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Sweathead, A Strategy Podcast

Sweathead, A Strategy Podcast

By Mark Pollard
How do you get good at strategy? Whether you’re into brand strategy, advertising strategy, digital strategy, social media strategy, or you just love doing strategy but you get frustrated at how people use the word, Sweathead will help you delve into the practices and minds of some of the world’s most wonderful strategists. We've just reached 3 years of publishing and 900,000 listens! Hit SUBSCRIBE, tell your friends, and leave a kind rating. Real-time action is @markpollard.

You can find strategy classes and "Strategy Is Your Words" here:
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With Your Next Creative Brief, Linger On The Problem. Then Use It.

Sweathead, A Strategy Podcast

Not Starting From Scratch When You Respond to 1000s Of Marketing Briefs Per Year - Nick Susi, Complex
When you respond to thousands of briefs in a year, how do you not start from scratch every day? Nick Susi is Head of Strategy at Complex Collective, a group that sits in the Complex media organization that is owned by Hearst and Verizon. His team often has 24 to 72 hours to help their sales team pitch ideas capable of winning budget.   We discuss over 7 ingredients that help strategy and creative teams work without much time–from a clear philosophy, understanding common client requests, hiring people connected to the zeitgeist, and more. You can find Nick here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
April 13, 2021
How Side Projects Help You (Especially When Snoop Dogg Is Your First Customer) - Jesse Nicely, Strategist and Entrepreneur
Side projects don't have to be side hustles - but what's the point of them? Jesse Nicely is a Group Strategy Director at Cashmere in Los Angeles.  After studying psychology and journalism at NYU and editing the subculture magazine Frank 151, Jesse has found a place in the advertising world but he keeps one hand in a side project called Puffington's Golf. Puffington's Golf is a brand for golfers who also play with cannabis.   We discuss: - The benefits of side projects - The struggles of side projects   You can find Jesse here And you can find Puffington's Golf here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
April 8, 2021
The Story That Wasn't Told - Why The Dark Places Are So Ripe For Research And Strategy - Lindsey Wehking, Investigative Strategist
Why is it so uncomfortable for marketers and agencies to delve into dark emotions? Lindsey Wehking is an Associate Director of Strategy at Nonfiction Research. She recently led research into the way people use music playlists on Spotify to identify and process dark emotions. Nonfiction published this research under the title "America's Secret Playlist Report".   We discuss how the team approached this research and what they found. Hint: dark places aren't bad places.   What I took out of this chat is this: 1. "Negative" emotions are useful and need dealing with; they need labels and names if we're to address them . 2. Vivid language disappears somewhere between what we say and what people tell us and what strategists put in their formal documents. 3. When you're conducting a research project, it helps to have breathing room between an initial qualitative phase and the quantitative phase so you can work out what you're really looking to put numbers to. 4. "The Story That Wasn't Told"–this is what Lindsey focuses on in her research. Do enough strategists ask themselves for the untold story before they write creative briefs? 5. People want to go into dark places with others because our public lives focus the light on heroic acts by heroic people as if those heroic acts are eternal and infinite. You can find Lindsey here: You can find Nonfiction Research here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
April 6, 2021
Missing People – Advertising Isn’t Working If The People Making It Don’t Reflect Reality, Gavin Barrett, Derek Walker
Black, indigenous, and racialized minorities are barely visible in the advertising industries in North America, which is where we are going to situate this conversation. We’ll situate it here because Derek Walker (USA) and Gavin Barrett (Canada) are on a mission to help more people become visible to and in the industry and North America is where they’re plying their trade. Gavin Barrett is Chief Creative Officer at Barrett and Welsh in what Canada claims to be the “most multicultural city in the world”, Toronto. He’s also Co-Founder of People of Colour in Advertising and Marketing (POCAM). Gavin is here: Derek Walker is CEO of advertising agency brown and browner. A prolific writer and truth-speaker, Derek has been writing daily profiles about Black American advertising talent for several Black History Months. Derek is here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 30, 2021
