We had an interview with Caroline Campbell, EVP & MD at Brave Bison (JAPAC).
From team diversity and culture to language skills, she shared her interesting insights and observations about the digital marketing industry based on her experiences. See the full Q&A below:
1. Can you tell us about your personal journey and your current position at the agency?
I have been with Brave Bison for 3 years now. I joined as GM to run the Asia Pacific Region in March 2018, I was promoted to EVP & MD of Japan & Asia Pacific in February 2019 further to our success across the Region . Previously I was Commercial Director for AOL, APAC also based in Singapore. I have been living in Singapore for 7 years now, spending a lot of time during my first 5 years travelling across the Region to expand & grow business in markets including Japan, Korea & Thailand.
2. How diverse is your team? Do you believe agencies should take further actions to diversify their teams?
Team diversity and culture is at the heart of our business and critical to our success. Our talent is the most important asset we have. It is essential that we have a wide range of talent in our teams from different cultures, genders, age categories, countries. We also look for language skills and diversity in career history when we are hiring. I am currently hiring for 2 more people and already we have added 3 new languages to our internal language capabilities with my last 2 hires. We are also an extremely family-friendly agency, 80% of the JAPAC team will be having a new baby arriving into their immediate family in 2021, including myself. I will be going on maternity leave this month with the imminent arrival of my first child. We are very supportive of the working Mum’s and Dad’s within our organisation and create flexible working arrangements for each individual when needed.
3. Do you think there is a gender gap in the digital marketing industry? If yes, what are the main reasons for that?
In many markets in the Asia Pacific Region there is still a huge gender gap. In general, there is still not enough female representation in the board room and in senior leadership teams. More needs to be done to create more flexible working arrangements for working Mum’s and also to encourage Women to seek and work towards leadership roles. Many Women who choose to have children don’t always have the encouragement or same opportunities to strive for the bigger roles or positions either within their own organisations or industry-wide.
4. How can we support the next generation of female marketers entering the digital marketing industry?
I would like to see more mentor programs available to the next generation of female marketers. I was lucky enough to be at Microsoft in my early career and we had an excellent mentor program. I had the opportunity to have 1 meeting a month with senior female leaders across the Global Microsoft organisation. I found these 1 hour sessions, both inspiring and empowering. Many of the lessons learned, I still reflect on to this day. There is a huge value in knowledge sharing, encouragement, guidance and learning about the valuable lessons learnt from those that have done the role we are now doing 10 or 20 years before us.
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?
It may have become slightly easier to be a female leader compared to the past. However, in my opinion we have only made some small steps to bridge the gender gap. As previously mentioned, we have not made enough progress. As an industry, we don’t spend enough time nurturing and growing female talent. We must invest more time doing this and we should create more tools & opportunities that can empower this type of behaviour.
6. Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
I have been lucky to work for many, many inspirational leaders, too many to name them all. However, they all have the same common themes in their behaviour and as to why they have inspired me. They have all…Led by example, given constant encouragement, given reward when reward is due, given constructive feedback in order to learn, believed and lived by the fact work should be a lot of fun too! Driven the lesson that team work is critical for success. Be driven by passion. Finally, believe that if we shoot for the stars or if you put your mind to something you can achieve anything.
7. Why do you think your agency stands out from other digital agencies?
I believe that Brave Bison stands out from the crowd because we are so very unique compared to other agencies and extremely current. We have a very cool and relevant agency that is constantly evolving with the ever changing world of Social media. The content that we create is not only diverse, but it’s really exciting. In addition, our Brand partners love working with the Brave Bison team. We work with so many fantastic Global brands, no day is ever the same for us. I am already really excited to see the content for our next projects start go live over the next few months. We have such a huge variety of content in production at the moment across the Globe, its going to be a very busy & very fun few months ahead.
8. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?
Being a DAN member allows us to connect to audiences that are relevant to Brave Bison, sharing valuable case studies and industry insights in a forum that is meaningful. We have had many positive conversations with partners using our DAN membership as a marketing platform.
Bonus: What has been your favorite lockdown activity to do at home?
My favourite lockdown activity was learning Swedish! My partner is a Swedish speaking Finn and now I can understand 80% of what is going on when he talks Swedish. He will speak Swedish to our baby so it was important that I learnt the language. Lockdown gave me the additional time and the focus to learn a new language.