We went virtual with our first online version of Unlock on December 1st 2020.

As we entered lockdown 2.0 it was fair to say nobody knew where we were heading (including us) but we used our latest Unlock event as an opportunity to share ideas for businesses to use digital to their advantage.

We looked at how lessons learnt from the first lockdown in March were applied to lockdown 2.0 in November. As well as new marketing trends that look set to stay in 2021 and beyond, even when the Pandemic is behind us.

Our guest panel for Unlock Online explored how they moved quickly to adapt, innovate and to deliver new services, products and positioning. The aim of the session was to take a closer look at the challenges faced for many businesses, and to highlight how tech can support by addressing some of these now and in the future.

The Panel…

  • Lisa Worthington, a widely experienced marketer with 20 years experience developing and directing integrated marketing campaigns for brands such as Coca-Cola, Robinsons, Kellogg’s All Bran, Jack Daniels, Film 4 and Arts Council England. Lisa led the re brand of Dorset Tea and Tea India, creating commercially successful product ranges targeting the new hot beverage consumer.
  • Claire Flower is Director at Beverley Holidays, an award-winning family run holiday park in South Devon. Claire also works at Director-level with English Riviera BID, as well as The British Holiday & Home Parks Association, which represents and supports 3,000 holiday, residential and touring parks across the UK.
  • Sam McLaren, Service Improvement Analyst at Dorset Council. Within the Digital Dorset team, Sam designs services around people’s needs to help shape the digital future of the local area. Sam was nominated for Young Digital Leader of the Year, Digital Leaders Award 2020.

Be authentic, collaborate and be bold

“We established our brand purpose early on – then we just started getting creative and we decided to ensure we became more connected with our customers – but also making sure we were being sensitive. Our approach ensured we stayed authentic to the brand – but also authentic across our digital channels.

It is important to remember that nobody had been in this situation before so we tried new things, we experimented with campaigns and got a lot more of the company involved with the overall brand message.

Bringing delight with a cup of tea, through what was a difficult time.”

– Lisa Worthington, Dorset Tea.


Unlock Online – Business As (Un)usual
Unlock Online – Business As (Un)usual

Have the confidence to hold your own

“This year has been very stressful indeed, but we have fantastic support from our team they have pulled together and become good at adapting to the last-minute changes and the implications that has on our guests.

Early on we looked at our communication methods and how we were going to contact en-masse those guests that had already booked for the season – whilst keeping a sense of personal contact.

We made a lot of use of our website, social media and our E shots became a priority. It was also a time where we found the confidence to hold our own – be committed to the messaging that was going out – whilst ensuring our guest remained confident in us as a business and trusting us with providing a safe holiday in the future.”

– Claire Flower, Beverley Holidays.


Transitioning to a safe and supportive Work From Home environment

“Following the shock of the lockdown announcement we had a major transition for staff to work from home. It became clear that this was all possible with the right technologies in place but it needed the right supporting plans to help staff adopt these new working practices. We set up a collaborative “Community Shield team” of councillors, staff and local businesses and established things like digital skills hotline for anyone that was struggling.

Staff well-being and mental health has also been a key area we have focused on, especially with everyone being so isolated.”

– Sam McLaren, Dorset Council.


unlock online bus stop ads
Unlock Online – Business As (Un)usual

Be creative in these difficult times

“As a business I know that there has been a few ups and downs. The whole work from home and ensuring that staff are looked after – as well as trying to keep business ticking over. But I also know it is possible to be creative in these difficult times – I am particularly proud of my team who have stepped up to all the challenges of Lockdown and also launched a brand new holiday park app product to the marketplace – so I know great things are possible to come out of this.”

– David Lakins, Key Digital.


Unlock Online Discussion

For those that couldn’t make it, we hope to see you at an Unlock event in the future. If you’d like to see the discussion in its entirety – have a watch of the video below.

Key takeaways

  • Be authentic, collaborate and be bold
  • Lockdown has been an opportunity to experiment and try new things
  • Adapt / being flexible / take risks
  • Importance of communication internally and with customers
  • Expectations of digital has never been higher
  • Don’t forget the customer / user in all of this.
  • We should have more flexibility in our hours of work
  • Staff training was a bigger issue than getting the technology working in the first place

Thanks again to our panel for participating in our first online version of Unlock and to everyone who tuned in to watch live. Find out more about Unlock events.