THE search to find Scotland’s best digitally focused businesses is on, as The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards get under way for the tenth year.

Organised by The Herald in association with DigitalBoost and supported by Engage Recruitment, Business Gateway and SQA, the awards recognise the efforts of companies of all sizes which are making a difference to their business – and clients – through digital marketing.

The E-commerce award is supported by Business Gateway. Hugh Lightbody, chief officer for the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “The positive impact e-commerce can have on sales is now being recognised by more companies.

“In the last year, the DigitalBoost programme saw thousands of business people attend digital skills workshops, take digital health checks, participate in online tutorials and benefit from one-to-one support, all building their knowledge and expertise. We are sure entrants in this exciting category will demonstrate effective uses of ecommerce and show this to be an increasingly important aspect of business.”

Martyn Ware, head of assessment futures at SQA, sponsor of the Education and Training Award, said: “SQA is delighted to sponsor the Education and Training Award, and to recognise the innovative use of digital platforms to enhance education and training.

“Harnessing digital technology can bring many benefits to business, including the upskilIing of employees. 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 that will help people and businesses to realise their potential and to achieve their ambitions.”

David Mains, director of digital at Engage Recruitment, added: “The digital agency sector in Scotland continues to be buoyant, and that success is fuelled by agencies’ continued innovation. I think it’s important to recognise the innovation and the growth of these organisations and I’m looking forward to seeing that reflected in the entries.”

This year, 11 categories will highlight success in social media, consumer engagement within the public sector and in mobile. Businesses across Scotland are invited to enter by August 14, 2018.

The only requirement is that your business demonstrates success – be that inventive, financial or in terms of popularity.

Full details of all categories are available at

For more information, please contact Kirsty Loughlin on 0141 302 6016.

2018 Categories

Business to Business Award

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

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

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.

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 utilised 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 Engage Recruitment

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.