Digital Enterprise Festival Birmingham Speaker Insights: Neil Davidson MD HeyHuman Written by admin1975 on December 1, 2017

We grab 5 minutes with Neil Davidson MD of HeyHuman, an independent integrated agency focused on brand, social & experiential. Neil will be taking a session at our November event in tandem with HeyHuman’s Director Of Innovation Dan Machen on “Being Human Brands: Relationships, Behaviours & Brains”

Go to for the speaker line-up, agenda & ticket info.

DEF – Welcome to the programme Neil and Dan, for those who don’t already know you who are HeyHuman & how do you help brands?

HH – Thank you. HeyHuman is an independent integrated agency of 80 plus people, focused on brand and brand content, digital, social and experiential. We launched HeyHuman three years ago as we believed that business and marketing hadn’t done enough to think and work differently in reaction to the massive shifts of how people connect with brands. We want to help brands do this through tapping into new brand relationships, behavioural economics and neuroscience. Our aim is to help clients build what we call Human Brands, brands that connect with people in an increasingly disconnected world.

DEF – You are working with some serious brands such as Sony, Danone, Unilever & Mondelez, why are these global mega brands choosing to trust HH with their campaigns & budgets?

HH – I wouldn’t presume to speak for our clients. However, I hope it’s because we’re focused on new approaches as competitive advantages and using these to help with perennial challenges such as global/local strategies, marketing effectiveness and the need for agility and creativity. We want to do things differently, not just for the sake of it but for commercially focused outcomes for our clients. We want our investment in new approaches to have an incremental effect for our clients.

DEF – With so many new & exciting Digital technologies available to brands which new trends do you predict will have the biggest impact in 2018?

HH – This year’s headlines have been dominated by AR/VR/MR and AI. The opportunity for new tech is where they create greater value by dialling up smarter, contextually relevant solutions that cut through the noise. The sci-fi end of tech is exciting but more immediate value will come from smart micro-targeting in social media. We need to make sure we ‘keep the human in the machine’ by allowing automation to iterate based on the best possible brain-friendly creative created by and for people.

Neil Davidson: “We want to do things differently, not just for the sake of it but for commercially focused outcomes for our clients. We want our investment in new approaches to have an incremental effect for our clients.”
DEF – Which recent examples of combining creativity & technology have particularly impressed you?

HH – Amazon Echo is a smash hit new form of technology. Natural language processing has improved more in two years that in the last fifteen. This means that voice control and the wide array of services (Uber, Dominos etc.), make Echo an attractive proposition. The best thing on Echo through is the creativity in their communications – by listening, adapting and simplifying for people what Echo is good for, Amazon have built a really human brand:

DEF – What’s your take on the In House v Outsource debate?

HH – Both have their role and place but it’s important to be clear on why we choose one over the other and not just cost-cutting. In-house helps drive collaboration and agility, while outsourcing provides the distance that is needed to be a true dispassionate trusted advisor. Some large clients are bringing in in-house partners and ways of working but this still leaves opportunities for agencies who add value and deliver as trusted advisors.

DEF – We are looking forward to your session in November, what can we expect to learn?

HH – So are we! We want to help people see the opportunities to tap into what have until now been the insightful but relatively inaccessible areas of behavioural economics and neuroscience to maximise creativity and effectiveness. Much has been said about these but the opportunities are still not being maximised for digital and social. People will hopefully learn from what we’ve achieved from clients, as well as some of the things we got wrong along the way!

Appreciate your time Neil, you can hear more about how HeyHuman are helping brands by securing your place at our event, head over to our site to check out the awesome speaker line-up, agenda & ticket offers

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