Digital Willow

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

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 Willow is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

CEO Amber Williamson won
Best Woman in Business in
London Southwark 2018
Southwark project
Digital Willow is a growth marketing consultancy;
generating leads and growing sales for businesses.
They specialise in digital marketing and media, crafting
a winning strategy, digging deep into customer data and
utilising their “superpowers” to deliver clients a return on their
investment. Founder and CEO Amber Williamson is a successful
entrepreneur whose dynamic leadership is increasingly being
recognised nationally and internationally. The success of Digital
Willow saw her named as winner of the Adelaide Smith Best
Woman in Business and the Best Woman in Business award at
the Southwark Business Excellence Awards in 2018. Amber tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about its success.
I have specialised in marketing for my entire career, specifically focusing on digital
and growth marketing in the last 11 years. I have led digital marketing strategies
for MNCs including Microsoft, Burberry, Honda, MasterCard, Xbox, Cadbury,
LVMH, Mondelez and Exxon, but in 2010 I left a senior global partnership role,
managing marketing budgets of more than $200 million across 72 countries, to set
up my dream business in London Bridge.
Today, I spend my time helping ambitious businesses in a variety of sectors (from
professional services to entertainment) grow and flourish into market leaders. It
was a massive decision both financially and emotionally, with a lot of sacrifices
along the way. Yet I dreamt of creating a business that looked after their staff,
wasn’t interested in office politics, delivered quality work and results and really
»Founder and CEO
»Founded in 2011
»Based in London Bridge, with
offices soon to open in Dubai
»Services: Delivery of digital
marketing services actively in
over 45 countries, specialising
in professional services and
entertainment and leisure
»No. of full-time employees: 10
»Turnover growth in September
2018 was 72 per cent increase
on the previous 12 months
Digital Willow
Highlighting best practice
cared about helping other businesses
grow. Bringing my dream to life has
been perhaps the most rewarding
experience I could ask for.
I am passionate about helping people
and businesses grow into the best
version they can possibly be. This is
how I behold the life of a marketing
professional and a CEO. To lead is not
always to be the toughest person in
the room. I believe it is essential to
show your vulnerability. Painting my
world rose-coloured doesn’t connect
with people. As a leader I do my best
to be open about the challenges the
business and clients are facing and to
be inclusive about the decisions I am
planning to take. I am highly driven
and conscientious – most often the last
to leave and always looking for that
sprinkle of special sugar that will make
our strategies beat the rest.
Nurturing and empowering
Our mantra is that there is always
a solution to every problem, and
that applies in all aspects of life.
The world is open to possibilities if
you stay focused on the goal. Find
your courage, make a decision and
learn from your mistakes. Leadership
requires ever-green learning and focus.
I believe leadership is the fine balance
between nurturing staff, inspiration,
providing a vision, upholding high
standards and setting clear boundaries.
As women, we are often taught
to be crowd pleasers, displaying a
willingness to serve and comply.
Saying yes, however, doesn’t always
lead to the best outcome. Not every
customer is right for every business.
We identify best fit by identifying
those interested in a value exchange,
maintaining Digital Willow’s culture
and highstandards.
A happy workplace perpetuates
loyalty, quality and productivity.
Shawn Achor’s book
The Happiness
resonated with me and
highlighted what was missing during
my years in corporate advertising. I
encourage both clients and the team
to be inquisitive, collaborative and to
approach the day with a smile and a
sense of mischief. As Eleanor Roosevelt
said: “Well-behaved women rarely
make history.”
Working in the space of digital
technology and digital marketing
demands innovative at pace. We
are committed to vigorous learning.
For example, it is mind-blowing that
13 years ago YouTube didn’t even
exist and now it forms a key part of
communication plans. Every growth
plan that we create for clients includes
an element of “test and learn”. Ideally
this is about 10 to 15 per cent of the
total budget set aside purely for trying
new things. Usually this will involve
a new website, ad format, software
or experiment that we explore every
couple of weeks. We are always
optimising and improving, because the
landscape is changing quickly, and the
winners adapt at pace.
Our marketing philosophy
Seller-centric business models don’t
work any more. Instead, we aim to
always be helping, whether turning
around a declining sales pipeline
London Bridge-based
Find your
make a
decision and
learn from
your mistakes.
The time is
now to go
or launching a new product into a
competitive market; once a contract
is signed we become a dedicated
partner and fight for the best solution
for our clients. We offer free growth
marketing advice every week to
the world at large. This content is
published usually via ebooks or posts
and is freely available to whoever is in
need. Sure, some people might take
our secrets, use them and never pay a
penny, but in reality no one has time
to do it all themselves. When crunch
time comes and CEOs think, “I really
need some help if I am going to scale”,
they come knocking on ourdoor.
It is impossible to be amazing at
everything. The concept of an expert
all-rounder no longer exists. CEOs and
marketers have an extremely difficult
job trying to keep up with the fast-
paced change of technology. To solve
this challenge, we are formed by a
team of agile specialists. They extend
their client’s marketing teams and
remove the risk of paying for multiple
in-house salaries and overheads.
Entrepreneurial ethos
I built Digital Willow without
external investment, I used my
extensive industry expertise, drive
and determination to create a new,
fairer way of doing things. As most
entrepreneurs know, starting and
running a business isn’t easy, so there
needs to be this bigger force that takes
you through the dark and difficult
times and keeps you going.
Our success stems from ethical values,
which I am proud of. The customer
is always placed at the very heart of
all thinking, and in such a continually
evolving market, innovation and
new technologies are key to keeping
competitive. Furthermore, having fun
along the journey is a critical factor.
The team is like a second family and
we support each other along the highs
and lows on the pathway to success.
Creating a winning culture
Every year, we go on an all-
expenses-paid trip to another city
to expand our horizons, build better
relationships and learn about a new
culture. This year we are heading
to Majorca in a luxury villa with
two pools and a view to take your
breath way. We spoilt the team
with extra-special accommodation,
as we collectively smashed our
financial goals. During the trip we
spend time working on our future
together. The team examine better
ways of communicating with
different personalities and business
styles, innovating new services and
researching clients we would love to
work with.
The concept of
an expert all-
rounder no
longer exists.
CEOs have an
difficult job
trying to keep up
with the change
of technology
»Media planning
»Media buying and publisher
»Insights, analysis and reporting
»Search marketing PPC
»Social media
»Campaign management and
»Proximity marketing
»Brand reputation monitoring
»Lead generation and data mining
»Conversion funnel
»Display digital marketing
»Video promotion
»Content creation
»Email marketing
»Reviews and recommendation
»Conversion tracking
»Advertising research
Annual team trip
“Project Abroad”

This article was sponsored by Digital Willow. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.