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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're in our fourth year and just surpassed 1,000,000 listens! Hit SUBSCRIBE, tell your friends, and leave a kind rating. Real-time action is @markpollard and @sweathead.

You can find strategy classes and "Strategy Is Your Words" here:
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Fighting Words - The Introduction To "Strategy Is Your Words" (NOW WITH NEW WORDS)

Sweathead, A Strategy Podcast

Strategy is Everywhere, But Where Do I Go To Do It? - Lydia Taylor, Freelance Strategy Lead
In this Sweathead episode, Lydia Taylor talks about the many places where strategy lives -- may it be in agencies, within startups, on the client side, or at a social media platforms, to name a few. Lydia also lets us know what she thinks are the hottest places that a strategist can work at right now.  Whilst Lydia has done her time at the big agencies, she's not a traditional agency strategist. Having spent the last few years growing a creative tech startup and then hopping around as a freelancer, she keeps strategy as simple as she can, solving problems with a human lens and avoiding overly complex frameworks. You can find Lydia on LinkedIn here: And on YouTube here: ** Find out about our Strategy Accelerator at Follow the fun on Instagram: Subscribe to our newsletter:
October 21, 2021
How Running a Small Business Helps in Account Planning - Ben Kuria Mburu, Strategy Director
In this Sweathead episode, Ben Mburu takes us behind the scenes of several of his small businesses in Kenya. An account planner by profession, Ben believes that owning a small business helps him validate his ideas and gain insights he can use in his client work. He also shares his experiences of the ups and downs of being a small business owner during a global pandemic.  After 14 years in account management in the advertising business, Ben is now building a life selling ideas that solve marketing and communications problems for businesses in East Africa. You can connect with him at or  **  Find out about our Strategy Accelerator at  Follow the fun on Instagram:  Subscribe to our newsletter:
October 19, 2021
Strategy Questions You Have In Your Mind Lead To Answers From My Mouth - Over 10 Of Your Questions Answered
How do you start a new job without showing your impostor syndrome? How can you grow into a strategy director at an agency? How can you work in another country without having to start from scratch? These questions and more. From you. Answered. Right here. Right now. *** Don't forget to sweat that Subscribe button and share this episode with your strategy friends. ** For information about the Sweathead Strategy Accelerator, visit You can find me on Instagram at
October 16, 2021
Brandsplaining–Why Most Marketing to Women Doesn't Understand Women - Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts, PLH Research
In this episode, Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts talk about marketing to women–how it's historically been and how it's been changing. We discuss sexism in marketing, corporate feminism, fempowerment and femvertising, and the narratives of women in the marketing and advertising world. Jane and Philippa worked for many years in advertising agencies DDB and Ogilvy.  Fifteen years ago they left their big jobs to write their first book about marketing to women and have written two further books since. They have been researching female audiences ever since.  "Brandsplaining" is their latest book. It is a data-led analysis of marketing to women and how much it has progressed (or not). To connect with Jane and Phil, visit their website,, or follow them on IG @plhresearch. ** Find out about our Strategy Accelerator at  Follow the fun on Instagram: Subscribe to our newsletter:
October 14, 2021
The Life-Affirming Nature Of Strategy Work - Direct From A WeWork Phone Booth On W25th St
A brief and gentle episode about the privileges of a strategy career.  If you'd like this episode as an Instagram post, it's here: *** If you enjoy these short monologues, let me know.  Don't forget to sweat that Subscribe button and share this episode with your strategy friends. ** For information about the Sweathead Strategy Accelerator, visit You can find me on Instagram at
October 13, 2021
Bullying in Agencies - Colleen Merwick, Strategy Director
