The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards are go

The search to find Scotland’s best digitally focussed businesses is on, as The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards get underway for the eighth year.

The awards, organised by The Herald and in association with DigitalBoost and supported by Business Gateway, Enigma People Solutions, Wheatley Group, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, SQA and FanDuel aim to continue to reward businesses large and small who are benefiting their business and clients through digital marketing.
This year the awards are in association with DigitalBoost as they continue to strive to aid the Scottish business community. Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP said: “Digital technologies continue to have a significant and positive impact on Scotland’s business community, not only by improving internal processes but also by opening up new markets across the globe. The DigitalBoost programme supports Scotland’s SMEs to adopt digital technology by making sure they are equipped with the right skills to take advantage of new opportunities which in turn has a positive impact on economic growth.”

This year there are twelve categories to enter, highlighting success stories in social media, consumer engagement, within the public sector and through mobile application.

The e-commerce award is supported by Business Gateway. Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer for the Business Gateway National Unit said: “The positive impact of e-commerce continues apace generating new commercial opportunities for all Scottish businesses.

“With physical location becoming less of a barrier for companies and customers alike there are more growth opportunities for our SME community through the effective adoption of e-commerce and its various platforms. Business Gateway works across all corners of the country and supports thousands of SMEs so we are delighted to be sponsoring the E-Commerce award for the second year.”
Last year’s winners, Storm ID commented on what it meant to them to be crowned with the title, ‘Digital Agency of the Year 2015’ at the awards last October, in Glasgow.


Paul McGinness, director, Storm ID, said: “It was a real honour winning best digital agency last year. As a high profile award it offered great PR for Storm over the last year. We look forward to attending the awards again this year as it’s always a good night”.

So, who will reign supreme this year? We are asking all businesses across Scotland to put forward their digital campaigns, the only requirement is that you must demonstrate success – be that inventive, financial or simply in terms of popularity. Entrants have until Thursday, August 25 to submit an application.

David Mains, director, Enigma People Solutions, said “Once again Enigma People Solutions is sponsoring the final award to be presented on the night – the Digital Agency Award. This category rewards one digital agency which has carried out the most advanced digital innovation in Scotland. We believe this to be a very important category to recognise and reward the incredible achievements of the talented agencies which exist in Scotland. The calibre of entries we see each year always make this a very tough category to judge.”

Evelyn McDowall, digital lead at Wheatley Group, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor the Charity and Social Enterprise category. We know there are charitable and community-based organisations out there who are using digital technology in creative ways to help make a difference to people.
“This award will recognise and celebrate the great contribution they are making to communities across Scotland.

Stuart Robertson, director of digital at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “We are looking forward to seeing the innovative ways entrants to the business to business award are making use of technology and online resources. Technology, good connectivity and innovation are at the heart of HIE’s community and economic development work.

“Businesses of all sizes, including many in rural areas, are now seeing better access to high speed broadband through the Digital Scotland partnership. In addition, our initiatives including DigitalBoost, Digital Tourism Scotland and #hellodigital, Scotland’s first digital demonstration centre in Inverness, give people practical experience of some of the latest digital products and services.”

Dr Janet Brown, SQA chief executive says, “SQA looks forward to recognising the innovative use of digital platforms to enhance education and training. SQA is committed to working with the digital skills industry, business and the education and training sector to provide relevant qualifications and innovative ways of assessing them, which will help people and businesses to realise their potential and to achieve their ambitions.”

Eileen McLaren, vice president of engineering at FanDuel, said: “We’re proud to sponsor the Student Award again this year, it’s a great opportunity for talented people to have their ideas showcased on a national platform and to have their innovations seen by some of Scotland’s top business figures.”
All entries are submitted online our dedicated event site – For more information on how to get involved please contact, Lyndsay Wilson on 0141 302 7407.

2016 Categories

Business to Business Award sponsored by Highlands & Islands Enterprise

This award will be given to an organisation that can best demonstrate the effective implementation of digital platforms and tools in a business capacity. Judges will look for evidence of how the technique was adopted and has delivered consistent results in unpredictable market conditions.

E-Commerce Award sponsored by Business Gateway

This award is for an organisation that uses e-commerce to benefit the wider business. Judges will be looking for a site which effectively converts visitors into purchasers. Key criteria include design, functionality, checkout process and user experience as well as after sales service. The effective use of search to drive customers to the site will also be considered.

Charity and Social Enterprise Award sponsored by Wheatley group

This award will be presented to an organisation that is using digital technology to drive social good in Scotland and beyond. We will be looking for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises where innovative digital projects have resulted in real and meaningful engagement with the people they work with, from donors and beneficiaries to the general public. This can include the use of social media, digital campaigns, websites and online platforms, and mobile apps and services. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase how digital technology can be used for social good, and to raise your profile and inspire others at the same time.
Public Sector Award

This category is open to all government agencies, education establishments, health providers and uniformed services. Judges will be looking for evidence of how digital tools, platforms or techniques have been used to meet an objective, simplify a process, galvanise support and encourage engagement.

Best Mobile Application (includes Games)

Judges will be looking for innovative and commercially successful apps, which have been created for the mobile space and simply wouldn’t work on a desktop. This category will reward the most effective mobile application targeting consumers/users across any mobile platform. We understand that developers launch apps for different reasons, therefore the judges will select the winner based on the entrant’s stated objectives, user experience and app success.

Consumer Engagement Award

This category will recognise the most innovative use of digital platforms and tools to engage with consumers about a product, service or event. Websites, e-targeted marketing campaigns, social media applications and mobile technology are all eligible. Entrants should provide examples of how they have successfully communicated with the audience and the business benefits achieved.

Education & Training Award sponsored by SQA

This category will reward the innovative use of digital platforms to enhance education and training to a specific market. Judges will look at how the e-learning brief has been successful in achieving the objectives e.g. by a specific innovation or outstanding user take-up. Entrants should detail the aspirations of the programme and how it has aided the organisation or individual. Access to the e-learning tool is needed to demonstrate its working.

Student Award sponsored by FanDuel

To showcase emerging talent in Scotland we have launched the Student Award. This category is open to students enrolled in full-time education at a Scottish college or university. Students can submit a project which covers one or more digital platform which they have completed as part of their course. Entries must demonstrate creativity, new ways of thinking and potential impact rather than specific business results. This is your opportunity to showcase your skills on a national stage and pursue your goal of a career in the digital industry.

Out of Home Award

This category will aim to recognise the best creative and effective outdoor digital advertising across Scotland. Entrants must discuss the innovative ways they have marketed a product or service from sensory technology. Submissions may include billboards, window displays, street furniture, projection (buildings, floors, and public spaces), automobile and cinema.

Best Use of Social Media Award

This category will reward an organisation that demonstrates the best use of social media to enhance loyalty, promote their services and interact with clients or customer base. Entrants should include examples of how they have successfully utilized social media through the means of social networking sites, blogs and other forms of viral communication.

Digital Professional of the Year Award

This new category will recognise the best Digital, Media or Creative professional. The individual will demonstrate technical / creative expertise as well as commercial success for their team or business. Evidence of work and client/peer testimonials must be provided.

Digital Agency Award sponsored by Enigma People Solutions

This award will be presented to the agency which has carried out the most advanced digital innovation in Scotland. This category will celebrate a digital leader with an impressive client list, diversity of work and excellence in creative execution. Judges will review the agency’s overall quality of work, commercial success and fulfilment of client briefs (please supply client testimonials). Overall we are looking for an agency that is using digital to excite, enthuse and inspire.