Marketing And Media Matters

Issue 99

Adam Blenkinsop - CEO at Revolution.

Did you always envisage a career in the Media Industry?

No, it happened by accident really. I never really saw myself working in an office-based role. Back at the end of 2007 I had applied to join the police and had also applied for a visa to move to Canada – I was keeping my options open!

In the meantime, I was offered a role in the North East as a web developer and with the increasingly turbulent global economic situation developing I decided to take that opportunity. That was the last interview I ever did.

What has been your career path so far?

I started my web career working for the ICT Curriculum Support Team in Northumberland County Council. My role there was to build educational games for kids in schools and support the roll out of a new Learner Management System across all schools in the county. From there I joined Revolution as their first web developer. I worked closely with Gill Burgess to build out the digital offering and grew with the business over the following 15 years, leading the digital team, becoming a director & shareholder and ultimately taking over as CEO in 2022.

What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?

Growing, and growing quickly, as we have done over the last few years is very challenging in a whole host of ways. Whether it’s about building a culture, an elite team, process efficiency or the human side of business, there’s always so many things that need your attention. Being ruthless with my time and having laser focus on the strategic objectives and our vision of becoming the UKs leading revenue growth specialists has certainly helped.

Who do you respect most in your industry?

The people I respect most are usually people I’ve worked closely with and had the opportunity to learn from and helped me grow. I’ve had the good fortune to work with some really great teams and individuals over the years but Matt Johnson at Form over in Liverpool would be pretty high up my list. Him and his team really helped me drive the business forwards when we started working with them a few years ago.

What is your greatest strength?

I think I have at least some of the qualities that make me a good leader. I try to be a facilitator as much as possible and built an environment that allows the people around me to flourish and perform to an elite level. I’m good at communicating a vision and simplifying the complex so that people can really focus on what matters most. I’m a fairly good problem solver which I think is really important in my day to day.

What is your biggest weakness?

I can be quite impatient at times. Sometimes it feels like my mind is moving at a million miles an hour. Earlier in my career I often found myself becoming frustrated when things didn’t progress as quickly as I wanted them to. I’ve worked really hard on trying to change that and be more patient when I need to be.

What has been your proudest achievement?

Having been part of Revolution for the last 16 years has been a huge privilege for me. I’m exceptionally proud of the business that we’ve built, especially in the face of significant adversity. We’ve lived through the 2008 financial crisis, global pandemics, wars, cost of living crises, energy crises and come out of the other side. We’ve got an excellent team and most importantly we consistently deliver huge amounts of value to our customers, helping them to grow their businesses. I couldn’t be prouder of that.

What are your future career aspirations?

I’m not really looking too far into the future in regards to my own career. My aspirations are secondary to the aspirations I and my SLT have for the business over the next couple of years. We’ve grown quickly over the last two years and don’t have any intention of slowing down. We’re in the process of expanding our footprint across the UK and breaking into some key European and North American territories. Alongside that, we’ve recently launched a sister business and are about to launch our own SaaS product in the next couple of weeks. I’m excited about all of those challenges and I’m not really looking beyond achieving our next set of objectives at the minute.

How do you see your industry evolving in the next 10 years?

I’d love to answer this question without mentioning AI but I think it’s inevitably going to have a big impact on the industry, the challenge is working out how to harness it in a meaningful and useful way. It’s one to monitor closely. I think the biggest shift we’ve made over the last few years has been moving away from commoditized services of a traditional marketing function and focussing entirely on the growth trajectory of our clients. For us, it will be a case of doubling down on that and continuing to cut through the noise and only focus on the real difference makers.

How do you like to unwind?

It feels like there’s not too much time to unwind at the moment between running the business, planning my wedding and juggling family life. When I do get some down time I love to travel, I try to tick somewhere off my bucket list every year. Closer to home, I’m into motorsport. For the last 4 or 5 years, me and my dad have been rally driving which has been a great way to blow off steam. It’s something that my dad used to do when I was a baby and I grew up watching a lot of rallying so it’s been really nice to do that together now that we’re both older.

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