Digital Oyster

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Digital Oyster's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Digital Oyster is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.digitaloyster.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | DIGITAL OYSTER
CEO Alexander Scovell
High-quality, direct
response sales leads
With a growth of 200 per cent year on year, from small
beginnings in 2013, Digital Oyster has become one
of the UK’s leading native advertising companies. It
provides high-quality, direct-response sales leads to a spectrum
of clients in real time and has supported the growth of a
number of businesses ranging from modelling agencies to life
insurance. CEO Alexander Scovell discusses their approach and
aspiration for further improvement and expansion.
We aspire to be the best in everything we do. One common theme runs through
all our services: we deliver results. As a niche industry, there is unfortunately no off-
the-shelf how-to guide, which has resulted in much trial and error.
Native advertising as a concept is fairly simple. In a nutshell, a prospect visits a
website such as the
Daily Mail
, they see an ad on the page, it takes their interest
and they click on it. This takes them to an equally interesting and informative article
about our client’s product. If they are still interested in the product after reading
the advertorial, they will then click on another link in the article and be taken to the
final website – our client’s landing page. They will then take a desired action, such
as fill out a form, and become a warm lead for a hungry call centre.
The highly skilled team at Digital Oyster handle, manage, build and optimise this
whole process. Every word and every image is carefully chosen and implemented
into this process – and don’t get us started on the amount of coding and analytics
going on behind the scenes; even Alice wouldn’t venture down this rabbit hole.
FACTS ABOUT
DIGITAL OYSTER
»CEO: Alexander Scovell
»Established in 2013
»Based in Steyning, West Sussex
»Services: Online lead
generation
»No. of employees: 12
»Our ads have been shown over
6 billion times and generated
over £850,000 in 2018
Digital Oyster
27DIGITAL OYSTER |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
So, what makes these leads so special?
By the time the prospect has reached
the landing page, they have shown
interest in the product for up to ten
minutes or more, including reading
an article about the product and
filling out a number of details to be
contacted. As you can imagine, this is
an ideal lead for a call centre, eager to
pounce on a lead at any moment.
Only paid for performance
Unlike many advertising agencies,
Digital Oyster put their money where
their mouth is – clients pay for
results and nothing more. We don’t
charge for the sites we build or the
advertorials we write to promote our
clients’ products. This means they
get the highest return possible on
investment on their marketing spend.
The way we work means we lose a
significant amount of money ourselves
before we break even.
This is unfortunately the nature of
the beast until we have analysed,
optimised and tested the campaign.
Once we have broken even, we make
up for the revenue lost in volume –
we’re able to generate thousands of
interested leads on a daily basis. That’s
our bag: large-volume, high-quality
leads. As such we need to choose our
clients carefully; we need a company
that can cope with a steady stream
of leads delivered in real time and
that can process these with the care
and attention they deserve. We need
to work with companies who value
theircustomers.
Brilliance in everything
Our philosophy is to always achieve
brilliance. Brilliance in our creatives.
Brilliance in our analytics. Brilliance
in our results. Most importantly,
brilliance for our clients. The rationale
is that if our product is brilliant,
everything else will fall into place. It’s
the determination for brilliance that
pushes us to become world leaders in
the native space, creating brilliant and
innovative campaigns for our clients.
And our philosophy is working – for us
and our clients. We currently have 12
people dedicated to campaign analysis,
testing and optimisation. As for
salespeople – we don’t even have one.
We’ve found that our results speak
forthemselves.
Our success is based on our clients’
success. If we’re able to provide the
best leads for them, they will divert
more of their marketing budgets to
us – allowing us to grow and nurture
their campaigns and create even higher
quality leads. As you are probably
now starting to gather, the name of
the game is optimisation, testing and,
most importantly, quality.
Digital Oyster was recognised at the
Digital Entrepreneur Awards, as we
scooped the Best Social Campaign
of 2017 for generating 244,000
leads in an already saturated market.
