Jenny Stanley (Appetite Creative Solution, Femme Niche): Getting your voice heard as a woman in the technology industry can be challenging: too quiet and you get minimal responsibility, too loud and you’re seen as bossy

As March is a month when women are celebrated, AdHugger asked a few professionals with a remarkable career to tell us their views on developing their career as women working in the communication industry. And Jenny Stanley , founder of Appetite Creative Solution and Femme Niche, offered us her view over the matter.

Jenny Stanley is Founder and Managing Director of Appetite Creative Solutions and Founder of Femme Niche. Appetite Creative Solutions is a multi-award winning company with clients including Best Western, Chanel, Nokia, Disney, Mercedes, British Airways and Armani hotels. Before founding her own companies, Jenny has held senior roles at Microsoft, Oddcast, Eyewonder and Adform. During her time at Oddcast, Jenny successfully launched and established the European arm. She has also been responsible for regenerating Eyewonder UK office and creative team; and launching Adform Brand Solutions business globally.

  • How hard was it to develop your career?

As they say, ‘nothing worth doing comes easy’. To be successful in this industry, you have to really fight for it and give it all of your time and effort. Building my career to the point where I could start my own agency required an incredible amount of hard work …and then after founding Appetite Creative, the workload has only increased – but it’s so worth it. Fifteen years into my career I realized if I wanted it done my way I’d need to start for myself. Four years later, I have the pleasure of running my own company, my way.

  • What were the main obstacles to surpass?

Getting your voice heard as a woman in the technology industry can be challenging. If you’re too quiet, you are overlooked and you get given minimal responsibility. But if you’re too loud, you’re seen as bossy and/or overbearing. Either way, women draw the short straw when trying to progress in a company full of men. It is also difficult to prove that you can be just as committed to the job when you have a family. It’s a constant juggle of trying to go the extra mile at work, travel for business at a drop of a hat whilst also having to do school runs and homework; something that never seems to be a problem for men. The good news is that I see lots of things changing and we allow for flexible working in Appetite Creative, and lots of new initiatives supporting more flexible ways of working and supporting working mums and groups like FemmeNiche emerging which is great!

  • How did you manage to achieve success?

Always believing that I was capable of anything I put my mind to and helping those along the way. In today’s society, it is so easy to lose faith in yourself, to listen to those who tell you that you’re not good enough to achieve what you want to. Remember you ARE good enough; have confidence in your abilities, and take stock, and remind yourself that there is no reason why you cannot do what you set out to. The people around me that I have tried to help along the way, have also been my massive support when I have needed it.  That way you give back which feels good, and also grow yourself a much bigger net to help support you when you need it!

  • What do you think today’s industry needs more of?

Currently I am trying to encourage more open discussion and solidarity between women. That’s why I started FemmeNiche – a networking group in Middle East and Europe – I want this to really be the turning point where women stop competing against each other and instead work to build each other up. I deeply believe that the best way to fight against inequalities, and to succeed is by working together.

  • Top 3 things to follow during the current year
  1. Audio in advertising – in recent months there has been an increasing amount of innovative audio ad placements. Expect to see this increase this year in line with the rise in programmatic audio and also the fascination with ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) and how the use of auditory stimuli increases performance in advertising.
  2. Augmented Reality in the mainstream, not just being talked about. One pioneer of bringing this to a mainstream audience is Snapchat, first with their facial mapping filters and then with their 3D characters which can be placed around the room in front of you. This is one of the more fun and basic uses of AR, in the pockets of 186 million daily users.
  3. A bigger focus on ‘conversational marketing’ how it can successfully be combined with data to get the best result – For example, our recently developed Liquid Chat Bots, which can be embedded within ads, allows users to ask questions and get real time answers within the page they are already on. Today’s online users have a shorter attention span and want their answers instantly, without having to research more or follow links which will redirect away from the page. We can then use the data we get from the chatbots to get a better idea of what consumers want to know, which influences the next campaign and what content we need to include. These new ad formats represent the future of interaction within advertising and will lead the way for advertisers to virtually and interactively deliver their showroom, store or product to the end user.
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