Jamie Lyons is Global Head of Gaming and Virtual Experience at PHD. Since launching PHD Gaming in the UK in 2021 he and his team have worked with brands across fashion, CPG, luxury, automotive and the games sector to authentically engage gaming audiences. In the 12 years prior to developing the agency’s gaming capabilities he held roles spanning digital product development, client leadership and digital media activation, planning and strategy at PHD UK, iProspect and independent digital specialists.
Who is your digital hero?
Liz Emerick, Biddable Business Director at PHD Manchester.
What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?
Five years ago I had the incredible fortune to be seeking out a future leader in digital at the exact moment that Liz was looking to move back north, after cutting her teeth at Walker Media, the7stars and Brainlabs down in London.
Having initially believed it was impossible to find someone experienced, accomplished and incredibly articulate across paid search, paid social and all elements of display- Liz proved me wrong from the very first conversation and was appointed on the spot.
Since that serendipitous encounter she has continually evolved PHD’s digital capabilities, built and developed a talented team, brought new clients into the agency and deepened the connection with existing clients.
How has her heroism helped drive digital?
Not only has she driven the profile of digital within PHD Manchester and outwardly with clients of the agency, but also been an inspiration to other new parents in how she’s balanced leadership within the work arena and the fresh adventure of motherhood since returning from maternity leave earlier this year.
What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
Technology and culture are continually evolving at pace and nowhere more so than in digital marketing and the ecosystem around it. Yet we’re often tied to outdated approaches, annualised performance comparison and myopic KPIs which limit innovation.
Digital needs heroes to champion progress, test new spaces and encourage an emphasis on future success rather than purely marking homework based on the metrics of yesteryear.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
It’s an ongoing battle but I feel we’re turning the corner in getting gaming and nascent virtual experiences on the radar (and into the roadmaps) of decision makers within major brands.
It’s not an achievement just yet, but I’m proud to have played some small role in getting us to the point where people are starting to take notice.