well-established brands. The current growth of RegTech, which the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has defined as a “sub-set of FinTech that focuses on technologies that may facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements more efficiently and effectively than existing capabilities” is an exciting development in Financial Markets, so if the opportunity arose to work with the right RegTech provider, I would jump at it.
If I was looking for a PR to represent my new FinTech startup, why should I pick you?! Do you have a 1 minute pitch you could give us now?
MD Consulting is a boutique PR & Communications consultancy that offers high-value specialist services to organisations operating within the FinTech and Capital Markets spaces. We have direct experience in helping FinTech companies build their brands and have worked with a wide range of clients including Barracuda FX, Currency Cloud, Currenex, Digital Vega, Financial Risk Solutions (FRS), FX Capital Group and FX Connect – many of which came to us in their start-up phase. The diverse range of marketing and PR services that we offer will help your company build awareness, appreciation and adoption of your products and services. They include:
• Strategic Marketing
• Design & Branding
• PR & Profile Raising
• Content creation & Thought Leadership activities
• Industry Awards & Surveys
• Digital Marketing
Our size doesn’t mean we compromise on anything that a bigger agency can offer, and we demonstrate this through tangible results. We have a 100% success rate in attaining relevant press coverage for our clients and our PR efforts have resulted in 90% of our clients being recognised in industry surveys and awards.
Our work is creative, responsive and will be completely aligned to your objectives and I genuinely don’t believe there’s another agency in London with the same diversity of skills and depth of experience as our team for your requirements.
If you’d like to find out more about our views on marketing, please visit our blog https://www.mdconsulting.com/blog
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Well … that sounded pretty impressive!
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If you’ve any suggestions for hot FinTech companies (startup, or established ventures) that we should be profiling, or have an opinion piece to offer, or a FinTech related event you’d like to tell us about, have a look here for more details.