The Reception


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Q&A: Vanessa Cardigan

Vanessa Cardigan is our new Hong Kong Hub Manager. She started her career at Estee Lauder, before moving to L’Oréal where she worked for seven years both in London and most recently in Hong Kong. What’s your golden rule? Always be kind as everyone is going through some sort of struggle you know nothing about. Who has been your biggest influence? My great grandmother. She was a nurse and met my great grandfather whilst caring for him during WW1. A bomb exploded near him and he lost his eyesight. They went on to marry and have one child (my grandmother). He was an intellectual and loved nothing more than his books so she would spend her days reading to him. My grandmother fondly remembers the deep love they shared and for me, she was the epitome of grace, compassion and kindness. What is your most hated business expression? ‘Let’s take this offline’. We can but the conversation will be pretty much the same…

The power of purpose

Take it from Winnie the Pooh, ‘You’re braver than you believe.’ Or if the words of A.A. Milne isn’t your thing, then perhaps you’d get more from afternoon tea with Dr Joyce Samoutou-Wong. Over a healthy serving of humble pie, you’ll learn getting over yourself is the first obstacle to being brave. You’ll also see the role passion plays in the level of bravery required to change things for the better. Hers is not the kind of, ‘we made it easier for people to shop’ type of transformation we might regularly applaud. This is bravery on acid. This is about driving through some of the most dangerous parts of Africa to help restore vision to people living in poverty.

Finding purpose

The popularity of Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why’ has found countless business leaders, marketers and private individuals looking for a sense of purpose and direction. Enlightened marketers realise that consumers are drawn to products and organisations that resonate with and reinforce their own values and sense of purpose. In this article, you’re going to be getting in touch with your inner source of evolutionary purpose; the guidance system that can keep you on-track today, and twenty years from today.  While researching his ground-breaking book, Exponential Organizations, angel investor Salim Ismail and his team explored businesses that were growing at an exponential rate (E.g. Airbnb, Netflix, Uber each doubled the size of their business in 2015). One of the qualities they identified that all the exponential organizations share is a “massive transformational purpose” (MTP). You may be familiar with some of these, for instance:

Inspiration from music

In the following series of articles, I want to explore creativity through the perspectives of different individuals from completely different walks of life. I will pick people from the worlds of industry, music, the arts, sport, gastronomy, architecture, politics and literature in order to find out what their beliefs and principles are when it comes to the precious commodity called creativity. In each case, I will highlight two or three aspects about their thinking that feels fresh and different and then try and apply this back to the world of business. Brian Eno is a British musician, composer, record producer, singer, writer and visual artist. He joined the rock group Roxy Music as a synthesiser player in 1971 and has subsequently collaborated with a number of famous acts including David Bowie, Grace Jones, Coldplay, U2 and Talking Heads. He was a pioneer of ‘Ambient Music’, a genre that valued tone and atmosphere above structure and rhythm.

The copywriting process

Scenario 1 Client sends Copywriter Messaging Matrix in Excel 1.    Receives email advising of attached Messaging Matrix for review 2.    Suspects Messaging Matrix means an Excel document 3.    Sees attachment is an Excel document 4.    Sighs 5.    Opens attachment 6.    Sighs 7.    Eyes hurt looking at the mess of fonts, colours and lines 8.    Squints to read Copy 9.    Presses arrow on keyboard to move across a row 10. Moves across five rows in error 11. Attempts to make Excel document smaller to fit the screen 12. Excel document does not fit the screen 13. Sighs 14. Reviews Copy 15. Hits Return but goes to the box below instead of starting a new paragraph in the box above 16. Sighs 17. Highlights the whole document 18. Presses Ctrl+C 19. Opens Word document 20. Presses Ctrl+V

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Join us for a chat with Just Eat's newly appointed chief customer officer.

Editor's choice

Accepting neurodiversity requires great generosity

'Perhaps you are sitting at your desk with a strong cup of tea, you’ve finally found 5 minutes for yourself. A moment to reflect and think about the office environment and the team’s neurological differences,' writes Tribal Worldwide's Jade Tomlin.


Use direct response copywriting to start selling more stuff, now

Having just read a book on how to improve your persuasive copywriting skills, I’m now supposed to write an entertaining, informative review that will have all you Marketing Society members clicking through to read it. No pressure then? Giles Lury reviews Glenn Fisher's new book.

Book club

Convenience v security: why no one should have to put their keys in the freezer!

'Are we jeopardising our personal security just to make our lives more convenient? I recently had my car stolen by someone who was seemingly able to hack their way into it.' A cautionary tale from Your Favourite Story's Rachel Faber.