Dan Berry: A day in the life

Getting the inside-story, we interview the people who make our business tick. This month it's the turn of our leader, Group CEO, Dan Berry. With the recent acquisition of Delete and a healthy investment in Kagool’s future growth plan; Dan Berry shares the group’s ambition as he looks to expand further with new opportunities in the market.

Dan Berry / Group CEO

Dan Berry: A day in the life

Please describe your job: what do you do?

As Group CEO I drive the strategic leadership and vision at Delete / Kagool, as part of our overall plan to develop and build the agency into a CX and DXP powerhouse over the next five years. With our recent investment from BGF, I also spend a lot of time with investors and other agency leaders, spying and looking for future opps and acquisition targets.

Talk us through a typical day

Like so many others, the last year has seen me predominantly working from home. A typical day will see me catch up with various members of my team who are leading in the integration and commercial growth of the business. I try to empower as much as possible and tend to coach and direct rather than manage. I also spend quite a lot of time considering our positioning, proposition, and services in the context of the market and what our clients need. Research and distilling this into actionable plans is another key task. On top of that is spread a healthy number of emails and calls with clients, partners and the wider business, as you’d expect.

How do you maintain an effective work/life balance?

Work-life balance is important to me – I am pretty disciplined.  I work to a routine and try not to go too far out of the 9.00-5.30. Kagool’s age range means our people have lots of personal challenges, whether as first-time parents, or buying a first home, and I believe we should work to live not live to work.

Our process and way of executing our proposition is well thought through and mature – and our ability to deliver is not based on running around like headless chickens. We’ve maintained our IIP Gold (Investors in People) accreditation for the past four years now. It is really important to me. I want us to be progressive in terms of representation. It’s hard to get women into STEM subjects and I want to improve and encourage a 50/50 split.

Personally, I’ve lived in Wales for 20 years now and have been married for 17 – we have two kids, I’m a big Spurs fan, which is going surprisingly well for me this year! To relax I like a round of golf – although not so often since the pandemic – oh and I also love a boxset or bit of Netflix to unwind.

How has strategy changed over the past year at Delete / Kagool?

Acquiring Delete has expanded our service offer and the focus on our future journey to grow our offerings has been significant. We are still proudly independent but also boldly ambitious. We are focused on core DXP and CX specialisms but now have the ability to deliver them at a greater scale. It is a really exciting time for us, despite the inevitable challenges that the pandemic has brought both to our people and our clients.

How has customer behaviour (or your clients’ customer behaviour) changed during the pandemic?

I’d say it has gone in cycles. Initially there was shock. Some went effortlessly into working remotely. Others had to scramble to get into remote working, to collaborate remotely both themselves and with their clients. Then came acceptance, adaptation and change – people became more circumspect, had to furlough staff and mitigate risk. Then the more progressive brands started to look into the future; ready for post-Covid world and to focus on getting ahead of the curve. We’ve handled the second wave with a more experienced and wiser customer. We’re working around the pandemic better and our customers have changed their processes, policies and manpower to survive. Some have seen it as an opportunity to get ahead of the game and to be more proactive.

What do you predict for the future?

Those who weren’t on board for digital transformation are now – as Satya Nadella put it, we’ve seen more digital transformation in the last two months than in the last two years. Those businesses who don’t have a strong digital presence have struggled to survive, whereas those who are digitally robust have thrived. The leaders in this space are doubling down to do even more, others are working hard to catch up, having realised they’ve had a close shave. Smart companies are spotting the gaps in the customer journey that have been brought into sharp focus by the pandemic and are filling them with new innovations that enhance the experience and keep them ahead of their competitors.

What advice would you give a marketer right now?

Lead with experiences and follow through with transformation. Bring creative thought and expression to the forefront of your planning to differentiate your brand experience. See the customer experience as the driver of your business and develop innovation as a service to keep ahead of your competition.

To learn more about our digital services or to apply to work with fantastic professionals like Dan, please get in touch.