Absolute Radio appoints first digital marketing head

Ex-Bauer community marketer to take charge of Absolute’s social media strategy. By Luan Goldie

Absolute Radio has appointed its first digital marketing manager as it looks to become the industry leader in digital listening.

Former Bauer community marketing manager Dan Thornton will step into the newly created role later this month, reporting to the station’s brand director Chris Lawson.

The appointment is part of the station’s plan to help it top the success of its previous incarnation, Virgin Radio, and become a leading force in digital radio.

“Our focus is going where the audience is and giving them the tools to listen wherever they are online,” says Lawson. “We’re already performing above the industry average for digital listening and want to continue to boost this.”

Thornton will take responsibility for driving the station’s social media strategy, which currently takes in 51 touch points including activity on Twitter and YouTube. An Absolute Radio iPhone application launched last month has already had 100,000 downloads.

Thornton spent more than eight years with Bauer in a series of editorial and marketing roles including time on Motorcycle News as web producer, before taking responsibility for community at the start of last year.

Absolute Radio is expecting to see audience gains revealed in this week’s Rajar results after a poor first quarter. January Rajar results for the station saw a drop of 23.6% year on year in its national reach.

Absolute Radio was rebranded from Virgin Radio last September and the January Rajar results were the first recorded under the new name and ownership. The station’s chief operating officer, Clive Dickens, recently said he expected it to surpass its predecessor’s position by the end of this year.

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