Mia Fileman 0:05
Life’s too short for crap marketing.
The “Got Marketing?” Podcast is for marketers, business owners, and entrepreneurs who want marketing that’s fun, accessible, and meaningful.
Join me, Mia Fileman, for inspired chats with my favourite marketing insiders about marketing that works; campaigns that inspire; and the fads, fakery, and false prophets to avoid.
Today, we are talking about ethical, inclusive, and purpose-driven messaging.
Oyelola Oyetunji 0:37
I do have a strong opinion about financial services and the messaging that we see within that industry. From a marketing perspective, we are also seeing a lot of those messages that are highly transactional – like what we can give and take, and not so much the connection and relationship that fosters the loyalty.
Mia Fileman 0:57
That was Oyelola Oyetunji – a purpose-driven copywriter. She joins me on the show today.
Welcome to “Got Marketing?” Oyelola!
Oyelola Oyetunji 1:05
Hello, Mia! Thank you! I’m so honoured to be here today!
Mia Fileman 1:09
A little birdie told me that this is your first foray into podcasting. I wanted to say a huge thank you for entrusting me as your first podcast guesting experience.
Oyelola Oyetunji 1:22
I couldn’t think of anyone better. I’m excited!
Mia Fileman 1:25
Aww. She’s not paid to say that.
You work with purpose-led businesses and also financial services in your copywriting business. Traditionally, these two businesses have sat on opposite ends of the spectrum. Quite the dichotomy.
I’d love to hear your story of what led you here and why this combination.
Oyelola Oyetunji 1:51
Yes, they are quite different.
I have a background in financial services. I studied a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of International Business and Law. I found myself in professional services consulting to superfunds, banks, and insurers. I was immersed in that world.
I found that, when I was working with these different businesses, the way the audience engaged was highly correlated to their achievement of business objectives.
When the message didn’t quite hit home with their clients, their customers, or their investors, it had a ripple effect through the rest of their business, but I couldn’t do anything at the time except offer advice in relation to strategy or their business model. I couldn’t actually write content for them.
When I quit that job, a few months later, my ex-boss asked me if I could write a tender proposal for his new company – a fin tech company – I said yes, and it was a great success. The proposal helped them land a couple of their largest clients.
It gave me the confidence to believe that I could actually do this for a living. That’s when I launched my freelance copywriting business, Phrased with Purpose.
I started off working with financial services businesses because that was what I knew. Eventually, I attracted some smaller businesses and businesses with a greater purpose beyond sales.
I found that I enjoyed working with them. I was in my element. That was when I started exploring the niche of purpose-driven businesses.
Like you said, yes, they are on different ends of the spectrum, but I have seen some financial services businesses start to become more purpose-driven in nature. I would say that I’m here for it, and I want to be part of helping them have that shift in the industry and helping them craft messages that help rebuild trust with customers and their community.
Mia Fileman 3:46
I do love a good story to start a podcast chat on! That’s a very heartening story about you giving it a go and it all working out and then it sets you on this amazing path to creating a business that really aligns with your values.
The cynic in me will say that I feel like a lot of the financial services businesses are being pushed – not so much from their own values but from pest to power from customers to say, “No, there is an all-time low trust in financial services industries,” so it’s actually the customer that is demanding that they be more purpose-driven.
Would you agree?
Oyelola Oyetunji 4:28
Yes, I agree with that.
Customers want to buy from brands with aligned values. It makes sense that that shift is happening.
Mia Fileman 4:36
There are just so many other options now. Before, there wasn’t. It was like, “Well, I have to bank with Commonwealth Bank because it’s that or ANZ and NAB and they are as bad as each other and I am trying to find the lesser of four evils.”
Now, we have incredible brands like Verve Super and Stellar Insurance completely shaking up the industry saying, “You can have your cake and you can eat it, too.”
“You can have great superannuation with all the benefits, but we can also invest in renewables and in ethical non-mining investments. We can have it all.”
Oyelola Oyetunji 5:14
Yes, I agree.
I think it’s so great that we have those options now.
Mia Fileman 5:17
I’d love to hear from you as a copywriter. When it comes to marketing messaging, what is the state of play? Where are we now? What are you seeing? What is your read of the situation?