Strategists, Can You Bake In Your Value Or Do You Constantly Have To Prove It? - Ilana Bryant, The American
Ever been hired to a strategy or account planning job only to arrive in the company and they don't know what it is, they aren't sure they want it, and they make you justify your existence every day? Ilana Bryant was one of two American planners in London in the 1990s. Read that again. It's not the premise of your next Netflix binge-watch but it could be. Ilana finished her postgraduate studies in the UK. She studied law at Oxford. Then she stayed on as an account planner. Not only were there few women in the agencies in which she worked, there were few Americans in the London advertising industry at all, let alone... well, hardly any American women in planning in London at the time. Ilana has worked with some prolific creative leaders. She's worked at BBH, Lowe Lintas, and HHCL. She was the CSO of Strawberry Frog for 5 years in New York.   So we discuss the differences between planning in the UK and the USA and how a planner can prove their value in a country–I mean, "agency"–that isn't sure what they are. You can find Ilana in her company Special Forces here:  P.S. Some of my questions don't quite make sense in the second half of this. It happens. I was excited. ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 24, 2021
Mental Wellness Is Not An Initiative That Excuses Poor Advertising Agency Work Practices
Dear advertising agencies, mental wellness is not an initiative you can use to wish away cultures and processes that are not mentally healthy. What makes an agency culture mentally healthy? 1. A sense of meaning 2. Autonomy 3. Psychological safety 4. Reasonable hours 5. Work getting made 6. Small, focused teams 7. Gentle hierarchy Mental health in an agency starts with doing meaningful work in a 
self-directed way. And this episode is a rapid reminder about what actually matters to strategists and their mental health. You can read this episode on Instagram here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 22, 2021
Do Management Consultancies Solve The Chunkiest Problems? - Michaeljon (MJ) Alexander-Scott, Fjord
If you hunger to solve toothy problems, where can you even do that work right now? Many agencies talk a good game when it comes to solving problems only to put the brains fiending to do such work on social media calendars and hashtags and into inter-agency meetings gone wild. MJ Alexander-Scott is Group Director at Fjord, which is part of Accenture Interactive. He leads the strategy and insights practice there. In his work, MJ finds himself drawn to problems without a playbook, a siren that has led him from the agency world into the management consulting world.    We discuss: - Why so many people in advertising are wondering, "What else is out there?" - The kinds of problems management consultancies deal with - The different kinds of companies that strategists and account planners who are frustrated might do well to explore You can find MJ Alexander-Scott here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 18, 2021
When Opportunity Knocks After You Flare Out Of An Agency - Brinn Phillips, Strategist
How does it feel to leave a 5-year-career but then to flare out of the new agency that you join in a matter of months? And what if the flaring out really helps you work out what you want in life? Brinn Phillips is a strategist in Detroit. After a long run in one agency in which she grew in responsibility and in titles, had a mentor she enjoyed, and started to mentor other strategists, she left. She lasted a matter of months in the agency to which she moved, an agency that she hoped would open her to more client variety and a broader range of strategy. This journey will happen to many strategists.  For Brinn, stepping out of a new role, taking a short break, and examining what she wants has led to many doors opening, many new conversations, and a stronger sense of what she wants to pursue. You can find Brinn here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 15, 2021
Newish To Hiring? Here's How It Feels And How To Approach It - Nicole Rajesky, Senior Strategist
You're about to interview your first potential hire, how on earth do you feel right now? In this chat with Nicole Rajesky, we discuss the journey from not hiring to hiring. Nicole is a Senior Brand Planner at Rethink in Toronto, Canada. They do good work. Very good work. Nicole is 18 months into hiring and was kind enough to talk about the guilt she feels when interviewing people, feeling like a fraud, and wanting to be desirable while still making an assertive decision. You can find Nicole here and Rethink here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 11, 2021
