How Andy Hyatt got ahead

My move into advertising wasnt something I planned; it was more of an organic move. Im loving the ride, though.

Name: Andy Hyatt

Company: Delaney Lund Knox Warren

Job title: Head of Digital

What made you want to get into brands/ advertising/ media/ marketing?
My move into advertising wasn’t something I planned; it was more of an organic move. I’m loving the ride, though.

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?
Most of my formative years, from my time at Durham University to my early days at Lloyds TSB, were spent learning about business and financial management. When the Board of Lloyds TSB started to consider digital channels as a serious issue, I was appointed to a special projects team to assess how serious an opportunity or threat this was to the Retail Financial Services industry. 

I recognised very quickly that the digitisation of information represented a step change in the way that businesses needed to work. This prompted the move to an organisation where I could get a broader experience of different verticals. The organisation was part of the Interpublic Group and in my five years there I was lucky enough to work on a vast range of projects on a national, international and global scale with some of the biggest brands in the world. Since then, most of my experience and training has been hands on. And I can honestly say that there is no substitute for experience.

1998 Institute of Project Management – Intermediate

1996 – 1997 Manchester University, MA / ACIB Financial Services

1992 – 1995 Durham University, BA Hons Combined (Strategic and International Management, Psychology, Japanese and Archaeology)

What was good and bad about your first job?
I’ve been lucky to work with some superb teams, who have carried me though some tough times. At Legal Tech, we had some great people carrying out what were quite mundane tasks; scanning, paginating, and data inputting may not seem to represent an exciting job prospect, but digitising case material was part of a revolution in the way that Law Firms reviewed and presented cases. It was exciting to be part of that.

The toughest aspect was the amount of hours and consistency of focus that were required for long periods at a time. I remember one job where for three days solid, I had to compare the original case material that was being used by a law firm against the copies they had provided to the firm I was acting for. In the end it turned out that, of the twenty thousand pages that I was asked to review, I discovered three pages missing. They just happened to be critical to the case…

List your jobs to date:

2006 – Present
DLKW, Head of Digital

2005 – 2006
AKQA, Group Account Director 

2000 – 2005
MRM Partners, Director of Business Development and Planning 

1996 – 2000
Lloyds TSB, Senior Manager eCommerce Development 

1995 – 1996
Legal Technologies Ltd, Emergency Project Manager

What were the best and worst, and why?
I love where I am at the moment. Principally because I’m working with a Board that has an active interest in digital and the opportunity it represents. They are open to challenging discussions and provide a robust sounding board as to the validity of the ideas we come up with, as well as what’s the right structure to deliver the best work for our clients.

As to the worst? Every job brings its own challenges. But then, if life were easy, I’d be bored.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My wife. A gifted and understated individual, she constantly forces me to look through marketing schmooze and think clearly and concisely about what I am trying to achieve.

Who in the industry do you most admire?
There is no one individual who deserves a mention (although there are plenty who like to claim credit). The success of digital has been predicated on the effort of countless individuals who constantly work above and beyond the call of duty to get a job done. No-one will remember them, but I truly believe that the work they are doing now is setting the rules for how business will be managed in the future. And it’s very easy to overlook this.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
One of my first projects for DLKW was the 2006 Halifax Students campaign, which saw a 57% year on year increase in sales and a growth in the share of student accounts from 5 to 10%. The client described it as “the piece of work in 2006 that he was proudest of” and I would have to agree. However, we are currently in the process of a complex global site rearchitecture and redesign for TENA (a division of SCA) and have just received some research data on the work we have done to date, which is some of the most impressive that I have seen in over a decade in the industry. I’m pretty excited about that, too and looking forward to the site launch.

On what do you base your success so far?
Quiet determination. Although other people may call this stubbornness…

What are your ambitions?
I came to DLKW because I believe that the company has the right mixture of talent, intelligence, creativity and passion to achieve true integration. My aim is to make sure that the environment is right to achieve it…

Change one thing about your job:
The work/life balance. I’d like to have more time to spend with my family, but then, wouldn’t we all?

Change one thing about your industry:
I’d get rid of the cowboys; those people who sell technology for technology’s sake, rather than because it’s relevant for an idea.

Change one thing about the world:
I’d remove the middlemen (Estate Agents, Recruitment Consultants, Politicians, Management Consultants etc.) About five percent of them serve a useful purpose. The rest tend to muddy the water and profit from the confusion. 

What is your favourite brand?
Adidas. I’m not a trainer man, but I love their ‘Impossible is Nothing’ theme and some of the work that has come out of it. Often inspirational, it continues to make good use of different channels and the humour is quite tongue in cheek. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup.

What is the next big brand in your view?
I think we will see a big resurgence from pharma brands. A couple of years ago, I worked on setting up a global infrastructure to enable Johnson and Johnson to learn about how to get the most out of digital channels in different markets. It was a fascinating project and I think that what the company learns from this will stand them in good stead for the future.

List your ‘media diet’:
The Torygraph for Sports; The Times for crossword; Seth Godin or Russell Davies blogs for ideas; thefwa.com, adverlicio.us and the IAB Creative Showcase for inspiration; FTN for good, clean fun; HBR and Knowledge@Wharton for intelligence and Marketing Week, Campaign, Revolution, NMA and Marketing to stay in touch.

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