Oyelola Oyetunji 5:29
Speaking from a financial services perspective, a lot of marketing messages are quite the same. It’s hard to differentiate between the different brands within the industry. Part of the reason is because they are so restricted by regulations.
To craft a message that is unique that doesn’t defy compliance rules is hard, but it’s not impossible. Like you said, there are brands that are popping up in that industry that do have an ethical message that is different from what we’ve been hearing in the past – a message that goes beyond making sales or the money and the buying and the selling.
One brand that I really like is Pearler. They’ve got a different message. It’s a shameless plug because they’re one of my clients, but I truly do believe in and support their message.
They are known for boring investing over the long term. They are not about the hype. They are not about get-rich-quick schemes that you see with a lot of investing platforms these days. I was lucky enough to join them early on their journey and see the impact that this core message had.
Over the last couple of years, they have built a solid community of investors with shared values and the desire to build wealth over the long term. They have a big sustainable push in their messaging and the ability for investors to go down that road.
It’s a message that has built connection more than anything else.
Mia Fileman 5:29
I love that!
I really love that they’ve invested in the long term.
As marketers, we are pulled in two directions – we need to make the short-term sales to hit the budgets, to hit the targets in order to continue keeping our jobs, really; but then, we also need to think about long-term brand value, and planting those really good seeds that are going to pay dividends in the long term.
I really love that Pearler have foregone a little bit of those short-term quick wins in order to focus on that long-term brand connection and brand value.
Oyelola Oyetunji 7:40
Yes, I think it’s so important.
Mia Fileman 7:41
I screenshotted some copy that came up on my Instagram feed for this conversation. I wanted to share it with you because, if I see one more of these, I’m going to rail against someone.
It came up as a sponsored ad on Instagram – “how to write a high-converting sales page that makes you dollars in your sleep.” One more person telling me that they are going to make money in my sleep!
First of all, it’s not true. The jig is up on that kind of tactic. Also, it’s such a snooze fest at this point. I have seen that messaging – make dollars in your sleep, wildly successful launches, live the business of your dreams. At this point, it is boring.
Do you agree?
Oyelola Oyetunji 8:24
I highly agree!
I’ve had to mute a lot of ads and remove them from my feed and unfollow people because I’ve been seeing a lot of this messaging. It riles me up because, for me, I haven’t been in copywriting for that long – only a few years. I was exploring the world of copywriting because, to be honest, I didn’t know what it meant a few years ago. I always thought of copywriting from the legal perspective.
When I was researching and doing courses, I saw a lot of high converting. It was just pushing the conversion and pushing the sales more than anything else. That didn’t quite sit right with me. That’s why I’m more about connection than anything else and building that relationship with customers so that you have that brand loyalty. That’s what helps you build a long-term sustainable business.
Mia Fileman 9:15
I could not agree more.
Do you have any controversial or highly opinionated views about the copywriting or financial services industry that you can share? We love strong opinions around here.
Oyelola Oyetunji 9:32
Yes, I don’t know if it’s highly controversial, but I do have a strong opinion about financial services and the messaging that we see within that industry. As we know, it’s highly transactional which makes sense because financial services are about money and buying and selling.
But from a marketing perspective, we are also seeing a lot of those messages that are highly transactional. It’s about what we can give and take, and not so much the connection and relationship that fosters the loyalty.
A lot of the messages are like, “Here we are! We are so great! These are all the awards we’ve won!” It’s all about “we.” They tell us what we think we want to hear rather than actually communicating messaging that generally concerns us as customers when it comes to finances.
I believe there are so many emotions that are tied to finances – like frustration, stress, overwhelm, and confusion. Generally, the messaging across this industry lacks in appealing to that humanity in us all.
But I did notice a bank recently that has messaging that resonated with me. That’s Bank Australia. They engage in more values-led marketing that attracts customers with shared values. They want to create a world where the planet and people thrive. I think that’s great that they give their customers a voice in their marketing. That helps to build that emotional connection that you don’t see with many financial services businesses.
Mia Fileman 11:03
I tend to throw a lot of shade around here. I am going to share a not-so-great example.
Oyelola Oyetunji 11:14
Let’s do it!