Advertising Freelancers, If You're Trying To Build Your Own Business, Listen To This - Brandon Williams, Strategist
If you're a freelancer exchanging time for money, and chasing invoices while trying to explain to people what value you can really bring, how could setting up a company help you? Brandon Williams runs 55 Media Group in Los Angeles. We were going to talk about what it's like to freelance–to go in and out of companies that aren't always functional–but we ended up discussing Brandon's journey from artist to advertising freelancer to business-haver to, now, business-runner. Brandon has such a broad background and works in so many different ways that, as we spoke, I kept trying to put my finger on exactly how he is trying to fit into the world. This is because I speak with a lot of freelancers and consultants who are trying to work it out. And I thank Brandon for letting me basically interview him to understand what exactly he is trying to do. And it's big. His goal is to hire the most people of color in North America while making afro-futurism happen now. You can find Brandon's 55 Media Group here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 8, 2021
When The Idea Counts The Most, Process Might Just Count The Least - Genevieve Grandsen, Selma Ahmed, Will Grundy from adam&eveDDB
Ever worked in a company that fusses with process and organizational charts but never makes good work? Yeah. The question houses the truth, doesn't it? Genevieve Grandsen, Selma Ahmed, and Will Grundy work at one of the world's best agencies (although, now I've interviewed six people from adam&eveDDB, it sounds like "the world's best agency" is the "key message" but this is very un-British so I'll be British on their behalf and say "one of..."). Having spoken with CCO Rick Brim and CSO Martin Beverley, I wanted to find out if their relatively low-fi way of working is real. It seems like it is. And this will disappoint many agencies that are new to creative teams and account planners and spend their days in offsite meetings reviewing all their management things. Apparently, hiring people who know how to do what they need to do, expecting good things from them, and letting them talk is a pretty adequate process. And that's what we discuss. You can find Gen and Selma here and Will, because he's a planner and isn't on somebody else's website, here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 3, 2021
How Advertising Happens At One Of The World's Best Agencies - Richard Brim (CCO), Martin Beverley (CSO)
How does one of the world's best agencies–adam&eveDDB-work? The teams of Chief Creative Officer Rick Brim and Chief Strategy Officer Martin Beverley are responsible for some of the UK's most famous advertising. Their John Lewis Christmas campaigns are what all other Christmas campaigns are compared to. So how does the magic happen?   In this interview, we discuss: - How the account planners work with the creative teams at adam&eveDDB - Why simplicity matters, and - What it feels like to be only as good as your next idea   You can find adam&eveDDB here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
March 1, 2021
Calling B.S. On Your Own Strategy Work - Rachel Bateast, Strategy VP
Why are you so caught up in being accurate instead of compelling? And that 100-slide deck–can anybody even use it? Rachel Bateast is VP, Strategic Planning, at The Mars Agency in Detroit, Michigan. To the advertising industry on the coasts, the mid-west advertising scene can feel way more conservative so what does it even mean to call B.S. on work in Michigan? In this episode, we discuss and role-play (you're welcome) specific situations to show people how to question themselves to tighter thinking–from research to creative briefs and presentations. You can find Rachel here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
February 26, 2021
15 Things That Need Saying After Interviewing 300 Strategists–Sweathead Third Anniversary Special
So, you've interviewed over 300 strategists from around the world and spoken with thousands more... what aren't we talking about enough? In this episode published on the third anniversary of the Sweathead podcast, I (Mark) run you through a stream-of-consciousness list of fifteen points that I feel are true but not in a science way. They're true in a "we need to pay more attention to this" way. You can find this podcast episode as a post on Instagram and on LinkedIn if you'd like to share it with colleagues: Thank you for listening to the podcast and for being part of the Sweathead world. ** Favor: If you have enjoyed the pod, could you drop a kind review or rating? I haven't asked many times before but it's time to step up what I'm doing. Thank you. 
