Inspirational; Creative; Passionate; Hard Working; Motivational; Results Driven
The start of a social media strategy?
A digital agency’s credentials?
Or actually the words that represent the core of my professional character?
Without being too cheesy it is of course the latter.
Digital is definitely my thing, some might even say I am a little bit addicted to it; but where and how did it start? Well, I am going to use this space on LinkedIn to tell my very own personal brand story.
It all started way back at the end of 1999, where I started by gaining my pedigree at Quantum, the number 2 digital agency in the UK at the time.
Working from a great office location in Carnaby Street, I jumped straight into the Wild West days of digital.
Everything back then hinged upon buying your display ads at the best Cost Per Thousand, consulting on how broadband was going to change everything and pushing clients to do a media first to build your agencies credibility.
Thank goodness the stock markets crashed and everyone in the dot.com business got hit hard.
It meant that we all had to grow up fast and ride out a recession – not sure how many other industries have had to this so early on.
Don’t get lost in digital hype, only jump on the band wagon when you can see true long-term value.
Next came the era of paid search.
Google launched its Ad Words product and at the time I actually never thought it would take off. Why did advertisers want to have their media spend influenced by a click-through rate?
As a team, we were having fun on the pure-play search networks of Go To and Espotting, where the highest bid was top of the listings. It was a little addictive!
But the Google model prevailed in the end, so another learning experience was taken on board.
Digital is where the data tells the story and the data can help you make the right decisions
Performance, results and ROI, over the next few years drove advertisers to get a little lost in direct response. I remember my excel sheets designed to plan every £1 spent through to the desired action with built in variances for everything from weather conditions through to X factor winners.
Search, due to the unbeatable linear ROI became the primary channel for most advertisers. The nirvana of being top of the paid and organic results was the goal of many.
Too many people and agencies alike, went down the quick win, non-marketing route of securing organic results based on exact match anchor links, hidden text and keyword spam.
Time for Google to hit the industry again with some whoppers, namely its Penguin and Panda algorithm updates.
Digital actually takes a lot more time and effort than meets the eye; there are definitely no shortcuts!
If you know me already, you will know that I have a love-hate relationship with Google. In this case though; these updates were needed to re-set the industry. We were taught that great marketing was what was needed to create your brand and deliver business success online.
Apply traditional principles, get creative and your website will rank well in the search engines, your brand will have a following in the social world and if you have the other elements right (Price, Product, Service & Promotion), you will achieve your pre-determined goals.
Digital success is driven by having a solid strategic foundation.
The pace of the industry remains relentless. It is good that my entrepreneurial side loves it and loves evolving to continue to advise businesses to jump on the right digital opportunities.
In the here and now, advertisers need know their audience, understanding who, what, where and how to connect with them. The millennials are digitally very savvy and averse to advertising – I often get asked how do you reach them?
Simply, get to know them and add value to their lives. In essence, the same goes for any audience.
Digital success stems from knowing your audience literally inside out – give them what they want and their advocacy will be worth it.
Now in 2015 I am entering a new phase of my career. I am branching out my own with a view to collaborating very much with the best people and businesses in the local area.
I am based down in Bournemouth, out of the big smoke and the supposed epicentre of the sector. In this vibrant town, we have the sea, sand and the fastest growing digital community in the UK.
This heady mix of work and lifestyle elements I believe will continue to grow and flourish in years to come.
I am looking to work with businesses who:
- place digital at the heart of what they do
- want the strategy and guidance to transform to be digitally the best
- value training from an expert to foster and grow talent in-house
Is this you and your business?
If so, I am passionate about meeting fellow digital people so let’s do coffee on seafront and get inspired to deliver digital success.
And just in case you want a few more of the specifics on my career to date, the work I deliver wins awards, including Best Social Media two out of the last three years at the Wirehive’s, Best Local Search at the UK Search Awards and I have had projects short listed for The Digitals.
In terms of the types of clients I have worked on, The clients for whom I have worked fall within a wide range spanning B2C, B2B and not-for-profit organisations.
They include the following:
Thomas Cook, Marks & Spencers, MBNA, Dominos Pizza, Vanquis Bank, B&Q, Harrods, Clinton Cards, RS Components, Billetts, ITV, UPS, Glenigan, Bournemouth Borough Council, Poole Family Information Service, New Forest Park Authority, Devon Police Crime Commissioner, Healthwatch, Help & Care, Academy Music Group, Focal Point Fires, Paultons Park, The BIC & Pavillion, Net House Prices and more.
Well that’s my brand story. Watch this space to see how the next few years develop in the exciting and stimulating world of digital.