‘Never let failure stop you coming up with new ideas’, says Adtrak CEO


Chris Robinson, managing director, Adtrak

Can you tell us a bit more about Adtrak and the clients that you work with?

Adtrak is a digital marketing agency based in Nottingham. As a full-service agency, we offer an innovative range of digital marketing services – including web design, SEO, paid marketing, graphic design, copywriting and photography.

Adtrak is also a Google Premier Partner and I’m a member of Google’s Premier Executive Council – one of 110 companies from across the world. This is an exclusive global forum that brings together CEOs and senior executives from leading Google Premier Partners. Together, we discuss strategic issues, key industry trends and opportunities.

Adtrak celebrated 20 years in business last July. What do you think contributes to the overall success and growth of your business?

One of our mottos is ‘we hire great people and produce great results’ and I really think it is within these values that our success lies.

We believe our greatest asset is our staff. Adtrak is all about its people and it is these people who make the company such a special place to work. It also enables us to deliver a client experience which is professional, yet relaxed and informal.

How do you ensure that you build the right team to continue growth? What sort of skills do you look for?

It’s incredibly important for us to build and retain a talented team. In order to do this, we’re committed to the growth and development of our staff and prioritise promoting from within. We regularly hire young people straight from college and university and heavily invest in both internal and external training, conferences and events. We also run a successful apprenticeship scheme, then promote these people through the ranks upon completion of their apprenticeship.

We have an above average staff retention level, here at Adtrak, and this is thanks to dedication to learning, our working environment and our respect for each other.

What do you think are currently the biggest digital challenges facing businesses today?

Working in the digital industry is both challenging and exciting. The speed of change is so fast and what we did six months ago is not necessarily what we will be doing now. Businesses now have to be quick and adaptable and we have had to evolve considerably over the past 20 years to meet changing digital demand.

Currently, some of the biggest challenges facing our industry are voice recognition, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. For example, voice activated machines such as Alexa could slowly erode the need for web sites in the future.  As their technology and popularity increase, they are being pushed to try and eliminate the element of choice for the consumer and in the future all adverts served could be paid adverts only.

Mobile phones have also simplified website content, which has impacted the design and functionality of sites.

The digital space will continually change as application and human behaviour changes and it is our job to react and adapt accordingly.

Why is being digitally-minded so important for businesses?

It’s been predicted that this year, 40% of the world’s ad spend will be used for online advertising. This means it is now more important than ever to compete within this marketplace and promote your business online. Having a successful digital marketing strategy that delivers on agreed KPI metrics will ensure success is achieved by any type of business, whether they operate locally, nationally or internationally.

Businesses, who do not utilise this type of marketing are likely to either suffer a down turn or, in some instances, become completely unprofitable. Investing in online marketing services is no longer a choice – it is essential.

Do you have any key ambitions for the future of Adtrak?

Our main objective is to continue to adapt and innovate in a very dynamic market place.

What was the best business advice you have ever received?

I have received two pieces of advice that have stuck with me throughout my career: “Chris, it doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make, just don’t make them twice and don’t make them too big.”

“Never let failure stop you coming up with new ideas.”