#YouthMatters: Nicole Glover, head of digital and social media at Penquin
I spoke with her to find out more about who she is, what her work entails and what her future looks like…
What does your role entail, and what does your average day at work look like?
My role is a little bit of everything. I look after the social and digital media efforts of all of our clients at Penquin, with the help of my team. This varies from putting together strategies and conceptualising big campaign ideas to assisting the team with community management and setting up ads.
My average work day, much like I think everyone at the moment, is jam-packed with Zoom calls. A lot of brainstorming sessions, client meetings, catch-up sessions with my team. The rest of my day is spent either collaborating with other teams in the agency to put together proposals and strategies for clients, sorting out budgets and working with my team to get the day-to-day things done.
What do you love most about your work?
Getting to be creative and getting to be myself. I think it’s really cool that I can get paid to think of ideas and see them come to life. Working in an advertising agency is great. You never feel constricted. Being creative is the norm. So, you often get to work with like-minded people and build really valuable relationships along the way.
I also really enjoy the results-driven side of advertising too. I’ve mentioned before that I’m really competitive so getting to do really creative things that actually yield results is something that is super rewarding.
What are your long term career goals?
This is a tricky one because the social and digital space evolves so quickly. You never quite know what’s coming next, but growth and progression is always a key focus for me.
In the short term, my goals are just to keep learning and growing within the space and doing as many valuable things as I possibly can. In the long-term, I do want more of my work to be recognised. International recognition would be amazing, and just growing into a space where I am able to lead a bigger team and be as creative as possible.
You’ve won some industry awards, could you tell us more about those?
I recently won Assegai's young direct marketer of the year which was a really great one for me. I have won a couple of awards through Penquin and the agency’s work on our clients, but this one was exclusively for me.
I think anyone who knows me, knows that I take my work and career very seriously and I’m really grateful that I get to see all of my hard work come into fruition. Creating amazing campaigns for the best clients and to have that hard work be recognised is kind of the cherry on top that says, 'You’re doing well, keep going.'
Could you tell us more about your career highlights?
A big highlight was starting with Penquin. I’ve worked my way up in the agency since starting five years ago and they’ve put a lot of faith and trust in me and my work, which I really appreciate.
Another big one was definitely a good year that we had at the New Generation Awards. We won Gold for most innovative social media campaign as well as digital brand of the year for Suzuki. I think as lead on Suzuki’s social and digital media efforts, this was a big win for myself and my team. Similarly to my Assegai win, it really cemented that we’re doing a good job.
Lastly, a trip to Portugal in 2019 to Web Summit, an amazing tech conference that takes place in Lisbon every year. It was such an unforgettable experience and my first time travelling outside of South Africa. I learnt so much.
What is your process when putting together campaigns for your clients?
Every client, every business, every brand is different, so I approach each one differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. I tailor my strategy and tactics to the client. As a marketer, I have a framework and a baseline knowledge and experience that I work from to build strategies and tactics that fit that specific campaign or client. Generally, the bottom line is making sure I understand the landscape, the client needs and how to make the two work together to get the best results.
When people say ‘you think outside of the box’, what comes to mind for you?
Thinking outside of the box just means that I’m willing to consider different solutions. Not every client has the budget to pull off a crazy award-winning campaign, but that doesn’t mean their campaign can’t be just as effective or creative. The journey from A to B doesn’t always have to be the same.
Gender and race equality is something close to your heart. What approach do you think companies should take to tackle these societal issues?
I think an easy place to start is to ask questions. A lot of the time, companies work on assumption and attempt to put best practices and good policies in place. However, this often comes from a place of privilege or even a lack of understanding.
The best way to approach these issues is with empathy. Ask as many questions as you can and try to understand the position of those less privileged than yourself. I think if companies take that time to actually understand, they’ll be in a better position to put policies in place to protect and promote inclusivity.