Quickfire Q&A with quicksilver marketer Kunal Pattany from Kantar TNS

Hi Kunal! Let's jump right in and talk Squared. You graduated last summer - how would you say it's made an impact on you?

Squared gave me the confidence to challenge and encourage others within the business to think about marketing from a broader perspective and see digital as part of the wider marketing mix.

It has also given me a deeper understanding of how to activate a digital strategy and drive digital transformation.

This new confidence enabled me to start an education programme called Digital FireStarters, which led to the Head of Innovation at Kantar TNS setting me up to work with Group M to use our research to activate a new client's programmatic efforts.

This development has also been noticed by my CEO and his boss, who have asked me to collaborate and spread my knowledge and passion across business. So it's also raised my profile within both the business and WPP more widely. 

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Squared Awards 2016: we've got our winners!

Last night we welcomed Squared grads from as far afield as Cyprus to our first-ever Squared Awards Night & Christmas Party at Google HQ in London. Gathering around our special Christmas trees decorated with Squared-theme baubles it was incredible to see so many of the Squared Network in one room, and toast to a very special few years.

The Squared Awards - celebrating the amazing things our grads do each and every day in digital

This year we saw our 5000th graduate from a programme that started as a 6 week immersive programme at Google in 2012, develop into a scalable online version that sees digital talent from across the world join every month to empower themselves to do great things in digital, and take both their organisations and their careers forward.

This year we wanted to do something big to recognise and celebrate the amazing things – big and small – our graduates do each and every day in digital, and the amazing leaders they are.

That's how the Squared Awards came to be, and last night we also crowned our very first winners across three categories: Squared Digital Champion, Squared Digital Team of the Year and Squared Leader of the Year. Miss the shortlist? Catch up on all the entries in the running here.

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Meet the shortlist: Squared Awards 2016

 

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How Lindy has become an inspirational mentor to the people around her

‘When it comes to mentoring, you’re trying to bridge gaps of information in a way that is optimally tailored to your audience, while at the same time helping them formulate answers to the hard questions themselves. The best way I’ve found to do this is to have a fluid approach, starting off with finding out what their challenges are and how they prefer to communicate. There’s no point in being the only one talking – you have to provide an engaging experience that stimulates creativity and an atmosphere that develops the confidence to formulate your own insights. It’s important to make people feel comfortable and drive home that each new experience is a massive learning curve.’

At just 28, Lindy Eksteen is already an inspirational mentor, voice for change and a force to be reckoned with. We recently caught up with her to find out how she's taken what she's learned from being part of NEXTGEN (a bespoke global version of Squared Online for performance marketing agency iProspect) last year and used it to develop and champion the people around her.

‘What I learned throughout that whole journey is invaluable,’ she tells us, ‘and I felt I'd taken away so many practical things that could help me take other people where they wanted to go too.'

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#IamSquared: Announcing our latest graduation photo competition winners...

As we wave summer goodbye and hit the start of autumn, the latest graduating Squares are doing the sensible thing and staying indoors to celebrate finishing up their studies.

Adam O'Riley is saying thanks to honorary Square Lucy the Cat by bedecking her with her very own Squared bandana, making us all rather hanker for one of our own in the process.

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Calling all Squares! What would the next generation of Squared Online courses look like?

Hey Squares! I'm Nick and I'm the Global Product Manager for Squared Online. That means I’m responsible for working with Google to ensure Squared continues to push the boundaries of immersive online learning, and keeps continuously up to date with all things with digital.

As Squared Online has become the go-to digital marketing leadership programme, we’re looking to take the key principles of what makes Squared so unique to potentially develop new products that appeal to our grads and new audiences across the world.

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How Google think about building a programmatic mindset [Video]

Programmatic is helping brands realise the ultimate promise of advertising in a digital world: to engage and delight their customers with relevant, creative messaging in the moments that matter. And the signs are there. As programmatic continues to break through from display channels to TV, car, out-of-home, radio and appliances, the marketing industry is moving towards a 100% programmatic advertising infrastructure.

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How Chris became a Head of Web and Digital Marketing at 22

Just how does someone land a head of digital marketing at the age of 22? We caught up with Christopher Boyd to chat about his meteoric journey to the top, which has also seen him recently move from the UK to Malta.

Chris joined Squared Online looking to get himself out of a professional rut. He'd been working in digital for a while but was ready to take things to the next level, learn more about the digital landscape and discover new frameworks and processes that he could take with him along the way.

'My thinking was that even if I was on the course while applying for jobs, it would show that I was investing in myself and look good to prospective employers,' he says. 'So it was something of a no-brainer.'

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Whitepaper - how digital can drive in-store footfall

The final module of Squared Online sees Squares work in groups to create a whitepaper that sells their ideas on how a major digital trend will affect an industry. For our latest whitepaper showcase we're taking a look at a series of reports from students who joined us from Perfetti Van Melle, who look after brands such as Smint, Chupa Chups, Mentos and Fruit-ella.

Following the first Perfetti Van Melle whitepaper on Influencer Marketing and the second on the importance of mobile in emerging markets, we're closing out with this piece on how geo-targeting can drive in-store sweet sales.

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Whitepaper - the increasing importance of mobile for the confectionery industry in emerging countries

The final module of Squared Online sees Squares work in groups to create a whitepaper that sells their ideas on how a major digital trend will affect an industry. For our latest whitepaper showcase we're taking a look at a series of reports from students who joined us from Perfetti Van Melle, who look after brands such as Smint, Chupa Chups, Mentos and Fruit-ella.

Following the first Perfetti Van Melle whitepaper on Influencer Marketing, our next takes a look at how mobile is both the hotspot and the sweet spot for the confectionery industry.

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