Katrina Craigwell is Transforming Banking for a Digitally-Savvy Generation at Finn by Chase

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One of my grandmother’s favorite errands was going to the bank. She loved walking in and being greeted by the tellers by name. Debit cards were untrustworthy. Cash was king. As a millennial, my generation’s relationship with the bank looks very different. The less face-to-face interaction I’m required to have, the better. In my humble opinion, mobile check deposit is one of the greatest technological developments of the 21st century.

Speaking with Katrina Craigwell about her work at Finn by Chase was like a therapy session for convenience-obsessed me. Along with her team, Katrina is leading marketing for Chase’s first all-digital banking product. Entirely-mobile banking is not a new development, but Finn is among the first all-digital banks from a major player like Chase. It’s a monumental undertaking; one that Katrina was well-prepared for after a long tenure on the digital team at GE.

Above all, Katrina and her team are on a mission to appeal to digitally-savvy customers - including Millennials and Gen Z - hoping to convince them that banking can be cool again. Convenience combined with extreme reliability? Sign me up.

Read on to learn more about the fantastic work Katrina is doing at Finn by Chase.

-Mariah Petrovic

The Innovator: Katrina Craigwell, Executive Director and Head of Marketing at Finn by Chase

Innovation Superpower: Katrina and her team are leading marketing for one the first digital-first, all-mobile banks launched by a major banking brand. Targeting younger generations, she’s on a mission to change the stodgy reputation of banking by delivering a high-value product that customers are excited to use.  

You probably didn’t know that Katrina considers herself a classic introvert. 

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Tell us about your current role and responsibilities. Why did you choose to join your current company?

I lead marketing for Finn, a new all-mobile bank from Chase. I joined because of the mission. I love being a part of a team that’s making financial services accessible and convenient for the next generation of customers. Fintech has the potential to help meet the needs of consumers in new and powerful ways. I’m inspired by this and the opportunity to help these tools reach and empower a broad group of people.  

What current developments in marketing are most inspiring to you? How will they affect the future of marketing?

I have always been inspired by the creator ecosystem that has grown out of platforms like Instagram, YouTube and others. These platforms have opened the door to an amazing community of dynamic storytellers. As a marketer, it’s always special to get to work with creators, and see the way a story comes to life through their eyes.

What are you working on now that you think is innovative? 

The whole idea of an all mobile bank is an emerging space for the financial sector. Finn by Chase is part of JPMC’s larger push to transform for the future, build products that are digital first, and meet our customers where they are.

This opens up new space for innovation in marketing as well. In both marketing and delivering our products digitally, we’re able to leverage a continuous feedback loop that’s customer-first. We have the opportunity to interrogate every tactic that we use, with the intent of providing value, not interruption. This includes giving priority to delivering information and experiences that serve our customers, over our own opinions about what we need to be saying in market (no easy feat). It’s where data and creativity come together, and that’s one of the things that excites me the most about marketing today. 

We have the opportunity to interrogate every tactic that we use, with the intent of providing value, not interruption.

Tell us about your career path and how you ended up where you are right now: What big learning moments have you had in your journey? Did you have any notable mentors?

My biggest learning moments have been around the importance of relationship building. As an introvert, it’s easy for me to retreat into my own space, especially after a busy stretch. I’ve made the mistake of retreating too much, and hurting my relationships as a result. I practice doing the opposite every day, and I’m grateful for the incredible community of colleagues and friends who I get to work with that make this easy. 

Tell us about your teams. How do you pick and develop the talent on your team? How do you ensure there is collaboration?

We’re building a diverse team – we’re looking for folks with a variety of backgrounds and experiences that bring new perspectives to our work and help us build new experiences that meet the needs of our customers.

Collaboration is a key to our work. Everything from the space we’re working in to how and when we schedule meetings helps to create a collaborative environment for our team. For example, every week we have team demos where different groups can share what they’ve learned and what they’re working on. 

What one thing do you need from your CMO to help you be successful?

One of the things I value most from my CMO is trust. It’s my responsibility to earn and maintain that trust day-to-day, and I look to my CMO to stay open and curious about new partners and unexpected ideas.

What advice would you give to marketers who are just starting their careers?

My advice for marketers starting out is to get in the trenches and practice making things. I think making things matters for marketers at all levels. Our space is evolving so quickly, being users and staying curious about how things work are great ways to build instinct around creating meaningful experiences.

My advice for marketers starting out is to get in the trenches and practice making things. I think making things matters for marketers at all levels.

Voice interface is a great example of this. With some basic programming skills, anyone can practice what it’s like to design for voice. That goes a long way in defining voice experiences as part of a larger marketing strategy.

 Bonus Questions

  •  Favorite place to vacation? Europe, it’s hard to pick just one country, the whole continent is fascinating and I love seeing the unique culture and history of each country. 

  • If you were a superhero, what would your special skill be? I would love to be an empath. For those of you not familiar, it’s the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual. I know, I’m kind of a nerd. 

  • If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be? A scientist, preferably in the space sector.

  • What's the best thing you've read/listened to/watched recently? I can’t pick just one: