Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Zoë Haywood, Head of Client Services at Bountiful Cow

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Zoë Haywood is Head of Client Services at Bountiful Cow, the independent media agency. Prior to Bountiful Cow, Zoë worked as a client business director.

Who is your digital hero?

Back when I began my career as a digital account executive at the7stars, I was lucky enough to work alongside Adam Chugg, Head of Big Tech Activations.

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

Me and Adam worked on many different projects over the years. What I most admired about him (and still do) is his terrifying intelligence, as well as his almost unlimited patience.

Digital can often be a complex world for clients, and Adam always had the answer to their every question, as well as always having the time to explain the most difficult of concepts in a simple way.

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Accountability – Adam always makes sure we hold everyone to it. He asks every single question he possibly can, which in turn provides answers. Like I said before, digital is complex and that means people can often mask their own answers in vagueness. Adam is relentless in holding everyone around him to the same standard, or if not, helping them to improve.

Outside of client work, Adam has also been instrumental in making sure big tech platforms are utilising their own best practices, meaning his influence has improved both Google and Meta – literally. Digging deeper into that, Adam was part of the7stars Google partnership team that developed and built the wrap-around ad tech platform Halo, a total game-changer for surfacing creative insights and acting on them in real-time. 

Adam has also been a huge force for change in the face of ATT and cookie degradation, helping our brands and clients to leverage their first-party data safely. From this, he helped set up Project Comet, co-writing a whitepaper with Meta that evaluates how advertisers can build a test and learn approach using Meta’s measurement solutions.

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

Transparency in media buying is still such a huge challenge across the media landscape today, and nowhere more so than programmatic trading. ISBA and PwC’s latest report shows a few improvements, but it also underlines that only 65p in every £1 is allocated to media spending – disturbing reading. 

Such a tiny proportion of that goes towards premium publishers too, something we should all be worried about. We’ve seen the consequences of this happen in real time recently, what with news publisher Reach announcing job cuts of 10% across its entire workforce, a publisher whose websites have fallen victim to ad-spend instead of decent content and user experience.

Unfortunately, there’s still a really long way to go before transparency becomes ingrained in the digital sector. At Bountiful Cow, we’re challenging this, always calling out the things we don’t think are right for clients, and we use Prospero to help with our media neutrality.

Prospero is the first fully managed, transparent, programmatic omni-channel trading model in the UK. Developed by our sister agency the7stars, Prospero delivers complete visibility across the entire programmatic ecosystem, both demand and supply side. 

Our clients, including Califia and Signet, are already experiencing game-changing results through the platform. So, although bad practice persists, brands need to be vigilant when choosing their suppliers and definitely demand transparency in all their digital campaigns.

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

I’m not sure heroic would be the term I would use, but I’m proud to have such a great team around me all focused on keeping clients happy.

I suppose helping create a brand totally from scratch is a pretty good achievement too. Working with Practice Plus Group, one of England’s largest independent healthcare providers, we created and launched a new brand platform “Wellsoon” for their very own self-pay bricks and mortar hospital, all in just 6 months, and the results have been just incredible. That’s how we think about digital at Bountiful Cow – it’s more than screens and CTRs, it transcends reality and lives outside too, and Wellsoon are the perfect example of that.

A great project, a happy client and a particularly proud moment – this is what motivates me every day.