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 Maria Cadbury, founder We are Spring, offered us her view over the matter.
Maria Cadbury is the founder of We Are Spring, a creative led influencer marketing company. With nearly 20 years in marketing and digital media and experience over the past 7 years at managing director level. She ran one of the top 10 adtech networks and created two new businesses for the last two organisations she worked for. The last venture was an Influencer Marketing Agency, where Maria was the business architect for Evolve Media’s Influencer Marketing Agency, The Studio. From inception of the business proposal through to the execution of a best of breed Influencer Marketing Agency.
- How hard was to develop your career?
I’ve always felt incredible lucky in digital and in my career. I’ve worked for amazing companies and brands and led teams with inspiring people. That said, I’ve worked very hard, always conscious to deliver results and bring value to the role, to build my network and also to enjoy the work I do. Being level headed but not afraid to speak your mind is essential, maybe sometimes I’m too frank! The desire to better myself has always been there, I feel it as strong today, as I did when I started out at MindShare as a media executive, there’s always somewhere else to get to.
- What were the main obstacles to surpass?
Being a woman is not an obstacle, being a mother is not an obstacle. Yet, there is a consideration to how you operate and how you position yourself to be perceived. Finding the work, life balance is everyone’s challenge. It’s important as a woman that discourse does not come into your working world, when in a large organization. Times are changing. Flexi is the approach that will win out and that is literally for everyone.
- How did you managed to achieve success?
Always deliver results. Business requires results. The easier you make everyone’s job by delivering on your goals, enables the business to deliver on theirs, this I believe enables you to move up and across in this industry. I like to fully understand a business and understanding what’s working as well as what’s not working is essential to a strategy. I’m strategic and commercial and I enjoy building solutions for business. I’ve built two successful businesses for the last two organizations. Yes, I understand the data and the trend, but I also understand how to create meaning in that product. We work in digital therefore, we need to always look ahead as the landscape continuously evolves.
- What do you think today’s industry would need more?
Flexi working. I don’t think I’ll ever do a 9-6pm job again. I work constantly. I deliver on every project. I have breakfast with my children every morning and I put them to bed every evening, when I’m not at a networking event. I have calls with the US as and when they are scheduled (just not between 5.30pm-7.30pm). There was a superb article in campaign last week highlighting the extremely successful women running multinationals and startups, but doing it their way, 3 days a week, 4 days a week, flexi and what that means. Set SMART objectives and empower your people to deliver their work, wherever they are. The influencer and now activatist Mother Pukka (Anna Whitehouse) has campaign the government who are now implementing flexi into legislation with #flexappeal.
Top 3 things to follow during the current year:
- Influencer Marketing is going to get a lot more interesting. The technology that’s being built today will play an interesting and pivotal role in the evaluation of influencer marketing and display’s performance. Also, the ecommerce technology that’s now available for social and influencer marketing, will see more pounds shifting to the channel.
- Chatbots and voice assistance. Potentially, as my husband has built www.sayitnow.ai that I’m almost as obsessed by it as I am about influencer marketing. But seeing how the technology has developed and the user experience is significantly better than a slow clunky messenger, it impacts my life and I am seeing the technology that makes those daily digital frustrations alleviate.
- Mindfulness / Wellbeing. Mental health awareness is now widespread and the understanding of the different forms it takes, it’s affecting someone or many in your network of family and friends. Having a more mindful and wellbeing approach to life is still not at the same level and that is changing. I think we will see more from employers, from schools, the NHS on incorporating mindfulness into their structure to give that education, time and support required for wellbeing.