February 25, 2021
How Feedback And Reviews Can Help Big Teams Do Even Better Work - Aly Baer, John Lee @ Twitter Next
Let's say you have one hundred team members spread across the world. They work on thousands of briefs for massive brands every year. Often, they have to reach great ideas within a matter of days. They're doing well but you believe they can do ever better. Where do you start? Aly Baer is a Director at Twitter Next in New York and John Lee is a lead of the Twitter Next lab in San Francisco. Their team helps marketers and agencies create ideas worth talking about on Twitter.  This is an unusual discussion for me because I'm talking with two people with whom I worked on exactly the challenge above. Having spent time with all kinds of companies, I can say that their challenges weren't uncommon in the happening but they can be uncommon in the way companies tackle them. And, because of this, I wanted to talk about the work we did together knowing we'd tread a fine line between what they can feasibly say as representatives of one of the world's most influential companies and not wanting to be too self-indulgent or sycophantic. We discuss: - How thousands of ideas travel through Twitter Next - Giving feedback about work while it happens - The benefits of frequent reviews of work once the work has happened You can find Aly at and John at ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:  
February 22, 2021
Turn That Observation Into An Insight–7 Ways To Stumble Your Way There
You have reams of research in your head but you need to whittle everything in your head into an insight fast–what do you do? In this episode of Sweathead, I share a few steps I like to use–especially in workshops–to take an observation and land on an insight. These steps–or "stumbles"–can work in customer interviews too.   You can read this episode on Instagram here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
February 17, 2021
How The M&C Saatchi Group's Employee-Led Diversity And Inclusion Network Works - Tanya Brown, Simi Nijher
Advertising agencies have responded to pleas to open their doors to people from different backgrounds in different ways. Some have resisted the pleas, some have faltered in public, and others have managed to listen and make structural, policy, and cultural change happen.  In this episode of Sweathead, I speak with Tanya Brown who co-chairs the Equals Network and Simi Nijher who co-chairs the Heritage Network. These "networks" are two of the six Diversity and Inclusion networks that sit across M&C Saatchi Group's businesses.  We discuss: - The importance of bottom-up D&I networks - How to know if they're working - Which topics are getting attention right now    You can find Tanya here and Simi here  **  Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
February 15, 2021
19 Trends In 19 Minutes Plus An Attempt To Make Takeshi's Castle A New Trend - Matt Klein, Director Of Strategy
What's the point of all the trend reports? What's the point of trends? And how do you use trends anyway? Matt Klein is Director of Strategy at sparks & honey but he's also into cultural theory and cyber psychology. Recently, he rounded up nineteen trends from over thirty trend reports and I gave him nineteen minutes to discuss them while reminiscing about the incredible Japanese obstacle course television show Takeshi's Castle.    We discuss the truth wars, reworking work, mindfulness, soft activism, the tranquil web, and why–like many brand essences–trend names sound like perfume ads from Paris. You can find Matt here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
February 11, 2021
What People Who Watch The Super Bowl For The Ads Thought About Super Bowl 2021's Ads #PlannerBowl
So, what did account planners make of this year's Super Bowl ads? #PlannerBowl is a hashtag that account planners and strategists use to talk to each other about Super Bowl ads as they watch them. Born in 2013, it has housed snark, wit, strategy analysis, and probably led to a friendship or two. In this episode, Megan Averell and Brian Wakabayashi discuss what they saw planners discussing as well as their own thoughts on this year's Super Bowl ads.  We cover: 1. How few brands ran at the mega cultural shift happening in the USA right now 2. Nostalgia and escapism during dark times 3. The state of fear and exhaustion into which the Super Bowl ads were unleashed 4. The reappearance of the old school celebrity 5. And the question: How do you find the thing everyone can relate to?   You can find Megan here and Brian here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
February 9, 2021
With Your Next Creative Brief, Linger On The Problem. Then Use It.
