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

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.

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Watch Martina in action

Playlist
1/10 videos
1
Dr Martina Olbertova: Lead With Meaning At The Core | Brand Week Istanbul 2019: Designing The Future
Dr Martina Olbertova: Lead With Meaning At The Core | Brand Week Istanbul 2019: Designing The Future
46:10
2
Who Is The New Luxury Consumer? | We Are What We Buy with Dr. Michael Solomon on Voice America
Who Is The New Luxury Consumer? | We Are What We Buy with Dr. Michael Solomon on Voice America
53
3
NewMR webinar 2019 | How Brands Can Bridge The Gap Of Meaning
NewMR webinar 2019 | How Brands Can Bridge The Gap Of Meaning
29:05
4
Golden Drum 2018 Interview: Creativity & Brand Meaning with Martina Olbertova
Golden Drum 2018 Interview: Creativity & Brand Meaning with Martina Olbertova
02:54
5
The Meaning of Luxury Panel | Frame Awards 2020 in Amsterdam | February 2020
The Meaning of Luxury Panel | Frame Awards 2020 in Amsterdam | February 2020
01:02:24
6
NXTLVL Podcast, E11: Restoring The Meaning Of Luxury with Dr. Martina Olbertova, Meaning.Global CEO
NXTLVL Podcast, E11: Restoring The Meaning Of Luxury with Dr. Martina Olbertova, Meaning.Global CEO
01:31:50
7
Lead With Meaning at CX Emotion, with Dr. Martina Olbertova, July 22, 2020
Lead With Meaning at CX Emotion, with Dr. Martina Olbertova, July 22, 2020
32:37
8
The Luxury Week 28 – 30 July 2020, Dr. Martina Olbertova & Angela Tunner on The Luxury Renaissance
The Luxury Week 28 – 30 July 2020, Dr. Martina Olbertova & Angela Tunner on The Luxury Renaissance
39:08
9
E1 THE LUXURY RENAISSANCE SHOW with Antonio Paraiso, Dr. Martina Olbertova and Angela Tunner
E1 THE LUXURY RENAISSANCE SHOW with Antonio Paraiso, Dr. Martina Olbertova and Angela Tunner
01:39:12
10
E2 THE LUXURY RENAISSANCE SHOW with Luca Franco, Dr. Martina Olbertova and Angela Tunner
E2 THE LUXURY RENAISSANCE SHOW with Luca Franco, Dr. Martina Olbertova and Angela Tunner
01:08:38
keynote speaker and strategic adviser

“Martina stands out in the fields of brand and business strategy. She is a real talent that is rare to find. Her approach is highly insightful, curious and creative. She is someone who prizes consistently improving the quality of her work and ideas. I highly recommend her to leaders searching for insights to help drive value and growth, and to anyone looking for a fantastic speaker for their next event.”

Tom Asacker
Best-selling author
Brand Week Istanbul 2019 conference in Turkey

“I had the chance to bring Martina to our international conference Brand Week Istanbul 2019. She empowered the conference greatly delivering a 45 minutes talk on The Future Of Brands: Lead With Meaning At The Core to our senior marketing and agency executives. The interest in her session was amazing! And the session was full of attendees. Martina’s presence added a spectacular value to the event. Her positive attitude and her exceptional perspective on industry development are what our attendees loved so much. I’m hoping and looking forward to working with Martina again in the near future!”

Sercan Yenipazar
Organiser
MyQ Technologies

“I highly recommend the semiotics workshop. Her expertise brings value to anyone working in any area of communications (meaning pretty much everyone). She’s able to reframe and refocus worldviews to better understand (via macro & micro study) how others can misperceive visual and textual messages – whether in sales, marketing, HR, management, or simply in daily interactions.”

“We were very pleased with the insights that she shared, which showed us how various elements can convey completely different meanings than intended depending on the context. Very often we are too close to what we work with daily, which makes us unable to see what we are doing with fresh eyes. Martina’s is the ideal outsider/objective opinion because she can express clearly any potentially problematic areas and offer practical suggestions for how to fix them.”

Jason Mashak
Former CMO

“Martina is a vibrant and unapologetic breath of fresh air. Her passion for branding, semiotics and the future of business is unparalleled. In our interactions over the past several years, Martina has made me think in new ways, has challenged some of my core beliefs about “meaning” and has elevated my own understanding and my brand work. Having Martina in my network is a joy and I hope she will continue to spread her vision far and wide.”

Hilton Barbour
Marketing Provocateur and Change Consultant
Managing Director at The Blake Project

“Martina brings a unique and highly valued perspective to the discourse on brands today. I include her in a small group of marketing oriented leaders that are shaping a better world through brand.”

Derrick Daye
Publisher at Branding Strategy Insider
Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy

“I had the pleasure to bring Martina as speaker to our Consumer Insighting and Storytelling conference in Manila, the Philippines. Her talk showcased her passion on insighting to connect culture, consumers, brands and define new meaning. This skill is highly relevant in our world today. When things are moving so fast, brands need to ensure that they are more thoughtful and mindful of their messaging to not alienate their customers or the public. I am happy to meet experts like Martina. We have learned a lot from her expertise.”

Germaine Reyes
President

“I had been an admirer of Martina Olbertova’s ideas for many years, but my appreciation of her gained new dimensions when I collaborated with her on the podcast This Human Business. Martina is the rare person in business who is capable of seeing beyond the problems of the moment to grasp the underlying thematic issues that have led to the development of those problems in the first place. With her meticulous crafting of the conceptual materials derived from her semiotic inquiry, Martina brings these deep insights back to the matter at hand, weaving together a coherent cultural vision that brings strategy and tactics together with unified purpose. She brings intelligence, experience, and sensitivity to every project, speaking for the human perspective with competence, creativity, and relevance.”

Jonathan Cook
Creator of This Human Business podcast

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