Young Guns: Mimi Petrakis at Merkle

By AdNews | 20 June 2023

Young Gun profiles takes a look at the young talent across the Australian advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector. Aiming to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Mimi Petrakis, brand experience manager, Merkle APAC

Time in current role/time at the company?

I have been in my current role for genuinely a single day, so quite new. Up until this week, I had been the brand and marketing coordinator for Merkle ANZ.

How long have you been in the industry?

I’ve been in the digital marketing space for three years officially, though I’ve always freelanced as some kind of visual/graphic designer for the last five, as I cycled through trying out almost every career possible.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?

Definitely not! I did a double degree in medieval history and fine art always intending to become a painter before leaning into my research and pursuing academia. I spent the last seven years completing a PhD in medieval art history while teaching and lecturing. As much as I loved it, ultimately academia wasn’t for me and I was looking to move on.

I initially started with Merkle as a presentation and pitch designer (thank you lecturing), moved into brand ownership and development and ultimately here we are. I’ve long made peace with the fact that my career trajectory makes no sense.

Who is your right-hand who guides you day to day?

Our marketing team as a little trifecta! Vanessa Desloires head of communications for ANZ and Camila Perez our Alliance marketing manager. As well as both being supremely talented and effective within their roles, they’ve also been incredibly supportive in my personal career development. Vanessa as the head of our team has been an invaluable mentor and integral to my growth at Merkle. I can’t hype our team up enough and when I try they get embarrassed.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?

Constant change. I think it’s evident from my eclectic career fluctuation that I crave newness and one of the best things I’ve found in this industry is the constant innovation. There’s always something new to learn and new ways to completely revolutionise how you do your job.

And the biggest challenge?

Being a giant iced skim mocha drinker in a Melbourne agency, exposing me to constant ridicule.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?

This sounds like a mild threat? As someone who just got a new job I’m in no hurry to jump anyone yet. Shooting for the stars let’s say a CMO, it would be great to shape the identity of a brand from the top. However realistically all the CMOs can sleep well at night knowing they’re safe for now.

Where do you turn to for inspiration?

Tumblr in 2014. If that can’t help me then trend reporting and forecasting is my preferred reading material.

My favourite advert is (and why):

I generally love Aldi’s differentiating brand strategy, but when I saw this ad it made me scream laugh and at this stage of life, I’m grateful for that level of dopamine hit.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I usually tell people my entire autobiography when they blink at me. I guess one thing is that in my youth I was very briefly in an emo band that recorded one song and played a single show before disbanding. Please do not look it up.

In five years’ time I’ll be:

Crying because an executive of the brand I’m managing has gone on a spicy Twitter rant. In all seriousness though I’ll hopefully be doing that while drinking out of a solid gold goblet on a Mediterranean island because I struck oil in my tiny apartment.

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