Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Anna Kadric, head of Content, Channels & Media at Nordea, on authentic communication:

Carlota Pico 0:15
Hi everyone, and welcome back to The Content Mix. I’m Carlota Pico, your host for today’s show. And I’m excited to introduce Anna Kadric, who is Global Head of Content, Channels and Media at Nordea. Welcome, Anna, and thank you so much for joining us today on The Content Mix.

Anna Kadric 0:34
I’m really glad to be here, Carlota. Thank you for inviting me.

Carlota Pico 0:38
The pleasure is ours, Anna. Okay, Anna, could you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you get to where you are today?

Anna Kadric 0:45
That’s a very interesting story. Obviously, social media wasn’t with us when I started working. My background is in communications and marketing, marketing has always been very close to my heart. And then, with social media becoming, making some strides in society, I felt that this was a very exciting opportunity to look for talent for example. That was the first thing that, that we started investigating. How to attract more people, more talented people to the organizations that I was working for. And then it has evolved, evolved into providing the right content for the right audiences. Attracting people to actually understand what the companies are all about. And since then, I have been very fortunate to take over the role of in-house agency head for a company like Nordea. So it, it feels very exciting that we are on the cutting edge of developing content that millions of people see every day from their financial partner, that Nordea is.

Carlota Pico 1:55
Okay. How exciting. Could you give us a little more information about Nordea? A 30-second elevator pitch?

Anna Kadric 2:02
Absolutely. Nordea is a company that, obviously it’s a financial institution, it’s a, it’s a bank. We are leading universal bank and that means that we are a bank for everyone. So starting from someone who would have only a salary account, all the way to large companies and institutions. So corporate, all the way to B2, B2C people who are having just a salary account. And we have been doing that for over 200 years. So obviously making sure that our customers realize their dreams and aspirations. That’s our goal, helping people fulfill their dreams. And I think that has resonated very well with the audiences throughout the Nordic. Our core countries are Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Carlota Pico 3:02
Okay. What a beautiful goal to have. Okay, you mentioned having, being responsible for an in-house agency at Nordea. What is that? What’s that look like?

Anna Kadric 3:13
An in-house agency, obviously we are staying true to what Nordea wants to achieve. We’re working very closely with our business areas, but adding a branding kind of coat over it, making sure that we are developing campaigns that make our content resonate with the audiences and obviously be recognizable as content that is coming from Nordea. We strive to be a trusted partner for, for our audiences. So they are, they can refer back to us when they want advice on their financial goals. And the content channels and media, that’s the team that basically makes it happen. We have got channels and media managers that, that manage our social media flow, that stay on top of what we are sharing in our branches, for example in the streams, as well as having graphic designers, videographers, UX experts. All of that combined created that fantastic team that I’ve got the privilege of managing.

Carlota Pico 4:21
Wow, excellent. I was on your LinkedIn profile, Anna, snooping around, to get to know a little bit about you before interview and I’m actually going to read a line off of your LinkedIn profile that really caugt my attention. Start quote: “The most successful companies make sure that their brand is a skeleton supporting the core values of every single employee and partner.” End quote. Could you elaborate more on that thought please?

Anna Kadric 4:48
Absolutely. I think that, the branding is something that you strive to achieve but the brand itself will never be authentic if the brand is something that is kind of pulled on over what, what you are doing, what you are trying to achieve. The brand is what people are saying about you when you are not in the room. So the opinions that people are expressing about you. And if that is something that you are investing in and fostering in the organization, that is a huge benefit to the company because then the employees are living that brand. For Nordea the representation of that is our purpose and values. And in that respect that’s something that we are working actively on every single day with, with our signature practices for example, in internal meetings. When we are talking about the benefits for the customers, just making sure that we, this is not something that would happen by accident. We actively work on that making sure that this lofty promise of fulfilling people’s everyday dreams is not actually just an empty slogan. It is something that we are working on every single day, starting from how we are representing in our mobile banking app to the offerings that we are giving to customers on the front end, all the way to the back office functions, how do I help the customers everyday.

Carlota Pico 6:19
Okay. What about the impacts of COVID-19 though? In terms of content development because you want the content to be genuine and you want your content to relate with your audience, but obviously the audience is going through very unstable times. So how have you adapted content to resonate better with your different personas?

Anna Kadric 6:39
When corona happened, we switched gears, almost overnight. We, we stopped, almost entirely our marketing campaigns, we paused all of them and focused on care messages. And that switch was so tremendous on my team, we started developing content, helping our audiences to understand what the implications they have. If they are going to be let go from different organizations, from different companies, what are they entitled to. We had a family advisor, talking about, you know, do you need to get another mortgage. How do you sell stuff. Everything that we were working on at that time when corona happened in the springtime was geared toward customer care. We, we even discussed, you know, the visual representation, what that would look like. Our brand is very often represented with a pulse. It’s a very nice visual representation of basically, a Nordea heartbeat. But we felt that, for the care messages and talking about Corona, it cannot be mistaken for advertising campaigns. We want to make sure that people understand that we are here to help them out. We are here to care for them. And that’s why we decided, even with such a little thing, remove that part, remove that visual representation to make sure that the people see the distinction between advertising and actually care messages. We listened very much to our customer service agents. We, we were looking at what is coming, not only on social media on our walls but also what’s coming in through the telephones, and then developed content that would answer some of those questions and pain points. That the telephone lines were blocked by people really really scared about the situation and quite understandably. This is not unique to the Nordic. This is a worldwide pandemic. And it’s affecting all of us.

