Understanding Digital has been a continuous journey. It began 18 years ago when I first saw the internet in Jerry Reitman’s office at Leo Burnett in Chicago. Being part of the greatest communications revolution in history is an exciting role, but I have always felt that you get out of it what you put into it. Maybe that’s karma.
Although I no longer run an agency or media company my passion for this business has ensured I have remained at its heart. Following several years with corporate finance firm Results International Group (thanks to Graham, Keith, Andy, and Co) I have now founded a specialist mergers and acquisition business for the digital media sector
I believe the book and site and all the events and other stuff I do with Calvin will demonstrate my commitment to this space and help give a new breed of business something different to leverage and help to open doors in a highly competitive market.
As my father often says: ‘it’s not the principle it’s the money! He also says ‘the fastest way to get a pig up the stairs is to pull it down by its tail’ – these two guiding mantras help me in business life every single day, especially the latter.
Damian calls Understanding Digital a continuous journey. In many ways, I feel the same, but I tend to look at it as more of an ongoing adventure. Every day in the world of online marketing is different. It’s dynamic, it’s fast-paced and occasionally it’s overwhelming… but it’s never dull.
Of course, one of the best ways of keeping up with the staggering rate of change also turns out to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the work. Every day I’m privileged to engage with, and learn from, literally hundreds of amazing people: people from just around the corner and right across the world. You know who you are
The connections I’ve made online and subsequently (in too few cases) face-to-face really are priceless. Working with Damian again has, of course, been as eventful, entertaining, and thought-provoking as ever!
Most of all though, writing a second book has allowed me to perpetuate the notion that all of the time I spend on Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, watching YouTube videos, and playing with iPhone apps is, in fact, real work. Long may it last!
The case studies that follow offer some amazing examples of what’s possible, but as we mentioned earlier they’re not exhaustive by any means. New creative opportunities and innovation are everywhere online, and some very bright people are constantly thinking up new ways to explore the possibilities. This is and was only ever going to be, a snapshot.
By their nature case studies from big brands and agencies are more prominent and accessible than smaller campaigns. That’s the main reason the bulk of the case studies that follow fall into that category, but we believe there are lessons to be drawn from each of them that can inspire and inform businesses of all sizes.
We hope it convinces businesses large and small to invest more in digital marketing and to take a longer-term view of its power and potential to transform their business. Above all, we hope it helps you to sell more and increase profits while finding more effective and manageable ways to engage your community in dynamic and enduring relationships.