Problems can fix creative briefs. But how can something broken make something else work?   In this mini lesson, I define the word "problem" as I use it in advertising strategy (or account planning), why you need to be careful when you use the word, and six examples of a problem statement being solve with a strategy statement to help greyhound dogs find new homes.   To listen to two of these strategies happen live, listen to the episode with Cait Dorombozo, which you can find here:   If you have ideas for other problems that greyhound adoption agencies might need to address plus ways to solve them, tag me on Instagram @markpollard with your thinking. ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
February 3, 2021
30 Minutes To A Greyhound-Adoption Campaign Strategy - Cait Dorombozo, Graphic Designer
How would you get people to adopt a greyhound? Cait Dorombozo is a graphic designer in Brisbane, Australia. She keeps house with two greyhounds and is trying to come up with ways to get more people to adopt greyhounds.  People associate greyhounds with racing, intensity, muzzles, and size yet many need caring homes. We come up with two possible campaign strategies in 45 minutes–but edited into 30 minutes for you. You can find Cait here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
January 29, 2021
The Power Of Provocative Thinking - Hugh Munro, Head of Planning
What does it mean to do provocative thinking and why is it easier to do it for brands than for ourselves? Hugh Munro is Head of Planning at one of Australia's most prolific agencies The Monkeys, an agency that sells one thing - provocative thinking.  We discuss: - The positioning of The Monkeys   - Building brands for the long-term - Australia Day advertising - Working through the pandemic - Being malleable - Questioning the value of what strategists do   You can find Hugh here and The Monkeys here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
January 26, 2021
Research - But Not As You Know It - Ashley Lapin, Kaitlin Moon
How do you conduct useful research? Simple question, right? At Current Forward, a research and brand strategy consultancy in Austin, Texas, Ashley Lapin and Kaitlin Moon spend their working lives trying to answer this question.  With COVID-19 throwing everything up in the air and forcing even more research to happen through screens, we decided to discuss practical ways to conduct research in a pandemic but also not in a pandemic. We discuss: - Helping clients work out what research to do - Pricing research - Quantifying qualitative research - Creative testing and is there really a point? - Working out which outputs would be useful  You can find Current Forward here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
January 19, 2021
Is It Me Or Is This Company Toxic? - Emma Siu, Thiago Bersou
What do you do when where you work is hurting you? This episode was a livestream within the Sweathead Facebook group.  We discuss working at toxic companies. - Is it you? - Is it the company? - What can you do about it? Our guests: 1. Emma Siu is a seasoned scientist who is currently working in the gaming industry in Seattle as an award-winning community manager. 2. Thiago Bersou is a Brand Strategy Consultant in Los Angeles. He has 15 years of brand work under his belt with brands like Nike, Diageo, and Unilever. He also used to have his own agency in '06. ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
January 15, 2021
Playing Your Strategy Cards Right - Jye Smith, Strategy Card Maker
What happens when you draw a card from a strategy card deck and apply it to your life? Jye Smith runs Double Star in Sydney. He recently made a deck of strategy cards called "Strategy Action Deck: Stupid Questions And Bad Ideas". I've known Jye for close on 15 years so I thought it would be interesting to use his cards on him as a sneaky way to get him to talk about mental health challenges, the ups and downs of his career, good and not good decisions he's made, and what he's learned about himself in the process. You can find the cards here: You can find Jye here:  ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
January 12, 2021
The Different Shapes Of Strategy Careers - Serena Berra, Monica Duran, Matilde Ricon Peres
What shapes can a strategy career take? This episode was a livestream from the Sweathead Facebook group. In it, we discuss what shapes strategy careers can take.  Our guests: 1. Serena Berra is a strategist based out of Miami. From being a planner to director of marketing to teacher to co-founding her own IOS application, she is now back freelancing as a strategist and enjoying it. 2. Monica Duran is a freelance marketing consultant based out of Miami. She is a bilingual and bicultural marketer that specializes in shopper and brand marketing. She's had multiple clients and has experience in working on different brands and industries. 3. Matilde Ricon Peres is working at Mondelez in London as part of the category development insights team. She started out as a researcher that worked to analyze different channels to create innovative insights. Now with Mondelez, she is now focused on driving insights on category, shopper, consumer metrics by analysing & translating data on the Chocolate UK market in general and Cadbury brand products in particular. ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
December 28, 2020
A Strategist Who Writes Or A Writer Who Does Strategy? - Claire Strickett, Strategist and Author