Mia Fileman 11:15
I feel that a lot of financial services campaign messaging and advertising has become very fluffy. It’s lie, “What does that even mean? What is that?” The example that comes to mind is NAB and their “more” campaign. More what? More than money. Make ideas more. More. More what?
Oyelola Oyetunji 11:37
That’s so true! I agree!
It leaves you confused more than anything else. Messaging is supposed to give you clarity. It’s supposed to draw in the right people. But if people don’t know what you mean, then where does that leave them?
Mia Fileman 11:48
Oyelola Oyetunji 11:49
It alienates your audience instead.
Mia Fileman 11:50
Yes, it’s like I need the proof point.
More how? “We do more than money because we do this. We make ideas more for our small business customers by doing this.” Show me the proof that you do more as opposed to these glib platitudes.
Oyelola Oyetunji 12:13
Yes, tell me more. Tell us how.
Mia Fileman 12:15
How do you approach coming up with messaging for your clients? What are some strategies or approaches that people can use to start to create more ethical, inclusive, and purpose-driven messaging?
Oyelola Oyetunji 12:34
For me, I have a strong emphasis on empathy-powered copy and content.
It’s more about understanding your audience first and seeking to understand how they think, how they feel, and how they behave before you write a single word.
A lot of my clients are so quick in wanting to write the copy and getting it done sooner rather than later and don’t understand that there’s a process that you need to go through to actually understand who it is you’re speaking to and what it is they need from you rather than saying, “This is what we want. We want to push it on our audience.”
A few things that I like to do is get down to understanding their ideal customer – the customer that they work with – and considering more than just the high-level demographics of the age, gender, and socioeconomic status, and going deeper into things like their desires, their dreams, their fears, and their personalities.
One way I know a lot of marketers use it is the 12 brand archetypes. I know it’s used traditionally for brands, but to flip that on the other side and use it for our customer.
For example, if your ideal customer is the hero archetype, and their core value is mastery, and they are seeking to leave a mark in the world, in your messaging you would use language that encourages boldness, courageousness, and inspires them to achieve their goals and their desires.
I also like to do research and understanding the customer a bit more, going on social media platforms and forums like Reddit to hear about what people share about their problems and their experiences and feelings.
Also, I say listen – listen to your existing customers. What are they saying? Ask them questions about their journey with you. How are they feeling before they found your business and your solution? What led them to you? How are they feeling after they used your solution? Incorporate storytelling through that.
I like to go through that journey before I actually write a copy or messaging for a client.
Mia Fileman 14:47
I have never heard of flipping Carl Jung’s archetypes as audience personas. What a clever strategy! Why not?
Oyelola Oyetunji 14:55
It’s great, yes.
Mia Fileman 14:56
Yes, that’s a Pearler. Also, how good is Reddit?
Oyelola Oyetunji 15:00
Mia Fileman 15:01
I mean, it’s a cesspit.
Oyelola Oyetunji 15:02
I love it. You can get lost in it.
Mia Fileman 15:03
Yes, it’s a rabbit hole and a cesspit, but it’s also fascinating!
Oyelola Oyetunji 15:10
Yes, it is.
Mia Fileman 15:11
You made such a good point about how demographics alone are no longer a reliable way to do target audience segmentation and that we absolutely need to look at psychographics and behavioural characteristics to really understand our customers.
If you think about demographics alone, you are assuming that every 30-year-old woman in Australia is making similar purchase decisions, and we know that that’s simply not the case, right?
“Got Marketing?” is brought to you by Campaign Del Mar – a marketing education platform for marketers and entrepreneurs.
Learn practical, repeatable, and actionable steps to market with confidence. Nail your email marketing strategy or join “Campaign Classroom” and learn how to create memorable and effective marketing campaigns.
These are not the kind of online programs where you are left floundering, unsure how to put theory into practice, nor will these programs sit unfinished for months. You can expect hands-on tailored advice, accountability, and a supportive community, and you will walk away with life-long marketing skills.
Learn more at campaigndelmar.com.
I want to talk about something with you that I’ve been so looking forward to talking about on this podcast, but it has never really been the right time – virtue signalling. I feel like you are the absolute perfect person to have this juicy conversation out with.
What is it? What are examples of it? Does it work? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Oyelola Oyetunji 16:58
From my perspective, I believe that virtue signalling is when a person or a company publicly expresses their thoughts or beliefs about a social or political issue in a way that tries to make them appear more good or morally correct.
