Dom Burch | The Innovator 25

Dom Burch

The Innovator 25: Dom Burch

Senior director, marketing innovation and revenue, Asda/Walmart


Paid Media & Marketing

"Innovation is not driven by seniority in my experience. It comes from spotting an opportunity and seizing the moment, gathering support, and being lucky"
Burch has emerged as a genuine social innovator at Walmart, where has spent more than a decade. Upon taking on social duties in 2013, he built a dedicated in-house team that revolutionised the brand's approach to content, as illustrated by the 'Mum's Eye View' Youtube channel. Along the way, he has become an authority on influencer relations and social marketing at scale, helping to usher in a much-needed focus on content and results.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Influencer relations

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
Lagging other industries.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Social media & online marketing.

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?
Innovation is not driven by seniority in my experience. It comes from spotting an opportunity and seizing the moment, gathering support, and being lucky.

How do you define innovation?
Spotting an opportunity or a problem that needs solving, having an idea, giving it a try, measuring if it worked, if it did crack on, if it didn't what did you learn. Repeat.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
None spring to mind. Sorry :(

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Samsung, Apple, Facebook, Twitter - all the usual ones I'm afraid,

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
Launching Mum's Eye View in March 2014 — a YouTube channel that features the UK's top YouTube talent, alongside up and coming vloggers. Had 6m views and attracted 150k subscribers in first 12 months. It is a 'pay to play' social media model where Asda has invested all of its budget in content, not media, to drive engagement and views.

Who is your mentor and why?
Jonathan Perks is my executive coach.   Nick Agarwal taught me everything I know about PR.  Judith McKenna and Jon Wragg gave me my big break at Asda.

How do you get inspired?
By spending time in San Bruno with Walmart colleagues. Travelling to events like SXSW in Austin. Reading interesting books. Speaking at events to calibrate my thinking.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Seek forgiveness, don't ask for permission. Try stuff out. Don't be afraid to fail. Measure everything. Build collaborations by investing time with people before you need anything in return. It's hard to make friends in a crisis. Put credit in the bank first.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
San Francisco - simply because it is a melting pot of ideas, investors, successful companies and bright people.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
In terms of work - when I first wake up. I'm alert, ready to be inspired, raring to go, and full of energy (unless I'm hungover). From a personal perspective, I'm happy most times of the day. But I do love an evening by the fire when it's cold, listening to 6 Music and tweeting away to my heart's content with a glass of red in hand. Or sat in the evening sun with a glass of something cold. Listening to 6 Music...