As host for the day, I was lucky enough to meet and introduce each of our speakers, each adding their own unique view and perspective on the challenges that businesses face in the coming years.

Around a month ago we held our biggest Let’s Do Digital event at the Ageas Bowl. Over 200 marketers and business owners came to hear the latest techniques and case studies from some of the biggest and best names currently working on the digital sphere.

As CEO I also have my own perspective on what I and we at Adido see as the challenges facing businesses when trying to get the most from digital. With the knowledge that our great team were getting into some detail about each of their core subjects, I was able to free my mind and present some of my ideas in a more creative way. With Valentines then only days away, I looked to love to give me inspiration and tell some great digital stories linked to the digital world.

brand marketing

The video of my talk is embedded below and whilst I’d like lots of people to spend 40 minutes of their time watching it (seriously though, I had more positive feedback about this than any of the hundreds I’ve done in the past), I appreciate that sometimes a short summary will cover the main key areas. So here we go…

Show that you care

‘Flowers are cheap. Divorce is expensive.’ - Ben Horowitz

We all know that we live busy and stressful lives these days. The people that suffer are usually the ones that we care for most and we don’t make the time for them. In his book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, he recalls a story of his father reminding him to show his wife, who he hadn’t seen for weeks, that he still cared. Ben’s father was worried that he has spent so long looking out for new opportunities for his business, he’d forgotten about those close who really mattered.

Often is the case in business that we overlook our existing clients in favour of new ones. We often put more attention and effort to winning new business, yet often forget that it takes up to 10 times the amount of money and energy to win a new client than keep an old one.

For those in digital, there are many ‘free’ ways to reach and interact with your clients but email is often regarded as the best and most cost effective way of maintaining relationships. Unfortunately too few businesses use email to help keep relationships going, even though Econsultancy research suggests it has the best ROI of all digital channels.


Many years ago I was fortunate enough to attend the annual IoD conference in London where myself and Gary saw a would-be PM David Cameron take centre stage from then PM Gordon Brown when talking about politics and business.

I remember that both DC and GB were good at presenting but have no idea what they spoke about years later. I do remember though hearing from Saatchi & Saatchi that day though about their concept of ‘lovemarks’. Or put simply, what all brands should be – logos and messages that customers don’t just like, they love.

Certain brands attain Lovemark status. You just have to look at brands like Apple (where people queue for DAYS to get their latest device which is only marginally better than previous releases), Harley Davidson (which has seen thousands of people ink themselves with their logo) or various football clubs where fans will spend more money supporting their team than on themselves. Think loyalty beyond reason and you are on the way to being there.

When it comes to digital marketing, I want all businesses, small and large, to really think about why they are here and what they hope to deliver to the world. Only by trying to really get to the essence of this can you truly get stand out in a world where nearly everything is being drowned out by digital noise.

I’ve mentioned him before as thousands of others have, but it is worth remembering Simon Sinek’s ‘golden circle’ principle to help here.

Getting to your own why will help inform not only where your business goes but how you communicate your marketing efforts.


One of the biggest benefits of undertaking marketing in 2015 and beyond is the sheer amount of information that has been produced by billions of people in less than 20 years. Google anyone you’ve ever met and chances are there will be some content about them somewhere. With social media, we increasingly volunteer our own names and faces to content produced on various platforms which is used by marketers to target the right people at the right time. Philosophically I’ve never really had much of a problem with this as I’d rather get the right adverts shown to me than generic things about washing powders or dog foods. I’m sure that goes for most people. However, on the downside I do think that we all need to be more careful about what we post and share in the future. I’ll leave the privacy debate for another day for now though…

Whatever your view, the options and features to target the right people at the right time are mindboggling and so often underused. The ability to target the right people who share your beliefs (see above), interests or other demographics are huge and if done in the right way, can open up routes to market which have not been used or considered.

I used the extreme example of targeting as wonderfully illustrated by Brian Swichkow who wound up his housemate to an extreme level using the power of Facebook ads. He did so by creating a target audience of just one (using a few hacks). In doing so he learnt a lot about how Facebook ads work but also how illustrated how taking things too far can easily happen with targeting.

The lesson here is that (as long as your motivation is right!) it is worth investing time and effort to fully understand your audience and then hyper target them as long as you offer something of value. What most companies (marketing managers) end up doing is targeting large swathes of your audience using general messaging with lacklustre content. Guess what happens? Typically poor results. It’s the lack of insight, knowing what makes your target tick if you will, which leaves a large amount of marketing efforts not achieving their full potential.


In the increasingly fast paced and noisy world that we frequent online, it is increasingly easy to get sucked into our own personal data bubbles. Tweets last minutes, Facebook posts hours and website content days or weeks. The quest for new is unrelenting both from brands and consumers.

But in the madness of the digital world we live in, I hope that every brand manager or owner will share the love they have for their business with their audience and reap the benefits from one or more of my anecdotes.

Watch the video of my talk below and download the supporting slides here.

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Meet the author ...

Andy Headington


Andy has been part of Adido since it was an idea in a pub nearly twenty years ago. He loves to work with the Adido team and all of the clients on board asking challenging questions and ...