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We recently spoke with Martina Doherty, owner, and founder of MD Consulting, a London-based marketing services agency, providing financial institutions and FinTech companies in capital markets with PR and communication services. The majority of the firm’s clients are institutional forex companies.
She set up the business just over 7 years ago to share her knowledge of how to successfully promote specialized businesses, after many years spent working in various senior marketing roles within financial institutions and technology providers.
LeapRate: What is your background in finance and marketing that drives you to lead the company?
Martina: My marketing career began in the City in 2000 as a marketing junior on the trading floor. The role was varied and I was able to work on something different almost every day; from covering financial products and systems launches to branding and PR projects…
…it was this role that sparked my initial interest in financial technology, and ultimately put me on the road to where I am now.
LeapRate: What services does your firm offer?
Martina: The services we offer cover everything from devising a marketing strategy and helping companies position themselves or specific products in the marketplace, helping launch new offerings or products in the market in terms of PR, press coverage, sales collateral, brochures, website content, client events etc. More generally we also offer PR and profile raising through press releases, webinars, content writing for blogs, white papers etc and bespoke events organization.
LeapRate: What percentage of FX clientele makes up the client base of MD Consulting?
Martina: Around 70% of our clients are in the institutional FX sector. My background is in FX marketing, so the business was initially very FX-focused – and the majority of our clients are still FX businesses.
However, in recent years our network has expanded across the FinTech industry and we are proud to have a broader client base.
LeapRate: Do you mostly work with UK-London based firms?
Martina: Actually, the spread is probably 50% UK (London), 25% Ireland (Dublin) and 25% USA (NYC and Boston), but that can change over time.
We’re also proud to be a founding member of the Global Fintech PR Network (www.globalfintechPRnetwork.com), which has been set up to encourage collaboration and sharing among FinTech PR agencies operating in different markets around the world.
We are the only UK member and other member agencies are from Copenhagen, Houston, Madrid, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Tel Aviv – so it’s a truly a global organization!
LeapRate: What current trends do you see in marketing financial services and in particular for the FX industry?
Martina: Marketing as a discipline has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to (finally!) being recognized as a core part of a successful organization. Over the last ten years there’s been such focus on ROI and making the marketing budget count that the marketing function has had to be much more commercially accountable – and that can only be a good thing!
And very few marketing activities are undertaken in isolation these days but tend to be part of an integrated campaign with common goals and objectives, which wasn’t always the case.
Technology has been a key contributor to these fundamental changes. Social media, webinars, pod or video casts have replaced ‘traditional’ marketing activities such as print advertising as more effective and cheaper ways to reach audiences. And these activities can generate detailed analytics; which not only help to measure their reach but also to tweak and refine future activities, making it easier for businesses to engage more meaningfully with clients.
LeapRate: Do you specialize in mobile marketing?
Martina: The institutional FX sector has yet to embrace mobile marketing, so it’s not an activity we get involved in. As a boutique marcomms agency, our key differentiator is knowing the FX industry and the most effective way for our clients to raise their profile in the sector. Mobile Marketing is not that medium at the moment – but who knows? That might change in the future.
LeapRate: Even if a company has in-house marketing, why should they use an outside firm to achieve results they are looking for?
Martina: Working with an external agency like MD Consulting can be a very cost-effective and measurable way to get results: objectives and goals are set out at the start of a project or engagement and we work to achieve these without conflicted priorities as is often the case with an internal resource.
There is also that added benefit of wide industry knowledge… whereas an in-house Marketing Director will know and be passionate about their business we are knowledgeable and passionate about the industry.
We are constantly talking to industry leaders, journalists, analysts etc., so are in a position to add value and guide marketing efforts.
An external agency can also offer a range of specialized skills that may not be easily accessible in a small in-house team. For example, our team offers clients access to a former FX and Derivatives journalist, a digital guru, strategic thinkers as well as a large industry network, including the Global FinTech PR network.
LeapRate: You have worked with some very high-level clients and institutions in the industry such as State Street, Currenex, and even BBVA bank… any notable results or case studies you can point to which benefited a client greatly in their marketing goals?
For case studies, you can visit that section of our website: https://www.mdconsulting.com/case-studies