Growing up in Italy, Giorgia Amatemaggio found herself “between the Alps and the sea” as she took in the culture, beauty and art of her native nation. With so much heritage to be inspired by, she could appreciate the world around her from many different perspectives. She says, “I believe being Italian made me much more conscious of recognising the beauty around me.”
Throughout her childhood, she spent time experimenting with different artistic techniques, such as painting, drawing and even tried her hand with different materials. Giorgia says, “I’ve made everything: vases with clay, wooden trays with painted flowers and many canvases. I was not an art prodigy, but I loved (and still do) how it made me feel.” This love of creativity was reflected in her colourful room and in her parents, who instilled a love of learning through travel, exploring galleries and going to museums.
“I'm 100% Italian: I love food, art and beauty,” she says, “I’m deeply in love with my country, even if I do not live there anymore.” It’s been a year since Giorgia made the move to the Netherlands - Amsterdam specifically - and she’s grown to love her new environment as well as her role as a junior strategist. She reflects, “I discover new things every day: what are consumers thinking? What do they like? What is the best way to reach them? I get to dive deep into what’s going on around the world and I love it. You can never get bored.”
But taking things back a step, it was digital communications that she chose as her bachelor's degree and strategic communication for her master's, which led her to this point. Though she started off by not wanting to do her homework, or study for exams, something changed during her high school experience and made her more motivated. “I had some really great teachers during my formative years and I think it is thanks to them that I started to develop more of a passion for learning and studying. However, I think the greatest impact in my formative years comes from the summers I spent in England, France and Germany, immersing myself in the language and the culture, and getting to know people from all over the world.”
Having visited so many different countries, and particularly during her Erasmus year in Bamberg, she learnt to live on her own, be away from family and have an authentic experience of different cultures. She learnt something important through that, “as humans, we are all the combination of our experiences, no one is the same as someone else,” which she carries with her. It’s understanding people’s motivations that intrigues her and plays into her role as a strategist.
After leaving university, Giorgia’s first professional job was as a marketing intern at a small recruitment agency. “I was in charge of their social media content as well as renewing their website,” she says. “Then, during my master's degree, I specialised more in social media management when I collaborated for the biggest community of my university - managing and creating content, as well as producing social media content for a B2B company.” She knew she wanted to be in the marketing and advertising profession since she wrote a paper on the topic at school, and tried to make moves towards making this her career.
It was “trying, failing, making mistakes, failing and trying again,” that made her continually learn and reevaluate her skills. “You never stop learning and you just have to keep going, especially in a market like advertising. Consumers are always changing, evolving, and therefore, brands’ communication must evolve too.” Keeping on top of trends and researching is also part of what helps her stay on top of things. “You do not have to be afraid to make mistakes. Flaws and errors are what makes us unique as human beings and are the only way we can grow.” That was the most significant thing Giorgia learnt through her initial experiences and it has continued to be true.
Giorgia’s first internship involved creating a series of ‘Tech News’ weekly videos. She remembers, “I was scared at first. I had never stood in front of the camera, I had never edited videos before and moreover, it was for a professional profile. I was afraid that my English was not going to be good enough, and that my voice was not going to be clear, but I still did it. I started to create my own content and I realised that I was capable of doing that.” Pushing through gave her the confidence to keep going and when it came to doing the communication behind ‘The Next Web’s (TNW) T500’ program, she took it in her stride and found that things went pretty successfully.
Keeping on top of trends and researching can be a bit of an overwhelming task, especially with the amount of information available, and Giorgia has been taking the time “to discern the useful information from the really interesting but inaccurate or inconsistent ones.” As she looks to make meaningful change, she says, “I aspire through strategy to contribute to something that resonates with others. A message that will make even just one person say 'Oh, I didn’t think of that’. I believe advertising, especially in 2023, is not just selling but is also informing, teaching and being reflected upon, as it represents the mirror of our society.”
One of the trends that Giorgia is keen to keep an eye out for is AI and the conversations surrounding it - both positive and negative. “The debate about whether artificial intelligence (AI) will take away marketers’ jobs is really hot right now and hearing people talking about it without being informed is what gets me riled up. The idea of AI as a substitute for marketers’ work is, to this day, simply not true. I believe AI is a powerful tool that has to be understood and tested before use.”
She continues, “I believe we are discovering a new phase of marketing as we know it. The industry is evolving and trying to keep up with the pace of technology - not always succeeding. I believe AI as a tool will drastically modify the way we work in advertising for the better. We will be able to accomplish greater things while focusing less on the boring processes and more on creativity.”
With all of the developments that continue, it’s a surprise to her that there’s still the issue of gender equality within the realm of advertising. “It frustrates me that even though our society has become more educated and informed and we have reached many milestones concerning societal issues, we still see sexist advertisements.” What Giorgia would like to see is platforms and institutions used to highlight the issue and support a more inclusive environment, spurred on by the way in which the schooling system works. “There is a need for a better education system for the field. I believe some university courses out there are outdated after a year or so, as the industry is moving faster than the education system can keep up. Therefore, there is a lack of professionals who have proper training and wide knowledge of the field.”
Giorgia finds her inspiration in several places but was particularly taken by the marketing efforts of the 2020/2021 Olympic Games and Lars Silberbauer who headed it. “I had the opportunity to listen to his talk about the change in messaging for the Olympics 2020 in light of the covid-19 pandemic. The solution they came up with was so simple, but so effective during a difficult time and it stuck with me. It made me realise how strategy is the key to every marketing campaign well executed - it’s the main pillar upon which great advertising stands on.”
When she isn’t thinking about her job, Giorgia still finds time to paint, switch her brain off and get creative. She also likes stepping out of her culinary comfort zone, “I like good food, I like trying new flavours and cuisines all the time. I still believe Italian food is the best out there, but sometimes it is highly overrated. There are so many flavours waiting for us to try them.” Her foodie tendencies aren’t just based on other people’s cooking either, she makes sure to try her hand at cooking and hopes to do more of it as time goes on.
Though she’s made a conscious effort to stay away from social media over the last few years, she has two platforms that have made it into her arsenal - LinkedIn and Instagram. For some reason, TikTok is a platform that never has resonated with her, “Fortunately or not,” as she says.
But there are always other outlets, “In the marketing and advertising industry, I keep up with and enjoy the ‘Marketing Espresso’ - it’s run by an Italian agency based in Rome which produces up to date, relatable, and trustworthy content on the world of media.” And entertainment-wise, her favourite thing to do is rewatch her favourite shows, namely The Big Bang Theory but also “TV shows on food like ‘Chef’s Table’ or those based on true stories such as ‘When They See Us’.”
The inspiration and the motivation to carry on and strive for more in your career comes from a wide variety of outlets and for Giorgia, she pins it down to this: “The willingness to learn something new every day is what motivates me in everything I do. Learning a new painting technique, a new dish or gen z consumption habits. I love to surround myself with people who can elevate me and teach me something new. This is what motivates me: the pleasure of learning and expanding my knowledge."