What will you be looking for when judging The Digitals entries this year?

Trailblazers who demonstrate innovative, imaginative approaches to achieving objectives and proof of effectiveness – what was the reach and impact? How was success measured? I’m particularly excited about the B2B category as those campaigns are often the hardest to crack.

In keeping with our global theme, are there campaigns that stand out in your mind as best practice from other areas outside the UK?

There were so many great social media campaigns across the board in 2012. My favourite has to be One Like, One Balloon (Eddy and Kako) to celebrate Heineken Brazil reaching one million Likes on Facebook. A member of staff based at Heineken’s office in São Paulo promised to blow up a balloon for every Like they received for one post over a 24-hour period. It was filmed and uploaded onto YouTube in real time, with a select number of users getting a dedicated video message. In the end they got around 12,000 likes and an office full of balloons – with employees just about poking their heads out of the top as they worked! Interactive, visual, entertaining, silly. Genius.

How do you build digital excellence within your company?

Lloyd’s is a 325-year-old brand renowned for innovation, leadership and expertise within the insurance industry. We flow this through everything we do, including our digital communications. Establishing good relationships and sharing expertise between teams has worked well for us – in particular marketing, IT and legal. And of course, having inspiring people around you who are passionate about digital and excited about the possibilities of five to ten years down the line – not just what’s round the corner. Having a good awareness of emerging trends and thinking long-term is crucial but something we can easily neglect when getting caught up with everyday operations.

What types of company and business sectors do you see excelling at digital marketing and ecommerce at the moment?

I think many B2B financial corporates still struggle to find a comfortable home in the digital arena. They tend to take a cautious approach to communications via multiple digital channels, particularly on the social side. But when you consider the extra challenges faced by regulated industries you can see why things haven’t happened more quickly. This is starting to change though – there have recently been some impressive examples of interactive Annual Financial Reports, for example. Ultimately it’s those still those who invest time and money into creating, optimising and promoting great content that are ruling the roost – and this tends to be retail or consumer products and services.

How should companies be defining and measuring digital excellence?

No amount of analytics data can make up for proper audience insight. Knowing your audience, their likes, dislikes, frustrations, behaviours is the only way to ensure you are hitting the spot when it comes to communicating with them digitally, whatever channels you are using. And the only way to do that is by actually asking them. We invest plenty of time into getting proper feedback from our customers – only then do you know when you’re getting it right. What we’ve found is that there is no such thing as the perfect campaign. But every experience helps you learn more about those who use your services and improve next time round.

What do you see as being the biggest digital trends of 2013, and do you see examples of companies capitalising on these as part of their digital marketing campaigns and programmes?

A joint survey recently carried out by Econsultancy and Adobe put content as a top priority for marketers in 2013 and from my experience this is spot on. At Lloyd’s we are unique in that we don’t sell a specific product. Rather we act as a support for the companies that underwrite risk in our market. It is content, not products, that is the key driver for us so our focus this year is on improving the quality and reach of what we produce digitally be that risk reports, features, blogs or though leadership pieces. Content continues to lead the way in terms of getting a message across – so invest in good writers, creative thinkers, designers and marketers.