Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Digital Women : Jenny Stanley, Founder of Appetite Creative

Jenny has over 20 years experience in international sales management across the media, advertising and creative technology industries. Founder of multi-award-winning digital experiences studio Appetite Creative, her mission is to lead creative technology in digital advertising.

1: What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for women in your sector of the digital industry today?
As a female entrepreneur, I think the challenges I face are much the same as male entrepreneurs – educating prospective clients about how we can help their business and staying on top of evolving innovative technology. My gender doesn’t really factor into it. 

When I first launched Appetite Creative back in 2015, people didn’t really know what connected packaging was, and now it’s one of our biggest offerings. We spent our time educating brand owners and packaging companies on the potential of this new media channel. Today, because there’s been a lot happening in this space, it’s all about making sure that packaging campaigns are scalable. Our education goals these days are around developing the vision or helping the brands to understand that it can deliver more than just a campaign. Connected experiences can offer a whole data platform that’s going to help them better understand their customers and filter activity across audience groups, brands, countries and product preferences. 

In terms of opportunities, new EU legislation is a big one which is pushing drinks and packaging manufacturers among others to invest in connected packaging. QR codes replacing barcodes is an opportunity to deliver even more content via the packaging. 

Another opportunity is that connected packaging helps consumers understand more about where their products come from, they have a better understanding that their purchases make a difference. Traceability and authentication, which connected experiences offer, are subsequently becoming important now as well. Also, AI is taking over from AR as the popular kid on the block. We are a fast-moving technology company looking to include the best newest tech so we’re always testing and trialling the latest tech and we use AI a lot to automate processes and disseminate data.

In terms of challenges, the universal one we’re all experiencing is around the uncertainty at the moment. Economic flux and high inflation is impacting prices of raw materials, which then impacts end costs, so the knock-on effect is felt by everyone. 

2: What does the industry need to do better to champion women? We need to make sure that we have enough female opinions included across the entire industry. From board meetings, press articles, conference panels (no manels!) and even rounds of golf. It should be a basic hygiene factor for the ad industry, but I still think there are too many important conversations that exclude a female point of view. 

My advice to women would be to try out industry and networking groups for example Female Quotient, Bloom, WACL and the Guild. There’s a lot more support for women now than when I started out – which can help you into it and find your people. Also don’t be afraid to put yourself forward to speak at conferences, write articles and speak to journalists. Your opinion and voice are important – and should be heard. I’ve spoken at several conferences this year – and they’re always a little scary – but a worthwhile investment.

3: What is the biggest misconception about women and by women in the digital industry?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that women are really emotional and can’t get things done. And actually, some of the best and most efficient clients and colleagues I have tend to be women. They’re often better at making decisions and just getting on with it – than any of their male counterparts. Don’t underestimate the power of brilliant women – to both deliver brilliant work and help your business grow. 

4: What is your biggest achievement in digital to date? We have worked with 15% of the top 100 Food and Beverage Companies globally – and over 50% of those are listed in the top 10. Our clients range from Coca-Cola, Nestle and Pepsi to Bacardi, Arla and Tetra Pak – I think that’s a pretty cool claim to fame!


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