The awards will be judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts in a rigorous two stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide winners.

The 2019 judging panel was as follows:

Dawn Anderson


Dawn Anderson lectures on search and digital marketing strategy at Manchester Metropolitan University, is an international conference speaker (UK, US, AUS, IT), a trainer, and runs a digital marketing and international SEO consultancy agency, Move It Marketing, based in Manchester, UK.

Dawn has spoken at some of the leading UK and global search marketing conferences, including Pubcon (Las Vegas and Florida), SASCON (Manchester, UK), European Search Conference (Liverpool, UK), Search Leeds (Leeds, UK), Brighton SEO (Brighton, UK), SMX London (London, UK), SMX East (San Jose, US), Ungagged London (London, UK), Ungagged Las Vegas (Las Vegas, US), MozCon (Seattle, US) and State of Search (Dallas, US).  Dawn has also spoken at conference across Europe and as far afield as Australia.

Dawn has been in digital marketing and SEO for 12+ years and works with leading brands providing digital marketing and SEO strategy and consultancy across a number of sectors. She is a Northern Digital, UK, EU and US Search Awards Judge.

Dawn also contributes to leading search marketing industry publications such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, The SEMPost, State of Digital and Smart Insights.

Dawn also supervises Masters dissertation students undertaking their MSc in digital marketing strategy at Manchester Metropolitan University and also lectures and undertakes workshops on search and marketing analytics teaching International Fashion Promotion students at Manchester Fashion Institute.

Tom Armenante


Tom Armenante is the Ecommerce Manager for the high-end fashion brands Wolsey, Nicole Farhi and BLK DNM. Previously Tom was the Head of SEO at Matalan, where he was responsible for organic growth and working with the internal teams in driving e-commerce performance. During his time at Matalan he oversaw the successful backend migration onto the Shift Ecommerce platform.

Prior to Tom’s role at Matalan he worked at the award-winning SEO Agency, Branded3 where he helped to formulate the search strategy for some of the UKs largest brands. Tom’s experience spans a variety of sectors including outdoor fitness, home renovation and financial comparison.

In his spare time he likes to put his knowledge to good use and is focussed on continuing the successful growth of his niche e-commerce site Gocableties.



Liliana is a Digital Business Management Consultant and, through her own consultancy company delivered work for Google, The Guardian Media Group, Michelin, Eurocamp, United Utilities and NIVEA.  She is an accomplished professional with a wealth of digital transformation experience and able to define and deliver high profile digital projects.

Ashton offers the Northern Digital Awards judging panel her extensive experience gleaned from senior international roles at Amaze PLC, Blast Radius, DLA Piper and her own company, LA UK Consulting Ltd – a European Digital Consultancy based in the North of England.

Liliana's academic qualifications include certifications from Harvard Business School and Oxford Business School. Qualifications in International Business and Marketing, an Honours degree in Computer Sciences and a MSc in Strategic Leadership and Change Management from The Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Tom Cheesewright


Tom Cheesewright is the founder of applied futurism practice, Book of the Future and creator of the Applied Futurist's Toolkit, a suite of strategy & storytelling tools for agile organisations.

Through consulting, speaking and media work Tom helps people to see, share and respond to a coherent vision of tomorrow. Clients range from charities and public sector organisations to FTSE100 enterprises and global technology corporations, They include BASF, BP, PZ Cussons, Kellogg’s, KPMG, LG, Nikon, Sony Pictures, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Tom followed a degree in Mechatronic Engineering with 14 years in the tech industry, working with global brands such as BT, EE and IBM, and subsequently founded a series of technology-driven companies. Most recently Tom co-founded venture-backed big data analytics start-up CANDDi ( He acts as an advisor to a number of startups, including fast-growing Internet of Things platform, Republic of Things.

Tom is a frequent presence on TV and radio, appearing across the BBC from the Breakfast sofa to Newsround and World Business Report, and as a regular contributor to 5live and Radio 4. He has shared his thoughts on the future with Channel 4 s Sunday ′ Brunch, Channel 5's Saturday Show, Sky News, the Guardian, Evening Standard, Entrepreneur Magazine, Stuff and MSN.




Richard is a inbound e-marketing professional with 15 years experience helping clients in a wide range of sectors with a full range of online marketing activities.


Mike Deyes

Deputy Director of Marketing, University of Liverpool |

Mike Deyes is the Deputy Director of Marketing (Digital) at the University of Liverpool and a Chartered Marketer. 

Mike joined the University in 2008 from Manchester Metropolitan University where he was the Internet manager, resposnible for all digital activity.  Prior to joining MMU, Mike spent a number of years at two national charities working on award winning fundraising and media relation campaigns.



