I have been described by others as both an expert and guru in my subject.
However, I still think of myself as a student of Digital Marketing. Why?
Because I learn new things about it every day, and if you are still learning
you are a student. If I am an expert, I am only an expert in what I already know.
And we are all experts in what we know, aren't we?
So why am I sometimes considered an expert in Digital Marketing? Well, I've been involved
in Internet-related marketing in
either practical, training, research or academic roles since 1996, and I have written
eight books on the subject. So ... expert or just more experienced than most?
I work in higher education, but I'm not really an academic - I do not, for example, have a string of
academic papers to my name [OK, there is one on domain names, but it was in a now-defunct journal].
However, I have worked full time at a university in the North East
of England* since 1999, with another five years before that on a 'visiting lecturer' basis [it's a fancy term
for 'part time']. More specifically, from '99 to '03, I was in an
e-commerce research unit
- and since 2003 I've been a senior lecturer in marketing.
It was in the period '96 to '99 that I got involved with this Internet malarkey, working with what was then a very
- but one that grew to be much bigger. This was practical e-commerce at the sharp end, learning about the new communications
medium and its impact on business - and society - as we went along. For example, I know a lot about domain names simply because
I advised so many organizations on what name to register and
I know the basics of search engine optimization because I spent hours trying to get a domain name registration website
to the top of the likes of Hotbot, Excite, Alta Vista and the other pre-Google search engines.
Also during that period I spent a lot of time [oh yes, a lot of time] in front of Business Clubs, Chambers of Commerce
and the like 'preaching' about the Internet and how businesses must be ready for its coming - and then later, how to best
match the potential of the Internet with the needs of the organization and customers.
Although my area of expertise, research and publishing is in e-marketing I also teach general marketing at both under-
and post-graduate level. I have also taught e-commerce at Master's level - the first time in '99 on one of the first e-commerce
programmes in the UK. Over the years I have also developed and delivered digital marketing / e-commerce training [in and beyond the
UK] - predominantly to SME owners and managers, but also to corporate clients.
My previous work history is not really relevant in this scenario, except to say that after a spell in the Civil Service
I spent most of my working life in retail management of some kind, and I have run my own - successful - businesses.
Qualifications came later in life - after I had given up working for a living [hey, come on, being a lecturer in HE is not
like real work]. I took my first degree - a 2:1 in Business Studies - full time '90 to '94 and a Certificate in Education part
time '94 to '96 - both at the University of Sunderland. Also studied part time was my MA in Marketing from the University of
Northumbria at Newcastle in '04.
So, I have no academic papers, but five academic texts - one as second author and four on my own -
Key Concepts in e-Commerce,
Online Marketing - a Customer-Led Approach,
Internet Marketing - a Practical Approach,
Digital Marketing - a Practical Approach [the second edition of 'Internet Marketing...' ]
An Introduction to Social Media Marketing.
There is also a non-academic book aimed at business managers: the Digital Revolution,
and a couple more that I have self-published: Choosing the Right Domain Name and
a support-text for my Internet Marketing book, A Glossary of Internet Marketing Terms, Phrases and Concepts.
If the titles don't give you a gist of what they are about, the imaginatively titled page
books written by Alan Charlesworth
will take you to more information on each.
By way of self-promotion [isn't that what this page is all about?] I am one of only a very few people to have
published more than one book in this field of study - and the only one to have written as sole-author.
Perhaps that makes me an
Some people seem to think so, including Aaron Goldman, author of the best-selling 'Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned From Google' -
I was one of the
he reached out to when writing the book. He went so far as to refer to me as a
I think he is over-stating things.
* As the contents of this site represent my views and opinions and not those of university for which I work,
it is only fair that I do not identify my employers on this site. However, if you really want to know who I work for,
a few minutes on any of the main search engines will give you an answer.