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A Successful Return To Live UK Events


We couldn’t have been more excited to finally see the faces of our wonderful partners and clients at our first live event in the UK in 18 months. Event marketing has been unpredictable, to say the least. Here’s everything you missed and everything we learned from our first live event of 2021.

In March 2020, we – like many other businesses – made the transition from live to virtual events. Committed to providing valuable educational content to our clients, we adapted. We never stopped engaging with you, starting interesting conversations around everything from email marketing and cross-channel engagement to working from home and crisis communication. We’ve been with you every step of the way.  

But we haven’t seen you. If there’s one thing we’ve missed over this long, crazy time, it’s seeing the happy, smiling faces of our partners and clients in person.  

Dipping our toes 

We know we’ve been missing live events, but have you?  

Before we decided to organize an in-person we needed to make sure there was an appetite for them. Have you been missing us as much as we’ve been missing you?  

Back in July 2021, during a live virtual event, we were hosting, we asked you for your advice on the future of our events. Hybrid events – a mixture of in-person and online – were a clear favorite. It’s inclusive, flexible, and accessible to audiences around the world.  

Before we started to set our plans in motion, we decided to ask our wider audience. In an email survey that went out to our entire marketing database, 51% of respondents came back in favor of a return to live, in-person events.  

And, because we’re a brand that practices what we preach, we’ve gone all-out to meet our clients’ needs and expectations. The result: the Summer Shindig. 

Defining our mission 

So, we know you wanted us to bring back our famous live event – but how could we create an event that was ultimately beneficial to you?  

We started but defining our goal. It’s all well and good to say we’re doing a live event, but why would people want to attend?  

Our first aim was simple: to engage with our clients in person. What can we say, we’ve missed you guys! At dotdigital, we believe that marketing – especially B2B marketing – needs a human touch. We’re more than just a technology platform, we’re a service, a personality, and we want you to be a part of it.  

Secondly, we wanted to give a little something back. We hate saying it as much as you hate hearing it, but it really has been a crazy time. We all deserve a little fun. You, our extensive network of partners and clients, have been working tirelessly, in unprecedented times. Just in case you haven’t heard it recently, we want you to know you’re amazing.  

Putting your safety first 

We knew that the key to the success of our return to live events laid in making you feel safe and comfortable to attend.  

Our team carried out temperature checks upon arrival and we implemented a traffic-light wristband system. Green indicated that you were open to handshakes, hugs, and high fives. Yellow meant that you were happy to be with small groups of people and not to get too close. Red wristbands let other attendees know you wished to keep your distance and maintain as small a social circle as possible.  

We chose our venue, the ultra-cool, City Summer House, because it was big, bright, and airy, allowing for plenty of social distancing while making the most of the late September sunshine. 

Looking back and moving forward 

We felt it was important to mark just how far we’ve come together during this trying time. Head of Customer Success, Ashley Joyce summed it up perfectly: together we’ve been working hard to overcome obstacles and deliver better results.  

Seemingly overnight digital marketing went from being a customer’s preferred channel of communication to their only channel of communication. As a result, the battle for attention is only going to get more intense. Thankfully, at dotdigital, we’ve strived to create the tools marketers need to continue to grow, no matter the circumstances.  

Together with you, we’ve welcomed this new normal. Embracing change and challenges, we’ve seen some impressive results coming for you which we just couldn’t help but share. Every step of the way, marketers are more empowered than ever to create stronger, more meaningful bonds with their audience.  

From discovering new lead generation tactics and implementing engaging marketing nurture campaigns to demonstrating a clear value exchange using personalization and dynamic content and re-engaging lapsed customers using RFM segmentation – your success is our success and we couldn’t be prouder to be on this journey with you.  

A sneak peek into the future 

Our Chief Technical Officer, Steve Shaw offered exclusive insight into what the future looks like at dotdigital. So far in 2021 alone, we’ve brought you some amazing advancements to the platform.  

Single sign-on (SSO) has made working from home easier and more accessible. Improved reporting for SMS and marketing automation has proved to be essential for marketers seeking to improve their impact. Our one-of-a-kind eRFM dashboard makes identifying engaged, high-value contacts simple. And, our latest release featured invaluable updates to segment analytics and in-situ program reporting.  

We’re not stopping there. In order to fulfill our product vision of being the leading customer engagement platform for marketers around the world, we’ve still got plenty more to bring you. Steve’s team of product developers is working tirelessly to keeping rolling out improvements you didn’t even know you needed.  

Steve outlined the five key pillars for our future product development: integrations; contact unification; data analytics and governance; intelligence and machine learning; and, channels We’re already well on our way to becoming the solution of the future. To discover more about where we’re going, check out our product roadmap.  