What if you think you're a strategist who happens to write but you're really a writer who happens to do strategy? Claire Strickett is a senior planner at one of the world's best agencies adam&eveDDB. In London. She writes all day every day - research debriefs, workshop agendas, presentations, and creative briefs. But she just co-wrote a book with Bert Blaize. It's about food and wine and it's called "What Wine When: What to drink with the food you love". So we investigate the difference between being a strategist who writes and a writer who does strategy. You can find Claire on Twitter here: You can find "What Wine When" here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
December 22, 2020
What Do You Want? - Libby Swan, Anjali Ramachandran, Grace Steite
What are your desires, goals, and cravings? In this episode, Libby Swan takes over as host and brings four of us together to discuss our desires. Grace Steite is Head of Program Management at Square’s Creative Studio and has recently been working from Ireland: Anjali Ramachandran is the Director of Storythings and Co-Founder of Ada’s List: Libby Swan runs digital agency PRDXN: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
December 17, 2020
A Debrief About The Sweathead Facebook Group - Stephen Yap, CEO, Jam!Research
What do the 15,000 people in the Sweathead Facebook Group think about working in advertising and dealing with each other online? 2020 managed to infect the community with rage and frustration so, a few months ago, Stephen Yap helped coordinate a research project for Sweathead.  One hundred people in the group got together and ran discussions about the advertising industry as well as the Sweathead Group. In this episode, Stephen discusses the project and what we found. We thought it would be a 45-minute debrief but it ended up being a ninety-minute therapy session.  Stephen is utterly coherent throughout. I'm less coherent from the midpoint as I try to discuss difficult issues such as aggressive behavior in the group and towards me and people I know online, racism, and sexism. You can find Stephen here ** The Sweathead Annual Report 2020 is here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
December 15, 2020
Sonic Branding - Strategy For Your Ears - Steve Keller, Pandora
How do you help a brand stay in someone's mind by going through their ears? Steve Keller is Sonic Strategy Director at Pandora. Pandora has over 60 million active users per month and is worth a few billion dollars. Steve sits in Studio Resonate, a small part of this few-billion-dollar company in Oakland, USA. At Pandora's Studio Resonate, Steve works with brands on how to appear in people's ears - on and beyond Pandora. In this interview, we discuss: - The science of sound - The key concepts of sonic branding - How the money works (who gets paid for what)  You can find Steve here: You can find Resonate Studios here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
December 10, 2020
Ladies Who Strategize - Anita Schillhorn van Veen, Director of Strategy
Why are networks for women in advertising needed and how do they work? Anita Schillhorn van Veen is Director of Strategy at McKinney LA. Anita is also on the leadership team of Ladies Who Strategize, an online community for women-identifying strategists.  We discuss: - Ladies Who Strategize and creating networks for women within the advertising and strategy world - Writing and being creative in stressful times - Empathy and empathetic leadership You can find Anita here You can find Anita's newsletter here You can find Ladies Who Strategize here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
December 7, 2020
How Company Culture Makes Strategy Work - Or Not - Hilton Barbour, VP Marketing
Can companies change? If so, how? Hilton is VP of Marketing at Cognitive. He was born in Zimbabwe but he's worked in the UK, the USA, and Canada. And he was a founding member of the Account Planning Group (APG) in Toronto, Canada.  After a long career in advertising, Hilton wanted to get closer to business problems. This led him to exploring company culture and change management. In this episode, we discuss: - Shifting from account planning to marketing - Change management - Organizational culture as an accelerant of strategy You can find Hilton here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
December 2, 2020
Shifting Between Advertising And Marketing - Dmitry Grobov, Kalyan Ram
"Should I work in advertising or marketing or something else?" In this episode, we discuss what it's like to shift from advertising to marketing - and back. Challapalli Kalyan Ram is based in Mumbai, India. From project/account manager to strategist to a consumer planning and research manager in Diageo and back to strategy, Kalyan is now running his own shop Wolfzhowl where they specialize in branding, research, and many other services. Dmitry Grobov is based in Moscow, Russia. He started out as a strategic planner and moved his way up to strategic planning director and is now the head of marketing in Xiaomi Russia. He uses a creative yet data-driven approach that helps him craft marketing campaigns and guide teams to success. ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
November 24, 2020
Shaking Shit Up - How Order And Chaos Can Work Together - Chuck Welch, CSO
How do you get clients to shake shit up when the world already seems shook up enough? Chuck Welch is CSO of Rupture Studio, a company he runs with his MBA-awarded wife Nandi. It's a mom-and-pop business that helps the couple do the work they want to do while also helping them spend time with each other and their children. Chucks' early years were spent at companies like Def Jam, Naked, and McCann. Now he and Nandi help brands shake themselves up in a time when by-standing is not in fashion. We discuss: - Working in the music industry and at Def Jam - Shifting into advertising - Running a consultancy with his wife Nandi - Getting brands to act more urgently through times of strife You can find Chuck and Nandi's company Rupture Studio here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
