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2021 review blog

PAASE: 2021 Review & 2022 Planning

2021: A Review

WOW! What a year…

As an organisation PAASE started 2021 with some ambitious aspirations and five full time team members. We finish the year as a team of 16 (and looking to recruit number 17!). It was a busy year, but we have quickly and efficiently migrated from a freelance to agency style model; become Klaviyo’s first UK based Platinum Master Partner; increased our client base and built out an unrivalled partnership network.

We’ve bolstered the team across all client-facing disciplines with a mixture of experienced staff and given opportunities to two apprentices that have quickly become an integral part of our team.

We’ve worked with key partners to boost our financial, HR and B2B marketing functions and we’ve re-developed our website with the support of Spinks Creative and are now in the process of re-defining our go-to-market strategy with Ian at Gazing Systems.

A big thanks to all the teams at Klaviyo, Octaine.AI, Gorgias, Reviews.IO, RAIS, CornerstoneFD, HR Results, EMW LLP, and Spinks Creative for their continued support, with a special mention to Phil Greenwood at Klaviyo for all that he has done for us to date during our 2.5 year partnership. Finally, we can’t show a round of appreciation without recognising the hard work and effort of all the team at PAASE. They are the life blood of our business and the reason why we’ve been as successful as we have.

2022: A look ahead

As a business, we’ll be taking on our third office (while holding onto the existing space) and we’re kicking off some key strategic projects and marketing activities.

First off, as a fast-growing business built on data we’ll be kicking off a project to become ISO27001 accredited. This certification will allow us to ensure standardisation across our business and client base. We’re also introducing a new Learning & Development function within the business. This will be a key remit to nurture our culture of continuous learning and growth. Essential as we further accelerate our growth moving forward.

We’ll continue to make key hires to support our Operations and Commercial teams and have lined up two excellent individuals to join our board as Non-Executive Directors. We’ll have more information to follow in the New Year, but we’re very pleased to have them on board.

2022 will also become our first year of outbound marketing activity, kicking off with a renewed agreement with Spinks Creative. Following a successful website relaunch led by Spinks Creative  in 2021, we’re looking forward to working with them on focused lead generation activity. With that, attend our  first event where we head of to IRX in May 2022. We’ll also be adding new positions in Sales & Marketing – so, watch this space!

With the continued product development that Klaviyo are undertaking in both the existing email product and the recently released SMS function, we’re expecting clients to become more reliant on owned data in 2022 and this is born from some very good results in 2021.

Over the last decade I’ve heard many times that ‘email is dead’. But if 2020/21 was a resurrection for the channel, what does 2022 hold?

A big focus for us will be working with clients to enhance customer profiles to help them move prospects and customers alike to a more personalised email, SMS and online experience. We need to close the gap between expectation and reality. The focus will look to create commercially viable activity that drives a better customer experience. Brands are looking to create an online concierge service that supports customer engagement and builds brand loyalty. This is not an overnight task – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. So, what data do you need to capture about an individual in order to serve a more personalised email or SMS journey? How will you test the uplift of this activity? and how will you report success?

For many D2C brands, 2022 will herald a period where the larger year-on-year gains previously enjoyed are diminished. To get double digital channel growth will be harder and brands will see increased competition  fighting harder to get their expected share of the wallet. The wrong answer in 2022 will be the same as all the previous years. That is not to send more emails and expect more sales.

Instead, I refer you to a previous point in this article about creating more bespoke content journeys for individuals. This is, without a doubt, a more intensive setup procedure. But despite what the tech companies will tell you, will be much more rewarding for consumers.

I also ponder if 2022 is the year of SMS. It is still a much-maligned channel especially in the UK, at least.  SMS is considered quite intrusive but, with the perception that personal messaging is moving to WhatsApp, it does open up new opportunities for testing. We saw success with brands using it for broadcast over the Black Friday period (don’t forget your UTM tracking). We share mutual clients with BluPrint who are seeing significant success with integrating SMS with subscription services such as Recharge. Certainly, an area to watch!

Final Prediction 

We’ll see a greater focus and expectation within businesses on reporting and data insight. Companies will move away from simple open/click metrics and MA platform led orders/revenue reporting to a more holistic view of customer LTV.

Brands will want (and need!) to know if their continued (and sometimes costly) spend on an acquisition channel is attracting the right sort of customers.  Depending on the MA/ESP platform you’re using, this isn’t always easy to find. If you’re running this type of customer intelligence, it’s key that you can integrate these learnings with your MA platform so that data can be actioned as well as reported on

I end on a quick note to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Phill Manson, Director at PAASE Digital.

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