In this episode of Sweathead, Colleen Merwick talks about her experiences as the target of workplace bullying. She takes us through three experiences in three different companies and explains how she’s trying to come to terms with what happened and what kind of work life will suit her in the future. Colleen earned a degree in Advertising at Penn State University and a Masters in Creative Account/Brand Planning at Bucks New University. She is currently a freelance brand strategy director in the UK. Her personal mantra is, "What makes me different is my strength." You can find Colleen on LinkedIn here: And you can check out her blog, Baby on My Brain here: ** The first Sweathead Strategy Accelerator launches November 1, 2021:
October 11, 2021
How Would You Sell IKEA To Architects? - Live Strategy with Ana Škorić
Over on Instagram, we often do strategy together. I'll ask for suggestions of brands and audiences. Then we'll run through some simple exercises to arrive at a Four Points.  It's playful and it tries to shine a light on the messiness of our work. Sometimes, we get somewhere worth getting but, often, we don't. And that's okay. A few days ago, Minal Jadeja gave us the challenge of selling IKEA to architects. We assumed that this was an issue for IKEA. We didn't have research to work with. But, over 24 hours, we landed on a strategy–we thought we could reframe IKEA and its instructions as a trigger for architects to think bigger.  You can see it here: Ana Škorić disagreed with some of our thinking. Ana is an architect who works in marketing. She believes the issues that architects have with IKEA are different from the ones we focussed on. So I invited Ana to do a workshop with me. Ana is based in Belgrade, Serbia. She is a Senior Consultant at The Right Street, an agency based in Brussels. You can find Ana here: If you'd like to play strategy with us some time, find me here: ** Also, we've just launched the Sweathead Strategy Accelerator, a 7-week training program. Details are here:
October 9, 2021
The Shift From Agency To Tech Platform - Tatiana Peck, Facebook Creative Shop
In this Sweathead episode, Tatiana Peck voices what many of us have been experiencing in this pandemic—burnout, mourning the loss of self and identity, and being plunged into totally different routines. She shares with us how she has bounced back from these emotions and found joy in her work again. Tatiana also takes us through her journey from working in an agency to being a creative strategist at Facebook. Barcelona-born and transatlantic grown, Tatiana finds herself exploring the great digital frontier as the Strategy & Insights lead at Facebook’s Creative Shop, developing data-backed creative solutions at scale that sit at the intersection of people, culture, and technology.  Previously, Tatiana worked at small, independent ad agencies—most recently, as a Strategy Director at Big Spaceship, where she led a variety of new business pitches and client accounts, including Purina, Google Play, Chobani, and AOL, while establishing internal mentorship and collaboration best practices. You can find Tatiana playing pool in Brooklyn, enjoying the finest jamón, and loving on her dog Snacks. You can also connect with her on IG: @tatianapeck. ** Join Sweathead to access 100 strategy classes and pick up a copy of "Strategy Is Your Words" today.
October 5, 2021
The 4Cs, Get/To/By, And The Four Points (Plus 1 Million Listens!)
Massive thanks for helping us reach one-million listens. Yes, it's just a number but it sounds good and you can say "one million" like the bad guy in Austin Powers. Thank you to everyone who's let me into their heads–guests and listeners. In this episode, I discuss how there's no such thing as a "right" way to do strategy and how frameworks like the 4Cs, Get/To/By, and the Four Points can work together or not. The onus is on the frameworker to use what works for them without being rigid or dogmatic. I share two examples that know, okay. But definitely beatable. Hawaii–get remote workers to move there (when the world was locked down). Find it here: And Freelancing–convince someone resistant to freelancing to try it. Find it here: We're looking to launch 1-2 more strategy training experiences this year. A 1- or 2-day masterclass as well as a 6-week program. Email us if you're interested. Details are coming.  Happy 1 million to you!
October 1, 2021
The Proust Questionnaire But For Brands - Parker Mason, Strategy Consultant
What is your greatest fear? What is your most marked characteristic? Who are your heroes in real life? In this Sweathead episode with Parker Mason, we discuss the Proust Questionnaire and how Parker applies it to strategy projects. Parker has travelled the world doing strategy for big agencies. Now he's in Vancouver helping agencies win business and start-ups get their start. Find Parker on: Instagram Twitter ** Join Sweathead to access 100 strategy classes and pick up a copy of "Strategy Is Your Words" today.
