Diversity in B2B marketing with Lucy Heavens, Marketing Director at Wealth Dynamix, Co-founder of RegTech Women

It is more important than ever before that B2B marketers be informed about diversity and inclusion within the workplace and in their own strategies.

On this episode of the FINITE Podcast, learn about diversity and inclusion in B2B from Lucy Heavens, Marketing Director at Wealth Dynamix and Co-founder of RegTech Women.

You’ll hear about how diversity is different from inclusion, why both are necessary and how B2B marketers can implement them in their marketing and advocate for them in their wider organisation.

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And check out more of the FINITE B2B marketing podcast here

Full Transcript

Alex (00:07):

Hello everyone and welcome back to the FINITE Podcast. Today, I’m joined by Lucy Heavens, an experienced B2B FinTech marketer who is currently Marketing Director at Wealth Dynamix. Lucy is also Co-founder of RegTech Women, a professional women’s network that promotes and enhances the vital role that women play in driving success in the industry. 

And today we’ll be talking all about diversity in marketing, why diversity and inclusion is an important conversation to have the role that we can play as marketers. And I’m really looking forward to this conversation, so I hope you enjoy it.

FINITE (00:39):

The FINITE community and podcast are kindly supported by 93x, the digital marketing agency working exclusively with ambitious fast-growth B2B technology companies. Visit 93x.agency to find out how they partner with marketing teams in B2B technology companies to drive growth.

Alex (01:01):

Hi Lucy, thanks for joining me today.

Lucy (01:03):

Hello. Thank you for having me

Alex (01:05):

Forward to talking, we’ve got an interesting conversation lined up. Before we dive into the details I will do as we always do and let you introduce yourself. Tell us a bit about your role and or various roles I think in your case, and then your background and we’ll go from there.

About Lucy’s roles in B2B marketing and diversity 

Lucy (01:20):

Great. Thank you very much. So, I’m Lucy Heavens. I’ve been in the FinTech industry for just over 20 years now, held senior marketing positions at global FinTech firms like Fiserv and SIM Corp, as well as a number of FinTech startups. And over the years, I’ve come to realise that my speciality is working with high-growth scale up firms, ready to grow their visibility and to bridge that gap between marketing and sales and help them achieve their high revenue targets. 

I’m an also an active commentator on social media. Love a bit of social, regularly feature in the top 10 Reg Tech influencer list. And I’m also on the Innovate Finance Women in FinTech power list. I’ve been on that for the last three years, last year on their stand out 35 list. 

So, currently I wear, like you said, a few different hats, various roles that I have. So my full-time role, the people that pay my check every month is I’m marketing director and a member of the board at a FinTech firm, or a WealthTech firm called Wealth Dynamix. So we provide client lifecycle management systems to wealth management firms and private banks. 

So I also sit on the advisory board for an association called FinTech B2B marketing, which is a community that was formed to bring together marketing professionals from the technology providers and the financial services firms, and really just encourage common language and more engagement between the marketers. And then there’s my role as co-founder of RegTech Women, which is an association that actively promotes the role that women play in driving industry success in RegTech. So yeah, just a little bit of my background then. 

I’m a geek, I’m a total geek, I love technology. So although marketing is actually my profession, I’ve always had a strong passion for how technology is solving challenges in the industry. And then it was about five years ago, I joined a tech firm, a RegTech firm that was solving compliance challenges around digital communications and engagement, online engagement for banks. And that was where I was really first introduced to RegTech. And I have this interest in how technology is introduced into environments where it existed very little. 

So quickly the world of compliance just seemed completely crazy because having seen the fast adoption of FinTech on the retail banking side where I originally started, where I was launching mobile banking and P2P payments, I just could not understand in compliance why they were so obsessed with Excel spreadsheets and manual paper-based processes. 

Especially when there were these huge fines for non-compliance that run into millions and reputational damage. Whereas on the retail banking side, I think it was always chasing the next big thing and building what’s around the corner. In RegTech and in wealth tech actually as well, it’s more a case of the technology being there, ready to use. But the adoption just needs a bit of work and that’s the best marketing challenge to have, right?

