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Taking responsibility for change

Viola Communications’ Ola El Sisi explains her commitment to drive positive change for a better overall future

As traditional market research is being replaced by modern data analytics, we are connecting across digital channels in a new space where omni-channel advertising market analysis helps manage campaigns across the ‘multi-media-verse’ as demand-side programmatic platforms allow advertisers to bid for advertisements in real time.

But bear in mind that while the capabilities of these innovations today are helping marketeers to be more efficient and effective in their jobs, the responsibility of social messaging and standing up for values, morals and ethics is still an important game changer, especially with modern consumers being much more aware of the brands and products they support.

In today’s environment, customers want to increasingly support companies that are socially responsible. By integrating corporate social responsibility policies across their operations, agencies can appeal to these consumers while also genuinely having a positive impact.

The first step an agency can take is to stop looking at social responsibility and sustainability as a marketing opportunity; instead, start by setting a range of achievable internal goals that matter most to them, getting staff motivated and involved in initiatives.

I’m happy to see marketers taking social responsibility seriously, not looking at it as purely commercial.

We are ultimately responsible for the messages that we deliver in our campaigns, and at Viola Communications, we understand that the positive actions of a few can have a domino effect on the many; we pride ourselves on spreading awareness among our clients who are themselves from diverse backgrounds with a vast range of experiences.

So, diversity, equity and inclusion are firmly embedded in both our internal and external culture. We believe that our differences add more power, innovation, creativity and versatility to the projects we design for our clients.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion not only aligns with our moral compass but also reinforces Viola’s strength as a whole.

Our goal is very simple: we are committed to drive positive change that helps create a better overall future, and our sustainability and social impact initiatives come under the banner of our recently launched programme ‘Viola With You’, a project for internal and external empowerment which encompasses a constantly evolving series of initiatives and programmes that integrate under four strategic pillars: strong team culture, social engagement, sustainability, and stakeholder inclusivity.

As owners of a number of OOH and DOOH platforms, we are always ready to donate space across our network to mark special occasions, such as UAE National Day and Emirati Women’s Day.

We also repurpose them for socially relevant public awareness messaging, such as the annual ‘Pink’ campaign on the benefits of early diagnosis of breast cancer, supported by content on our social media channels.

There are many days when I wake up and ask myself if we are doing enough, but the answer is always no, because we can always do more.

As Viola’s CCO, and a woman who strives to infuse a touch of femininity into the world, I always aim to inspire our teams, clients and the community to be as involved as possible, to genuinely have a meaningful impact on people.

In the world of marketing, what better way to do this other than through brilliant campaigns that can affect how we think and act?

Agencies should be able to communicate to clients old and new that authentic campaigns lead to significant connections, guiding them to execute and share initiatives that come to life on marketing platforms, encouraging personal connections with the community.

Our world is continuously evolving, so shouldn’t we evolve at the same time?

Agencies could be influencing clients in prioritising awareness in their own operations, pointing them in the direction of sustainable and meaningful practices that are not only good for their integrity, but also for the community.

Deciding to adapt to new ideas can be frustrating because adjustment takes time and effort. It takes time to plan for the future, but I think that we should prioritise humanity over commercial interests now and collectively take responsibility for change, because once we do, we will make a great impact and empower many others to do the same.

When we do start seeing change, that’s when I can wake up and say “Yes, we’ve done enough”. I hope that happens soon.

By Ola El Sisi, CCO, Viola Communications