Sam Gormley is the founder of Osaka Labs – a marketing company which combines data analysis with creativity to equip financial service organisations.
Gormley worked in the music industry, discovering Mercury Prize winning band, Alt-J, whilst working with Atlantic Records, before moving into financial services when he spotted the similarities between the industries in terms of their slow adoption of technology.
We caught up with Gormley to hear more.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
Sam Gormley: I run a Content Activation Studio in Shoreditch that focuses on fintech and financial services. This means we make stuff, market it and ensure that we are constantly looking at data to improve performance. Our goal is to get a great tech that enables a better life into as many hands as possible.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
Sam Gormley: CEO/Founder, so I report to clients but we try and stay as flat as possible so I’d like to say I report to everyone else in the firm as well as the clients.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Sam Gormley: Resilience is the most important. You’ll have great days and terrible weeks, but the main focus is to believe in what you’re doing and just keep pushing forward, regards of the internal voices or external criticisms.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Sam Gormley: Morning is getting everyone pumped about the day ahead, early afternoon is filled with too many coffees at meetings and the evening is usually recapping the day and getting prepped for the day ahead.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Sam Gormley: Love: Working with super talented people who have exceptional marketing and creative skills. It’s amazing when they come together and solve a problem in a way nobody could have imagined from the start. The clients are always surprised how these intelligent, conscientious people have solved a huge amount of problems and made it look pretty too.
Hate: Accounts. I set up an agency to be creative but then I need to do tax returns. I can’t imagine life without an accountant.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Sam Gormley: Team morale and levels of excitement need to be at the core of what we do. Great work doesn’t come from boring people, so that is a metric we hold sacred.
Our goals are simple, keep increasing the number of projects that bring actual value to the world. We would never work on projects that we didn’t believe would contribute positively, so our goal is to support the best people/companies to do their best work.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Sam Gormley: Calculator. It sounds dull, but platforms often give you figures that don’t give you an honest view of your performance, so shortcuts to calculators to work out what users are doing is the best tool for marketers. Other than that, we love Sketch, it’s dev and designer software that makes creating digital content a dream.
How did you end up founding Osaka Labs, and where might you go from here?
Sam Gormley: I started out of frustration that the only way to get creative ideas into financial services was to hire big creative agencies. These guys are expensive which restrict innovation. So I figured, we could do this with a lean business model which would allow flexible costs, lower risk and a simpler engagement model for mid-sized (£20-£150m turnover) clients.
Which FS campaign / experience has impressed you lately?
Sam Gormley: Monzo, always Monzo. They are a company we would be intimidated to work with. They are constantly knocking it out of the park by understanding clients and developing a mega strong cult following.
Do you have any advice for marketers in FS?
Sam Gormley: Stop being so bloody boring. This is financial services, arguably the most important industry in the world. Without FS, you don’t have modern value exchange. Drop the jargon, stop creating in internal silos and kick down a few doors. Fintech is flipping the way we see FS and now is the time for marketers to try something new or be left behind.
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