Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Sam Drake, Managing Partner at Goodstuff – “Digital is a catalyst for bigger and better ideas”

Sam Drake is Managing Partner at Goodstuff. We asked who his digital hero is

Who is your digital hero?

Dom Dwight, Marketing Director of Taylors of Harrogate, who I have had the pleasure of having as a client for the last 9 years. Dom’s road to Marketing Director is unique.

His journalistic background as Editor of the Leeds Guide, his time focussing on consumer engagement through social media, and general humility as a human makes him a progressive (and dare I say unorthodox) marketeer who is an absolute delight to work with.

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

From a selfish perspective, Dom was part of the team that appointed Goodstuff back in 2013 when we were early on in our journey as a media planning and buying agency. As a challenger he has continued to back us, our ideas, and our relationship. During this time Yorkshire Tea has gone from the number four tea brand in the UK to number one, and we have delivered some of our agency’s (and industry’s) best work.

Furthermore, the foundations that Dom put in place for Yorkshire Tea around social continues to be held up as best-in-class. In 2018, Dom was recognised by the Grocer as being one of Grocery’s biggest influencers. I

n their words “he is responsible for a brand masterclass in how to use social for clever, creative marketing.”

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Dom understands that digital breaks down the walls between consumer and brand. Digital is a catalyst for bigger and better ideas. Digital enables brands to deliver more progressive and unconventional campaigns.

This has led to Yorkshire Tea using Augmented Reality to raise awareness of the Vanishing Woods, leveraging their social communities to provide damning reviews of their Toast and Jam product to drive buzz and trial, and producing content such as the ‘Tea Song’ and ‘Socially Distanced Teapot’ for audiences online to view and share.

His bravery comes not in originating these ideas but empowering his teams and partners to embrace the very best of what digital can do for a brand. At no point is digital ‘a thing to consider’, it is weaved through what we do, and this culture has been laid down by Dom.

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

With so much innovation and investment going into the digital landscape I would like someone to stop and grab cross-channel effectiveness by the scruff of the neck.

Brands invest time and money into their own analytics, channel bodies and suppliers work hard to show the effectiveness of their own platforms, but we need someone to go further and show the cross-channel effects that investment into digital can have.

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

In 2010 I worked on Kronenbourg 1664. We became a launch partner for Sir Richard Branson’s digital magazine – Project. On its own this was not a big deal, but we created an asset specifically designed for reader engagement.

It provided some amazing data and results. Most importantly, it demonstrated to the brand team how digital could turn reach driving media into media that could deliver real engagement. That one ad represented a step-change in our media strategy and how we would leverage digital.