LeapRate Interview: BMFN appoints Noam Stiekema as Marketing Director

BMFN has recently make some significant changes on its organization. Having established a network of 4,500 white label partners worldwide with a significant degree of business having been achieved in China and the Middle East, the company has expanded its presence across other regions, providing its full enterprise solution to brokerages, which allows white label partners to be up and running with a full system by clicking one link.

With the high-profile appointment of Luis Sanchez as the new CEO, the company is positioned for exponential growth. Joining Mr. Sanchez this month is Noam Stiekema in his new position as Marketing Director. Mr. Stiekema has held senior marketing positions across many retail FX firms in recent years, with BMFN founder Paul Belogour having selected him to oversee the international marketing effort of the company.

Beginning his career in the online industry in 2008 at digital marketing agency DNSR, Mr. Stiekema moved to Dealserv where he spent three years as a Marketing Executive, before progressing to Head of Digital at FXGlobe in Auckland, New Zealand.

In this LeapRate Interview, Mr. Stiekema details his planned route toward furthering business development for BMFN.

Congratulations on the new position, please elaborate on your background, and what led you to your new executive position at BMFN.

Hi Andrew. As you know, I started as an account manager quite a few years ago, and since have worked my way up the ranks. I love sales but have always had a keen interest in the marketing and branding side of the business. This over the years has led me into the digital side of things considering that this business is mostly digital anyway.

After moving back to Auckland from Sydney with my wife and young children, I returned to university to finish my graduate studies in marketing and started applying the things I learned with great success.

I spent a few years freelancing and worked with brokers as a consultant. I learned a lot and enjoyed it but have always had an attraction to BMFN (due to its business model and worldwide presence)  a company and jumped at the opportunity to lead the marketing team moving forward.

It is a company joke that I have the biggest job in the company moving into 2015 due to the challenges faced by the way BMFN is positioned in the market both physically and as a brand.

As you know, BMFN is moving into a new era, lead by our new CEO, Luis Sanchez and I thank him and Paul Belogour for the this opportunity and confidence.

This is a challenging role but I am really looking forward to 2015 for BMFN and breaking new ground moving forward.

BMFN has always traditionally been an IB focused business. How has this worked compared to the usual retail marketing that takes place within the industry?

As you are aware, BMFN has always been an business centered on introducing brokers (IBs). IBs are not a new thing in the industry but making the IB the main focus of your business is exactly what BMFN has done differently. We have over 4500 IB’s in 80 different countries.

Our strong points have always been the flexibility in the way we do business. IBs are businesses in their own right and each has unique requirements and demands in order to operate its business successfully. As per Luis Sanchez’ interview with you, he mentioned that we realized there was a demand in the IB side and BMFN using its unique technology via UniTrader offers IBs the possibility to become their own broker. For more information please see the LeapRate TV interview.

We take the time to build a personal relationship with our IBs and to understand their needs. I will never forget Paul Belogour cementing this by reminding me that all the big deals signed have been negotiated in the pool after lunch.

Couple this trust / relationship based selling model with BMFN’s technology, flexibility and the support we provide; you have a recipe that works.

A good way to demonstrate how ingrained this culture is at BMFN, you could stop most brokers at the next gathering and you will find most have at some point done business with BMFN or its founders, Paul Belogour and Borden James.

BMFN’s good name and flexibility has helped many other brokers and IBs out there grow their businesses and succeed. This same flexibility has created a sweet spot for us in the market and as one of the older brokers in the industry, has obviously worked.

Tell us about BMFN and the challenges BMFN faces moving forward from a marketing perspective in such a competitive market.

The focus and challenge moving into 2015 for the marketing team of BMFN is shaping the way the company is presented. As positive as the IB model has been for BMFN, we still ultimately cater for the retail client as the end user.

Our marketing team’s job is getting the message out to clients that we take very good care of our customers, offer fantastic technology and a clean and transparent trading environment. This is true for IBs as well as clients.

We will focus more energy and time in 2015 to get this message out to the retail public with BMFNs unique flavour. A perfect example is that Luis will help us to develop the  Latin America and Europe market, focus not only on IBs but retail and institutional

Additionally, due to the face that we operate a decentralised business model, we don’t exactly have a headquarters from where the majority of the employees work. This model, although growing in popularity thanks to cloud technology; is still relatively new to our industry and provides natural challenges to coordinate marketing and branding efforts for the company globally.

On the flip side this is also a strong point for us. Having the ‘boots on the ground’ locally, allows us to focus marketing and advertising focus to a smaller segment of the market and really create value at the local market level.

What are you going to focus on to help BMFN reach its goals and increase business volume and flow globally in 2015?

Im a stickler for the finer details such as consistent branding and the KISS (keep it simple stupid) model. As a company, we are going to continue with our current business model but this year put a lot of focus on bringing our global teams together as a part of the BMFN brand and present a consistent brand message as a global team and company.

The next phase is polishing off our technology with the recent launch of our partner, client and sales cabinets. We have developed this over the past two years and the systems are robust enough to run a bank. Finishing this off will create better user experiences for our customers on all our sites, and make things as easy as possible for client on boarding.

Additionally, with a few more tweaks and additions we are at a point where we can easily scale up our business and technology whilst automating many of the mundane tasks that come with being the broker.

From our branding and marketing perspective we are putting a lot of energy into promoting our services to the retail clients out there. While we will not be changing the way we do business, marketing our strengths and services to retail customers in addition to the way we operate will start bringing us a wider variety of clients.

As you are aware, BMFN do things different and often against the grain. Our Marketing team’s greatest challenge will be getting the creative juices flowing to come up with equally unique campaigns to successfully promote UniTrader, Miss UniTrader, Noor Markets and BMFN.

We are really excited and looking forward to really moving and shaping our way through 2015. Watch this space.

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