U.S. cryptocurrency exchange and bank Kraken has named Mayur Gupta as its first chief marketing officer, in an effort to shore up its share of this fast-growing and increasingly competitive market category, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Gupta comes from serving as a marketing and strategy executive at Gannett Co. where he has been working since 2020. Previously, he held similar roles at Freshly, a meal subscription company, and Spotify technology SA, the streaming services giant digital music.
Payward Inc.’s parent plans to ramp up and improve its marketing activities after launching a consumer app last year, said CEO and co-founder Jesse Powell.
Since its founding in 2011, Kraken’s previous strategy for attracting customers was geared towards improving the customer experience, Poweel revealed. But now, due to increased competition in the crypto business sector, crypto exchanges are finding it necessary to boost their marketing.
Recently, several commercials from other cryptocurrency companies were seen during the Super Bowl broadcast, such as Coinbase Global Inc., which hired a 60-second ad during the event where the company showed a bouncing QR code. A Crypto.com commercial was also posted during the game involving several sports stars.
Gupta’s marketing strategy will focus on broadening consumer understanding of cryptocurrencies to boost Kraken’s user base during this process.
Likewise, it plans to support the company in developing emotional and cultural connections with its clients and consumers as individual investors.
Gupta said he will draw on his experience in subscription companies where these types of relationships are important. He also clarified that his company was not “in a race to be the loudest voice.”
Following in the footsteps of rivals
Other crypto exchanges have been known to hire marketing experts in recent months, such as Coinbase, which hired Kate Rouch, the former Meta Platforms Inc. executive, in August.
So is Bittrex Global GmbH, which hired Paul Grier as its first CMO in January. According to the company’s CEO, Stephen Stonberg, the increasing increase in regulatory legislation has led exchanges and other companies in the crypto industry to hire CMOs.
"The role of the CMO is invaluable at helping speak to our customers. They need to make our industry complexities understandable to new retail investors, while making the experience familiar for institutions used to the traditional financial space,” Stonberg said.
Criticism of Kraken grows
In recent weeks, criticism of Kraken has rained down from several of its clients. The company has refused to close the accounts of Russian users after the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. Another criticism of the exchange has been for the closure of its offices in San Francisco on the grounds that the city is unsafe.
In its defense, the company explained that it has closely followed the situation in Ukraine and fully complied with the legal regulations and the sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia.
For his part, Gupta commented that such decisions are a reflection of the company’s values related to concepts such as independence, transparency and security, which represent the crypto industry.
He further said that "While marketing is going to be accountable for growth, it is going to be on top of purpose-driven efforts."
“We won’t drive growth in the absence of that purpose, or the cost of our soul, which sometimes can happen in growth-stage startups,” he added.