Alex (04:39):

Well, you sound busy. How do you juggle all the different roles? I mean, obviously you’ve got your full-time role and as you say, the one that pays your cheque, but I guess all the others still take a fair bit of time for you.

Lucy (04:48):

Totally, totally. It totally does come down to passion and it’s a hobby for me. I have my full-time role, and obviously there is quite a bit of crossover, with the solution that I market on a day-to-day basis. There’s a RegTech element of that, but then my passion for things like creating more diversity in the industry and all of that goes into those other things as well.

What is diversity and how does it differ from inclusion?

Alex (05:14):

Which segues us nicely onto what we’re going to be talking about, which is diversity and I guess within the B2B tech marketing world generally. You’ve got a lot of experience on this, and as we’ve just talked about, from a number of different directions and positions. 

I think when we were planning this, we figured that the best kind of starting going on an important point would be to talk a bit about what diversity is, I guess. And maybe that sounds a bit obvious to some listeners, but I think it is always a useful starting point and really how that differs from inclusion as well. 

Because they’re two different subjects, but you’re the expert here. I feel like I’m going to definitely be doing some learning and I’m trying to absorb as much as I can because it’s a fascinating subject. I think that we don’t have enough conversation in a lot of cases. So over to you with that first one.

Lucy (05:58):

Oh, thank you. That’s a super good point. And I’ve talked a lot about diversity and inclusion over the last few years and my background and why I’m interested in it, but that’s a story for another time. But I’ve probably developed more of an appreciation for the difference between diversity and inclusion recently. 

So diversity is more, I’ll be honest, it’s more of a numbers game. But for me that needs to be more focused on the inclusion part of it. Too often they get lumped together and we need to separate them out and we need to work hard. I think, harder to foster and nurture inclusion. 

Diversity is more about recognising differences. It’s acknowledging the benefit of having like a different range of different perspectives in the decision making process and inclusion is actually where those people’s differences are valued and they’re used to enable your workforce to thrive and to do their job to the best of their ability. So the way I like to explain it is that diversity is where everybody is invited to the party, equity is where everyone gets to contribute to the playlist. And then inclusion means that everybody has the opportunity to dance.

Alex (07:15):

I mean, if people can’t get that analogy, then we’re screwed completely. I think that’s a perfect analogy. And so I guess, maybe this is an equally as obvious question, but why is it such an important conversation to have, and I guess both from the angle of you as a marketer, but organisation-wide as well?

Why is diversity such an important conversation to have?

Lucy (07:38):

Yep. It is funny actually you say that about it seems obvious, but it’s not because we have to go back to the why to start off with. Otherwise it does become that box ticking exercise, doesn’t it? Which a lot of firms do think that it is. Let’s just, we have to do something on DNI, but diversity has to be bought in and driven by the top. It’s a long-term commitment. 

It’s not something that you just decide that again for box ticking purposes that you’re going to do. But everybody within the organisation can impact inclusion from where you’re sitting today. No one at the moment, this is all still sort of quite new I suppose. And no one’s really an expert in DNI. So, we’re all picking things up and learning as we go. 

Everybody should make it their goal to learn as much as they can every day about it and be more aware of those unconscious biases that are around you. You always say actually, even for myself, if I was showing any signs of bias, I would actually rather somebody pulled me aside, outside of a meeting, it doesn’t have to be aggressive, but just said to me, what you said, or how you said this, or how you explained, maybe you could have said it another way. 

And if I am showing unconscious bias, I would rather somebody said and pointed it out. But I mean, nobody’s going to do this on their own. This is not a job for an individual, but if you can build that network around you and build the muscle around you, then you can start to learn to address it more on scale I suppose. But yeah, every little step.

Alex (09:28):

Yeah, definitely. And do you think it’s, at times, a difficult conversation for some people? You gave the example of you’re obviously you’re very self-aware and you’re very active in this space and you’ve given an example that you would like someone to come forward and point out where there’s maybe some unconscious bias. 

But I think for a lot of people, even considering approaching a colleague and having that conversation would feel like quite an intimidating thing to do. And for a number of other reasons, people from all different perspectives, sometimes find this a difficult one to even bring up and discuss in certain respects for whatever reason. 

