Why we created a growth team

 Mariette Ferreira photo
Mariette Ferreira CMO
5min read

What’s in a name? Is it a convention with no meaning as Juliet would suggest? Or is it an opportunity? Do people get used to it even if you call yourself Meta? Of course.

But if you’re going to pick a label, then you might as well pick one that gives you a head start.

So that’s what we did.

We’ve created a new team made up of previous members of our Marketing and Media teams - meet the 11:FS Growth Team. This is our story.

Names matter

During the era that agile became a thing in the tech industry and everyone started rethinking how they communicate, interact and do actual work, we also saw teams reflecting on their ‘internal positioning’.

People wanted their value and expertise to be reflected in their ‘internal brand’.

We saw:

  • HR become People

  • Dev become Engineering

  • Project Management become Delivery

Because it’s about outcomes, not outputs, right?

Naming a project, working group or initiative properly makes it a thing. It makes it real. It gives focus. And it gives it purpose and meaning.

You could argue that the meaning lies in how you bring it to life rather than the word itself. And I’d agree with you.

But shaping and naming a new team with very varied remits and expertise is hard. Our Marketing experts cover everything from performance, to product marketing, comms, brand, data and analytics, marketing design, social, etc. And our Media experts produce award-winning fintech content across podcasts, video, events, reports, the works.

They do a lot.

But we stand and fall by alignment. Production needs distribution needs data needs context needs community insights needs comms. It’s all interconnected.

And that’s why we created a new team. And why it needed a new name.

Our name had to tick a few boxes:

  • Our ‘internal branding’ needs to be aligned with our impact - show what we deliver, not (just) what we do

  • It needs to pass the ‘Meta test’, i.e. will your name trigger a meme movement?

  • It needs to have meaning - internally and externally

But is this solving a problem that doesn’t exist?

The Mark Ritson fan in me has a voice in the back of her head asking whether this is style over substance and branding over impact.


Maybe it’s better to stick to saying what it does on the tin. Maybe ‘marketing’ and ‘media’ is fine and everyone gets it.

But 11:FS is unlike any other business I’ve worked with, and the marketing and media talent do work that is different to most B2B financial services consultancies.

One of the 2022 trends I’m very intrigued by is large corporations buying media companies. CB Insights reported on this recently showcasing examples ranging from Stripe to Hubspot to JPMorgan.

One of the 2022 trends I’m very intrigued by is large corporations buying media companies.

11:FS’s media and marketing was content-centred and community-focused from day one. I’d go as far as to say that all our plans revolve around this. It’s not a vertical/pillar/arm in our plan. It’s the heart of all our plans.

That means as a team we’re responsible for creating audience value and business value.

They go hand in hand. We have a relentless focus on creating great content that our audience will get value from. That’s why all our editorial content is measured by media metrics - views, listens, shares, downloads. We think like a media business and let the audience judge the value.

We then work equally hard to deliver business value through product content by turning that attention and engagement into business conversations.

That means we help 11:FS grow, but we also help our customers grow - their knowledge, their careers, their businesses.

The corporations with media companies on their shopping lists have realised that this process works. And this trend isn’t going away - in fact, expect it to really take off in the web3 world.

Taking pride in our profession

Ask any seasoned marketer for advice and I bet they’ll talk to you about the importance of aligning your metrics with business metrics. The value you deliver needs to align to business growth.

There’s an inferiority complex in our profession. We see-saw between standing our ground and demanding acknowledgement for the intangible longer-term harder-to-measure value we deliver - and trying to get to ROI figures regardless of how useful they are.

I lament with Byron Sharp on the need to show ROI for every single thing.

I suppose it depends what ROI looks like for your organisation.

Return on your investment is of course shown on the bottom line. But if you’re going to try to measure audience value and your community impact directly on the bottom line, then I’ll save you the trouble - you shouldn’t even start.

The trick is doing both - delivering audience value and business value.

And that’s why we created a new team.

To remind the team and the business of our fundamental reason for existence. Growth.

Our focus is:

  • Growing the brand

  • Growing our community

  • Growing our products

But don’t mind us over here, we’re just building the global fintech community.

And delivering inbound leads at a greatly reduced CAC.

See where this is going.