I think that is becoming more common with the rise of social media. I think that social media has put pressure on a lot of people to speak up on some issues. If you don’t comment on something, then something is wrong. If you don’t comment on the Black Lives Matter movement, then you are a racist or you don’t care enough. I’m not surprised that this leads to virtue signalling.
I have seen this from time to time with some of my financial services clients, especially when they are writing a pitch deck or a proposal for a potential client who is in that purpose-driven space and are doing good.
They want to appear like they have got values that are aligned to them, but when a message is not aligned with the actions, I believe that there is a problem there. It’s a misrepresentation of who you are and what you stand for.
Another example that I have seen was in the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. Adidas actually put out a statement that they fully supported the movement. They were called out by one of their employees for the lack of diversity within their organization.
They had to backtrack on their statement and commit to increasing their percentage of black employees and investing in black communities. It showed us that virtue signalling doesn’t actually work.
Customers are becoming increasingly savvy. They are doing their research on companies. They are digging deep to find out what the company actually stands for and what their values are.
Mia Fileman 18:45
Such a good example.
Did you hear that Adidas sued the Black Lives Matter organization over copyright or trademarking of the logo? Black Lives Matter has a three-line striped-yellow logo. Adidas came out and said, “That’s too close to our Adidas stripes.”
They tried to block Black Lives Matter from trademarking the Black Lives Matter logo. People were like, “This is not a good look.” First of all, they are different. The Adidas logo is on an angle.
Oyelola Oyetunji 19:21
Yes, it’s on an angle.
Mia Fileman 19:23
It’s on an angle. Thank you.
It’s also never yellow. The only time that there are really three stripes is on apparel.
Oyelola Oyetunji 19:35
Yes, it’s so different. It’s completely different – movement, industry, the things they stand for.
Now, that’s an example of the messaging not aligning with the actions. Why would you put out a statement saying you support the Black Lives Matter movement and then go and sue them later?
Mia Fileman 19:49
To this, I will say that I think it’s important that brands do share their stance on issues. I think that it’s important that they do share what they are doing to move us closer to better outcomes for the world – whether it’s environmental, social, political, or whatever it is.
Exactly as you said, it’s really important that that doesn’t contradict what you are doing internally so that it’s seen as very disingenuous where you get your marketing to come up with this messaging and you get your comms team to come up with this messaging, but the C-suite is operating on a very different modus operandi.
As you said, customers today come with immaculately tuned bullshit detectors and will see through that, then they will take to social media, and they will parody that.
Mercedes Benz recently ran a greenwashing campaign which was absolutely annihilated in the media because nothing about Mercedes Benz is green. This campaign was an unmitigated disaster for them.
It’s really important that what you say, you back up 100 percent by what you do.
Oyelola Oyetunji 21:10
Mia Fileman 21:12
Also, the thing with virtue signalling is that it draws attention to you and away from the organizations that should be leading the conversation. This is about the loudest voice in the room.
If we all come out on Australia Day and talk about how the date needs to change, then we are flooding social media with each person saying, “Yes, I support date change,” but we are not creating space for indigenous First Nations organizations to lead that conversation.
What would be better for us is to shut up for that day, give money to these indigenous organizations, and even give over our platforms to them. Repost and retweet their content and let their voice carry this conversation.
Oyelola Oyetunji 22:03
It’s about knowing our role and knowing our place. In some instances, actions matter more than words and the message that you put out.
Mia Fileman 22:10
What is empathy-powered content?
This is something that I have seen you talk about. I would love for you to unpack that for us.
Oyelola Oyetunji 22:23
Empathy-powered is putting your audience first.
It’s content that communicates to your audience: “I see you. I hear you. I want to understand you.” It’s looking to see things from their perspective because you want your customers to know that you understand their problems, their experiences, their goals, and to consider your solution as the answer.
I believe that empathy is so important for messaging because it’s the thing that builds the connection that leads to long-term loyalty rather than just “hit it and quit it” one-time-only sales. Like I said before, it’s the long-term loyalty that you want to build that sustainable business over time.
Mia Fileman 23:09
That was fabulous! I love that!
