Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Glenn Cooper, Universal Music

Glenn Cooper is Senior Director of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at Universal Music Group. He has managed the digital marketing strategies for artists including U2, PJ Harvey, Mumford & Sons, Keane, Amy Winehouse, Florence + The Machine, MIKA, DJ Shadow and Jack Johnson.

Facebook’s Vanessa Bakewell picked Glenn as her My Digital Hero and now he passes on the honour by choosing his.

Who is your digital hero?

Greig Holbrook, Founder Oban International.

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

I have worked with Greig on a professional basis for over 10 years. Back in 2008 when the vast majority of UK businesses were not thinking beyond their borders, Greig pioneered and educated marketers like myself on what the future would look like globally, while we were in the middle of a major recession.

For many companies going international was simply a translation task, but Greig proved that opportunities lay far beyond pure translation for SEO or paid media. Greig has always innovated, understanding the diversity of global platform usage as well as international performance marketing techniques. 

How has his heroism helped digital?

I know that Greig and Oban International have helped many clients expand into new international markets more effectively through digital.

Also, the formation of Oban’s Lime network has been a game changer, with his team having recruited and trained over 400 digital experts globally who can apply their local knowledge in any market.

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

I have to echo Vanessa Bakewell’s comments here and expand a little. There are so many talented digital execs out there and I would love to help develop a scalable solution to connect people with expertise, creativity, passion and influence with organisations that have a social and environmental mission. 

Imagine the impact that building a “Volunteer Skills Exchange” powered by a platform like LinkedIn could deliver!

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

There are a few internal projects I have led at Universal Music that I am incredibly proud of, but the project that means most to me due to the importance of the issues we are addressing is Homeless Stories.  

Two years ago I partnered with my good friend Dave Graham (Founder, Crossfire Productions) to combine our experience of engaging audiences through emotive story-telling to take a different approach at raising awareness of the homelessness epidemic.

Over the last 15 months, Homeless Stories has worked with 10 local homeless charities, capturing and promoting 33 personal stories from across the UK (London, Northampton, Cambridge, Brighton, Rochdale and South Tyneside to date) and delivered in excess of 1.3 million views on Facebook.

We have partnered with Lloyds Bank Foundation which supports over 40 homeless charities across England and Wales, helping raise awareness of the great work these charities are doing in their local communities by providing a platform for the homeless people they support to tell their personal stories.