Not taking no for an answer

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Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com

It’s not easy to get people motivated to have do more than their everyday job. And yes, why would they? Having a job nowadays requires a lot of energy. Being successful at one’s job is becoming an art.

90% of the word’s data today was created in the last two years alone.  That’s a lot to process. We are all contributed to it: the average employee sends and receives 122 emails per day.

Nonetheless, there are pressing matters out there, as women make up only 51.5% of all managers. Excluding half the talent of the planet, how does that work?

There are a lot of initiatives out there. Targeted to women in tech, for example. But the problem goes beyond that. It’s present everywhere. In all layers of society. European and beyond. And for it to change, we need to produce as much content on the matter as possible. This is one of those situations, when more is better. It’s a political, economic and social debate. What role women play? How are they influencing business success or the voting process?

Moreover, what happens when you go beyond borders? We are a multicultural, borderless society. And those who think differently and try to create boundaries, are only going to lose this game. In the same time, we are local. Interconnected globally with local needs which require taking care of.

And so, what better way to act than having women state their views and tell their own stories? We do not need advocates. We can represent ourselves. As we need to bring global women together locally. Oh, that’s a hard phrase to read. But I am sure you got the point! What do you think?

Until next time…

Don’t panic

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You are not alone. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

This beginning of the year seems like a continuous storm. In a positive way, but still a storm. It’s been years since I have been so overwhelmed by my to do list. Professionally and personally. So what does one do when all comes running towards oneself?!

Probably trying to find ways to better manage the storm. I am currently using about 10 to 20 tools daily, depending on the project. Some days my list could be even longer with all the applets out there. I also have to admit that I love to discover a new tool everyday. It’s amazing how creative, resourceful and innovative the human mind can be. There is a tool for everything.

Doing so every day, I’ve realised something about myself: how I’ve evolved over the years. From PR and coms, tech, start ups, marketing, data to business. Nowadays, I can even code a bit. Right now I am learning about companies valuations, for example.

Yes, it can be overwhelming. And it is. But there is no better time to grow. It will only lead to a better, broader you. Understanding transformations is crucial. But the key is to transform as well. We need to be actors. Create your hypothesis, understand roles, find reasons why and obstacles. Reinvent. Reiterate. Daily. Use the power of tech. It’s only your friend, if you understand it. The moment you lost touch, it might not be.

And so, do not panic. You will succeed, if you keep on going. There are so many courses and trainings which can help. Do you need couching? Or digital marketing skills? Or strategy? Or data analytics? Whatever it is, find the one which fits your need and get support. Some days will be better than others. No news there

Until next time…

When the drummers were women

Momo Amsterdam
Momo Amsterdam

During a conference I attended couple of weeks ago, I had a history lesson.

Did you know that for 3000 years women have been the primary percussionists in the ancient world?!? Yes, percussionists.

One of the most used instrument was the drum. Drums were used to summon goddesses. They were also the instruments through which they “spoke” to their followers. This was the case in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean world.

These regions are known today as the countries of Turkey, Egypt, Greece or Italy.

Fast forward to Vatican and Christianity, instruments and music associated with goddesses, were banned. So much so, that the Catholic synod of 576 said:

“Christians are not allowed to teach their daughters singing, the playing of instruments or similar things because, according to their religion, it is neither good nor becoming.”

In other words, women were no longer allowed to practice the professions of composing, teaching or performing.

This story is sad and, in the same time, inspiring. Today more than ever. In a world which redefines herself. When leaders lack vision or no longer represent their people. There is a tremendous gap. And so, there is place for activism. And for women leaders. Not only to resist, but to build, to develop.

There is no time like today to think big. And not only about women rights and equal rights, but about the rights of us all. The future of our communities, of our families is at stake. So be the drummers! Lead the way!

“That’s so great,”, you might say, “but where do we start?”. A legitimate question bien sur. From my point of view, there is no greater impact one can make today than starting up a business. And it’s also about changing the way  we see jobs nowadays.

So yes, you have an idea!?! Go ahead, become an entrepreneur. You might fail, but even so you will win. So much so, that not only you’ll start all over again, but you’ll also start leading. As you’ll trust yourself more. As now you know you can. From this point on, be it in business or your social life, you have a word to say. You’ll be able to support, get involved, educate or lead. One step at the time.

For some inspiration, here are some examples of women entrepreneurs and their innovations. From fashion and beauty, to motherhood, to online communities, politics and professional networking.  There are so many other examples, so please feel free add to the list.

If they could do it, why not you?!? No one was born a drummer!Not even the most famous female drummer of all times Karen Carpenter.

Until next time…

We made it

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New Year Eve, South Portugal

Here we are already in the new year. What will it bring, what other ventures are in store for us? It all remains to be seen. I would predict, if you allow me, a lot of caution. In the way, you do your job, run your business, your team or your life in general. We have made so much progress, please do not let it all go to waste. For the sake of your family and friends. Please stand up and protect your rights! The year to come will be challenging to say the least.

In my last post, I was writing about the importance of working together for a greater good. About a collaborative way of seeing the world. And about a new project. I’m happy to say today, it’s live and kicking. Please be so kind and meet the East End Girls.

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East End Girls is a content platform dedicated to our experiences as women in tech, startups, creative industries and business in general. While living abroad. We write about our struggles, our fights and their outcomes. We write about the East and the West. Here you can find out more about why we do it.

