We had a Q&A session with Aleksandra Matwiejczyk, Marketing Manager at KOTA.
By gaining experience at KOTA, Aleksandra has become an expert at digital marketing. Here you can try to see the marketing industry from the perspective of a young professional:
1. Can you tell us about your personal journey and your current position at the agency?
I’m the Marketing Manager at KOTA and also the youngest member of our team. I got into digital marketing when I was 19, so quite early, with my first internship at TouchNote. That’s when I realised I’d like to pursue a career in marketing, as I really enjoyed working with influencers and social media, as well as all the analytics bits that came with the role. Throughout the past 3 years, I learned a whole lot more about digital marketing!
My role started out as more junior, I was hired right after my second year of uni, so during the third year of my bachelor’s degree course, I was working and studying full time (it was intense, but I graduated with first-class honours so everything turned out alright!). Over the past (almost) couple of years, my role grew quite quickly, as I adapted my skills to the needs of the company.
My tasks at KOTA can be divided into three categories: marketing for KOTA, supporting projects with all marketing-related areas, as well as managing client accounts. We’re a boutique agency so all of us specialise in multiple areas at once. In my case, those are social media and influencers, email marketing, SEO and a bit of PPC. I also set up all the analytics and conversion measurements for our web design projects (Google Analytics & Tag Manager) and support designers with insights allowing them to improve the user experience. Personally, my favourite part of my job is data analysis and seeing the results of my work in numbers.
2. How diverse is your team? Do you believe agencies should take further actions to diversify their teams?
100%! I have an academic background in Business Management and learning about diversity and tackling bias was at the core of many of the modules I studied. Especially in a creative environment, the more diverse are the voices on our teams, the more interesting the work and the end-products are.
At KOTA, we’re an international bunch and, in my opinion, the fact that we all have a slightly different point of view makes our team work much better. In my case, I appreciate that despite being almost half the age of other team members, I was never looked down on solely because of being younger than a ‘typical’ marketing manager and I feel my skills and expertise are always valued at KOTA. Also, there are more guys than girls on our team so we’re happy last year Bekah joined our dev team, hopefully, more awesome ladies will join us in the future!
3. Do you think there is a gender gap in the digital marketing industry? If yes, what are the main reasons for that?
Surely, just like in any other industry. Some people might negate the existence of the gender gap in the developed countries, yet unfortunately, the wage statistics confirm its existence. Last year’s Marketing Week data shows that the pay gap in marketing is at 28%, compared to 8.9% UK average national gender pay gap. This is a massive discrepancy! Also, only 28% of women are in directorial positions.
There are many reasons, some being that women might occupy the lower-paid positions, for example, in communications, while the higher paid ones, more technical such as SEO and PPC are primarily occupied by men.
Women also statistically rarely negotiate their pay. Another factor is motherhood – it can cause a gap in experience, causing male colleagues who started in the same position to be promoted more quickly, as they didn’t have a break from their career. Those are just a few of the many reasons that should be addressed both in national policies and internal workplace policies as well.
4. How can we support the next generation of female marketers entering the digital marketing industry?
As one of the Gen Z marketers myself, I can say that what helped me the most was the trust in my knowledge and skills. I was given a lot of freedom to develop my way of working, while constantly being challenged with new tasks outside of my comfort zone.
I think mar-tech is the future and more women should consider working on the technology side of marketing. In many cases, university education seems to be lacking in this aspect.
5. Considering the industry dynamics, do you think it’s more challenging for women to become leaders in the digital marketing ecosystem? Why/why not?
Yes, because of the same reasons gender gap exists.
6. Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
I don’t think there’s one specific person, I switch my interests quite quickly and try to find inspiration in a lot of different areas. Marketing-wise, recently I’m sharing the work of Natalia Hatalska, a fellow Polish lady, with everyone. She’s the CEO of infuture.institute who create a yearly trend map alongside many other interesting reports, worth a read! I also follow the work of Carrie Rose, a PR whizz, she’s very creative and entrepreneurial, I admire how young she is for a CEO. Last year, on Social Media Week I was listening to Steve Bartlett’s talk and I found his work very inspiring as well.
7. Why do you think your agency stands out from other digital agencies?
I think we have a really great team and despite working remotely for over a year, the company culture is going strong. It shows in our work and communication with clients, people want to hire us because we’re easy to work with, get creative with finding solutions to even the most complex problems, pay attention to the details and treat our clients as partners.
As I mentioned before, each team member specialises in a few things and when you put us all together, we can successfully work on any project, in any industry. Also, even outside of our design team, we all have some kind of experience with design, for example, I used to freelance as an illustrator before.
8. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?
This partnership definitely helps us generate more quality leads, last year it generated about 13% of our leads in total. I believe DAN membership is also one of the factors that reassure our potential clients about the quality of our services and recognition within the creative industry.
We’re currently expanding our services into the US and DAN has helped us establish our agency overseas.
Bonus: What has been your favorite lockdown activity to do at home?
I’m jumping between different types of arts & crafts – I tried macrame, tapestry weaving, embroidery, sculpting and, sadly with less success, knitting. My local yoga studio closed so I’m practising on my own or with Alo Moves app.
In February, we had a team fitness challenge ‘Feel Good Feb’ and the majority committed to running 100k this month, but I’m not a fan of running, to say the least, so I tasked myself with a headstand (check KOTA’s stories to see if we succeeded).
Currently, I’m trying to get back to illustrating. I recently got myself Procreate and I’m pleased with how convenient it is, I’ll be sharing the outcomes on my artsy Instagram.