Whether that’s at risk of getting it wrong or approaching it from the wrong angle or because they’ve got biases themselves. Have you come across that? And how do you think, as you say, it starts at the top? But are there ways in which we can make this easier? I guess in a more transparent conversation to have.

Lucy (10:21):

100% yeah. You’ve just completely proved the point as to why inclusivity is so important, because without that inclusive culture, then those episodes of having to point it out are going to be uncomfortable. But if you have that inclusive workplace, if you’ve educated your staff and the leaders, especially on the value of diversity and inclusion, if you’ve listened to your staff and you’ve communicated that effectively. 

If you’ve, going back to what inclusivity is about, if you’ve embraced and encouraged employees to be themselves, be real, be authentic, then those conversations are less uncomfortable. Because you’re open about it, you’ve talked about it. So it’s not a shock when somebody does get a tap on the shoulder, it’s encouraged. And obviously if you’ve done all that education as well, you’re going to see far less of the unconscious bias.

How can diversity benefit a business overall? 

Alex (11:21):

Yeah, absolutely. And where does this start to benefit a business overall? I think we all know, and there’s plenty of data now to show that for a number of different reasons, having a more diverse workforce and different ways of thinking, there’s clearly benefits to be had there. 

But I guess it’s one of those things that, it shouldn’t be the case that we have to try and evidence it with numbers or case studies, but I guess sometimes that’s the way the world works. And particularly in the light of marketing where we’re all in results, focused performance oriented environments, particularly in scale-up tech companies where there’s loads of VC money or private equity money and these ambitious goals to hit. 

I guess sometimes you have to almost justify why you’re investing in diversity in a way, which again, we probably shouldn’t have to do, but I guess this is something that has to be done in certain board meetings.

Lucy (12:11):

Yeah, totally. I know the numbers are important. And like you said, there are a lot of statistics out there that prove that, you know, having diversity or inclusive kind of practices through hiring, promotion and development, leadership team, senior management, or I’ve seen so many different kinds of stats, but anywhere from 30 to 50% higher revenue per employee, greater profitability than competitors, all of those sorts of things. But it was interesting. 

Actually, I watched a Ted Talk a couple of weeks ago and the lady was talking about diversity and about the data. And she said, why is the data so important if you think about your sales within your organisation or marketing, if something’s not working, what do you do? You don’t send all of your marketing staff on a course to talk about why marketing is important and how great it is and the value of it. 

What you do is you go back to the numbers, you go back to the data, you look at your conversion rates, you look at lead sources. You look at the whole kind of journey and work out numbers, what you’re going to do to increase and make it better. 

And this is the same thing with diversity, and the point she was making on the Ted Talk is that, yes we’re doing lots of great things to raise awareness about diversity, but at some point we’re going to have to take it back to the numbers and start recording these things. 

And I saw a stat actually from a marketing perspective, that was really interesting where it said there was a recent survey by Google and it was called the female quotient and they revealed that 64% of all respondents took action after seeing an ad considered to be diverse or inclusive. Which I thought was really, really interesting because I haven’t really thought about taking it back to the marketing side of it. We’ve got to start somewhere to obtain those sorts of statistics, right?

How can marketers encourage diversity within an organisation?

Alex (14:10):

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I guess, we’ve talked about this starting at the top and tricking down and being a cultural thing rather than just a marketing thing. And that’s the real risk, but do you think it’s possible for that to be a sense of almost a bottom up transformation whereby it does start with marketing almost. 

Cause that example you just gave is something that from a marketing angle can be implemented. I guess albeit superficially, but quite easily. Can that in itself open up the conversation and make people more aware of the impact and the benefits of focusing on diversity and inclusion? Or do you think it really is, this has to start at the very top and it then trickles down across every facet of the organisation?

Lucy (14:51):

It is a little bit of both. There’s got to be a drive from the top because you need that support throughout the whole organisation. But equally referring back to what I was just saying about the data, especially in the world of marketing where we are very data-driven, I think it’s important. 

We know it’s important to put practice in place, to measure progress and to measure what we’re doing. But that’s only going to add value to the whole process and if you can feed some of that data back up to the top it’s all good.

Alex (15:28):

I guess the reason for asking the question is more, if there’s marketers listening who find themselves in organisations who are maybe a bit behind on this type of thing and they felt as though those at the top are really even aware of it, or maybe it’s come up once in a couple of board meetings, but there’s really been very little focus on it. How can they begin to create change? 

And as the starting point, they’re marketers and are in control of marketing. They can work it in there, but I guess this is the challenge, right? Is that you risk or there’s always that danger of it becoming something that is a superficial marketing play rather than a genuine belief system.

Lucy (16:04):

Yeah, I think you need to recognise that this is a long game. This is not something that happens immediately and you can’t just stick a black square up on LinkedIn for a day and expect sales to suddenly increase because of your values. You really need to back up those values with content across all of your channels over a long period of time and diversity in marketing, we’re on the digital side. 

For example, it isn’t just about the visuals, it actually requires intentional thinking and doing plenty of research. So research is key. Look at your current team structure, understand your target audience and think about the accessibility of your user experience as well. Diversity, like we said, is evaluating a huge range of factors, like age and language, health and disability, religion, and so on. I think you’ll recognise, I suppose, especially when you are hitting a global audience, that you’re going to be hitting so many different types of diverse sorts of factors within the audience. 

So even with a limited budget, it is something that we’re looking at as my role with the FinTech B2B marketer. We’re running a series of webinars because we get asked the question all the time, where do we even start? I know I need to do something about diversity and inclusion, but literally I just don’t even know where to begin. 

So, we’ve built this series of five webinars to look at all of the little things that you can do to kickstart diversity within your organisation. So from a marketing perspective, I would probably say things like I mentioned language, for example. I have a look at the language that you use, not just as in different languages that we speak, but as in the tone of language as well across all of your marketing content. 

That’s one thing that we could do, look outside of your typical circle, look for content contributors. This is something that we’ve actually done for things like posts and webinars. Is there more diversity in the writers that you’re using? So you’re getting lots of different perspectives. 

I think one of the things that I come across quite a lot actually are questions I have from marketers is around some of these justice movements, social justice movements, like black lives matter. And a lot of firms are a little bit hesitant to support or to do something publicly about it because they think that it might be too political or it might alienate some customers, whereas you’re reaching others. 

But my view on that pushback is just be brave I suppose. And go out there and you’re not just hating or talking to that particular audience, but actually you are showing a lot more transparency and value and everything. And one more thing, speaking to somebody about when, when we were talking about inclusivity, they were saying that they ran a survey with their clients and they said the campaign was about what tugs at your heartstrings? I love this. 

And it said that they asked their clients, not related to work, but really what tugs at your heart strings? And the answers were super interesting because they were things like climate change and animal welfare and technology and AI and all of these different diverse answers they had. And they use these answers in their marketing campaigns and actually even to feed in some of their product decisions, roadmap decisions as well, which I thought was a really good way of thinking about diversity.

How can diversity be included within B2B marketing campaigns? 

Alex (19:58):

Cool. Those are some good tips. So on the marketing side specifically, you mentioned, and I think absolutely correct. This is not just a visual thing, cause I think so often people think they can just sort out some imagery or graphics or something, and that ticks the box. 

And actually with my agency hat on, I was once in a client meeting years ago, I won’t name who it was, but they had a load of illustrated characters across this campaign they were doing. And it just broke out into this conversation about actually, we need to go back to the illustrator and get someone that’s got glasses. And then there was someone in a wheelchair. 

And then there was someone that needed someone with ginger hair. It went on and on. I felt like I was in a sitcom at one point, the conversation was unreal and it really was a very last minute box checking exercise. It was a fascinating conversation to observe. But, that was one of the light bulb moments for me of just watching that be such a last minute, the final layer of paint type thing, rather than something that really was cultural and organisation-wide and had really been clearly thought through from the beginning, it was purely imagery and visual. 

