Meet digiio former Senior Insights Manager Athanasia Kokkinogeni. Athanasia – means ‘immortality’, rhymes with ‘a panacea’ – explains the importance of marketing research and competitive insights to a creative B2B agency.
Hi Athanasia. Thanks for speaking with us. Can you tell us a little bit about your role at digiio?
I’m digiio’s Insights Manager and I coordinate the research and insights for our clients, the leading B2B and technology companies with which we work.
What does that mean day to day?
I am concerned with marketing intelligence. I work with detailed qualitative and quantitative information to produce actionable strategic insights and research output of the strength and quality that our clients can use to drive their strategic decision making.
What do you bring to the role here at digiio?
Before I joined digiio, I led the Western Europe market intelligence practice for a strategic advisory business. I served more than 300 multi-national companies across various business sectors, including technology. I have a lot of knowledge of the markets our customers are operating in and the challenges they face.
As well as having an analytical mindset and being adept at working with data, I also bring my skills in planning and coordinating the delivery of projects. I am a rigorous researcher, but I think the most important thing I bring to the job are my communication skills – communication is always the key to ensuring our customers are happy.
You mentioned communication skills… I understand you speak three languages?
Yes, I’m fluent in Greek, French and English. I grew up in Athens, but I left Athens when I was 22 to work in Brussels and then study and work in Paris and London.
Were you working as a researcher in Brussels too?
Yes. After I finished my BSc in Economic Studies at the University of Athens, I worked in a European-Commission-funded post in Athens. From there, I secured a post working for the European Business Network, which is an SMEs incubator funded by the European Commission. During my tenure in the Belgian capital, I was involved in EU innovation and policy dissemination work.
Is there an area of research you particularly enjoy?
Sustainability is key for me. In 2013, I read for a Masters in Innovation and Sustainability at HEC Paris, one of the world’s top business schools and one of the most prestigious grandes écoles in France. I really like business strategy and firmly believe – as I did then – that sustainability is the future for business.
My work in Paris covered innovative business models: charities, the cyclical economy, efficiency of resources and green energy. The work I was doing back then is now being implemented by businesses everywhere – which is great to see, even if it has taken ten years to get here!
I’m also really interested in data. My other Masters degree is in Econometrics focused on the developing world at the School of Oriental and African Studies. That’s what inspired my move to London.
You’ve hopped around a few European capitals! Do you have a favourite?
They all have their own character. I love the sense of history that is with you everywhere in Athens. And Paris is the city of romance! When I lived in Paris, it fulfilled a bit of a dream of mine: to live in Montmartre, as I’m a huge film fan. Although the reality was a little different: I was always surrounded by tourists!
I love the cosmopolitan feel of London. It really feels like the centre of European business life to me. There are lots of professional opportunities and the cultural side is charmingly vibrant.
Do you have a favourite motto or philosophy to live by?
I like to sing and I used to play the piano. Often, I will have a bit of music playing in my head. But I think my motto would be “don’t stop chasing the light”.
How do you relax?
I love the sea and I like doing yoga. I also love 1950s and 1960s cinema – especially the French nouvelle vague, Hitchcock and Bergman – as well as 1950s and 1960s pop and jazz music.
What do you love about working for digiio?
I love the fact that we are helping to shape the strategy of leading companies in their field and the fact our research team is client facing. It’s great to interact with many intelligent people – that’s really rewarding.
Our team is exceptionally talented, highly skilled and inspiringly creative. We have a fresh and modern dynamic in everything that we do. As well as being strong on insights, we have many years of tech knowledge and creative work expertise. It enables us to transform our customers ideas into something powerful and beautiful.