Martina Olbertova: Biography highlights
The world’s leading expert on creating meaning and cultural relevance in business to bridge the meaning and value gaps between organisations, brands, culture and society.
Full biography of Martina Olbertova
Described as an “unapologetic breath of fresh air”, Martina is an inspiring speaker with bold vision on the future of brands and businesses who brings a fresh big-picture perspective on the role of meaning in organisational culture, leadership and management, brand strategy, marketing, advertising, innovation, customer experience, value creation and long-term growth.
Martina is an international speaker, writer, strategist, social scientist and semiotician with deep expertise in meaning and its vital role for brands and businesses when it comes to restoring integrity, trust, cultural relevance, value and social impact.
Her approach is focused on bringing deep cultural and consumer insights to life with clarity, simplicity and embedded in the real-world context that the customers live in. As a social scientist and anthropologist, she believes that brands and organisations need to mirror the pace of evolution in culture and society to be relevant, create value and grow.
With a dual background as an academic (doctor of social sciences) and as a practitioner (with a diverse experience in media, brand strategy, advertising, PR, market research, strategic innovation and management consulting), Martina brings an unusually rich, thorough and holistic perspective to some of the most pressing business and brand challenges today.
Martina sees the world through the lens of meaning, culture and symbolism. Her point of view is interested in how the signs and symbols we create, share and consume every day affect the quality of decisions we make in our lives: in business, at work, at home and as our authentic selves and human beings.
Witnessing the large-scale meaning crisis across the industry over the last decade, caused by the unprecedented level of change, cultural complexity and technological disruption, Martina founded Meaning.Global, a strategic intelligence consultancy, to advise leaders on how to stay relevant and profitable amidst global cultural change.
Martina helps brands and organisations understand the destabilising foundations of the world we live in to adapt to the quickly changing context of the 21st century. She looks at the shifts in cultural and symbolic meanings in the rapidly changing world today to help her clients get a deeper understanding of culture, its values and changes in consumer behaviour. She explores how these shifts in culture and society affect the value of brands to help leaders discover new and previously unseen opportunities for future growth.
She identifies patterns, invisible connections, trajectories of change and how the cultural codes are shifting across different markets around the world to help businesses anticipate where the value shifts next. Her aim is to equip leaders with the hidden set of cultural knowledge often lacking in business today, yet so vital to the future success of brands and organisations in the real-world context.
For the past 15 years, Martina has worked in four different countries (UK, Ireland, USA and Czechia) on diverse strategy, insight and innovation briefs for global brands, such as Kantar, Unilever, Vodafone, IBM, London Gatwick, British Land, ICAEW, KBC, Visa, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Ireland, J&J, Heineken or Pernod Ricard.
Having lived and conducted research in many countries around the world, Martina brings an in-depth cultural insight and multicultural sensitivity allowing her to make sense of different cultural backgrounds, understand people and their unique cultural differences.
She’s a contributor to Branding Strategy Insider and WARC AdMap, a commentator for Forbes, Luxury Daily, Luxury Society and other media. She’s the author of The Luxury Report 2019 on Redefining The Future Meaning Of Luxury. She’s been a visiting lecturer on Cultural Branding at various universities in Europe. She holds a BSc., MSc. and a doctorate in Media Studies from Charles University in Prague, and also studied Political Journalism at Georgetown University (USA) and Consumer Cultures at the University of Glamorgan (UK).
Martina has given talks at corporate events and conferences in cities around the world: London, Paris, Toronto, Shanghai, Manila, Berlin, Prague, Slovenia, Istanbul and Morocco. She’s appeared on podcasts, radio shows, has written for international business magazines and been quoted in international newspapers in the US, Canada, Europe, LatAm, Middle East and Asia.