How do we do that? You have mentioned a few strategies – talking to customers, getting under their skin. Is there anything else that can help us unlock some of that?
Oyelola Oyetunji 23:22
Language is an important part of empathy-powered content.
When you listen to your customers and your audience, it’s not just about their problems, their fears, et cetera. It’s actually listening to their words and what’s in-between the things that they say.
Sometimes, it’s the unseen and the unspoken things that truly help your audience feel like you understand them. I think that it’s an artform, and it takes time. The more you do it, the better you become at it.
I think that there’s a place for that in copywriting that I really want to see us move towards.
Mia Fileman 24:00
I recently had an event with Patricia Kaziro who runs the Impact Business School. She actually started her career on the ground level as a social worker. I think that that is also something that has definitely fallen through the cracks as we have moved more online – actually getting together with your customers in person in their natural environment where they feel comfortable and observing them.
What we say can often be quite different to how we act. What we say in a survey or even what we say on the phone can be quite different to what we will say in person.
Actually, now that the world has reopened, going back to in-person connections – and no event is too small – get together with five customers and have a nice, relaxed chat with them. You are going to get so many more insights and nuggets from them from doing that than 20 surveys.
Oyelola Oyetunji 25:00
I agree. Getting face to face with them.
There’s a difference between hearing someone’s story through the written word versus when you are actually having that conversation with them. There’s something that you can see in their eye that helps you gain a deeper understanding of their experience and their perspective that you wouldn’t get in any other way.
Mia Fileman 25:23
To wrap up this chat which has been fantastic, I would love to hear from you as a female entrepreneur. What is in your marketing mix? How do you go about marketing your business? You know, the show is called “Got Marketing?”
Oyelola Oyetunji 25:41
I will be honest. I have spent a lot more time focusing on messaging and content for my clients than I have for my own business. I neglected it for a long time. I only recently went back to getting very clear on my vision, my mission, my brand voice, and my messaging that I put out there.
I would say that my broader marketing strategy needs work. In the past, I have relied more on word of mouth than anything else. I would say that, from the perspective of converting leads to sales, it’s a lot easier, but it’s not enough.
My next lot of leads comes from social media. That has worked a bit over time as I have gotten in the rhythm of it over the last year or so, but I would really like to focus more on email marketing because I know that that is where the gold lies. I know that that is where long-term results come from. That’s where I’m looking to focus on going forward.
Mia Fileman 26:40
Music to my ears. Again, she was not paid to say that.
What I heard there was that you went back to your strategy – gold star – and really focused on your brand strategy before you dived into content creation and implementation. Now, understanding how much work social media, email marketing is where you are going to invest your finite resources for marketing your business. I’m here for it.
Oyelola Oyetunji 27:08
Mia Fileman 27:09
You’re also doing podcasts now.
Oyelola Oyetunji 27:12
Mia Fileman 27:15
How do you work with clients? What kind of clients are you looking for? In case someone listening today is inspired by what you offer and would love to work with you today.
Oyelola Oyetunji 27:26
I say that I like to work with purpose-driven businesses.
My definition of a purpose-driven business is a business that is motivated more by purpose than profits, promotion, or praise. I know there are a lot of businesses out there that wouldn’t necessarily give themselves that label of a purpose-driven business, but they are in and of themselves simply by the mission and the vision that they carry.
I am looking to work with more small businesses that have that greater purpose and vision.
I do a lot of website copy mainly and brand voice guides and helping you find your brand voice because I think that builds the foundation that you need to communicate who you are and set yourself apart from other brands in your industry. It allows you to have consistent messaging. I think it’s that consistent messaging that allows you to build trust with your audience and with your customers.
Mia Fileman 28:25
I’m going to include all your links in the show notes so that people can reach out to you. It has been an absolute pleasure, Oyelola. I really loved our chat. I know it’s going to be super valuable for our listeners.
Thank you so much for giving up your time and chatting with me today!
Oyelola Oyetunji 28:40
It’s been great. Thank you so much, Mia!
Mia Fileman 28:43
You listened right up until the end, so why not hit that subscribe button and keep the good marketing rolling?
Podcast reviews are like warm hugs. They’re also the best way to support a small business. You can connect with me, Mia Fileman, on Instagram or LinkedIn. Feel free to send me a message! I’m super friendly.