Digital guru and storm chaser joins Orbital.

Alistair Williams heads up digital marketing

So, as the new starter as the head of digital marketing I have been asked to write a blog post to ‘introduce myself’. My name is Alistair Williams, or Al as everyone tends to call me. I’m 32 years old, a Scorpio… ok maybe too much info!

I was going to write something intelligent, entertaining and wanted to start by putting a stake into the ground about my vision for the next generation of digital marketing technology; prophesying the digital challenges businesses face today the future of social media etc.

Instead I’m distracted by the lure of a bright orange pool table and shiny Lambrettas sat in the reception of our really cool office in ‘BosVegas’ – as this side of Bournemouth is lovingly referred to. I am a massive fan of pool and so between you and I, I cannot wait to take on the team and show everyone who’s boss! Similarly if anyone would like to pay us a visit and take me on then I’ll always be up for that.

I’ve also been put in storm mode. Justin asked me for a personally relevant image for the back of my business cards. This led me to the Storm Prediction Centre website, which tracks all the severe storms in the USA. When I was 19, my life ambition was to chase tornadoes. I succeeded in this mission by travelling to the States for 5 years in a row, working for a TV station in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have captured some incredible footage and photos of tornadoes and lightning, but as one of the forecasters, was constantly reviewing the storm environment data to try and pin point where the action would be.

To pre-answer the number 1 question I’m asked - “Is it dangerous?”, yes it is a dangerous and expensive past-time. We have been in trouble where we could have been killed, and professional storm chasers do die doing what they love to keep people safe. 

So this morning, instead of my usual preoccupation with digital marketing strategy and figuring out how we can help our clients with their digital marketing efforts, I am reminiscing and looking through endless photos of amazing tornado events. This means that when you check out the back of my business card try and figure out what the image is all about, you will know what it relates to! I’ll buy anyone a beer who figures out exactly what the picture represents.

Be warned though, if you ask me about it then be prepared for a massive, detailed breakdown of storm dynamics…

I still watch the radar for any hint of a ‘good’ storm outbreak while at work, as even though the storm season is pretty much over now (it runs from late April to early July), the radar looks really cool on screen.

I probably should get on with some real work now though. Orbital have a lot of bold plans under development and some great new ideas for digital, which we will be developing and implementing over the next year.

We will be increasing our digital marketing capability to better serve our clients in the rapidly changing and challenging online environment. Businesses now acknowledge that online sales and customer communication are exceptionally powerful and cost effective. This is the reason for the massive shift to online marketing as the following chart clearly shows. Digital now represents the largest proportion of marketing spend as traditional media like TV and radio continue to fall.

Digital marketing is not a fad, it's here to stay and is a game changer for SMEs and multi-national businesses alike.

We know that digital can be confusing and options seemingly endless, but do not be put off. People increasingly turn to the Internet to find out about companies, what customers think about products and services they are going to buy and to actually make these purchases.

If you think you could use some ideas of how digital, social media and search engine marketing could work for you, then do give us a shout. I’ll be very happy to have a chat (over coffee is ideal!) about anything digital, so whether you need ideas, a sounding board or help in planning or strategy, feel free to give me a call on 01202 726913.

Alistair Williams
Head of Digital