A Pint of Guinness with David Angell

One of our Directors has worked in digital marketing, SEO and communications since 2004. He ran Online Communications for Nick Clegg prior to and through the 2010 election, and notably worked as an award-winning member of the AdWords team at Google’s EMEA HQ.

But how would he fare in a zombie apocalypse? If he met a genie, what would he wish for? What on earth are digital analytics? We trapped him with a pint of stout and forced him to answer the questions that matter. Brace yourself for some hard-hitting journalism.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a member of M.A.S.K. Even to this day I hold a deep anger for V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem). Although as I got a little older I wanted to be a Cricket grounds keeper, inspired by summers at my Grandpa’s (lemon barley, Test Matches and Wimbledon on the radio) and mowing crazy patterns on his lawn. 

Q: You’ve built your career on digital analytics – why are they vital for business?

A: John Wanamaker has been often quoted as saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”. Digital analytics means that’s no longer true. You can track to the point of conversion with analytics (or at very least some stage of interaction – a purchase, a phone call, an email etc), and then all the way back along the sales channel to see what works and what doesn’t.

So if you’re running a business that relies on digital promotion channels without any form of analytics, then you’re basically back in the old days of being 50% unsure and 50% unsure.

Q: Are you a morning person or night owl?

A: I am for sure a morning person, I tend to get up around 6-6.30am. This said, I’m not one for turning in at 9pm.

Q: The zombie apocalypse is coming. Which of our Wordsmiths would you want on your team and why?

A: Ben. His knowledge of zombies is unrivalled. I think between us we’ve seen enough zombies to survive.

Q: If you could invite a famous wordsmith for dinner, who would it be?

A: I would love to eat anything with Hunter S Thompson. What a dinner that would be.

Q: What books are you reading right now? Are they any good?

A: Apologies – there’s a few. Writing Home by Alan Bennett, amazing – a biography that sounds like a story. Lenin: A Biography by Robert Service, incredibly researched and in-depth without becoming dry. Also, Ben Stockman’s Atlantis, not yet published, but it darn well needs to ASAP as it’s a beautiful trip into another world, and based on incredible research. I also recently read Year of the Knife by Graeme Penman. I have to recommend, as a shameless plug for a fellow Wordsmith, who’s written one hell of a fun read.

Q: If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

A: Ah! The genie clause – I would use it making more hours. Ah, no, that doesn’t work. I would make cheese.

Q: If you could give your younger self any advice, drawing on your career, what would it be?

A: Trust people. Work only with those you have a hunch are good people. 

Q: What’s your favourite word, and why?

A: AWESOME! Because it’s awesome.

Q: Do you collect anything?

A: I collect political and historic memorabilia, my favourites (currently) are my signed Barack Obama TIME magazine from before his election ‘Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President’. Everything about it is perfect – that it’s a moment in history before a presidency, it’s written by Joe Klein one of my favourite journalists, it’s Obama.