My Digital Hero: Simon Miles, Global Customer Director, Coca-Cola

The digital industry’s not really about technology, it’s about people. The digital economy is supported by technology but is conceived, created and developed by people, the heroes of digital.

But who are their heroes? Who inspired, supported and taught them along their journey and to become digital heroes?

Simon Miles leads the ecommerce relationship  between Coca-Cola and Walmart International and is responsible for Coca-Cola’s overall customer strategy. A true digital leader, he speaks at industry events across the world and dedicates a lot of time to mentoring and education.

Who is your digital hero?

Wendy Clark, now Global CEO at DDB and previously President, Sparkling Brands and Strategic Marketing at Coca-Cola.

What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?

She was key to the development of our thinking. She talked about the new world and shifted us from our focus on traditional marketing to think about how our audiences were changing.

She helped us think differently.

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

She changed the way we communicated with people, even down to the fundamentals like how we structured our budgets and helped us realise what we had to spend where to reach the right people.

That fuelled our digital thinking and made us think about how we were joining up different parts of our business.

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

The issues around personal data and its use. Personal data can be a force for good in terms of improving the services we offer consumers, if it is uses responsibly.

The industry has a responsibility to ensure it is used with care and I don’t see anyone leading the charge on this so I’m looking for someone to take up this challenge.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

What I am most proud of is the people I’ve helped, both inside and outside of Coca-Cola, in their career with activities like mentoring.

I’m also proud of the work I’ve done in helping educate people about digital. Our industry has so much hype and so many buzzwords but you need to cut through to what it all actually means.

I see myself as translator for what this all means for a business.

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