A Digital Perspective: Gavin Heaton


Gavin Heaton is truly one of my biggest inspirations and I’m sure if I asked any more questions at coffee mornings we’d be there all day.  Not only is he the author of Servant of Chaos – one of the most influential blogs in Australia – but he also co-publishes and is an author of the Age of Conversation.

Best digital memory of 2008?

I loved MyVegas … I had just been to Los Vegas for the first time and loved the way that the site captured the energy and playfulness of the real world experience.

What’s the best lesson the industry could learn?

The most important thing is to not forget the basics. While social media is transforming what marketers and advertisers are doing, it needs to be integrated into your overall marketing efforts and aligned with your business strategy. Without that, any efforts will whither on the vine.

What’s emerging for 2009?

Deeper integration. We will see profile information being linked with consumer action points. As brands start to see how the social graph data can be used (nicely) via services like Facebook Connect or Google’s Friend Connect, there will be some real value delivered to both consumers and businesses. Of course, there will also be some high profile faux pas … but the opportunity is there for the taking.

What will be big in 2013?

Five years ago Facebook was on the ropes. Now it’s emerged as a premier platform … something that I would never have predicted in 2003. My guess, is that in 2013, we will have some hardcore business metrics connected to what we call “brand value”. This will change the game and the players in the advertising space. We will see more agencies hiring business consultants and more business consultancies hiring creative directors.

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Tom Voirol at 3:46 pm

    Good to get your take on the past, present and future, Gavin. And thanks for capturing it, Jye.

    But what is that little word* there at the beginning of the second line after “What’s emerging for 2009″? And again in the next paragraph? Hast thou sinned, o servant of chaos?

    * Just in case some of you don’t know what I’m on about: http://www.servantofchaos.com/2009/01/brand-free-january.html

  2. Jye Author at 3:53 pm

    Gavin actually wrote this in December. Must apologise :) My bad. Gavin is still true to his word!

  3. Ben at 11:19 am

    “We will see more agencies hiring business consultants and more business consultancies hiring creative directors.”

    good point gavin … and it’s already happening

  4. Gavin heaton at 4:24 pm

    thanks jye … Interesting questions but it will be most interesting to revisit in 12 months time don’t you think?

  5. Jye Author at 7:56 am

    Well now you’re giving away all my secrets, Gavin.

    It’s important to remember where we’re coming from, to know where we are headed.