Interview with CEO of Digital Marketing Agency ‘Adido’

Are you keen to get into Digital Marketing?

We spoke to Andy Headington, CEO of digital marketing agency Adido about his personal experiences of getting into the marketing industry and his advice for graduates:

How did your Marketing career begin?

My marketing career started by accident really. Back in 2003 when we started Adido, we had built lots of websites but they weren’t generating traffic. I wondered what we could do about it.

At the time, Google wasn’t well-known but it was driving traffic to the websites we had built. I wondered how we could get more.

My first venture into digital marketing started with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

I knew how to build websites from my university experience and spent months reading blogs and practicing on our own website. I was pleased to see great results.

I then started working on some of our own client websites and the rest is history!

From there, I started exploring the newly released Google Adwords (which now generates $60 billion dollar a year) and we built a team to help many clients. Nearly 20 years on, we’re still doing the same work but in a very different way.

What do you believe are the most important skills to work in Marketing?

Firstly, be curious.

We often see that numbers are just taken as fact. Just because it’s number-based rather than opinion, doesn’t mean that it’s fact.

Be curious about how data is collected. Challenge if it’s actually good or bad. Think about putting things into context and seeing whether it actually helps or hinders your thinking. The more you work on thinking rather than reading, the further you’ll go in your career.

Secondly, think about marketing activity from a human perspective.

While you may believe that a piece of work or idea is great, it doesn’t mean that anyone else will. Ask people’s opinions, look at what others are doing and reflect on your own behaviour when you start to plan work.

Marketing is a broad field with a creative and analytical side. Do you think you need to have skills in both areas to be successful in Marketing?

I think this has always been the case, but increasingly with digital marketing, this is now definitely the case.

As more and more marketing is automated on digital platforms, the key differential in performance won’t be how campaigns are structured or managed (although this will always be important), it will be in the creative or the messaging that goes into the work.

Just because you can place something in front of your target audience with great precision, it doesn’t always mean that they will act if the ad is bland or not very well thought through. Having the ability to come up with great ideas (which will increasingly be worked on through various AI-based tools) and then analysing their performance will make a great combined skill set for success.

How has Digital Marketing changed over the past 5 years and how do you think it will change in the future?

Digital marketing has continued to evolve away from manual control and input into AI-based delivery of campaigns. The days of being able to be highly selective about placements and keyword choices are dwindling to a more automated, machine-based approach.

This comes with some benefits in that more can be done quicker, but in our experience there tends to be a lot of cost and wastage as a result as it can take a long time for the machine to learn what ‘good’ looks like.

Sadly, the main winners are the platforms themselves where they can generate more income and have more control over campaigns, thus keeping more data for themselves and effectively holding advertisers to certain amounts of ransom. This is an irreversible trend though, so we have to adapt to this new approach and try and stay one step ahead by being more analytical and focus on high-quality data rather than quantity.

What would be your main piece of advice for graduates who are starting their career in Marketing?

Get out there and get practicing!

Being able to demonstrate real-world experience is crucial when it comes to getting your first role.

Studying from afar is always useful but until you’ve made your own mistakes and had to learn the hard way, you’re always going to be at a disadvantage.

The more you practice, the better your chances of success. I’d also say that having a wider view of digital is also of great benefit. Yes, social media is important, but it’s not the be-all and end-all, so try and diversify outside of the crowd where everyone else is for a better chance of success.

Thank you Andy for speaking with us. Find out more about digital marketing agency Adido.

if you are inspired by this blog, apply for marketing jobs here.