A fireside chat with CEO, Milan Patel 

Fireside chat live event marketing

dotdigital CEO, Milan Patel took to the stage for a short Q&A with attendees. Milan summed up dotdigital in a simple but perfect phrase: ‘we’re a people business.’ dotdigital isn’t just a platform marketers can use, we’re a support network, a team of committed people who are always on hand to help you meet your goals.  

To say we’ve missed live events is an understatement, but it’s more than that, we’ve simply missed being there for you. But Milan was also impressed by how we’ve come together. It’s a real partnership between you and us.  

As he looked towards the future, Milan reiterated the dotdigital commitment to sustainability in everything we do. From leadership, all the way down to the grassroots level, dotdigital will continue to lead the way as the only carbon-neutral customer engagement platform available to marketers.  

To round off his chat, Milan was asked what he considered to be the biggest challenge marketers will face in the future. Since GDPR we’ve seen a consistent stream of data and privacy regulations. With the upcoming iOS 15 update, this is only going to continue. Thankfully, we have this under control for you, building in native functionality to help marketers to meet them, no matter what.  

A second digital revolution 

Headline speaker, Peter Georgallou from Adobe offered a fresh perspective on the future of marketing and how we can expect the second digital revolution to go.  

The nature of innovation is evolving. Where it was once driven by need and necessity, innovation is now being led from the front, by tech giants like Google, Apple, and Facebook. Instead of customer expectations defining innovation, they’re now being driven by technological advances.  

To stay on top, brands have to get ahead of the curve and adopt tech early. This is the only way you’ll be able to keep up with the changing times. Anticipating changes to customer expectations and creating experiences customers come back for will be the key to your success.  

Saying a massive ‘thank you’ to our partners a clients 

dotties awards at live events

We couldn’t let any year pass without a dotties ceremony.  

This year, we’ve created a mini dotties to tide you over until we can get back to celebrating our global network of marketing professionals in person. Submitted by your Customer Success Managers and Partner Managers, UK winners were selected by dotdigital’s own marketing experts.  

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be hosting many more local dotties celebrations so our US and APAC clients can meet and greet dotdigital teams around the world. Keep an eye out for more on that coming very soon! 

So, without further ado, we’re proud to announce our winners of the 2021 mini dotties! 

Best dotdigital newcomer – Beko PLC. 

We love it when a new business becomes part of the dotdigital family. We love it even more when we see them driving truly impressive results using our platform.  

Beko launched a brand-new welcome program designed to collect contact preferences, in order to provide customers with more relevant and personalized content. Within three months of running this program, 97% of Beko’s new contacts had updated their marketing preferences.  

Combining dotdigital’s marketing preference and automation tools means that Beko will be able to keep customers engaged for longer between purchases.

Best services partner EMEA – ISM eCompany 

This year’s EMEA services partner of the year winner set the bar incredibly high. ISM continuously impressed us with their knowledge of email marketing, helping multiple clients successfully adopt dotdigital and achieve marketing success.  

Best use of dotdigital – Le Col 

Le Col expertly used dotdigital to maximize their success during the 2020 Black Friday weekend and beyond.  

The team at Le Col set up an automated journey for Black Friday shoppers and offered early access to Black Friday deals for loyal customers. The brand also utilized dotdigital’s powerful Shopify integration and personalization features to serve email recipients different creative and content based on various factors such as their membership status or language preference.  

Best technology partner – XCM  

Over the past year, XCM has worked relentlessly to enhance its integration with dotdigital. By improving collaboration between our teams and providing new input to further enhance our joint solution, XCM has helped us win many new clients.  

Outstanding email creative – Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew 

Kew Gardens really have blown us away with their recent marketing campaigns. Focusing on its post-visit campaign, Kew uses dynamic content to drive relevancy based on customer’s postcodes. Click-to-open rates and membership sales soared as a result of this simple yet beautifully engaging marketing campaign.  

dotdigital champion – Fay Parkinson, PMT Online 

After only nine months, Fay’s impact on the PMT online marketing team is undeniable – she is a true advocate for using the dotdigital platform effectively. Fay understands that email is not simply a one-way communication channel, but a way for businesses to interact with their audience.  

By personalizing experiences and helping customers view products most suited to their needs, Fay has been able to create memorable moments for customers, while driving results for her business.  

There’s still more to come 

We’re back! And, the best is yet to come.  

At the end of Thursday’s event, we were delighted to be able to announce the return of the dotdigital Summit. Be the first to know about all the exciting announcements leading up to the big event by signing up for exclusive insights today.  

Live marketing events Summer Shindig

Special thanks to our friends at dotdigital for their insights on this topic.
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