Carlota Pico 8:50
Definitely. And on that note, how do you rally up people from different teams around a common goal?

Anna Kadric 8:59
We have been, we have been very fortunate with, with having very strong leadership in the countries. Switching gears, working towards a common goal. And as those regulations in the countries differ, we took very different, very different approach depending on what, what the country health authorities are recommending. So in some countries, we closed the branches, in other countries we decided to keep them open, but encouraged the customers to have digital meetings with us. And we, I think that the share of our digital meetings has increased so significantly throughout the springtime, because we were making sure that people understand that they can get help, even if they are not coming to our branches, that we are here for the customers and trying to resolve their pain points as they were happening in real life. And obviously, it’s not, it’s not easy for any brand.

Carlota Pico 10:05
Well definitely not. Okay, so your common goal was to get higher management, to get your team rallied around the goal of emphasizing with their customers regardless of where they were in terms of markets, and you did that by understanding the cycles that each market was going through. So for example, in our case, we, I have guests from all around the world right, I host guests from all around the world and people are going through different cycles. If you’re based in China, you were probably hit with the corona wave way early in January, and then came Europe and the United States, and then came Latin America, right, so people were going through different cycles. And your approach was to adapt you yourself and your company to the cycles of your customers.

Anna Kadric 10:49
Absolutely, and learning from, from other countries so, so trying to have some kind of headwind by, by seeing, okay this is what’s happening. Do we have plan B and C for all of the eventualities that could happen in our countries as well. And I think that has worked so tremendously because we rallied around a common goal, to make sure that we have got a plan in place, and that plan then can be put into action quite quickly and adjusted if need be.

Carlota Pico 11:22
Super important to be able to adjust a plan, especially marketeers, right, because we’re always A/B testing. Okay, Anna. What about some other challenges that you’ve had to go through during your career, not only coronavirus but I’m sure that you’ve faced a few challenges over the course of time.

Anna Kadric 11:43
I think the challenge I look most fondly on, even though it wasn’t fun at the time is actually to start social media channels for, for the company when it wasn’t, it wasn’t that obvious, it wasn’t that popular, you know. We kept getting questions like, is social media really here to stay? And, right now you know the answer of course, but back in the day, I would say at the beginning of, let’s say 2010, that wasn’t a very obvious answer because you had different channels and different companies kind of pop up and then disappear. But we felt very strongly that social media is a very important means to an end. And that end being either recruiting top talent, or working towards informing the customers, selling more product, generating more leads, whatever that may be. It is a powerful tool for, for marketeers to use.

Carlota Pico 12:50
We are going to have to have a separate interview on the power of social networks. Stay tuned for more about that soon. Anna, and to finish up this interview, what have been some of your proudest marketing moments to date?

Anna Kadric 13:07
There were quite a few. I think that right now what I am looking at is all the in-house campaigns that my team is developing. Right now we are working on a, on a campaign for the most affluent companies and customers. Obviously that’s a very interesting challenge in itself because you need to find them, you need to identify the, the people that might be prone to react positively to your messages and explain why we are a good partner for the most affluent customers. I think that the ones that are resonating with me are the campaigns and the concept that we have been developing throughout the time explaining difficult things in very easy terms. For example, if I take a pension campaign. We work with a third party agency on the concept, where the campaign was “winter is coming” so basically play on Game of Thrones. And, and that actually won us the Cannes Lions Award in 2019. And that was very exciting. We, even though the campaign was very local, it was Norwegian, we just decided to launch it in, in other Nordic countries because the languages are not that different. And obviously, it’s, it’s charming to actually hear someone speaking Norwegian when you’re in Sweden or in Denmark. So that, we definitely took a lot of joy out of working on kind of something that is relevant and in the moment and everyone knows the “winter is coming” quote, but then bringing it closer to the people and having that emotional connection with something that is notoriously difficult to sell and that is pension, on saving towards your pension. Everyone knows you need to do it, everyone knows it’s a good idea. And yet very few people do that. They procrastinate, they feel guilty about it. So by having fun with it, we just removed shame. And, and obviously had really good results with, with that, for the business.

Carlota Pico 15:32
Okay. What an excellent example. We’ll have to link that in our blog post so our audience is able to read more about that campaign. And Anna, to finish up this interview, if you could do anything in this world, would still be marketing?

Anna Kadric 15:47
I think the marketing gives you the breadth of experience, you know, so, so you’re picking from, from different areas and you are such, in such a collaborative state because you need to work with the business, you need to work with your partners in communications, you work with a lot of internal stakeholders, so you’re basically in the middle of it all. And I think that’s what’s, what keeps me going. That’s what makes me feel passionate about what I’m doing and what my team is doing.

Carlota Pico 16:20
Okay, beautifully put. Anna, thank you so much for joining us on the Content Mix. It was awesome to meet you, to learn about Nordea. And I can’t wait to see that “winter is coming” campaign.

Anna Kadric 16:30
Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

Carlota Pico 16:33
And to everybody listening in today, thank you for joining us on the Content Mix. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out the Content Mix. We’ll be releasing interviews, just like this one, every day, so keep on tuning in. Thanks again, have a fabulous day, and see you next time. Bye.

Transcribed by