Q&A with Thomas Charpié, Product Marketing Manager at Alluvial

We discuss the synergy between outbound and inbound efforts in Product Marketing, how Thomas has seen the industry evolve since 2017, and wearing many hats.

Q&A with Thomas Charpié, Product Marketing Manager at Alluvial

Hi Thomas! Can you share a bit about your background, and what led you to a career in Product Marketing?

Hi Melissa, thank you for having me.

I started my career in TradFi before moving to e-commerce, and now crypto or the digital asset space. I’ve been lucky to have been able to touch on various marketing functions from product marketing and growth marketing to events, social media, and content.

I’ve always been fascinated by Product Marketers and the role they play within an organization. They are the connectors within an organization and work closely with Product, Sales, and Marketing. Interacting and facilitating things within the different pillars of an organization is what really excites me.

The role is also very versatile. You have to wear many hats and strike a balance between the analytical and softer sides of marketing.

How did you first come to be interested in crypto? Was there an “ah-ha” moment for you when it comes to decentralized technology, or did you develop an interest over time?

In 2017, a good friend of mine was experimenting with paying his developers in Bitcoin due to frustrations with banking delays and fees. I never really had a so-called “ah-ha” moment; by learning more about the space and the underlying technology that is blockchain, it all started making sense to me.

Part of my interest in crypto also stems from my desire to help people. What really resonated with me is crypto’s promise of democratizing access to financial tools. We tend to forget that millions are now able to have access to financial tools and generate wealth in a few clicks all thanks to crypto. I think that side of things tends to get lost for splashier headlines.

“We tend to forget that millions are now able to have access to financial tools and generate wealth in a few clicks all thanks to crypto. I think that side of things tends to get lost for splashier headlines.”

What does a typical day look like for you as Product Marketing Manager (PMM) at Alluvial? How do you collaborate with other teams, like sales and product?

This might sound cliché but I don’t think there’s a typical day as a PMM at Alluvial. We’re working on many different projects, and things are moving fast, which is exciting and part of the appeal of working at a startup.

As a PMM, being in sync with Sales and Product is key. Working closely with Sales is important to understand market needs, customer pain points and the competitive landscape. By gathering these qualitative data points and adding quantitative data, we can craft strategies to enable the Sales team to be the megaphone of the company.

Working closely with Product is also key. By understanding customer needs and market trends, PMMs help shape the product features and enhancements that address real-world challenges and differentiate the product in the market. They also play a crucial role in product launches, ensuring that go-to-market strategies align with product capabilities and customer expectations.

Overall, the symbiotic relationship between Product Marketing, Sales, and Product Development is essential for driving product success. Through close collaboration and communication, these teams work together to deliver value to customers and achieve business objectives.

How would you describe your personal philosophy towards product marketing?

I view Product Marketing through the lens of both inbound and outbound efforts. Outbound activities encompass narrative development, positioning, and strategic messaging, and rely heavily on the collaborative efforts of Marketing and Sales teams. They serve as the vital channels that amplify our message to reach the right audience, whether potential or existing customers. Without their partnership, our meticulously crafted narratives would remain unheard.

Equally significant, yet sometimes overlooked, is the role of inbound activities. It's through the insights gathered by Sales and Marketing teams—data analytics, inbound leads, and customer interactions—that Product Marketers gain a deep understanding of the market landscape. This intelligence fuels product development, guiding decisions on feature prioritization and roadmap shaping to address customer pain points effectively.

The synergy between outbound and inbound efforts is pivotal. Outbound initiatives amplify our message, while inbound insights refine our understanding of customer needs, culminating in a comprehensive strategy for product success.

Therefore I think Product Marketers have to use a mix of data and creativity, qualitative and quantitative, and soft and hard skills. We look and analyze to find convergence insights, or what I like to call “golden nuggets,” and leverage these insights to inform compelling narratives and strategic messaging that resonates with our audience.

One of Alluvial’s core values is trust. How does Product Marketing help to build or support trust with our collaborators and partners?

I think trust is earned over time by being reliable, meaning doing what you said you would, owning up to your mistakes (learning from them and making sure you don’t repeat them), and delivering results.

“Overall, the symbiotic relationship between product marketing, sales, and product development is essential for driving product success. Through close collaboration and communication, these teams work together to deliver value to customers and achieve business objectives.”

Within your role, you’re often connecting with leaders at enterprises and institutions who are either preparing to offer staking participation to their users, or are already offering staking participation to their users. What is your read on the development of institutional participation in web3, and how have you seen that landscape change over time?

I think retail and institutional adoption have come a long way since I first became interested in the space in 2017. I remember reading a long Medium post in 2017 explaining how to set up a wallet. It was quite confusing, not intuitive, and far from being user-friendly.

Working at an exchange during the last bull and bear market was fascinating because I got to see the evolution of both the retail and the institutional side of the crypto market. In 2021, just a few non-crypto-native firms would trade crypto, although the interest was there. One thing that struck me during the last bull run was big brand brands like LVMH, Nike and others leveraging NFTs and the metaverse to engage with their audience. It was interesting to see these brands grow web3 adoption. I think that created a lot of buzz and interest for web3, but if you look at things as a whole, the percentage of institutions in web3 at the time remained small.

What changed from 2021 to now is the participation of Wall Street, and giants like Blackrock and Fidelity launching BTC ETFs. I think this is a catalyst to increase institutional participation in digital assets. I think it's a matter of time before pension and sovereign funds start investing in those products.

Despite all the news that we’re hearing I still think we’re in the early stages of institutional adoption. There’s a quote from John Oliver that really resonates: "Crypto is everything that you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about computers.” So I still think we have some ways to go, but we’re definitely getting closer.

A view from Lausanne, Switzerland
A view from Lausanne, Switzerland

You’ve had the opportunity to live in multiple countries, and diverse cities. What are a few of your favorite places?

Hahaha, good thing you didn’t ask me to pick one.

I was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and we lived there into my early adolescent years. It’s such a lovely and serene city, I would recommend it for anyone to visit.

I went to college in Montréal, and living there for four years was exhilarating. Montréal is unique, given its blend of North American and European cultures, which, given my background, made me feel at home. The people are great, super friendly, and smart, and the city offers everything that you’re looking for in terms of culture, art, music, nightlife, food, etc.

New York, “the city so nice they named it twice” (John Henricks). I was very fortunate to grow up in New York and to live there in my twenties and early thirties. NY is such an exhilarating place, I can’t think of a better city to be during that part of my life.

Thomas unwinding on a hiking trip
Thomas unwinding on a hiking trip

Your role is busy! What kind of activities help you to stay motivated, or bring you joy outside of work?

It’s definitely busy, but I think we’re all very busy here. Working out in the morning helps me focus and prepare for the day. On weekends, I love to go hiking and spend time in nature. It helps me clear my mind, relax, and rebalance.

Thank you, Thomas!

Interview by Melissa Nelson

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