And you’ve challenged my thinking because I never really thought about it in terms of the tone and content contributors and it gets worked in so many different ways. That’s a really important thing for all marketing teams to just be constantly checking everything they do against this checklist of things that people can think about. 

But I guess that’s the bit I’m like, can you do all of these things just purely from a marketing perspective? But at the same time, make sure that change is happening more widely and almost a sense of if we’re just thinking of this from a marketing angle, are we doing enough? Are we making enough of an impact? 

Even if you look at the tone and countries and other things, is that still just not enough in terms of the wider picture? But I guess that circles back to what we said in terms of marketing, being able to actually start influencing the rest of the organisation? Can marketing be that vehicle for change?

Lucy (22:03):

This is one of the things that I feel so passionately and strongly about is that all of those little steps add up to big things. And I think if everybody, I’m not suggesting that’s how you’re thinking, but if everybody just thought, it’s not enough what I’m doing, nothing’s going to get done. Everybody’s got a part to play in this. 

And it’s interesting what you say about the imagery. Cause I think that’s where marketers put a lot of their attention and focus, which is why I mentioned that. I mean, looking at the imagery is definitely a place to start, but I was doing a little bit of reading up on it actually. And there was a study that found that 70% of people can tell the difference between a brand or like a stock image and actually a real customer created image. 

So, rather than thinking about and using an image and just having diverse types of people in that image, think about the diversity of the image itself. So what I mean by that is, think about the background as in the location where it is, think about using real people. That 70% of people know that it’s these very white teeth, shiny people in suits with perfect hair, not hair out of place, have some people that are out walking on the streets and real people in your imagery. 

And I think overall the bottom line is all around being authentic. That’s what it boils down to. There was this other study. I love my numbers, by the way. 90% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. So, that goes back to telling the difference between a stock image and not, but I think it’s just, it’s not enough that we just have this gentle nod to diversity inclusion, we’ve got to make it authentic.

Alex (24:12):

And I guess from a marketing perspective, if the organisation they’re working with is doing a lot of these things, then actually that almost feeds some of your output in itself is X grade to be able to shine a spotlight on the initiatives you’re running internally, not just working into your customer focused marketing as well. I think that’s the key thing for me. 

You’ve made me think about that key difference between diversity being sometimes just a numbers game where you have to hit a quota almost. Which is, in relative terms, probably the easy bit. And then the inclusion side where actually you’ve maybe done step one, but now how do we put this into practice and actually make people feel that they’re being listened to and heard and have a voice and can contribute across the whole team?

Lucy (24:59):

I think from a marketing perspective, I would basically put it into two boxes. You’ve got your first diversity box in the sense of company values, the overall company values. So supporting those company values, making your company more approachable and increasing the brand and all of those sorts of things. 

The second box though is about engagement and so it’s less about diversity from a social, brand value point of view. It’s more about how you’re engaging better with your audience, by being more aware of diversity. Nowadays there’s no typical consumer. Every kind of population or every audience that you’re looking at, there’s this diverse range of backgrounds and ages and genders and sexualities, religions, everything. 

So it’s super important for marketers that your campaigns are resonating with people from all of those varieties of backgrounds. Especially where companies are looking to global audiences. I think that’s how I would separate the two.

Alex (26:13):

It makes sense. And that’s a nice clear framework. Well, it has been great talking. I think you’ve given me plenty of food for thought myself and I’m sure our listeners too. I’m sure people might want to connect and say hi and follow up the conversation in certain respects. So what’s the best way for people to connect with you?

Lucy (26:29):

LinkedIn. I’m big on the social scene, so yeah. Please contact me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Alex (26:39):

Thank you. Well, thanks again. It’s been great talking and keep in touch.

Lucy (26:43):

Great. Thank you.

FINITE (26:45):

Thanks for listening. We’re super busy at FINITE building the best community possible for marketers working in the B2B technology sector to connect, share, learn, and grow along with our podcast, we host a monthly online events, run interview series, share curated content and have an active slack community with members from London, New York, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Melbourne, and many more to strengthen your marketing knowledge and connect with ambitious B2B tech marketers across the globe, head to finite.community and apply for a free membership.

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