Meet Aneesa Rashid, ACE Lead at UM MENAT
Being in the industry for a decade has allowed Aneesa to develop complex marketing strategies across a multitude of industries including CPG, F&B, Tourism, and Finance.
She is currently championing consumer centricity as the Addressable Content Engine Lead at UM MENAT, through the adoption of personalization at scale. She creates some of the region’s first-of-their-kind precision campaigns for brands such as McDonalds, Johnson’s Adult, and Neutrogena.
Aneesa previously spearheaded key influencer activations for Reckitt and drove social and e-commerce growth across the J&J portfolio, scaling learnings across EMEA as the first category in the GCC to execute Facebook collaborative ads on JBaby.
Why did you join this industry?
From startups to multinationals, I lost count of the times I started one job that morphed into something entirely different. It’s exactly how I discovered my passion for social media, digital marketing, and content production. Working in this industry has enabled me to develop a highly versatile approach towards marketing.
How did you land your first job?
I landed my first job through LinkedIn, working at a prominent business center in Dubai. Advice to those starting off or feeling somewhat adrift during the pandemic: leverage LinkedIn to net- work and gain exposure. Also, be patient with yourself; it can take time to find an opportunity that truly suits you.
Who do you look up to?
Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek, and Oprah Winfrey are probably my three biggest sources of inspiration. They’re all dominant, aspirational figures that are unapologetically not afraid to be themselves. As true visionaries and pioneers within their fields, they pave the way to inspire and motivate the next generation.
What’s the best advice you have received so far?
“Live your life, not someone else’s.” You’d be surprised how easy it is to make comparisons with others as a benchmark for success; but why not aspire to be “the first” instead of “the next”? Have conviction in yourself and the pursuit of your vision.
What’s the best advice you have given so far?
I can’t think about success without first thinking of failure because, ultimately, they go hand in hand. Be open to taking chances because true innovation requires risk-takers and, even if it doesn’t lead to success, it’s a learning curve on the road to discovery.
How do you feel about the stigma sometimes associated with Millennials and Gen Z?
Millennials are the new wave of consumers. Having been surrounded by technology from an early age, they see the world in a unique way. Their need for instant gratification has resulted in ingenuity and positive change that’s affected all of our lives – Netflix and Amazon are prime examples of that.
What do you think you specifically bring to the organization you work for?
My experience has given me the opportunity to wear multiple hats. On any given day, I can go from working on content production and design ideation to data analytics or an omnichannel activation. That adaptability allows me to work on a wealth of different brands and brings a wider perspective.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at work?
If you’re afraid to make mistakes, you’ll never grow. The reality is that, at one stage or another, you will fail and that’s fine! Learn from those experiences and never stop challenging yourself. Always be open to taking chances because you never know where that may lead you.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Having a hand in training and motivating others to not only produce great work but feel self- empowered by their own individual success. It’s rewarding to see the impact you can have on those around you, even if it just amounts to a small part of their career journey.
What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?
Technology is ever evolving; it brings new advancements and ways to keep us more con- nected than ever but it can also feel like an over- night shift sometimes. You’ve got to be agile and learn quickly to stay ahead of the curve, which can be both exciting and challenging at times.
If not this, what would you be doing?
One of the keys to long-term success is to pursue something you genuinely enjoy and that adds value. I’ve been lucky enough to find that space but if I could explore another passion, I’d like to do outreach work to help underprivileged com- munities that have access to less opportunities.