The Condé Nast College was delighted to welcome the Director of Social Talent at Condé Nast, Anna Anderson to share her strategy on influencer marketing, and what it takes to create a new industry role, red rags and the importance of being stubborn.
An introduction to Condé Nast’s GCP
As Director of Social Talent at Condé Nast Global Commercial Partnerships (GCP), Anna Anderson leads the GCP team whose work specialises on advertising across all Condé Nast markets. The GCP team is brand agnostic in approach, representing all Condé Nast’s titles through the negotiating of global advertising deals.
Anna’s experience centres on managing and running both global teams and campaigns for some of the world’s most influential brands, with budgets in excess of £10 million. Pioneering in approach with a modern perspective towards 360 degree communications, Anna is an expert in e-commerce, all things digital for luxury, premium and beauty brands.
About Anna Anderson
Following her graduation from Lund University in Sweden, Anna’s first job was Online Campaign Manager at H&M. Anna has since continued to forge forward and worked for a number of high-profile agencies across London and luxury brands including The Gucci Group, Hermès and The Business of Fashion.
Fast forwarding to 2017 she became Global Head of Client Services at Whalar. An influencer marketing platform to ‘Liberate the Creative Voice’, focusing on providing a new operating model for producing high-quality creative work and accessing engaged audiences working with brands including Unilever, Estee Lauder, Apple and Ralph Lauren.
Anna joined Condé Nast in 2019, where within her role she is responsible for influencer marketing which facilitates a creative output for brands. Her holistic approach enables the talent to produce assets which her creative team edit.
In conversation with Anna
The client can directly contact the GCP team with their brief, target audience and products they want to promote. The sales team within the GCP department then creates a proposal for the client; which publications they should be shown in and facilitates the collaboration. This is regarded as one form of communication rather than multiple. Many advertisers choose Condé Nast to do this because of their industry insight and expertise, as Anna notes “who will know better on what works in the different magazines than Condé Nast or the GCP”.
To illustrate the activity of the GCP team, Anna, as part of her talk, shared some examples of what a finished campaign looks like and the supporting assets across the talents’ social feeds, with the Condé Nast students.
“The word influencer is like a red rag, as soon as you mention influencers people are like; bad content, people that take selfies of themselves… We talk about it as any individual who has gained a following for who they are.”
To combat pre-judgements towards influencer content Anna and her team discover emerging creatives that would not normally work as influencers and introduce them to brands. This innovative approach to influencer marketing, unique to the GCP team, allows for talent to have a personal input.
When asked by a Condé Nast college student on how Anna hands over the creative input to the influencer which must take an element of trust, Anna explained “the hardest thing has been to convince internally… To manage their mindsets on how you can produce content. It’s been a balancing act”. Anna had to prove why the function of the global commercial partnership division was essential by pitching the concept and need for this team within Condé Nast. Initially, Anna was met with resistance but that resistance did not deter her. It made her more determined to prove why this in-house agency, which she has cultivated, was a vital component. Anna was triumphant and during 2020 an unprecedented time for all business, her team expanded and on boarded new clientele. What characteristics make a strong Director of Influencers and Social Talents? Anna shared that project organisation is key, “you need to be really stubborn, a bit entrepreneurial, come up with different solutions and never give up”. An attitude Anna really appreciates and a great skill to have.
- Be curious. The game changers are not afraid of being different.
- Pro-activity is a great skill to have, be entrepreneurial and come up with different solutions.
- Top Tip for being an innovator – keep your finger on the pulse.
- Be stubborn – embarking on a new path takes resilience.
Anna’s talk was refreshing and inspiring, giving the Condé Nast College students a forward thinking insight into the world of influencer marketing and strategy.
By Antonia Centioni, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication