‘It is our job to iden­tify the op­por­tu­ni­ties for clients and put them right in the cen­tre’

Adrian Allen, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of The To­mor­row Lab, dis­cusses the com­pany’s growth plans, how the fu­ture is dig­i­tal, and why peo­ple, not tech­nol­ogy, are his great­est as­set

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Ni Job Finder -

The brain­child of 36-year old Adrian Allen, in­no­va­tion-fo­cused com­pany The To­mor­row Lab has a busy sched­ule in the months ahead as it looks for­ward to mark­ing its 10th year of suc­cess in 2019. Damian Camp­bell, head of cor­po­rate sales at award-win­ning con­tract hire and ve­hi­cle man­age­ment firm Fleet Fi­nan­cial, digs into the com­pany’s cre­den­tials and finds out what makes him tick.

How did The To­mor­row Lab come about? As an en­tre­pre­neur, I’ve a keen eye for op­por­tu­ni­ties. In 2009, I felt there was a def­i­nite, grow­ing need among busi­nesses for clearer strate­gic ad­vice to as­sist in de­vel­op­ing a greater on­line pres­ence and to ex­ploit the op­por­tu­ni­ties in a very fast-mov­ing dig­i­tal world. I set up The To­mor­row Lab with just a hand­ful of staff and a clear fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing solid dig­i­tal so­lu­tions to help com­pa­nies be­gin that dig­i­tal jour­ney.

Although web­sites were my main­stay back then, our ser­vice of­fer has grown rapidly to max­imise a va­ri­ety of on­line en­gage­ment meth­ods, from so­cial me­dia, app de­vel­op­ment and man­age­ment to SEO, con­tent gen­er­a­tion and e-mail pro­mo­tions.

Tell me about the com­pany now. After a strong pe­riod of growth, adding clients and in­creas­ing our spe­cialisms with new, ex­pe­ri­enced staff, we merged with 3Sixty Cre­ate in 2016 and we con­tinue to trade un­der The To­mor­row Lab name. We’ve 18 staff made up of web de­sign­ers, de­vel­op­ers and dig­i­tal ex­perts. Recog­nis­ing that in­te­gra­tion in dig­i­tal is vi­tal across all plat­forms. We are also part of the Pierce Part­ner­ship group of com­pa­nies which means we can di­rectly ac­cess brand, de­sign and me­dia ex­per­tise. How do you stay ahead in such a fast-mov­ing en­vi­ron­ment? It may not have been as preva­lent when I started up, but to­day, as the in­ter­net con­tin­ues to be be- come ever more en­twined with ev­ery­thing we do, the im­por­tance of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing has never been clearer. Most peo­ple get most of the in­for­ma­tion they need on the smart­phones or on­line. They’re on so­cial me­dia, they’re on What­sapp or on Twit­ter and Face­book. Adults, and par­tic­u­larly younger peo­ple, spend hours on­line ev­ery day — it’s our job to spot the trends, iden­tify the op­por­tu­ni­ties for our clients and put them right in the cen­tre. At the To­mor­row Lab we don’t just build web­sites, we de­sign and build dig­i­tal plat­forms that solve our clients’ prob­lems.

So how do you pri­ori­tise your day? It’s much eas­ier now I’ve a strong team around me. They’re piv­otal to our suc­cess. How­ever, I’m very re­spon­si­ble, ac­ces­si­ble and I en­cour­age them to reach out when they need to.

As such, my job tends to be sim­ple.

A large amount of time is spent de­vel­op­ing wider strate­gies, re­search­ing and read­ing ev­ery­thing.

A key fo­cus is on new busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, and this takes up a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of my time too.

As a Google Part­ner com­pany, and with a team that has de­vel­oped world-class ex­per­tise work­ing for the likes of Ex­pe­dia on a global ba­sis, I like to think we’re on the money on the tech front. How­ever, you can’t take your eye off the ball — not for a sec­ond.

What’s the best busi­ness de­ci­sion you’ve made? Mak­ing the move to merge my com­pany with 3Sixty Cre­ate un­der the Pierce Part­ner­ship was def­i­nitely the best.

It’s brought us to a new level, quickly, and has opened up new doors and av­enues for us in a way that would have been im­pos­si­ble be­fore.

To­gether, we’re stronger and we’re see­ing the ben­e­fits of that.

The merger brings to­gether two teams with com­ple­men­tary skills, pro­vid­ing strength in depth and a wider ser­vice port­fo­lio.

What do you do in your spare time? My leisure time is as im­por­tant as work and getting the bal­ance right helps to make ev­ery­thing run smoothly.

I’m a keen run­ner and try to get out when I can.

Last year, I ran the Belfast City Marathon and was de­lighted to raise money for the Friends of the Cancer Cen­tre char­ity at Belfast City Hos­pi­tal. I’m Chair of the In­sti­tute of Di­rec­tors Young Di­rec­tors Fo­rum.

It’s a great net­work of peo­ple with a busy cal­en­dar of events. That keeps me busy too.

Adrian Allen (left), man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of The To­mor­row Lab with Damian Camp­bell, head of cor­po­rate sales at Fleet Fi­nan­cial, North­ern Ire­land’s leader in con­tract hire and ve­hi­cle man­age­ment

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