Women to Watch

Ad Age, P&M Salute Women to Watch Colombia at Bogota Event

Meet 9 Innovators From FCB, El Tiempo, Huawei, IBM, Inexmoda, JWT, Nutresa and More

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(From L): Jimena Toledo, VP strategy & planning, FCB Mayo; Carolina Polo, marketing manager, Compania Nacional de Chocolates/Nutresa; Paula Gaviria, VP activation, Pragma; Magda Galindo, executive manager of transactions, El Tiempo; Luz Adriana Naranjo, director of strategic transformation at Inexmoda; Diana Triana, creative director, JWT; María Fernanda Chinchilla, marketing director, Huawei Colombia; Nancy Sánchez, founder-CEO, Milenium Group; Ana Lucía Vargas, manager of marketing, communications and corporate responsibility, IBM Colombia.

Credit: Revista P&M/Diego Ortiz

Ad Age's second annual Women to Watch Colombia event, in partnership with local trade publication P&M, celebrated nine outstanding Colombian women in advertising, media and marketing at the W Bogota Hotel.

Ad Age's Women to Watch, celebrating its 20th anniversary in the U.S., has grown to honor women who are changing the industry in markets as diverse as Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, China, Turkey and, with the launch of Women to Watch Europe in London earlier this week, Western Europe.

Meet the second class of Ad Age's Women to Watch Colombia:

Maria Fernanda Chinchilla
Maria Fernanda Chinchilla Credit: Revista P&M/Diego Ortiz

María Fernanda Chinchilla, marketing director, Huawei Colombia, has helped make Colombia one of the top five global markets for the Chinese cell phone maker, and is introducing a more fashion-oriented positioning for the brand. She was behind the hiring of Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez as the brand's ambassador, leading Huawei's brand awareness to grow from 45% in 2014 to 74% in 2015. Huawei is now Colombia's second biggest cellphone marketer after Samsung.

Magda Galindo, executive manager of transactions, El Tiempo, masterminds the Colombian daily newspaper's digital transformation. Taking advantage of El Tiempo's first-mover advantage in moving into online classified, auto, real estate and employment ads, she keeps coming up with new online products. Readers go to El Tiempo for Groupon-like daily deals, price comparisons, and even Colombia's own Black Friday.

Paula Gaviria joined digital shop Pragma as VP brand activation in late 2014 after stints on the client side as digital and CRM manager at Nestle, and as a digital technologist at Diageo with a regional role advising marketers on digital marketing. Before that, she worked at media agencies. After 15 years on a digital marketing path, Ms. Gaviria is an expert on innovation using technology.

Luz Adriana Naranjo is director of strategic transformation at Inexmoda, a Colombian group that successfully works with small textile companies, an important industry in Colombia, to help them create brands, sales channels and distribution. "My biggest challenge is to change their mentality; they don't know how to sell and we help them learn the business," Ms. Naranjo said.

Carolina Polo, husband Eduardo Romero and kids Sergio and Silvia
Carolina Polo, husband Eduardo Romero and kids Sergio and Silvia Credit: Revista P&M/Diego Ortiz

Carolina Polo returned to Colombia two years ago as marketing manager, Compañía Nacional de Chocolates/Nutresa, to bring to local Colombian brands her expertise gained in working for 14 years in the U.S. at major global marketers like Kellogg and PepsiCo. At Nutresa, she has introduced basic functions like planning, and a focus on what the brand is about. In some ways, being back in Latin America is "freeing," she says. "It's harder to take risks in the U.S, where slotting fees alone can cost $800,000."

Nancy Sánchez, co-founder and CEO of Milenium Group, grew her communications agency by 20% last year in Latin America with expansion in Colombia, Peru, Mexico and the U.S.

Jimena Toledo, VP strategy and planning at FCB Mayo, a leading Colombia agency, is behind the planning for many of the Interpublic-owned shop's award-winning campaigns, and was invited to join FCB's Global Strategy Council last year.

Diana Triana and her mom Ruth Betty Pinzon
Diana Triana and her mom Ruth Betty Pinzon Credit: Revista P&M/Diego Ortiz

Diana Triana has a clear goal: the young creative director of J. Walter Thompson Colombia says she wants to be the first female chief creative officer of a multinational agency in Colombia. She's well on her way. She's one of 15 women selected from 500 applicants for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity's prestigious "See It Be It" program later this month that hosts and mentors talented creative women at the festival. That follows a trip to New York for special training last year, when JWT chose her as one of the network's "high potential" individuals. That experience has led her to a new focus on developing young creative talent.

Ana Lucia Vargas
Ana Lucia Vargas Credit: Revista P&M/Diego Ortiz

Ana Lucía Vargas, manager of marketing, communications and corporate responsibility, IBM Colombia, is the link between marketers and the technology they need to understand. One of her initiatives is "Customer Experience," which brought Colombian CMOs together last year to learn about marketing, trends, the app economy, social media analytics, and much more, she said. It was so successful that she's repeating "Customer Experience" in August as a broader regional three-day event in Miami. "Everything we do in marketing is about customer experience, or people won't repeat the experience," Ms. Vargas said.

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