Join me as I have a conversation with Birgit Vernunft, Managing Creative Strategist at Yours Truly in Germany. As she shares her 3 pieces of advice for a strategist, her strategy journey, and what she found most helpful in joining The Planning Dirty Academy.
Okay, welcome back to Starting in Strategy. Today, we have got Birgit Vernunft, who is the Director of Creative Strategy at Yours Truly. So great to have you on Birgit. My first question to you is what is your three pieces of advice for strategists?
First of all, thank you very much for having me on your podcast, Julian. I’m a really big fan of you, so I’m really thankful to be here. So having to my three best pieces of advice for strategists, I have three tips and principle which builds upon each other. The first thing is, Steve Jobs once gave this advice in a speech to Stanford graduates, stay hungry, stay foolish.
And, this is my first and most important tip. It’s always be curious and interested in everything that is new and different. So don’t be afraid to try out new things, whether these, platforms like Tiktok on new technology, like our games, for example, try out everything and throw yourself right in the middle because only then you can understand the enthusiasm and motivation of people behind it.
For example, I created an account and Tiktok and, I try out every new filter and feature, and I’m always fascinated how creative this platform is. So, and this is really, I think the most important tip. First of all.
Then the second part is, stay tuned. Because that’s always the point when somebody says to you that doesn’t work that’s wrong. And, I was tends to not believe that as don’t believe that, do not be confused and stay by your opinions, standby by opening, because there’s always a way. And if you believe in it, if you feel that you are right, then it is right. So fight for it, pull it through and prove it to everyone. And I have a great quote from Albert Einstein, which I liked very much because he said you can never solve problems with the same way of thinking that created them because, you know, it’s needs a different solution. And we as strategists and planners and creators as well, often think differently than other people. And I think that’s a good thing. So stay tuned.
And, the third part is related to the second one and, It’s maybe I’m also a bit the contrast of it because we are along with our opinion, but on the other side, really good ideas arise in a team and an exchange with others.
So, I have to say to you be a teammate, be a team player, be a networker, get others to join in, share your ideas, and be inspired. In the particular, I think the topic of social networks is very important right now. Like for example, LinkedIn, it’s more important than ever in the digital social age. So, connect to each other. And yeah, exchange. Time is so fast that we can be a lot faster with the help of others, I think these are my three tips. Thank you. I’m a really fast speaker. So I hope it’s not too quick.
No, it’s good. We, I always am here to really make the most of the listeners’ time. So I’m like try to pack it in jam pack. So the faster we speak the better, but I would love to know. I also got on Tiktok. Now I want to follow your TikTok. What’s your handle?
What’s my handle? It’s I think it’s as easy as that. It’s very good for noon, but we also have an agency account right now, and that’s a lot more creative because we have this game going on during between our creatives. Everybody has to do one Tiktok a week, so we give from each other the tasks, create a new Tiktok. And so we have really interesting experiments going on there and, I love it actually. It’s one of the most amazing platforms right now.
Yeah. I’ve got my, I tried it for a month. I dedicated a month to it. I’ve got a month of content up there. I need to get back into it. I’ve committed to YouTube now, YouTube once a week. But I’ve got a Tiktok account it’s @strategytips. Great. Yes, it is definitely did that, but that’s up there. Check it, Yeah, definitely check it out. I would love to hear so you’re, Yours Truly now. I’d love to hear or journey cause you come from the creative side as well. So I’d love to hear the strategy.
Of course. Yeah. First of all, I have to tell you something about me, which I love. I love a lot of things. I love creativity. I love data. I love friends. I love user experience technology. I love digital and preferably I love everything mixed together.
So I think I’m in the middle of everything. And, yeah, since I was a little child, I always said I want to do something with computers because they really fascinated me. And that’s what I’m still doing actually. And then I studied design and computer science at the same time. Both of the things.
And I learned that the combination of both of them results and kind of a superpower like I said, it, and I had a diploma thesis, which was called AppStream and interactive experience of Haruki Murakami’s books. I don’t know if you know Haruki Murakami is a great writer and, yeah, my work has won several awards in Germany, including the German ADC and the TDC and things like that.
And then I received job offers from all the major agencies. But then I did something very special because I didn’t go to a major agency. Again, I went to a small one, which was Yours Truly, I chose this agency and still with that agency actually, and that’s kind of very, very special, I think in the business.
Someone once told me in these times, and in our industry, it’s now very special when someone decides to early in the professional life work for employer to whom they will remain loyal for so long. And, it is, I think very special because you know, everybody is trying to collect as many logos and as many Different clients and, how possible in the industry.
But I think it’s different. I think it’s not about collecting logos. I think it’s more about yourself, about not standing still and, working with Yours Truly meant for me that the agency and the task have changed so often that it’s never been the same.
We fought together and grew together. And now I’m part of the management I’m actually, and it’s like, success of mine as well, which is I’m really proud of. And, I want to also am a big fan of quotes. I want to restart. I don’t know if you know him. His firm is a big strategies as well, and he’s, I think then for 20 years along at the publicist group, and he said in the end, we only grow and change if we want to change and grow ourselves.
And I think that’s the most important part. It’s not about others. Actually, It’s more about the decision to grow yourself and always push yourself to the limits and learn new things. As I said in the beginning. And then it’s, I think it’s not so important in which agency you are. It’s more about you and yourself.
And of course the people you’re working with. And now in my case, I was referring to myself as a creative strategist because it’s, I think in, as I already said, it’s the mixture of both things, which I’m fascinated in. So, Creativity is very important to me as well. As I always want to understand things behind them. So, yeah, right in the middle.
I love that. Why not both sides. And it sounds just like such a great journey. It is something you need to be able to stay at one place, but you’re right. It’s, all in you. If you want to keep learning, then you keep learning. So I love that mentality. And I think you’ve been a member of the Planning Dirty Academy. So you’re a constant learner. So I’d love to know what you found most valuable from them.
Yes. Well, I’m a big fan of the Planning Dirty Academy, as already said. And I think at the first contact that you Julian about 10 years ago when you published the presentation, what is digital strategy?
I think it wasn’t 2012 on SlideShare, and I really was thrilled that you shared your knowledge So openly, that was really something I think really new and the whole, yeah, and the whole space of credit agency space. So that really inspired me. And now coming back to the Planning Dirty Academy, what I really like is your model of the big T strategists.
I think it’s extremely cool because you have managed to make all planning disciplines clear and categorize them. This taught me that there are many types of strategies and strategists. And that is in my case, everything can be one person as well, which I also liked very much because before I thought there has to be a special person for that kind of thing and a special person per se, that kind of thing, but you can do it all, as well.
And that’s very interesting. And, yeah, last but not least, I want to thank you very much for creating something great with the Planning Dirty Academy, because I think it’s really unique and a word and a great inspiration for many strategists. Thank you and keep up the good work.
I appreciate that. And I think the thing that we probably share in common is that kind of hunger for learning. I feel the planning dirty Academy for me is just almost like my diary of learning. Here I am learning a new thing and I want to share it with it wrong. So, yeah. Excellent. Thank you so much, Birgit. And appreciate it. We’ll have to look out for your Tiktok as well.
Thank you very much. Thank you for having me on the podcast. It was really a pleasure for me.