We have a small team for now, but we dream big. We also know it’s not going to be easy. As what we are lacking is time. No matter what we do, this is humanity greatest test. But it’s also the beauty of it, as nothing can happen overnight.

We welcome all women who have similar experiences. If you are one of them do join us! If you are not, we would much appreciate a follow, like, share or a comment. This is how communities grow, as you very well know.

So please go ahead and read Claudia’sFlorentina’s or my first articles. We are looking forward to your comments.

We would also love to have you as regular readers, women and men alike, from all walks of live. We proudly stand for diversity and open minds!

Until next time…

Why working together is the answer

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Community garden, Amsterdam

I was raised in a culture where collaboration was not the word of the day. Trusting others was pretty tough, if not a sign of weakness. So I had to learn to work together with others, I had to learn to collaborate. And later in life, I got pretty lucky all of a sudden. That’s not to say that I worked hard for it without even realising what was actually happening to me.

Collaboration, what a powerful concept!

I think one of the things that stands out around me (I have been living for almost two years in the Netherlands) is a sense of community. And of a greater purpose. Everything is about business and something more. You all know about the Dutch art, flowers or cheese. Or about its rich tech startups scene, startups accelerators or hubs or platforms of all kinds. Amsterdam’s most widely spread architecture is all about community. The capital city is ranked 6th in the world’s most sustainable, livable cities. Probably it works because everything starts early: kids all eat together and share food at kindergartens, play team sports, learn how to garden or to take care of plants. So simple, yet so powerful!

And so, I have decide to make a very obvious next step. Start a new project and do it the collaborative way. Not saying more for now, hopefully you will find it worthy. Of your time or of your friends’ time. Because we are stronger together, as a very famous woman once said. Stay tunned!

Until next time…

When Data meets Creativity. Chapter 3

Fomo, Amsterdam
Fomo, Amsterdam

This last year has been an intriguing journey that went by quite quickly. As probably I have been too busy dealing with all these new changes in my life and trying to stay focused on the path I have chosen. And now, here I am writing my last post about my research.

As I mentioned in my first article this study could not have been possible without the help of over 60 industry professionals. 71.4% of the respondents were between 25 and 45 years old with a balanced split between men and women, 53% of were men and 47% were women. So I have tried to do my part and have women present as much as men. I do have to say that was not the case for my interviews, as all professionals interviewed were men. I am not sure if this was just a random fact or that, actually, in the ad industry in the Netherlands in creative and/or managing positions, men as still the majority.

I would like to leave you with two questions my researched raised, among many others, as they are core to most businesses today.

  1. Who is responsible for analytics in your organisation? 68% of the respondents stated their Strategy department, followed by 14% the Research department, while for 11% the Marketing department
  2. Are you/your organisation planning to hire a data analyst? A data analyst will “definitely” be hired according 25% of the respondents and “probably” according to 21% of the respondents

The above findings give specific answers, but also pose other questions such as: Is there a need for a data analytics department in itself within ad agencies? Could this be the answer for a more intelligent or aware advertising?

As some of the professionals interviewed stated, when hiring data analysts in this industry there are several things we need to keep in mind. One will be the ability to ask the right questions and then analyse the data. As there is a talent of working with data, it is not all about the science in itself. How we interpret the data is key and this is what humans know to do better than machines (at least for now).

Moreover, in order to actually get comprehensive insights which could lead to disruptive triggers, data has to be shared between agencies and clients as the two have access to different technologies and hence different data. It is obvious that the picture cannot be complete, if its truncated. So, it remains to be seen how far the industry will go in terms of investing into people and technology in the next 2/3 years. We should all be aware that the game got tougher and agencies are now competing not only with other agencies, but also with the likes of Facebook and Google who also want a pice of the pie.

Until next time…

When Data meets Creativity. Chapter 2

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Car, Nemo Museum, Amsterdam

To be an unique or relevant brand in today’s world, is all about the creativity of your advertising agency or it’s about a data driven creativity which nurtures itself from analytics!?! 

Without further ado, I’ll cut to the chase and share with you my research main findings. Here are some of them:

  1. overall, advertising analytics deployment is not a significant predictor of ideation within the Dutch advertising market at this particular moment in time. In other words, data does not really influence the creative idea.
  2. in the current setting, the skills required for putting advertising analytics into practice and lack thereof are impacting its deployment. Meaning, we are still lacking skills professionals
  3. consumers’ complex behavior moderates the relationship between advertising analytics deployment and ideation. In other words, the complexity of today’s society has an impact on agencies and their creative ideas.

Moreover, the following takeaways might be more than relevant for clients and agencies alike:

  • the top three benefits of deploying analytics are: consumers behavior understanding, gaining market insights and informed marketing decision making
  • obstacles to implementation: knowledge and lack thereof, clients reluctancy and relevancy
  • the industry is in a discovery phase in which agencies and their clients are trying make sense of data, and, in which the tech giants such as Facebook and Google are positioning themselves as marketing and advertising “strategists”
  • additionally, asking right questions and using an iterative process is imperative for ad agencies and their data strategies
  • likewise, data analytics requires talented people (the talent of working with data) in order to understand human motivations and emotions
  • according to the respondents the strategy team is currently responsible for analytics

One major take away is that agencies need to change their “way of thinking” from problem solving to “seeing” the world in opportunities. Likewise, agencies should to consider their current positioning in the industry and work towards regaining their lost value.

This is it in a nutshell. It’s quite strange to see several months work and tens of pages in a couple of bullet points. I guess I did learn something.

Until next time…