'Don't disappear up your own arse', warns William Hill CMO

William Hill CMO Kristof Fahy urged brands not to over-complicate content and measurement by "disappearing up their own arse" during a panel discussion at BrandMAX this week.

William Hill's Football Brasilia show features footballers such as John Barnes
William Hill's Football Brasilia show features footballers such as John Barnes

Both William Hill and fellow panelist Just Eat admitted that they found the majority of content measurement to be irrelevant and over-complicated, suggesting that it's better to get content "out there" and to measure later.

Kristof Fahy, CMO at William Hill, argued that betting companies are well placed to comment on the issue because as a business they have always had to create content to encourage betting.

"For the ROI big picture, we are the prime case study. What I do know is that it works, but one question is measuring," he said, "Do it first and measure it later. You'll never do the right thing otherwise. If you understand your brand and customers, content should be relatively easy."

Fahy explained that William Hill doesn’t run a brand tracker because asking someone whether they liked the brand would depend on whether they’d recently won £20 or lost £20. He said the brand focused on two key metrics; new account growth and turnover, and directed all content and marketing KPIs to them.

Do it first and measure it later. You'll never do the right thing otherwise. If you understand your brand and customers, content should be relatively easy

"[WIlliam Hill is] horrifically focused on the numbers; new account growth and turnover. Once you start disappearing up your own arse as a brand, you have to come back to the fundamentals; who is our audience and what are they doing?" he said.

He referenced his time at Orange, which he believed fell foul to this mistake. "At Orange we did disappear up our arses, we forgot the point; how many phones are we selling?" He urged marketers to remember that customers were ultimately paying their wages.

He also cited William Hill’s World Cup success, claiming that they were the number one betting brand across the tournament earlier this year. However, he said that it was difficult to attribute that success to its investment in content. The brand launched an online TV show with James Richardson that featured famous footballers, but he also questioned whether it was down to its odds slashing for key games which was essentially "giving money away".

Just Eat CMO Mat Braddy supported Fahy’s views on using brand and customer knowledge to power content decisions. He said: "Content is not king, it's the context. The context of how I use Vine versus Snapchat, for example, they all have completely different contexts in my digital life. Context is forgotten in a lot in conversations about content."



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