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How often do we read or hear about how important it is for businesses to build up their digital assets? By this I am referring to their digital footprint, so in additional to their website, the complete digital experience including social media presence, outreach strategy, and mobile experience. Surely every business needs to invest in its digital assets. However less is written these days about the need for businesses to develop their people (a much more appropriate word than human assets or human resources).

I was privileged recently to attend a conference organised by one of our clients where theme was “personalisation”. I had wrongly expected the emphasis to be on travel companies creating tailored content and offers for its customers as part of its digital marketing communications. It was actually inspiring to hear most of the speakers emphasize the critical value of its workforce in defining the brand. For instance, Virgin possess a glossy red logo that is recognised all over the world, but it is the customer facing staff of Virgin that embody what that brand stands for, and it was the company’s founder that instilled this and made sure it became part of their DNA. An example was given where one of the speakers regularly walks past his nearest coffee shop where the coffee is slightly superior, to visit one 400 metres further on because he enjoys the genuine engagement and conversation with the of the staff. It was the people that delivered the product rather than the product itself that was the differentiator. In an increasingly digitalised world, we shouldn’t forget the human factor.

You may have the best travel website that secures the customer’s booking this year, but it more likely that it will be the experience that they have when travelling or on holiday that will determine who they book with next time round, and that experience is likely to be defined by the service and human interaction they have received on board or in resort.

Ian Brooks, Co Founder

Photograph by Pejman Parvandi Photo ( via

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