November 19, 2020
When The Strategist Decides To Make A Product - George Crichlow, Product Maker
What does the journey from doing strategy for other people's brands to making your own product look like? Brooklyn's George Crichlow made $250,000 selling bamboo hats in high school. This bought him a ticket to the elite Georgetown college and it made George the first person of his family to go to college - most of his family had not stayed in school beyond the fifth grade. After college, George ran an agency gamut that took him from telling the world about brands to help companies create brands to making his own product and telling the world about it. He was AKQA's tenth employee in New York and made pitstops at Wolf Ollins and Red Scout along the way.  Now, he does freelance strategy but puts most of his time into Kynsho, an outerwear brand that he created. And it's into this brand that he puts his love for problem solving, making, and entrepreneurialism. In this interview, we discuss: - Running a business in high school - The attributes of an entrepreneur - Making your own product   You can find Kynsho here  You can find George here ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
November 13, 2020
The Paths Taken By Beautiful Thinkers - Carolyn Hadlock, ECD
Do creative lives happen in straight lines? Carolyn Hadlock is Executive Creative Director at Indianapolis's Young & Laramore. She does creative work but, as part of doing that creative work, Carolyn also does ethnography. She likes to go deep into people's lives to try to understand what's going on inside their minds. It's an unusual combination–a creative director who does ethnography–and it's led her to set up her own publication Eunoia where she's recently started documenting other people whose minds are also unusual combinations. In this interview, we discuss: - The creative and agency scene in Indianapolis - Young & Laramore and the work they do - Carolyn's circuitous path into advertising (after seven years of undergraduate study), and - Carloyn's investigation of minds she finds beautiful through Eunoia, a blog started four years ago You can read her interviews with beautiful thinkers and listen to them chat at Eunoia:  ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
November 10, 2020
Strategy In A Large Digital Agency - Grant Owens, Strategy Boss
What do strategists do and where do they fit in a large digital agency? Based in New York, Grant Owens is Global Chief Strategy Officer of Critical Mass. He's had the role for over five years and that's after an eleven-year stint at Razorfish.  In this episode, we discuss: - Organizing strategy activities in a large agency - How to effectively use "open office hours" You can find Grant here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
November 2, 2020
Moving Around The Agency World - Jess Mireau, Strategy Leader
What do different roles such as user experience designer, strategist, and managing director have in common - and what's the real work involved with doing these roles well? Jess Mireau is a strategy and agency leader. She started as an animator then she moved into user experience then strategy then strategy team leader then managing director. The last role she did in Hong Kong on behalf of her Brooklyn agency. In this interview, we discuss: - What these roles have in common - How to pay attention to what you're really interested in - The shift from user experience into strategy - Managing a new office in a foreign country - Mental health challenges  You can find Jess here  ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
October 29, 2020
Talking To People In Power - Vince Usher, Max Learmont
How do you get people with power to talk? Vince and Max host the podcast Son Of A Pitch from Sydney, Australia. Vince works as a strategist in advertising; Max used to. They've interviewed many agency leaders and we found ourselves discussing the power of naivety and dealing with power dynamics in interviews.  We also discuss: - Whether advertising is a compelling career - Making podcasts - Australian banter You can find the Son of a Pitch podcast here: Vince is here: Max is here:  ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
October 27, 2020
Why The Advertising Industry Needs You - Vanessa Toro, Group Strategy Director
If you wanted to tell the truth to a group of students eyeing advertising careers, what would you tell them? Vanessa Toro is Group Strategy Director at Digitas North America. She's based in Atlanta. She loves both her chosen city and her agency And, often, she loves her industry but she knows it can do better, especially for the new batch of students trying to get into it. In this interview, we discuss: - How advertising students want to change the advertising industry - Bringing who are to your day job - Her love of Atlanta You can find Vanessa here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
October 22, 2020
Life After A Strategy Career - Part 1 - Ian Crocombe, Jackie Crynes, Carlos Hermida
Strategists can take many shapes but what do those shapes look like outside of a full-time agency? This episode is from a livestream in the Sweathead Facebook group. It features Ian Crocombe, Jackie Crynes, and Carlos Hermida.  We discuss: - Things that make people leave agency life - What people hope to find after agency life - How "qualified" is "qualified enough" - Perceptions hirers have of agency people Ian Crocombe is based in London. From strategist to VP Innovation to CSO to finding his own shop to teaching and then working