Mike Ward joins ALIAS as Head of Data & Digital. We thought we’d ask him a few questions…
I’m originally from the UK, although I’ve spent the last few years living in Shanghai and Saigon. My background is a combination of tech (Computer Science degree), training (I was an SAP and soft-skills trainer for several years) and marketing (marketing manager for an IT outsourcer in Shanghai). I love to wear many hats (figuratively speaking, not literally – hats don’t really suit me) and get involved in a wide variety of projects. When I’m not working, I like to DJ and produce fairly average music and travel as much as possible! I also like to overuse parentheses (like this).
What inspires you?
I’m a super optimistic person, so lots of little things inspire me. Mostly it’s people who go out to work everyday in very difficult circumstances to provide for their families. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met have also had the most difficult lives, so I try to be grateful for everything in my life, and focus on the future and how great it could (and hopefully, will) be. Also, space! There’s nothing more inspiring than the sheer scale of the universe.
What is your favourite place in the world?
This is my least favourite question ever – it’s just way too hard to pick! I’ve been lucky and had the opportunity to live abroad, and also several jobs which have sent me to some weird and wonderful places. For sunshine and sea, Phu Quoc island in Vietnam is paradise. For the great outdoors, it has to be Canada in either winter or summer. For cities – it’s really hard to beat London. It would be the perfect city if there was a little more sunshine…
I’m aware that’s three answers, but that’s pretty good for me, I could go on and on.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
I’m excited to be working on ALIAS’ new ALP360 platform. We’re building on top of an existing application to create a truly unique marketing engagement tool that will excel at ABM campaigns. I think there’s a lot of scope for ‘joining the dots’ with MA tools at the moment, specifically when it comes to hyper-personalisation, so it’s exciting to have the opportunity to work on something like this. Plus, the geek in me loves fiddling around with APIs and keeping up with new tech!
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day?
Ooo I already touched on this, for me it would be someone on the International Space Station. When I was a child I always dreamed of being an astronaut, so to spend 24 hours up in space circling the Earth would be an amazing experience. I’m not sure what I would contribute from a scientific point of view, but I could always make the tea for the other astronauts. Fun fact: although I don’t drink tea (or coffee) I make a mean brew.
What got you excited about ALIAS?
For me, this is an exciting time in marketing. So much of the world is digital now, and I feel that a lot of marketers are still applying 20th century techniques to 21st century problems. I’m looking at you, PDF file! What attracted me to ALIAS was two things: the ability to ‘think big’ creatively and try something new, and the opportunity to work with some big name clients, who were brave enough to actually try that something new. As Head of Data and Digital I’m looking forward to creating some cutting edge, effective campaigns and building out ALIAS’ suite of engagement tools to provide an essential toolkit for any ABM program.So much of the world is digital now, and I feel that a lot of marketers are still applying 20th century techniques to 21st century problems. I’m looking at you, PDF file! - Mike Ward, Head of Data & Digital Click To Tweet
Who is your least favourite superhero?
Least favourite? That’s an interesting question! I’d have to say any Batman who isn’t Adam West. I love the 60s Batman show, it’s a comedy classic and is vastly underrated. “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” Hilarious. If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it now! (https://vimeo.com/91815457)
Welcome aboard, Mike!