Will Hayward from BuzzFeed Speaking at Adobe Summit

Sec­ond up in our series of blogs, where we get to know a lit­tle bit more about some of the speak­ers that will take to the stage at Adobe Sum­mit in Lon­don (14–15 May), is Will Hay­ward, vice pres­i­dent of adver­tis­ing for Buz­zFeed.

Will talks brav­ery in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and reveals his favourite cam­paign, which of course fea­tures a cat….being more like a dog!

Can you tell us a bit more about your role at BuzzFeed?

I head up the com­mer­cial side of the busi­ness in Europe — so the cre­ative work we do for brands, the sales team, the account man­age­ment team and our prod­uct positioning.


What key dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing trend do you see mak­ing it big by the end of 2014?

I think brand own­ers will final­ly move beyond the age of des­ti­na­tions. This is some­thing that very much belongs in the his­to­ry books — the idea that the entire func­tion of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing is to dri­ve clicks through to a web­site is as equal­ly lim­it­ing to your inter­ac­tion with cus­tomers as it is unre­al­is­tic. Lets work hard­er to go to where con­sumers are, and tell sto­ries so good that they get shared across the social web.

What are you most look­ing for­ward to at Sum­mit this year?


Can you give us a lit­tle teas­er into what you will be explor­ing in your Sum­mit talk?

We think about social cur­ren­cy quite often. Why do peo­ple share? What is it about the bits of con­tent that they share that makes them want to do so? And how can brands cre­ate some­thing of val­ue that would encour­age their tar­get audi­ence to repost the content?

What is your favourite thing about being a dig­i­tal marketer?

The pace. Work­ing with real­ly smart peo­ple. Think­ing about the future and focus­ing on the cre­ation of great work, in-spite of the dearth of such work in the market.

What cam­paigns have inspired you the most recently?

O2’s be more dog, of course.

If you were giv­en com­plete free­dom, both cre­ative­ly and finan­cial­ly, what would you do next?

There is a com­mon pot of brand val­ues that all mar­keters claim — cus­tomer first, inclu­siv­i­ty, tech focused. If I had total free­dom I would focus on work that defines what a brand ISN’T — Face­book do this well (they aren’t per­fec­tion­ists, they “move fast and break things), as I think Apple do (they aren’t human­ised, they are to a cer­tain extent anony­mous). That doesn’t require finan­cial free­dom, just a lit­tle bravery.

To hear more from Will come down to Adobe Sum­mit in Lon­don on 14–15 May, fol­low him on Twit­ter (@billyhayward) and tell us what you think by tak­ing part in the ‪#Adobe­Sum­mit con­ver­sa­tion.