Innovation SABRE Awards — North America 2022
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Mireille Adebiyi spotted the huge potential of the fintech sector early, and has now spent more than 18 years running marketing and communications for top financial software providers. Adebiyi began her career in London working for Paris-headquartered Murex, and over 11 years worked her way up to global marketing and communications manager, shaping the global marcomms function, looking after a €2 million budget and leading new initiatives to raise brand awareness and support business strategy. She then repeated her success at two more French firms, Ullink and AI-driven financial report automation specialist Yseop, before moving to electronic trading software and service provider Itiviti – one of the most highly-regarded fintechs in France – last summer as CMO and head of marketing and communications. Since then, she has overseen comms during the firm’s sale by Nordic Capital to global fintech leader Broadridge, in a deal worth €2.143 billion. As part of the executive management team, Adebiyi is responsible for marketing strategy, communications, branding, and corporate messaging with a strong focus on digital marketing: after years observing the transformation of an industry deeply shaped by technological evolution, Adebiyi recognises that the pandemic has made digital essential in the space where capital markets expertise and continuous innovation meet.
How would you describe the communications/PR industry's level of innovation compared to other marketing disciplines?
Not necessarily more or less innovative, but definitely in sync with the need to create an emotional connection with our brands and messaging.
Do you think the global pandemic has made the industry more innovative?
No doubt, the pandemic has made the industry more innovative. Not only is there a "communicate or die" imperative, there is also a necessity to stand out of the crowd to ensure our communications and PR initiatives rise above the "noise" created by the influx due to the limited in-person events and activities.
Where is the PR industry's greatest opportunity for taking the lead on innovation?
While data, analytics and measurement are key in a digital world, and integrated marketing a must from my perspective, I still believe creative ideas are paramount.
Who most influences how innovative a brand's engagement is?
How do you define innovation?
Innovation is multi-faceted. While many would connect innovation to technology, I believe it spans multiple areas. Technology is a powerful enabler, but innovation should be about adopting an out-of-the-box mindset, continuously revisit one's approach to identify new (and more efficient) ways to deliver.
In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
I can't name one in particular, but I would say that those who are the most innovative around PR and marketing are probably those that manage to break the silos. I believe in integration across channels, tactics and content formats.
Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Joining Itiviti in the midst of a global pandemic (in July 2020) to "reset" the marketing strategy and succeeding in implementing an accelerated digital transformation journey was probably one of the most rewarding moments in my career. Innovation came from the digital tech stack implemented, but also (and mostly) from succeeding in combining all things Marketing and communication into an integrated strategy that delivered results across all communication channels and helped in positioning strongly Itiviti, a midsize Fintech company, and making it a tech unicorn now acquired by Broadridge, a Fortune 500 company.
Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation?
Not being original, I think that Steve Jobs left a memorable mark in revolutionizing our approach to technology. He created attractive objects that made game-changing features intuitive and managed to create and nurture expectations around each and every release.
How do you get out of a creativity rut?
I think that taking a step back and resourcing with activities outside of the work field is a good way to get out of a creativity rut. Reading a book, visiting a modern art exhibition or simply enjoying quality time with our loved ones are some of the best ways to recharge. Pressing on the "off" button, and a having a good night's sleep are proven ways to give room to the brain to create new connections and free space to come up with unexpected ideas.
What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Innovation should not be perceived as a disrupting mechanism. We should go back to what is our purpose and how can we best achieve it. Innovation be it through technology or new assets is an enabler, meant to facilitate and upgrade what we love doing which is sharing news (I like to call them stories) with the world.
What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
I would be a professional foodie or an interior designer, my two passions besides my job.
Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
Sapiens: A brief history of Mankind from Yuval Noah Harari. This was recommended by a friend of mine. I have quite eclectic literature tastes and this was not the typical genre I would favour. I loved the discovery.
What's your favourite time of day and why?
End of the day, with a glass of wine: a great way to cool down from the adrenaline buzz of an active day!
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