Interview with a B2B Marketer: Ali Galan, iZettle

Ali Galan, is a Social Media Specialist in tasked with handling iZettle social accounts across 12 markets. iZettle is a fast-growing payments …

Ali Galan, is a Social Media Specialist in tasked with handling iZettle social accounts across 12 markets. iZettle is a fast-growing payments provider for Independent companies. Founded in 2010, their vision is to simplify and democratize payments.


Tell us about your role at iZettle?

So my role as the global social specialist involves a real mix of customer contact, working out various social media and content strategies and coordination of the curation of content, meaning no days are truly the same. One of my main objectives is to build a strong, passionate and global iZettle community.

I am constantly flitting between our social media platforms, from Twitter to LinkedIn, responding to people’s questions and queries online and it’s wonderful to see our worldwide community getting stronger.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in marketing the B2B technology sector?

I think it’s important for people to learn. Get the books, go to the events, attend the courses. It does not matter about your age because as industries go, marketing, in particular, is constantly evolving, so whether you are a 21 yr old or a 61 yr old you need to be OK with forever pursuing knowledge.

There is nothing routine, and this is no more evident with social media – the rules are changing every single day, platforms and algorithms are always being tweaked and you need to be on top of that.

If you are working in a particular field of technology, make sure that you know that tech inside out. Again, this all comes back to studying to acquire knowledge.

What would you say are some of the biggest challenges in marketing for a FinTech?

Aside from the obvious restrictions with financial regulations, some of the biggest challenges are that FinTech, much like Social media, is still relatively young as an industry, and things are constantly changing.

What are your short/long term marketing priorities and how do they differ?

Short term, along with growing our community at iZettle, I still feel like I am needing to learn as much as possible, I’m still young, so I need to acquire as much knowledge of marketing strategy and processes that will set us and myself up for the future.

Long term, I want to make sure that what I am doing on a day to day basis is having an impact on people’s lives. This might sound a bit too philosophical, but personally, I think we’re all here for a reason, and career-wise, I want to make sure that I impact the people that I am speaking to on a day to day basis and that the body of work I do is being represented in the right way.

Which social channels perform best for you currently?

I feel like Instagram is the best channel going at the moment, as its completely transformed since it began, from an app for photographers to a platform, where now there is IG TV and a beta version for Instagram shopping. So for us as a FinTech company, however, it could be game-changing, as if these social platforms are becoming the new places where people ‘hang out’, then it’s more acceptable for a FinTech to be part of the conversation.

Facebook is still an important part of our mix. It’s a platform whereby people can ask us questions quicker and easier. We are predominantly B2B, and the majority of businesses these days are on Facebook and one of the quickest ways to get in touch with us is Facebook. Personally, I don’t believe that it’s going to die anytime soon.

Twitter for us is more for PR, and for customer queries whilst Snapchat, we haven’t actually used yet, despite it being a very intriguing platform. It’s a bit too early to say with 100% confidence, however, I don’t feel like our demographics are really engaged on Snapchat, comparatively.

We use LinkedIn solely as an HR platform to attract the right talent.

Do you adopt a different tone of voice depending on which channel you are on?

For tone of voice, it should change depending on the platform, because it’s all down to demographics. The same people that are on Instagram, might not necessarily be on LinkedIn. We do have an iZettle tone of voice, however, it does shift depending on the channel.

How does social media form a part of the B2B customer journey?

Social media is a vital step on the customer journey, and it does not get enough recognition for it. In a sense, social media is where people go to find out more about things, products and services. What works and what doesn’t.

In terms of the customer journey, social media is now the first or one of the first places where people go, and what isn’t often factored into some thinking, is that it is also the last place where people go, post-purchase. Social media plays a role in the entire experience. If a customer has a really positive experience with your brand, they will head to social media to shout about it.

It is a cyclical process and it is surprising to me that many B2B businesses are not implementing an effective social media strategy. For iZettle, it’s essential, it has to be there.

Influencer marketing is now on the rise in the B2B sector too – is it something you think could form a part of your social strategy?

In my opinion, Influencer marketing is something that caught us all a bit by surprise, as it was a buzzword for a long time, the backlash appeared followed quite quickly, and the whole scene, for an outsider, could appear to look tainted.

Now, it’s been transformed and regulated to a point, where I think it’s imperative for companies to use influencer marketing. I tend to say that influencer marketers are the gatekeepers to customers and the reason I say that is because you have a lot more targeted customer base when you are using influencers.

Take the example of a health fitness influencer, and a fitness company uses the influencers service, the benefit will have a lot more benefit than Adsense, for example. Influencer marketing has grown massively, and has grown towards a £6 billion space.

The main difficulty with Influencer marketing is that as a very young, ‘discipline’, the ability to attribute is not as evolved as in other parts of the marketing mix, but give it a couple of years and it will become an essential component of a B2B’s overriding marketing strategy.

In terms of the customer journey, social media is now the first or one of the first places where people go, and what isn’t often factored into some thinking, is that it is also the last place where people go, post-purchase.

What’s your favourite marketing technology or tool?

Personally, I have enjoyed Hootsuite in my experience in social, but for me, and it might be silly to say, but I love Slack. It’s like WhatsApp for work, and you can do pretty much anything on it, from sending important files, to commenting using GIFs.

It might sound nerdy, but it’s the tool I constantly use, even on weekends.

My team is predominantly based in Stockholm, so without Slack, we wouldn’t be able to have such a good rapport, and I would be stranded alone here in the UK, so it is an integral part of my workflow.

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