Meet our member, David Collyer

This week we spoke to David Collyer, Chief Growth Officer at 1HQ to find out more about his career and how marketers can be changemakers.

David is a classically trained FTSE 100 ‘T-Shaped’ senior level Brand, Marketing & Digital leader, with over twenty years award winning strategic experience, both agency and client-side.

David is a specialist in marketing transformation that drives revenue growth & EBITDA acceleration: Brand architecture and proposition, creative strategy, marketing function capability, operational best practice, efficiency, and effectiveness.

What's your golden rule?

Always look at your objective through the lens of the customer –  not the business. Most marketers are NOT the customer. The most powerful marketing is that which is truly customer insight driven… and powerful marketing will always achieve the business objective. 

Who has been your biggest influence?

My uncle, personally & professionally. He got me into this industry, and has been my coach, mentor and council ever since. What he doesn’t know about brands, marketing and business isn’t worth knowing!

What is your most hated business expression?

Work hard, play hard’ – it has no place in today’s business vernacular, it’s so 1980’s yet people still use it! Or is it ‘Marketing Guru…. ‘normally only used by complete idiots in my experience! Who know nothing about either marketing or Hinduism! 

How can marketers lead change?

By empowering people, the business (and brands) to understand and communicate the benefits change brings. Change is a good thing, however something I have learnt over the due course of my career though is that not everyone embraces change or believes its positive, especially junior team members. Having empathy within change (and how change effects people and teams) is the biggest strength I have learnt when leading change. 

What's the biggest risk you've taken in your career?

Walking into the boardroom, 3 months into a big MD role, with an econometrics presentation instead of a creative rationale, route & media plan for a very big TV/seasonal campaign! I remember saying to myself just before hand “this is either strategic genius or I was getting fired”. I didn’t get fired!

Which leader do you admire most and why?

That’s a hard one. JFK?, Churchill?, HM the Queen….? No its one of two, either Deigo Dalle Valle (CEO/Owner of Tods) or Brunello Cuccinelli (CE/owner of Brunello Cuccinelli). Creatively the are both gods but also, they do some amazing work for their communities, the arts and the planet but more than this (and both for a very similar reason) how they treat their people. If I had to choose it would be Brunello Cuccinelli. He has a policy that allows all of his people from the COO to the Cleaners to be able to wear his brand – instilling a pride in the brand, the quality, the work they do and therefore the role they play in the company’s success. I think having pride in the work you do is very important. As a leader and employer understanding this and doing something positive about it for your people, regardless of cost, is highly admirable in my book. Can you imagine the scenario: truck driver attends family wedding and meets someone he’s never met before; 
“love your suit, where’s it from”? 
“Brunello Cuccinelli”
“Wow… who do you work for/what line of business are you in?”
“Brunello Cuccinelli – I’m a truck driver!” 
I love that! 

What's your favourite word?


Tell us a secret

A gentleman never reveals his secrets!




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