Nneka Carrie Ude, Director of Strategic Planning at Geometry Global, joins us to talk about non-linear career paths, being a trend investigator, and founding a media startup. Hear about keeping herself adaptive at the beginning of her career, how she identifies trends that matter and the sources she uses to broaden her worldview, what shopper marketing entails, and her media startup and digital community, Welcome to THE PATH, which focuses on the intersection of people, business and culture, particularly within the African diaspora.
The importance of keeping yourself adaptive and willing to step up as you navigate a non-linear career path.
How she identifies trends that matter, observing what’s happening in your immediate life, putting yourself in spaces are unfamiliar to you, and staying curious about sources of content that broaden your world.
What shopper marketing entails, being an experiential strategist at Geometry Global (a WPP agency born out of Ogilvy), and examples of the blurring between shopper, brand, and experiential marketing.
How Welcome to THE PATH came about, building a media platform and digital community that focuses on what innovation looks like within black and African communities around the world, and her advice for future founders-to-be.
Why you shouldn’t let perfection get in the way of good.
“Even if you don’t know, being willing to work through ambiguity and find ways to step up to a leadership role, even if you’re scared to death. I was always of the mindset that I would never say no to an opportunity. I would rather step into it, even if I’m fearful, and never have the shoulda-coulda-wouldas in the back of my head.”
“Go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back. Media proliferation is all over the place. Everyone has a blog, everyone has a site. At some point you start to think about, ‘What’s my voice? Do I need to be more noise out there? Or am I actually saying something that is relevant?’ If you have an idea, and you have a very firm grip on what you want to do and have a lot of passion for it, you just have to put the energy into building it, and being persistent and consistent. Because that’s actually what’s going to matter at the end of the day.”
“Don’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Because you’re not ever going to know all the answers to something. You’re going to have to learn how to walk in doubt, but just be confident enough to be able to present whatever it is that you’re working on, and be very honest and transparent on where you are with things.”
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A strategist by nature and designer at heart, Nneka Ude is a highly versatile marketer and tech enthusiast who has spent the last 16 years connecting the dots between people, brands, and culture for brands like Stella Artois, Maker’s Mark, CenturyLink, Coca-Cola, and Barefoot Wines. In 2017, she founded Welcome To THE PATH, a media startup and digital community exploring the impact and influence of the African diaspora in the areas of business, entrepreneurship, tech and culture - in the U.S. and around the globe.
A Chicago native and longtime Bronzeville resident, Nneka holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MBA in Marketing/International Business from Loyola University Chicago as well as a Digital Marketing Certificate from DePaul University.