Fast-growing fintech company BIMA – which enjoys a broad international operation across emerging markets – wanted to bring more focus on Consumer Marketing into the organisation. In order to achieve this goal, the company’s Head of HR Jess Mahon instructed Marketing Moves to recruit a business-critical Chief Marketing Officer position.
BIMA is one of the fastest-growing impact and tech companies in the world. Using disruptive mobile technology to bring insurance and health services to consumers with low incomes, BIMA is committed to disrupting the traditional insurance industry and democratizing access to vital services for billions of under-served families around the globe. Since 2010, BIMA has built a customer base of over 35 million subscribers in 9 countries across Africa & Asia.
Customers in BIMA’s markets, particularly in Asia, are rapidly coming online (on their mobile phones) and the company was looking to find a cost-effective way to attract a large customer base through digital channels, without the reliance of their mobile operator partners. They wanted to build a strong consumer brand which resonates with their customers in these markets, and also focus on an improved customer journey to ultimately engage and retain their customers longer.
BIMA required a CMO to develop, drive and execute the company’s go-to-market strategy, who possessed extensive experience in digital and social media marketing in emerging markets. This involved driving the company’s lead generation efforts globally and building the BIMA brand across all markets.
The CMO therefore needed to be able to drive a digitisation agenda within BIMA, as well as spot lead generation opportunities in the markets and drive growth of the business. Specifically, the role consisted of three overriding objectives:
- Shifting to Autonomous Lead Generation
BIMA had traditionally relied on Mobile Operator partnerships to gain access to a customer base. The decision was taken to move towards a model where the company was generating leads on their own – through various marketing techniques such as SMS, digital, affiliate and social media marketing, brand building, offer marketing (free products or App), and integrated partnerships.
- Introducing Digital Marketing
BIMA had largely relied on agent-led customer acquisitions and Mobile Operator generated leads. The CMO was required to create a shift in mindset and processes in markets that were digitally mature, to drive digital lead generation, customer acquisitions and product awareness on all digital/mobile (including the App) channels.
- Building the BIMA Brand
A CMO was also required to propagate an enthusiastic brand message to target customers and employees. The BIMA brand was typically not very well known in core markets, where BIMA partnered with mobile operator brand to sell products. The CMO was tasked with building a consumer brand in emerging markets using cost-effective channels.
Finding someone with true international experience, who understands diverse cultures, has grown a customer base in the millions – and all this ideally in a growing organisation experiencing rapid change – is no easy feat.
Thankfully, Marketing Moves CEO Mel Day was able to locate this rare mix of skills and experience by utilising his own personal network and the Marketing Moves database – which has been carefully built over 30 years. Put simply, there is no other like it in the UK.
Mel created a longlist of around 20 profiles, which he whittled down to a shortlist of five once each candidate was screened by him personally. These five applicants were put forward to various interviews with senior BIMA executives including company founder / CEO Gustaf Agartson.
After extensive deliberation, the selection committee chose the successful applicant due to their perfect blend of skills and experience – and a great match to the company culture. BIMA is a very collegiate and collaborative place and they needed someone who works well with others.
Since their appointment the successful applicant – Rebecca Shears – has performed outstandingly well. She has already had a significant impact and recently launched a new CRM solution in Ghana as well as reshaping the marketing team.
“Jess and the team at BIMA are a pleasure to work with. It always helps when you have a very clear brief from the client. Plus BIMA is a company that is doing some good in the world so it was enjoyable to talk about a very positive success story.”
– Mel Day, CEO, Marketing Moves
“Working with Mel and Marketing Moves was fantastic from the outset – he approached me with a clear outline of the role, where I could take it to the next level and what career progression looked like. I really felt like Mel had my best interests at heart at all times, rather than just trying to fill a vacancy. I would thoroughly recommend tech firms to use Marketing Moves for their marketing hires.’”
– Rebecca Shears, New BIMA CMO
To discuss in confidence how Melvin and Marketing Moves can support your organisation’s growth, please contact Melvin by any of the means below.