Digital Uncut Director Sam Martin-Ross Shared His Insights Into Digital Transformation

With the COVID-19 crisis, being digital has been more and more important. It has different effects on each sector. We believe that digital agencies are the experienced ones who can guide sectors through their digital transformation.

Managing Director at Digital Uncut, Sam Martin-Ross, has enlightened us with his insights into digital transformation. He explained how they have handled this process as a digital agency and how the sectors have been affected by the crisis.

Q1. Digital transformation for companies and brands has become almost mandatory in a very short time. As a digital agency, how are you handling this process? Can you please share some concrete examples elaborating your digital transformation process?

We’re trying to lead our clients in transforming their digital marketing strategies to be better suited for the current situation and the future ‘new normal’. We’re doing this in our regular catch-ups with clients, where we re-assess strategy and performance. There are two areas we’ve looked at in particular; spend and messaging. For a number of clients, it makes sense to pull back on, or even pause marketing, and we’re the first to recommend it if needs be. For others, we’ve looked at how their messaging needs to change to match their target audience’s new concerns.

Q2. Can you share some precautions you have taken to continue business as usual during the COVID-19 outbreak?

In many ways, we were always ready to continue business as usual. All our work is on the cloud and so we didn’t have much difficulty technically. We’ve always used tools like Slack, Asana and Zoom/Google Meet to be connected and organised with clients internationally. Beyond that, we’re trying to keep motivation up and provide a social atmosphere for the team through things like Zoom drinks post-work or ordering surprise snacks through Amazon to employees homes.

Q3. What industries are your clients mainly focused on? How has COVID-19 affected these industries?

We work with startups and scaleups across a wide range of industries, and as a result, we’ve seen the full spectrum of results. From travel where all marketing spends has been paused, to logistics and even virtual tours where there’s almost been unprecedented demand.

Q4. What are your insights into digital transformation within different industries? How do you think they will evolve?

There are a few industries where how things will evolve is becoming clearer. For example, retail where ‘buy online pick up curbside’ is going to very quickly become widespread, particularly in the US. Or for example with real estate, where virtual tours will become the norm before going to a property. That being said, it’s perhaps harder now than ever to try and predict how things will be in the future. Who can ever have said six months ago they’d expect to be in this situation.


Q5. Companies are now investing more on various digital channels. Based on your know-how in digital marketing, which sectors should focus on investing in which digital channels?

I’d recommend that businesses who target large audience sizes consider investing in Facebook, Instagram and YouTube advertising. These platforms tend to perform better for mass-market products/services due to the targeting options available and we’ve seen average CPM on Facebook & Instagram fall 21% MoM in April, making now one of the cheapest times ever to advertise there. This is because there’s increased ad inventory with more of using the platforms, and this has been compounded by fewer advertisers bidding on the inventory.

Q6. After the COVID-19 crisis, it is expected that the need for digital agencies will increase. Companies will invest in digital more than ever. In this case, why do you think they should partner with your digital agency?

If they’re a startup or scaleup then I’d like to think they would partner with us for all the same reasons as before COVID-19 🙂 . That being said, we’re genuinely in this to support our client’s growth and provide honest advice to do so. I hope our actions over this time will prove this.

Q7. Are there any practices that you have adjusted during COVID-19 that you would like to continue after this crisis ends? (e.g. remote working)

We’re strongly considering keeping remote working in place, it has been that successful. For us, the cost of an office is effectively the cost of a new team member, which would provide additional value for our clients. At the moment; however, we’re not making any concrete plans.

Q8. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?

DAN has contributed to our success so far in at least two ways. Firstly, the network is great for knowledge sharing, which is incredibly important in digital given how fast-paced change is. Additionally, it gives us exposure that we’d otherwise find hard to get.