September 23, 2021
Sexual Harassment In Advertising - Amanda Rue
Amanda Rue is a business consultant, facilitator, and the founder of The Shift Work Shop, a human resource consultancy offering consent-forward sexual harassment prevention and training. With over ten years in the advertising industry, including Vice Media, Anomaly (Ace Content) and Team One, Rue is a former brand strategy director turned founder and independent consultant with the mission of inviting more pleasure, purpose and passion into work and life. Her work with The Shift Work Shop has been featured in Forbes, The Rosie Report, Lifehacker and more with a focus on completely eradicating sexual harassment at work through an understanding of consent, power dynamics, and honest communication. You can find Amanda here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and strategy classes at Sweathead here:
September 20, 2021
Without A Problem, You Don’t Have A Strategy - Rodrigo Maroni, Crispin Porter + Bogusky Brazil
What role does linguistics play in strategy work and in everyday life? What exactly is a problem? Is there really a right or a wrong way to deal with a problem? We are discussing all these and more with Rodrigo Maroni, the Head of Strategy and Data at Crispin Porter + Bogusky Brazil. He currently serves as President of the Board at Grupo de Planejamento, the professional organization that represents strategy professionals in Brazil. Previously, he’s held strategy leadership positions at Wieden+Kennedy, BBH, JWT and DDB, in the US and Brazil, working for brands such as Nike, Budweiser, Heineken, Coca-Cola and Mondelez.  His projects have won a total of over 180 awards, including a Grand Prix at Cannes. ** Join Sweathead to access 100 strategy classes and pick up a copy of "Strategy Is Your Words" today at
September 16, 2021
Fast Wit: How Stand-up Comedy and Rap Can Help a Strategy Career - Asha Davis, Strategist
Inspirations on strategy can come from surprising places. In Asha's case, it's stand-up comedy and rap. She takes us through the power of words and fast wit, and how her experiences as a comedian and former rap music artist have helped shape her career in strategy. Asha Davis co-hosts and produces The Disruptor Series podcast, and is also an Integrated Strategy Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. Canadian-born and NY based, Asha has over a decade of experience in the advertising industry and has helped top-tier brands including Dove, Huggies, and Nissan 'connect the dots' across their communications and organizations to create award-winning campaigns. In addition to being an accomplished marketer, Asha is also a talented stand-up comedian and writer and has performed at some of the most famous comedy clubs in New York. ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
September 7, 2021
Dear Strategy Bosses, Here Are Seven Things Your Strategists Want Right Now
We are about to reboot. New interviews are coming. Sweathead is now on Instagram here: And if you’d like to find out more about our first strategy conference The Sweathead Do-Together take a look at
September 2, 2021
How To Use Principles, First Principles, And Problems To Have Ideas - Walk And Talk, Central Park
Also I answer 15 questions from Instagram stories (@markpollard), tell you about The Sweathead Do-Together and give you four book recommendations. I hope you’re doing okay out there. Find us at
July 14, 2021
10 Lessons From Some Of The World's Most Effective Advertising Strategists - Fergus O'Carroll, On Strategy Showcase Host
What do you learn from interviewing some of the world's best advertising strategists and account planners about their agency's best work? Fergus O'Carroll hosts the On Strategy Showcase podcast. He focuses on one thing–the stories behind incredible advertising campaigns. In this episode, I gently encourage Fergus (joking, I totally forced him) into a list of ten things he's taken away from tens of his own interviews.  They are: 1. We don't understand enough and need to push for a deeper understanding in our work 2. Don't let the search for an elusive insight ruin a good strategy 3. New shiny objects are killing us 4. There's no one way to plan 5. There's no one truth–there are many truths 6. Don't forget the other 50% 7. Rediscovery is more powerful than reinvention 8. Study the past 9. Develop the brand's voice over time because it won't happen over night 10. There's no shame in your strategy showing   You can find Fergus and his work here: ** Bonus points: Fergus is talking at The Sweathead Do-Together this September. Find details and tickets here: ** Find the book "Strategy Is Your Words" and 100 strategy classes at Sweathead here:
May 31, 2021
How 550 Strategists Are Feeling Right Now - Part 1 (Plus The Sweathead Do-Together Speakers)
In this episode, I download you about the first three findings from the recent Sweathead Feelings Check-In Survey. These are: 1. They appreciate the job and the money but they have questions about this version of capitalism. 2. They are not