Posted on January 17 2018
We are so pleased to have Prisca Moyesa this week - founder of social-first marketing agency Moyesa & Co. I first met Prisca in 2016 when she attended a dinner I hosted as part of The Junto Network. Smart, savvy and totally tuned in to the minefield of connecting brands with the relevant audience in the right way, at the right time, here she tells us her story and the problem her business is trying to solve.
Newnham: What were you like growing up / how would your friends and family have described you?
Moyesa: Extremely hyperactive, always at the centre of what’s going on at the family functions. My friends would have described me as very family oriented, but also quite nosy and observant, so listening in on my mothers, aunties and friends conversations was my speciality.
Newnham: Can you talk us through your career path thus far and what led to you starting Moyesa & Co?
Moyesa: My sister is 9 years older than me and my brother is 4 years older so I was fortunate to learn from their mistakes and really take on their advice. So thinking back to it, it’s no surprise that I began freelancing at the age of 16. I organised my first fashion show in Soho for a fashion brand called B.Stich with the cast of The Lion King. As fast-paced as it was, it was then that I knew I wanted to work on small scale but intense projects, and could deliver.
Fast-forward a few years, while I was studying Events Management with a heavy focus on Marketing at University, I had my first summer internship (2013) with jewellery brand Astrid & Miyu managing all their social media accounts. Again, I over-delivered and outperformed, so that was when I knew that I had a passion for social media. The freelancing continued and I was really good at creating marketing plans, consulting startups, managing other freelancers social media accounts and organising events. There’s so much power in being practical, ANYWHERE.
I then launched my agency in 2015 out of frustration. 40 (job) applications and no response? In my mind, they were insane, and being a tad naive about business, I registered the company and told everyone that I was ready to work under Moyesa & Co. However, everything must have a why? And mine was to connect brands that may not be aware of what’s happening in culture to people, and increase cultural diversity. I’ve always had a knack for unconventional, but connected, ways of telling a story or selling a product, so the first major project, after I registered my agency, was for a book launch on a rooftop. And it was perfect.
Two years on, and now with a team of three, we’ve grown at such a healthy pace. 2017 was such a fantastic year for us. I’ve not only been on panels from culture to corporation, but we worked on a huge campaign during Big Brother with two of the contestants. Let’s just say, their handles became the primary hub for viewers and engagement numbers went through the roof. I’ve got a great Managing Director who has strengths where I have weaknesses but really understands the power of social media production and we’re excited to work with bigger brands in 2018.
Newham: Tell us about Moyesa & Co... what problem are you trying to solve and why is it important?
Moyesa: Brands can play a navigational role in the positive influence of culture, but this only happens when they go beyond self-serving content and establish a valuable connection with a wider audience.
Today’s “consumers” are different from those of the past, and it’s important to Moyesa & Co., to constantly understand their pain points, needs, and expectations. When a brand/product supports their lifestyle, it betters the connection, which will impact a business's bottom line.
We know and do what works and are passionate about improving the relationship brands have with people. We do this by coming up with creative ideas and produce high-quality social media content to bring value to the surface.
It seems almost every week there is another incident of a big brand getting it wholly wrong, be it with their product, comms or service. What needs to happen to stop this taking place? Why do brands with millions in budget still get it wrong so often?Moyesa: Brands talk about their values but we’ve seen incidents where this isn’t coming through their products and content. Translating empathy into work isn’t hard but it is most certainly time consuming. Time is the greatest asset and it’s not easy to convince adults (that work for these brands) to sacrifice their time and care about an issue that doesn’t seem like it can directly benefit them or their personal lives. Habit and familiarity is why people get it wrong. Getting people that have little experience understanding a world outside of theirs to work on a project may not work, but collaboration with smaller agencies/teams that get it, will - examples of good ones include us Moyesa & Co. , Women in Marketing and We Are All Here
Newnham: You often talk about culture and companies of all sizes being able to reach their audience in an authentic way – how does one do it? What advice do you have for companies trying to reach a new, tech savvy, generation of consumers?
Moyesa: The first step is to accept that business clouds judgement and understanding. Look beyond financial gains and sales pitches. The mindset of those they are targeting is probably nothing like theirs [if it isn’t human-centric]. We’re living in a mobile-first era so focus on social media in regards to channel distribution and, in order to connect, your company has to see itself as a brand; never get complacent - the market shifts too fast and, finally, become more approachable.
Some questions to answer: What are people paying attention to? What TV shows are they watching? What accounts are they following? What are they sharing? What they are they creating?
That’s where their attention is, go and learn there, translate your products into creative ideas and increase production value.
Newnham: What’s the most important lesson you have learned in life/business?Moyesa:
Life: Your biggest enemy is yourself because you’re the only one that can stop yourself from making moves that’ll probably benefit you. Doubt only comes from the self and although, at first, confidence may have to be a forced practice, that’s okay.
Business: Contracts can work in your favour but also be your worst enemy. In the service business it’s key to define the scope of work down to the T. Make it a priority to state the work you know you can deliver and include possible amendments and limits based on what you’ve experienced in the past or ask someone who has done it. Only over-deliver on your own terms and time.
Newnham: What obstacles have you faced as a female founder and how have you overcome them?
Moyesa: Some see a Black woman and assume there’s not much to me, but that’s not true at all. Reminding myself not to care is just how I overcame the latter.
Newnham: What advice would you offer other young women looking to branch out on their own in 2018?
Moyesa: Fear, doubt and comparison may try and come for you but it’s just a distraction, nothing more. Understand where your market is and where it’s going. The past doesn’t matter as much as the present and future. Kindness wins in the long run, but know when to clearly articulate your boundaries. Oh yeah, you’ve got this and I’m here to meet up or just talk if you need to: email@example.com
Newnham: What advice, if any, would you give a younger Prisca, just starting out?Moyesa: The only advice I would give is to not be so hard on myself, but If I wasn’t I wouldn't have learnt how not to be.
Newnham: Finally, what is your favourite book and why?
Moyesa: Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within Us All by David Kelley. The authors believe and prove that everyone has the ability to be creative and all that entails is to step outside out of what’s conventional, ask the right questions and put solving the problems of the people you’re supposed to serve at the core.