We’ve spent some time interviewing Dave Trolle, Founder of Customer First Digital (CFD) as he reflects on the first three years … 

In 3 words, tell us what the first 3 years of CFD has been like for you? 

Rollercoaster, Exciting, Rewarding 

What gets you up every day? 

Apart from my alarm and a nudge from my partner, the desire to continue to make change and do something different. Whilst a large part of anyone’s work life can be the same routine, I have the firm belief that variety is the key to happiness. No one day is exactly the same for me, the team or the partners we work with, so it never gets boring. 

What have been your highlights of the last 3 years? 

There have been so many and I am sure I will miss some, but I will wrap these up in to 3. 
Making it through the first 12 months – for any new start-up, this is always a key milestone, however it did feel more amplified, as I launched the business in the same month the Covid-19 lockdown started. The plan for the business had to be thrown out of the window pretty much straight away, however if anything it made me more determined than ever to succeed. 
The partnerships we have made – many new partnerships have been developed, both from a client and partner perspective. When I first had the idea of creating CFD, the plan was never to pile the clients high and deliver an average service. Many of our clients are now long term established partners, including Face the Future, Threadbare and Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science to name a few, validating the approach. Late last year we became the first Agency Preferred Partners with Rakuten Advertising and are highly regarded by the team, a massive achievement based on our relative size. 
Developing a team – finally, I need to give a massive shout out to both Suzanne and Lewis, who do an amazing job every day. Their commitment to everything they do is second to none and knowledge has fast-tracked at an astronomical rate. If only there was a cloning machine available, as we look to grow out the team. 

What’s the plan for CFD in the next 12 months? 

The plan is pretty simple and can be summarised into 3 areas … 
The Team: developing both Suzanne and Lewis is at the top of my list. We will also be looking to add new team members in, who can cope with our quirkiness. 
Our Partners: continue to deliver for our partners to the same level as the past 3 years, giving us the permission to retain our existing partners and platform to organically grow our partner base. 
Our Services: We’ll be focussing a lot more on the affiliate marketing space this year and have a new product launching to complement our services in the next few months! As retaining customers becomes harder than ever, we will be providing more advice and guidance around these areas too. 
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