Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Best Marketing Tip: “Develop empathy and insight”

By NDA columnist Tom Ollerton, founder, Automated Creative

Craig Fenton leads the Strategy & Operations arm of Google UK & Ireland, defining the company’s direction and implementing that throughout the year. His experience spans various ventures, including many “side hustles” and personal passion projects which have taught him the importance of putting himself in consumers’ shoes and learning how they consume the content that brands put out.

It’s through developing social purpose enterprises like his record label and film company that Craig learnt first-hand what it’s like to be a small business owner. This has led to seeing the importance of reaching out to audiences organically and inorganically alike and “becoming a customer of the digital ecosystem.”

Why does this help him in his role? Seeing the digital experience through a consumer’s eyes has helped Craig develop empathy and insight, two elements that his considers essential to good marketing. His top advice is to try to be a consumer yourself, feeling what their experience is like, and taking that empathy and insight back into the office.

During the pandemic, Craig’s also focused on mindfulness and on developing the seeds of not just empathy, but meditation, too. Allowing himself the time to work on mindfulness is a habit that’s developed deliberately, through building structure and setting aside the space to do this.

Craig credits Nir Eyal’s book, Indistractible: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, with the techniques for doing this.

Thanks to this mindfulness practice, Craig has come to a wonderful conclusion: “When there’s a lot of shade in life, you tend to notice the light better.”

Find out more marketing tips, Craig’s views on using quantum AI in data analysis and content creation, and more lessons from his side hustles, by listening to the podcast here.

The Shiny New Object podcast is a production of Automated Creative, an adtech platform that turns brands’ media impressions into marketing intelligence. Find out more at