The Interchange Group is one of the leading foreign currency exchange companies in the world. Privately owned, it started trading in Central & Eastern Europe in the early 90s and has grown fast, through organic expansion and acquisition, and it now operates throughout Europe, Africa and some parts of the US.
Up until 2015, the company had carried out very few marketing activities, but at that time it took the decision to start a low-key marketing campaign in the Czech Republic, with a view, if that was successful, to rolling it out through some of the other countries in the CEE. At that point, Jo’s agency was appointed to support the in-house marketing manager in the CR, with Jo advising on strategy as well as overseeing the agency work, and this continued, successfully, until early 2018.
In the summer of 2018 a new COO was brought in to consolidate the existing company and move onto an aggressive expansion plan for the whole Group, which would require an experienced marketing director to prepare the overall marketing strategy and to prepare and manage the marketing activities carried out throughout all countries. Jo was asked if she would be ready to carry this role on an initial ‘part-time’ basis, which she duly agreed to.
The work, especially at the beginning, was extremely complex, as up until that time most countries had operated fairly independently, and any marketing that had been carried out in the past was often very country specific, with very different messages, branding and activities. It also produced another challenge, in that whilst some of the bigger countries had in-house marketing people, many had no-one available that could prepare or carry out any of the planned activities, meaning that whatever was included must, often, be generated by Jo herself (often using sub-contractors such as designers, online marketing experts, etc) and rolled out to all countries for their individual use.
The starting point, therefore, was to stop whatever had been done before, and to prepare a marketing strategy and plan that would be implemented throughout the whole Interchange Group, whilst ensuring that it was manageable, as above. This included everything from the overall look of the cash exchange offices themselves, to uniforms for the staff, to integrating all countries into one website, to regular sales and marketing campaigns that followed exactly the same lines throughout the whole group, as well as a great deal more. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the marketing campaign is presently on hold, and for sure new challenges await once the shops start to re-open and people begin to travel again.