Needless to say, we were delighted,
especially standing against such
strong competition. We are constantly
pushing to step up our game, and our
clients are more than pleased with
the results. We have developed close,
long-term relationships and we’ve
been heartwarmed by plenty of word-
of-mouth referrals: truly one of the
best marks of success.
Committed to a
“Brilliant” philosophy
Unlike many
advertising
agencies, Digital
Oyster put their
money where
their mouth is
– clients pay for
results and
nothing more
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | DIGITAL OYSTER
CEO Alexander Scovell
High-quality, direct
response sales leads
With a growth of 200 per cent year on year, from small
beginnings in 2013, Digital Oyster has become one
of the UK’s leading native advertising companies. It
provides high-quality, direct-response sales leads to a spectrum
of clients in real time and has supported the growth of a
number of businesses ranging from modelling agencies to life
insurance. CEO Alexander Scovell discusses their approach and
aspiration for further improvement and expansion.
We aspire to be the best in everything we do. One common theme runs through
all our services: we deliver results. As a niche industry, there is unfortunately no off-
the-shelf how-to guide, which has resulted in much trial and error.
Native advertising as a concept is fairly simple. In a nutshell, a prospect visits a
website such as the
Daily Mail
, they see an ad on the page, it takes their interest
and they click on it. This takes them to an equally interesting and informative article
about our client’s product. If they are still interested in the product after reading
the advertorial, they will then click on another link in the article and be taken to the
final website – our client’s landing page. They will then take a desired action, such
as fill out a form, and become a warm lead for a hungry call centre.
The highly skilled team at Digital Oyster handle, manage, build and optimise this
whole process. Every word and every image is carefully chosen and implemented
into this process – and don’t get us started on the amount of coding and analytics
going on behind the scenes; even Alice wouldn’t venture down this rabbit hole.
FACTS ABOUT
DIGITAL OYSTER
»CEO: Alexander Scovell
»Established in 2013
»Based in Steyning, West Sussex
»Services: Online lead
generation
»No. of employees: 12
»Our ads have been shown over
6 billion times and generated
over £850,000 in 2018
Digital Oyster
27DIGITAL OYSTER |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
So, what makes these leads so special?
By the time the prospect has reached
the landing page, they have shown
interest in the product for up to ten
minutes or more, including reading
an article about the product and
filling out a number of details to be
contacted. As you can imagine, this is
an ideal lead for a call centre, eager to
pounce on a lead at any moment.
Only paid for performance
Unlike many advertising agencies,
Digital Oyster put their money where
their mouth is – clients pay for
results and nothing more. We don’t
charge for the sites we build or the
advertorials we write to promote our
clients’ products. This means they
get the highest return possible on
investment on their marketing spend.
The way we work means we lose a
significant amount of money ourselves
before we break even.
This is unfortunately the nature of
the beast until we have analysed,
optimised and tested the campaign.
Once we have broken even, we make
up for the revenue lost in volume –
we’re able to generate thousands of
interested leads on a daily basis. That’s
our bag: large-volume, high-quality
leads. As such we need to choose our
clients carefully; we need a company
that can cope with a steady stream
of leads delivered in real time and
that can process these with the care
and attention they deserve. We need
to work with companies who value
theircustomers.
Brilliance in everything
Our philosophy is to always achieve
brilliance. Brilliance in our creatives.
Brilliance in our analytics. Brilliance
in our results. Most importantly,
brilliance for our clients. The rationale
is that if our product is brilliant,
everything else will fall into place. It’s
the determination for brilliance that
pushes us to become world leaders in
the native space, creating brilliant and
innovative campaigns for our clients.
And our philosophy is working – for us
and our clients. We currently have 12
people dedicated to campaign analysis,
testing and optimisation. As for
salespeople – we don’t even have one.
We’ve found that our results speak
forthemselves.