Having started off her digital career client side over a decade ago, Arianne has worked for both agencies and brands in-house, specialising in all things paid search. She is now back agency side supporting on biddable media digital strategy.

A regular on the conference scene, she’s also an editor and contributor at popular site State of Digital.


Liam Dyson

Head of Digital, Plusnet |

With ten years’ experience in some of the biggest Telcos in the UK, Liam is now Head of Digital at the most loved – Plusnet. Liam is responsible for transforming all Digital experiences for Plusnet customers & delivering the service they expect from a brand that promises to ‘Do them Proud’. He’s accountable for everything from Analysis & Planning through to Product Management & development, eCommerce performance, Digital Strategy & Studio output

David Edmundson-Bird


David is Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he runs a number of digital communications programmes, and is also the Associate Director for Digital Innovation.

He is Course Leader for Manchester Met’s new E-Learning Global MSc Digital Marketing launching this October. He also set up their part-time MSc in Digital Marketing in 2007, a programme that has now graduated nearly 350 high-profile professionals into the sector, and their full-time MSc Digital Marketing Communication – now in its 3rd year.

David founded Manchester Met’s Agency Life programme 6 years ago to enable students to experience live work skills in the workplace very early in their course. He has enjoyed several spells in academia as well as senior management roles in the digital sector, helped to set up Manchester’s second web design agency back in 1995, and was recently appointed to the Board at FutureEverything.

Marcus Hadfield

Chief Strategy Officer, Apadmi |

With over twenty years’ experience in digital and brand marketing, he’s delivered award-winning campaigns across every discipline and most sectors. Most of his career has been spent in advertising agencies, most recently as a Managing Partner at McCann Manchester. In 2017, he jumped into the mobile world to help clients get more out the increasingly close relationships people have with their devices. His question stays the same – why will customers care?

Clients have included Expedia, Argos, Costa, American Airlines, CrossCountry Trains, Which?, Homebase, Sony, Aldi, World Vision, Plan International and more.

Brendan Keegan

Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School |

Brendan has taught digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School for eight years after a short career in agency land. With a background in communications and web development, his research interests centre around strategic digital marketing in the services industry. Recently awarded a PhD in Social Media Marketing Campaign Development, he utilised networks of digital agencies in the North West to develop a conceptual framework of campaign strategy development using new and emergent technologies.


Stephen Kenwright

Director of Search, Edit |

Stephen drives Growth at data marketing agency Edit, using data science and technology to deliver integrated communications across customer acquisition and retention. He writes about his experiences running search marketing agency Branded3 on his blog.

He organises SearchLeeds – a digital marketing conference at Leeds’ first direct arena which attracted 1,500 attendees in its third year.

Stephen mentors communications students at Sheffield Hallam University, where he graduated with an MA in Renaissance Literature.

Herb Kim

Founder, Thinking Digital Conference |

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Herb is best known as Founder of the long-running Thinking Digital Conference. Thinking Digital will celebrate its 12th Anniversary in 2019 where it has run every May since 2008 in the Sage Gateshead.

In addition to Thinking Digital, Herb is the host of TEDxManchester, TEDxLiverpool & TEDxNewcastle.

Overall, Herb has curated and produced over 50 conferences with as many as 2400 participants.

Herb is a former Board Director for Tech City UK and the Founding Chairman for Tech North. He is a Board Trustee for the Sage Gateshead and a Governor for the Liverpool Life Sciences UTC.

In 2014, Buzzfeed included Herb on its list of “Geordie Heroes”. In 2011, Wired Magazine included Herb as one it’s Wired 100 top tech industry influencers. In 2010, The Guardian named Herb as one of its Top 100 most influential media figures.

Herb earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He moved to the UK in 1997 and currently enjoys a ‘pan-Northern’ lifestyle residing on the Wirral, his company based in Gateshead and an angel investor in 3 Manchester tech startups. He’s a proud father to a 13yo daughter.




Starting his career on 1994, Marks media roots are firmly planted within the offline direct response world, moving online in 1999. Seeing the opportunity to apply a digital direct response agency model to affiliate and performance marketing campaigns, Mark founded R.O.EYE in 2004.

Now seen as the largest specialist in its sector, R.O.EYE counts the likes of HMV, Best Western and Jessops amongst its clients.

Neil McKay


For more than 15 years, Neil has been helping businesses here in the UK, Europe and USA grow their online profits.

He started his career at publisher Media Ventures Group (MVG), helping to build and sell Global Media GmbH to private equity firm The Carlyle Group before leading the UK acquisition of Bigmouthmedia (now part of DigitasLBi). He later led Lakestar Media to success before it was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2012.

Neil’s latest venture is Endless Gain – a Conversion Optimisation Agency which launched in January 2016.


Katrina Michel

CEO, Marketing Cheshire |

Katrina is an energetic and experienced CEO with strong marketing pedigree and a high degree of financial literacy. She has worked for a number of multinational communications agencies and delivered award-winning marketing and communications campaigns with outstanding return on investment. She has considerable expertise in areas such as customer insight, digital marketing and market research. 

She currently heads up a private/public partnership dedicated to tourism and place marketing where she has grown the partnership income and funding significantly and created profitable new partnerships, products and revenue streams. She has also worked extensively on inward investment and spearheaded Cheshire’s MIPIM initiative. 

She has held a number of paid and pro bono non-executive directorships including two plc roles, a university board, an orchestra and most recently an arts organisation

She is well-networked, experienced in stakeholder engagement and a confident media performer.



Paul has over 18 years’ experience leading Marketing and Digital both agency and Brand side and currently heads up planning and performance at Tesco Bank.

Previously led global digital transformation and digital marketing at PZ Cussons (brands including St Tropez, Imperial Leather & Original Source), led Digital at the Co-op Group (Food, Pharmacy, Electrical, Bank, Insurance, Legal Services & Funeralcare) and had Digital/ through the line experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Silverstone, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator, Stagecoach and Park Resorts.

You can find out more about him by visiting or

Jack Norell

Digital Marketing Consultant, Forward3d |

Jack Norell is a 19-year veteran in the online space and has worked for a range of market-leading companies such as award-winning digital performance agency Forward3D, Hewlett-Packard, John Lewis, and market-maker HomeAway.

Day-to-day, he focuses on all aspects of organic search for enterprise international ecommerce sites, advanced technical website optimisation, content performance, business development, and providing training for clients and internal teams. Strategic work includes enabling technology for driving best-in-class value for clients, including AI and machine learning applications.

He speaks on content, technical SEO, and digital marketing at events in the UK, Europe, and beyond.

Erin Portsmouth

Head of Communications and Engagement, NHS |

Erin is a Chartered public relations practitioner who has worked in the communications industry for over 15 years.  She started her career in private sector consultancy but for the past nine years she has worked in the National Health Service.  She is Head of Communications and Engagement for two NHS clinical commissioning groups in Lancashire, where she also has portfolio responsibility for customer care, complaints, patient experience, Freedom of Information, legal claims, HR, organisational development, and equality and diversity.  She has a MA in public relations, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and served on the CIPR North West Group Committee as a volunteer for ten years, also holding a three year term as Chair.  She is currently a Trustee and board member for the homelessness charity Emmaus Salford.




Duke has 13 years senior level digital marketing experience, developing digital strategies for some of UK leading brands. He is currently the head of Digital marketing at boohoo, responsible for the acquisition and retention channels.

Jonathan Wall

Chief Digital Officer, Missguided |

Jonathan Wall began his e-commerce career at when, in September 1999, the decision was taken to transform the IT catalogue mail order business. As marketing director, Jonathan and his team were instrumental to the success of Dabs online and helped become one of the UK’s first and most successful pure-play online retailers. Jonathan was responsible for Product Management, E-Commerce and consumer sales and as an Executive Director reported directly to the founder and CEO.

In April 2006, was sold to BT Retail and Jonathan helped with the integration of the business into BT and the transition of the BT Shop onto Dabs’ e-commerce platform.

Jonathan left Dabs in September 2008 after a successful transition period to become CEO at, one of the UK’s leading online florists. With its 900 member florists across the UK offering same day delivery of flowers and gifts, Flowersdirect was on its way to becoming established as a strong challenger to the established hierarchy in the floral sector and Jonathan oversaw a business transformation that included new business and e-commerce systems and the overhaul of the product offering.

In April 2010, Jonathan took on the role of Group e-commerce director at Shop Direct Group. With control of the commercial performance of the group’s websites, Jonathan’s expertise is being used to drive new visitors to the sites. Jonathan’s remit also includes the optimisation of these sites and improving conversion rates and visitor journeys. In July 2012 Jonathan took on the responsibility of development of the websites following the departure of the E-Commerce Development director and now looks after Web Development, Usability & the User Journey of Shop Direct’s websites. After seeing the complete transformation of Shop Direct from a catalogue retailer to one of the UK’s leading Digital businesses Jonathan left Shop Direct in August 2017 to take on the role of Chief Digital Officer at Missguided and several Advisory and Non-Exec positions.




Anna focuses on developing and implementing integrated digital strategies that achieve meaningful and measured results for clients, whether that be sales, SEO, brand building or crisis management, Anna has led teams to develop innovative and award-winning strategies that stand out for both their insight and measurable return for clients including: Reebok, Pizza Hut Restaurants, British Gypsum and Yorkshire Bank.


Peter Young