By Alan Perkins
THIS month, SilverDisc celebrates its Silver Anniversary, placing it among the oldest full service digital marketing agencies in the country. I was one of the three founding directors of SilverDisc and I've been with it on every step of its journey over the last 25 years.
SilverDisc's very first products were on compact disc, hence our name. These included early digital home shopping trials for Freemans Catalogue, Page and Moy travel agents and Barclays Online Banking and they won a BIMA award. Later, CD products for HarperCollins, Letts and Pearson topped the WH Smith CDROM charts.
In 1994, we leased our first webserver. The first client website we built was for HarperCollins UK. You can still see it on archive.org
With the launch of AltaVista in 1995, we started marketing our clients' websites on search engines - long before this process was called SEO. As a programmer I could see how search engines and webmasters could work more closely together. In the late 1990s I filed some patents around my ideas and started going to search engine shows with our patent-pending technology.
I soon got talking to the show organisers and, as a result, have ended up speaking at search marketing conferences all over the world for the past 20 years. At one of these conferences in 2001 I met Matt Cutts, Google's then-head of webspam, and Craig Silverstein, Google's first employee and then-CTO. They invited me to work with them to write Google's webmaster guidelines. This established SilverDisc's reputation for high professional and ethical standards.
SilverDisc employs 20 people in Kettering and has a small technology division in Santiago, Chile. It's our vision to be the most highly regarded agency for the expert application of digital technology to the solution of marketing challenges. We're a Google Premier Partner, a Bing Select Partner and a founder member of the Northamptonshire Cyber Security Forum.
We do three things really well for our clients: design, build and create content for websites that are fast, secure and offer a good user experience on all devices; market websites in all online channels - search, social, display and email, for example; and optimise websites, which means making them work better to deliver more to their owners and visitors.
Perhaps the best current example of these three things is our client Be Wiser Insurance, with whom we've worked closely since their foundation in 2007, handling all aspects of their online marketing. During that time, they have grown from zero to 800 staff, zero to 215,000 clients and zero to £125 million income - and were featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 three years running as a result.
It's been a fantastic 25 years and I'm so proud of my team of experts and what we have achieved for our clients in Northamptonshire and around the world. As we enter the next 25 years, we will continue using technology to gain more recognition, growth and profit for our clients and their businesses.
Find out more at www.silverdisc.co.uk