How can creative disruption shape the future?

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Meet the Dadi Awards judges: Deloitte Digital's Helen Wallace on clients increasingly having to rethink their whole business models

Helen Wallace

In the first of our series of interviews with the Dadi Awards judges, Deloitte Digital's Helen Wallace tells us how real digital disruption is reshaping clients' businesses.

As creative director of Deloitte Digital, a hybrid between an agency and consultancy with no account handlers or project managers in between, Helen Wallace sees clients' digital pressure points up close.

And increasingly, the growing pains of the digital age are forcing brands to completely rethink their digital strategies – and even their entire business models.

Ahead of judging this year's Dadi Awards in association with Workfront, Wallace talked to The Drum about the real impact 'digital disruption' is having on clients – and what that might mean for the kind of work we see entered into the Dadis this year.

She said: "The thing that surprised me that I’m starting to see more of now compared to working with an agency is that [clients] need to rethink their whole business model. It’s around total digital disruption rather than a digital trend.

"If you take pensions for example, people can buy direct from pension suppliers, and now suddenly pensions providers are having to rethink completely. It’s not just about creating products anymore, it’s about creating a brand experience and how to sell direct to consumer.

"So it’s not just about a good execution; it’s actually really more about how they can reinvent their business. They need to become more relevant to the demands of customers."

One way to remain relevant is to move towards agile working – the concept that you develop a project on the go rather than only make it live when it's finished, by which time consumer needs may have shifted or the technology might have become obsolete.

"The idea is that a project is in constant flux because it needs to be able to organically mould itself to the changing demands of customers as well as the new and evolving technologies that are coming out," Wallace said.

"Being able to rapidly prototype and test some of these theories is really important. [You're able to] collect data to see how people are responding and what the market really needs. It’s not about dictating one creative solution; it’s about challenging the creative team to find many creative solutions and finding the one that has the most impact."

With client businesses facing major disruption and agencies having to transform themselves to keep up, you might think entrants will need to do something drastic to catch the eye of the Dadi Awards judges this year.

But actually, it's simple solutions to complex problems that are most likely to impress Wallace.

"I think people do sometimes get a little too caught up on technical execution; you can’t get away from a great creative concept. For me it’s still about those brilliant, killer ideas that are simple yet brilliant."

The Dadis (The Drum awards for the digital industries), celebrates digital excellence, and are open for entries to agencies and clients throughout the UK until 5 June.

This year's judging panel includes senior digital figures from Bacardi, Visa, Virgin Media and more and The Drum will be catching up with more of the judges in the coming weeks.

For more details about the Dadi Awards in association with Workfront and Shazam, and to enter, visit

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