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Breakthrough with Laura Neal – Persist. Challenge. Learn.

In this new series, we ask our people to define what 'Breakthrough' means to them, both from a career standpoint and a personal note.

Our next issue features Laura Neal, Global Head Business Systems.

What does ‘breakthrough’ mean to you?

Breakthrough to me is an achievement that follows persistent effort and overcoming obstacles which then provide new opportunities and deeper understanding. Its by-product boosts confidence to continue striving towards bigger challenges and ambitions.

What’s been the most inspiring personal breakthrough in your life?

Raising my two daughters to the tune of my late dad’s mantra that “anything is possible”. I’m so proud of them and their achievements in both their personal and professional lives. They have been my life lessons which has been the most fruitful and unexpected education I have experienced.

What was the breakthrough moment in your career?

30 years ago, I owned a mail-order business for alternative health products. My business “modus operandum” has always been “Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose.” On this occasion, the perseverance eventually landed me an editorial write up in the health column of the Daily Mail for one of the lines. It resulted in 25,000 postal enquiries (there was no email at that time!) and a 40% conversion rate to sales.

Tell us about a piece of work you were involved with that you would define as a breakthrough.

In 2016 To facilitate driving decision making in the business, we launched the MediaCom Health Monitor, an inaugural Global Corporate Performance Management dashboard collating data from many disparate internal sources including Finance, Commercials, Talent, New Business, Product and Client Satisfaction. It identified client/market strengths and challenges, benchmarked over time and comparisons against global and regional averages.

What breakthrough in this industry - achieved by someone else - do you really admire? What do you admire about it?

My good friend and colleague Vincent Rebeix worked with WPP and Google on an AI Creative Content Modelling and generation tool that was showcased in the CEOs opening keynote at the “Cloud Next” show in Las Vegas. Using AI and machine learning to learn from past campaign successes, it predicts whether a specific creative is likely to improve brand perception. Connected into a dynamic creative production tool, it automatically creates tons of potential assets that could be tested before go live therefore potentially saving clients millions in production and in "test and learn" budgets.