International Women's Day Spotlight
Talmix speaks to Danielle Johnson, a highly experienced strategist and marketer, about going independent, the 'great compromise', and career successes.
1. Why did you decide to go independent?
Although I worked for large corporations and startups in formal roles, I always had opportunities to pitch and lead initiatives within my formal, full time roles (for example, early on in my career I pitched a category leading ethnic hair care product while at L'Oreal - Amla Legend). I also had the opportunity to identify, pitch and lead multi-million dollar cost saving optimizations at American Express. Proven success as an intrapreneur gave me the confidence I needed to build my career as an entrepreneur.
2. What are the specific benefits that you, as an independent, offer your clients? How do you explain the value your expertise brings?
As an external business partner, I can enter an organization as a neutral party and connect with many stakeholders and easily identify their priorities. I have the technical skills and capabilities to deliver the output clients are looking for, but as a long term functional contributor and client side leader I can also anticipate their needs and help them prioritize efforts and investments.
3. Why do you think there is increasing global demand for independent expertise?
Businesses hire based on the need to achieve discrete objectives. From my experience, professionals with specialized skills are hired into roles based on discrete objectives and then left to find ways to expand the role once the objective is achieved. As an intrepreneur, I've successfully expanded my roles throughout my career, but the reality is that I'd already achieved the organization's known objective. I see a future reality where generalists work for corporations in a formal business administrative capacity and specialists work as external experts. It helps companies manage their costs and it helps experts manage their time. Let's call it the great compromise.
4. Describe a recent or successful assignment in terms of scope, duration and any particular highlights in the outcomes.
As a client facing contract strategist for a leading global payments firm, I had the opportunity to lead sophisticated marketing, research, product strategy and analytics projects for the financial services industry vertical.
Duration: 3 months
Scope: Multiphase research and insights credit card loyalty strategy and marketing consulting project
Outcome: The client was thrilled with the insights shared and I was encouraged to rejoin the organization for additional opportunities
As an advisor I led product innovation and launch strategies for a fintech banking application serving underbanked segments in Lagos.
Scope: pricing strategy, marketing, go to market, branding, customer experience, market research, campaign strategy
5. What is your favourite thing to do when you are not on the clock?
I'm a traveler! My family and friends live and travel globally. Remote work allows me to stay connected to the cultures and geographies that make me, me. Travel also energizes me and boosts my creativity, my ideal lifestyle is a balance of immersing myself in challenging professional assignments and restorative cultural experiences.
Talmix has outstanding marketing and strategy consulting talent on its network globally, able to drive sustainable growth across industries and organization types, build brands, create new products and optimize strategies . If you'd like to find talent like Danielle, then post a project today, or talk to us about your requirements.