We love sharing info about our Strategists and here’s the inside scoop from our chat with Didy Andersson.
What did you do before becoming a Communications Strategist at The Strategy Department?
I’ve worked across a spectrum of advertising, marketing and brand disciplines throughout my 20 year career. I started out in TV and Radio Production following my Film-School qualification and quickly moved into Account Management in Advertising where I cut my teeth on the service and management of clients.
After a stint in London as a consultant at Interbrand, I returned to Johannesburg to complete the circle of agency/consultant/client by serving as a Senior Brand Manager over the 2010 World Cup for two of the major market sponsors, both MTN (for three years) and BP (for 1 year).
I have worked as a strategist for the past six years at various agencies and finally at The Strategy Department for the past five years.
What do you do at The Strategy Department?
I design and develop thinking that guides brand owners and agencies’ brand planning and creative work respectively, so that it is grounded in their consumer’s world and their truths.
What skills does someone need to be successful in your position?
An analytical and enquiring mind, and a vested interest in the motivations of a consumer’s world, life and loves. As well as an impartial and inquisitive attitude that is interested in people, who they are, what motivates them and their cultural influences. Above all: an insatiable curiosity of the human spirit.
What additional strengths do you bring to what you do?
A broad career experience across agency, consultancy and in-house marketing departments means that I bring a unique combination of practical brand management and planning skills, including a strong organisational tendency, as well as the key combination of realistic marketer filters (cost/sales/logistics) and an intimate understanding of the creative development process in-agency.
Give us an idea of a typical day at The Strategy Department…
The Strategy Department strongly believes in supporting talent wherever and however they want to work. I work from home and feel as inspired to work for The Strategy Department as their full time employees. The Strategy Department understands the true meaning of working around its employees, rather than the other way around.
What about your job inspires you?
Discovering and uncovering a consumer truth that inspires great creativity. Watching the junior members of The Strategy Department grow and flex their strategic muscle. When ‘a light is switched on’ for a client regarding a particular branding and marketing issue that has been a struggle to solve.
How has social media changed strategy?
Social media and the way consumers engage with their world has shifted almost all communications objectives towards a more influencing and enticing emphasis than ever before. Plans these days need to be lead by the deep relationship that consumers have with their ‘connectivity’ in order to leverage any relationship they may have with a brand.
What would you change in the ad industry if you could and what do you love about the South African ad / marketing industry?
I would change the media-deadline-driven nature of the industry. As well as the dominance of international cartels that dampen the creative independence of the industry with their global decision trees and regional management structures.
I love that the SA Ad industry still prides itself on quality execution and thoughtful leadership and is still, to a greater extent winning awards on the international arenas which might be considered an old fashioned success measure but it is still.
What do you do for fun?
A lot! Wine, running, walking and art.
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