To get the loyalty and growth rate they want businesses have to connect with consumers in a way that is useful in their lives, digital campaigns entrepreneur Glynn Pegler told an audience at Cardiff Breakfast Club.
Mr Pegler is the founder of the Culture Group, a Cardiff-based digital content company that has developed campaigns for clients including Google, Virgin, Red Bull and Comic Relief.
But Mr Pegler, who is originally from Rudry, told the audience in the Swalec stadium that he had set up the company at 15 as a publisher of a magazine aimed at teenagers.
‘When people said why Wales, I said why not?’
“The ethos of the magazine was to introduce young people to different perspectives and different angles on things that would inspire them about what they wanted to do in their future life,” he said.
“People said I should apply to university to study journalism, but they weren’t things I wanted to do.
“I was frustrated that I was being sent away to London to develop the sort of business that I wanted to do here in Wales. My attitude was, when people said why Wales, I said why not?”
Mr Pegler said he felt the education system in Wales had not worked for him.
“It went from cultivating me to saying, ‘here’s the type of career you must do’, or ‘here are the things that are expected of you’.”
He did eventually go to an interview for a university place, taking a copy of his magazine.
“They advised me to take a gap year. It was probably the best advice I ever had, because it allowed the company to grow.
Breakthrough came with innovative texting campaign
Aged 17, Mr Pegler had a legal action launched against him by News International over the name of his magazine, Culture, which was the same as their Sunday Times supplement.
The case lasted three years and Mr Pegler won, but he had to stop publishing in the meantime.
But it forced him to think of other ways he could grow the business, “working out how we could start leveraging the model of communicating with young people to run campaigns for other people”.
His breakthrough came when he was approached by a children’s charity to find out why young people were disengaged from politics.
He publicised the campaign on national TV programmes and implemented one of the first text campaigns, called Text Tony, encouraging young people to send text messages for then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The Cardiff Breakfast Club is sponsored by Blake Morgan, Lloyds Bank, Media Wales and Stills.
Credit: Chris Kelsy Wales Online