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Dear BAMf Podcast: Episode 48 with Jonny Steel

101 LGBTQIA+ in Tech, Business & Storytelling

Dear BAMf // Episode 48: Jonny Steel of Payoneer explains how to navigate international markets.

In this episode of the Dear BAMf podcast, we speak with Jonny Steel, VP Marketing at Payoneer. Jonny is a marketing and business development professional experienced in initiating and negotiating strategic partnerships at the senior level in the marketing, retail, and finance sectors. In this episode, Jonny answers tough marketing and PR questions from our listeners, including this question about avoiding a cultural blunder in international markets.

Dear BAMf,

My start-up now has four international markets and we're making our way into a fifth this year, which is exciting as we approach an IPO in the next couple of years. For context, I'm the head of all comms for our team of more than a thousand people. My question's around our branding and the image it conveys. I'm concerned about slipping up on anything culturally inappropriate. I just brought on a social media agency to do our global brand social media and they have offices in all our markets. Nothing bad has happened yet and I've been here for more than a year. How do I proactively look and defend against any situation that could get us in hot water with how constant social media is? I do not want to be in a bad situation.

Listen now to hear how Jonny advises this writer to move forward.

Dear BAMf: Episode 48

Episode 48 highlights:

  • (3:00) What is Payoneer?

    "Payoneer has been around for 15 years. We connect the world together on a single platform, making it easy to do business globally as you can locally. So we're built around a payment platform," Jonny explains. He illustrates how Payoneer builds commerce services with a diverse array of companies. Working with small businesses, freelancers, and big brands like Google, Facebook, Airbnb, and many more.

  • (04:30) What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last 12 months?

    "My proudest moment of 2020 was when we put on a 24-hour virtual conference for our customers worldwide. So we literally followed the sun starting at one time and continuing through all the time zones with nonstop content," Jonny explained. The idea was sparked by a new team member and blossomed from there. Jonny suggests letting these "crazy" ideas flourish and grow saying, "I think as a leader, the important thing to do there is to nurture these crazy ideas. Don't be the first one to say that's impossible."

  • (06:00) What is your favorite way to tell a story?

    "If you go to, the first thing you'll see will be pictures of customers," Jonny explains. Most brands would not do this but Payoneer sees their customers as their main stakeholders. "We feel that the best way to talk about what it is that we do and the difference that we make is to put the focus on customers. We are precisely trying to empower that entrepreneur to build their business in that way."

  • (10:00) How to remain culturally sensitive in an international market.

    In Jonny's experience with international markets, he suggests localizing the content to avoid accidentally doing something culturally insensitive. "We got somebody within the team that was from that local market," Jonny shares. "If we were targeting, say the Japan market, we'd hire a Japanese marketing manager that would be based in one of those hubs that would serve the market. That gave us a sense of security that we had somebody who was a real expert that understood the local sensitivities, and understood our business and our stories." For more advice about cultural sensitivities, watch our recent Ask Media Anything webinar focused on DEI.

What is Dear BAMf?

We are all BAMfs (badass motherf*ckers) according to us, but sometimes even BAMfs need help. Dear BAMf is an advice column-style podcast that lets you anonymously hit us with your hardest marketing and PR questions hosted by Founder & CEO of BAM Communications, Beck Bamberger.

Have a difficult PR or marketing situation you can't figure out? Drop us a line at Dear BAMf. Your submission will be entirely anonymous. 


Catch our next episode on Monday, June 8, and subscribe to Dear BAMf on SpotifyYouTube, and Apple Podcasts.


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