Consumer, Community & Customer Centricity

Eddie Price and Ivona Dutkova, Digital Media Trainees


I’m pretty sure we can all agree that being out in the wild, feeling all the energy, interacting face-to-face and being in networking situations was something we kind of missed in the last two years.

This was just another reason to get hyped about Edinburgh Digital Day 2022 happening live, focusing on the importance of community and customer-centricity and what it could mean for the coming future of automation and AI. Sponsored by Republic of Media & User Testing, this year’s event brought together 12 brilliant speakers who excel in their respective fields to share inspiring stories & in-depth reflections on the industry and its recent trends.

The day started strongly with lots to learn from the Asian culture from Rohan Lightfoot, CGO of Mindshare APAC, live-streaming from Singapore. I’m not going to lie, our minds were blown by the examples used – Asia certainly is something else in terms of technology adoption and the trust towards AI. Digital rules such as treasuring the data, always being transactional, using AI in content creation, a rise of social commerce, and the “niche is a mass’’ were rules we all seemed to be writing down.

On the note of niche audiences, we did notice Fandoms being one of the common themes of the day and we certainly enjoyed Zoe Scaman’s (founder of Bodacious) thrilling speech on the topic. Mainly the importance of “moving away from reach and breadth and moving towards using niche audiences and depths instead”. Not just digging deep through platforms such as Reddit, but actually bringing people to the table is what matters. A brilliant example is Tesco Bank’s approach, using ethnography-observing people in their daily lives and bringing them to the table when making decisions.

Interestingly, the new ‘slow news’ idea brought by Tessa Murray, Director of Communications from Tortoise, uses a similar approach, by creating the ThinkIns-member groups where people share the news ideas. And we certainly agree – what is more important today than building authentic customer culture and valuing people’s opinions?

On the topic of authentic diversity within the workplace, here Rejoice Ojiaku, Co-Founder, B-Digital UK made some good points. Are you tokenizing people by making a perfunctory & symbolic effort to create an impression of inclusiveness? Rejoice drove to the heart of the matter emphasizing the unbreakable link between diversification and the boost in workplace productivity as well as out-of-the-box thinking.



It wouldn’t be a Digital Day if there wasn’t a good share of brave, out-of-the-box thinking ideas making us all laugh and think to ourselves: “how the hell do you come up with something like that’’? I’m sure this is not the first time you heard about Weetabix’s ‘Beanz on Bix’ tweet that delivered incredible results. Gareth Turner, Head of Marketing at Weetabix, the guy behind it all shared the insights behind the idea and how strategy met bravery. Ending with the thought: “what’s the worst that can happen’’, made us all think – probably nothing terrible in the case of Weetabix, but other brands maybe can’t be so bold.

We didn’t think anything could top that, until we heard the last speaker of the day, Oobah Butler (or at least we think it was him), a freelance journalist. Oobah became popular by creating a fake number 1 rated restaurant in London on TripAdvisor. Yep, it never existed. As it was not enough, he started sending ‘lookalikes’ of him around the world for interviews. Yep, nobody noticed. We had a laugh, yeah, but did we take anything meaningful from that? We did indeed. First, you can have a much better impact by thinking outside the box, but you probably knew that already. What struck a nerve here was that people seem to believe anything online that has enough hype around it, does that mean we should focus on building trust more than ever before?

A favourite of ours from the day was Angela Prentner-Smith, Founder of This is Milk. She captivated us all with her presentation on the topic of nurturing human skills in the age of automation. Should we do something just because we can? The concept of empathy & soft skills is never fully understood by these droids that are written by humans and likely programming their biases into them. We have machines that create foods, algorithms that generate digital creatives, and humanoid robots that screen people’s CVs at job interviews, but have we ever stopped for a second and asked the WHY question? Whether that’s technology adoption in our processes, new approaches such as bringing people to the table, or new crazy and brave ideas.