Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Heni Hazbay, Global Head of Digital, Vodafone

Heni Hazbay is Global Head of Digital at Vodafone. His previous roles include Head of Partnerships at YouTube and Digital Strategy and Transformation Lead at Microsoft.

Who is your digital hero?

My digital hero is Scott Brinker, owner of I never personally met Scott and came across his blog and tweets fairly recently. I believe he’s the type of digital marketer that embraces both commercial and the digital/technical side of the business and this is quite a unique skill I don’t see frequently.

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes and how has his heroism helped drive digital?

I really enjoy his thinking about how digital marketing should work. On top of this, his blogs are very informative and it’s hard to find people that share at this level detail. When it comes to his thinking, I find it very inspiring.

Today, digital marketing has become very complex due to data-driven decisions that need to be taken and the underlying technologies required to support these decisions. Most of big corporations have this friction between commercial and IT teams due to problems in communicating and understanding each other.

I am a believer of a “shadow IT” in the sense that commercial people have to be able to speak the tech language to be able to brief IT correctly.

This is the only type of digital marketer that can be successful today. Scott is carrying the flag on educating the community on this.

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

I’d say customer Identification. With the death of cookies, we need “a hero” (not sure if it’d be a person or a company or the combination of both or even a regulator!) to solve this identification of a visitor/customer in order to target the right audience, be relevant but at the same time respecting the privacy and regulations.

This then would bring healthy measurement of the digital marketing spend and the right attribution capabilities.

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

I think this would surprise many people, but I can’t stress the importance enough: measurement.

This basic, mostly ignored, mind shift is frequently down in the backlog of senior leaders’ agenda and it’s THE enemy of digital marketing. Especially in companies which try to transform themselves this is one of the most challenging mind-shift to push.

I think I did a good job in making sure that anything we do, we measure, we do A/B testing and then decide based on the data instead of gut feelings.