Our success is based on our clients’
success. If we’re able to provide the
best leads for them, they will divert
more of their marketing budgets to
us – allowing us to grow and nurture
their campaigns and create even higher
quality leads. As you are probably
now starting to gather, the name of
the game is optimisation, testing and,
most importantly, quality.
Digital Oyster was recognised at the
Digital Entrepreneur Awards, as we
scooped the Best Social Campaign
of 2017 for generating 244,000
leads in an already saturated market.
Needless to say, we were delighted,
especially standing against such
strong competition. We are constantly
pushing to step up our game, and our
clients are more than pleased with
the results. We have developed close,
long-term relationships and we’ve
been heartwarmed by plenty of word-
of-mouth referrals: truly one of the
best marks of success.
Committed to a
“Brilliant” philosophy
Unlike many
advertising
agencies, Digital
Oyster put their
money where
their mouth is
– clients pay for
results and
nothing more
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | DIGITAL OYSTER
Pivoting the company
Digital Oyster hasn’t always been a
native advertising company; we started
out life as a small but flexible email
marketing company, generating leads
via opt-in emails through compliant
data sources. Following the introduction
of the new GDPR legislation, and the
data owners’ inability to generate data
as quickly as they needed to remove
it, many of Digital Oysters’ affiliated
suppliers closed their businesses and
left theindustry.
This meant that we needed to pivot the
company or face the same fate. Because
of our experience in lead quality and
performance-based marketing, I started
dabbling in a few different avenues,
testing the water, but most importantly
the quality, at every step. Native
advertising, despite being perhaps the
biggest challenge, was the clear winner.
I recruited a bright and brilliant team,
who are not only given the freedom
to test new angles but who are
actually encouraged to discover new
insights. As native marketing is such
a new field, a culture of constant
experimenting and innovation is
essential. The volume of traffic we run
as a company allows us to carry out
robust tests and get valuable results
very quickly.
There is a cost – most experimental
ideas don’t work – and thousands of
pounds are lost every week through
this testing. We expect this and will
continue to – it’s the cost of constantly
pushing the bar to deliver nothing less
than brilliance for our clients.
This dynamic and confident mindset
keeps us delivering results a cut above
the rest of the market. We have the
energy and enthusiasm to continue to
drive progress, speeding forwards, and
we want to bring our clients with us.
Our formula is simple. We’re willing to
take the right risks and, combined with
the right imagination, we generate
high-quality results.
Our formula is
simple. We’re
willing to take
the right risks
and,
combined
with the right
imagination,
we generate
high-quality
results
The Digital Oyster team
29BRAND VISTA |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Co-founder Gary Moss
A happy global client after
one of our training events
Brand Vista helps clients to develop a customer experience
that is compelling, differentiating and efficient. It does
this by harnessing its innovation, brand, change and
research skills in a unique way that puts the client’s brand at
the centre of the experience. Every company and organisation
has a customer experience, and it covers the entire interaction
both digitally and physically, ranging from booking a viewing of
an apartment to experiencing a ride at a theme park. Andrew
Stothert and Gary Moss, who co-founded the company, explain
their efforts to create a new area of consultancy and the
challenges that face an agency based outside of London.
After meeting at J. Walter Thompson in 1990, we grew increasingly aware that
customer experience was becoming more and more the driver of the success of our
clients than communications. We could see that this was not simply a short-term
trend: it was a whole new era, especially with the onset of the internet, so we left
JWT in 2000 and set up Brand Vista.
Our sole objective when we left the agency was to support clients to build their
businesses by developing an irresistible customer experience driven by their brands.
This goal has remained unaltered, but the method by which we do it has been
slowly honed over time and made more effective as we have learned through
experience what does and doesn’t work.
FACTS ABOUT
BRAND VISTA
»Founders: Andrew Stothert
and Gary Moss
»Established in 2000
»Based in central Manchester
»Services: Customer experience
alignment
»No. of employees: 16 full-
time staff, with a network of
associates
»www.brand-vista.com
Brand Vista

www.digitaloyster.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Digital Oyster. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster