Piet van den Boer, Head Of Marketing at Frollo, an Australian FinTech company helping people get their finances on track in just a few simple steps.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started working in marketing almost 15 years ago, with a keen interest in digital. Early on in my career I did a lot of performance marketing like Google Ads, affiliate marketing and Search Engine Optimisation.
I’ve worked in many different types of organisations before I found out I’m best suited for a startup / scaleup organisation. The ownership, accountability and autonomy, combined with teamwork and fast pace create an environment that makes me happy.
Almost two years ago I joined Frollo, Australia’s leading Open Banking intermediary, as their Head of Marketing. We help businesses like ANZ, Canstar, Virgin Money Australia and Volt Bank deliver better customer outcomes using financial data.
As Head of Marketing my job is to build and maintain our thought leadership position in Open Banking, generate leads for our sales team and provide them with the tools they need to convert these into clients.
A lot of what we do is content based, for example we published The State of Open Banking in Australia last year, an in depth review of Open Banking in Australia with interviews and an industry survey.
My team is responsible for planning, creating, publishing and promoting the report, as well as the marketing journey that follows once people have downloaded the report.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Most of my days start with me dropping my youngest daughter off at daycare – on the way to grabbing my morning coffee. It’s a 20 minute walk and it’s perfect to spend some 1 on 1 time with my daughter and then get my head right for the day to come.
I usually start around 8.15, which gives me 30 minutes to plan my day before we have our daily marketing & sales standup.
After that, each day is different. I always try to spend a few hours on focused work, which can be writing content for an upcoming report or media release, or working on strategy.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, although the shift to remote working has of course really accelerated over the past year. I usually go into the office once every week, to meet with people face to face.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, work-life balance means I can be there for my wife and kids while achieving my goals at work, without feeling I have to sacrifice one for the other.
Working remotely this past year has helped improve my work-life balance significantly. The flexibility I have to be able to go swimming with my daughter during lunch break, then catching up with a journalist from the UK after dinner means both my home life and work life are more fulfilling.
It also helps not having to commute for two hours every day anymore.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Two things have really helped me with adapting to working from home. Firstly I’ve started video calling colleagues more often. Even for quick questions it’s sometimes nice to just speak to someone instead of Slacking them. Doing that at least a few times each day makes working from home a lot more fun.
I’ve also disabled most of my phone notifications. Email, Slack, Whatsapp, they’re all disabled. It helps me focus when I need to – and if a colleague needs me urgently, they can call.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’ve got a few podcasts I love: The Vergecast is a podcast about tech and gadgets. Darknet Diaries is a show that explores true stories about hacking, data breaches and cyber crime. Decoder is an interview podcast about tech and business, they recently interviewed Mark Zuckerberg about what’s next for Facebook for example.
Lastly there’s a blog I really enjoy reading, it’s Stratechery. The author is a tech and business analyst who often has a great take on news stories and what might be behind them from a strategy perspective. It’s quite broad, for example he talks about the Epic vs Apple lawsuit, Instagram’s recent changes in strategy and what Windows 11 means for Microsoft.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My phone is definitely the one product I can’t live without. Three apps I use on a daily basis are Spotify, Apple Podcasts and our own Frollo app to get an overview of my finances.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I’d love to read about other marketers at startups, it’s always interesting to see how peers deal with similar challenges.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
When working from home, work and home life start to blend together. Sometimes that’s useful, because it can allow you flexibility to work your own schedule.
The other side is that without these defined lines between work and home, it’s easy to lose yourself in work and forget to spend time on your mental wellbeing. I’ve now blocked an hour every day for my lunch break to go for a quick walk and grab some fresh air.
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