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Insight

Redweb reflects: what we learned from 2020

by Redweb, 18 December 2020

Read Time: 5 minutes

We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: 2020 was quite the rollercoaster.

But where there are challenges, there are opportunities to learn. Our Redwebbers have been incredible this year; they’ve harnessed technology in new ways to help clients, adapted seamlessly to working from home, and stayed curious and positive throughout.

With so many different disciplines in our agency, everyone’s experience has been slightly different. So with the end of the 2020 in sight, we asked some of them to share what they’ve taken away from this year.

The shift to remote working

“So much unprecedentedness in 2020! One thing I did happily predict was that distance isn’t a barrier to effective teamwork. A lot of our communication was mediated by screens anyway, so the shift to fully remote was relatively painless.

“I still think there’s an ideal balance between home/office out there that I’m looking forward to finding in the new normal. Even so, it’s been really satisfying to continue producing high-quality collaborative work, be part of events like Digital Day, and maintain close relationships with clients – all from the comfort of my sofa (and getting a sneak peek into the homes of colleagues!).”

– Matt Northam, Lead Front End Developer

Using digital to collaborate with our clients

“Like many others, one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is forging and maintaining relationships primarily through digital. Where previously we could just jump in a car and have a face-to-face with a client, all of a sudden we were thrust into daily interactions within the confines of a screen.

“Thankfully as a team, and in collaboration with our clients, we have embraced and developed on online tools to close that gap. We never thought we’d be hosting online-only workshops with digital Post-It notes within two weeks of lockdown, but it was a great success. While I’m still looking forward to grabbing a coffee with clients in the future, I’m proud that we’ve been able to leverage digital rapidly to build on our key relationships.”

– Matt Lampey, Head of Client Partnerships

Virtual conferences make for a lower barrier to entry

“Everything went virtual this year – and that included conferences. Without travel and accommodation costs, it made a lot more events accessible, which can only be a good thing.

“I recently joined our friends Axelerant as a speaker at their booth for Acquia Engage which was a great experience. The tool Acquia used allowed me to join really easily, and for attendees to join and engage with me and the Axelerant team. Having not done many speaking slots, it was a nice way to participate without worrying about getting stage fright! I do still miss face-to-face, serendipitous networking though – that really is difficult to replicate online.”

– Dave Folan, Development Director

Dealing with dramatic market shifts

“It seemed that there was no such thing as middle-ground for the best part of the year. Business either slowed to a crawl, or demand surged so rapidly that it was tough to properly handle.

“Whilst each situation brought a different set of challenges, we used very similar methods to effectively adapt our clients’ paid advertising. We made big strides forward by being able to properly ‘train’ smart-bidding solutions, so I could focus on strategy and addressing specific user needs. It may have been a little bit chaotic at times, but we’re really pleased with how we navigated such an unpredictable period of time.”

– Mike Patten, Digital Marketing Strategist

Cutting through the noise

“If we thought we’d hit content saturation point before the pandemic, the shift to everything being online has only exacerbated it. Everyone’s inboxes are flooded and social media channels are overrun with updates, insights and commentary.

“Still, online events appear to have achieved that cut-through and helped fulfill that need for in-person engagement. Hopefully we’ll see some in-person events again in 2021, but I’m not expecting the pace to let up!”

– Viki Richards, Marketing Manager

Wishing you a wonderful festive season

Fingers crossed that 2021 is a little more straightforward to navigate – although we’re sure there will be some curve balls. All that’s left to say now is that we wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a happy, safe new year!

Redweb

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