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#MarketingEventsAwards 2021 highlight: Amazon Web Services taps into its audience persona for digital event

#MarketingEventsAwards 2021 highlight: Amazon Web Services taps into its audience persona for digital event

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The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit is an annual free online mass enablement event designed to bring together the cloud computing community. The objective was to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS’ products and services.

However when the pandemic hit in 2019, AWS had to be done in a digital format. With a goal of mass-educating and enabling its AWS customers, AWS decided to work with Mills agency, which impressed the judges, and scored the gold award for Best Virtual Event (B2B) at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s Marketing Events Awards 2021. Additionally, they also clinched the silver award for the Best B2B Brand Experience. 


When the Amazon Web Services (AWS) was planning the AWS Summit Online ASEAN 2021, the fundamental challenge of organising this event was the uncertainty caused from the pandemic. However, from Mills’ perspective, the challenge of designing a virtual event was even bigger than the pandemic.

According to Mills, the fundamental challenge of this event was the phobia that people at home faced due to working from home and the lockdown restrictions. With this in play, consumers were now tired of navigating a computer screen, especially one that had a time span of one day. 


To tackle these challenges, AWS and Mills identified three steps that would help ease the situation. 

The first was to craft a persona. “We understand that a brand is like a looking glass. It is described as a reflection of how you think you should appear to your audience,” said the agency.

Thus, when the agency was designing the experience for AWS, it started by profiling AWS’ audiences persona, which included tech enthusiasts, developers, marketers, and start-up entrepreneurs. 

The next step was defining the persona. This was done by using two datasets such as contextual and market. For the contextual dataset, Mills conducted semantic research using the Google keywords planner. By studying how the AWS audience use the keywords to search for AWS solutions, and adding the variables to classify intent, the agency was able to understand the perception or even expectations and needs of  potential participants.

Whereas on the market front, Mills referenced the developer survey at a question and answer website for professional and enthusiast programmers called Stack Overflow. With the annual survey dataset from Stack Overflow, Mills was able to catch a glimpse of more than 60,000 developers sharing how they learned and levelled-up, as well as which tools these individuals were using. 

When the persona was defined, Mills moved on to the next step of visualising the journey.

AWS comprises more than 200 products and services, including computing, storage, networking,  database, analytics application services, deployment, management, machine-learning, mobile, developer tools, and tools for the Internet of Things.

According to the agency, the customers of AWS come from different industry sectors with different needs and goals when they attend the AWS summit.  

The last step was to plan a feedback loop. The know-how and knowledge that Amazon’s customers could acquire via participating in the AWS Summit Online could reproduce an enormous amount of benefits, economically and emotionally.

By understanding how all these benefits and rewards were transferring from one to the other, Mills’ designers were immediately able to grasp the most important essence of the AWS Summit’s value proposition, and that was to “Build Tomorrow, Today”. 


To ensure active participation in the event, the designers from Mills came up with various interactive content to entertain the AWS audience such as a 20-minute speed chat session, where during and in between the breakout sessions, the moderator could run a pop quiz to address the hot questions. Furthermore, its design strategy was to ensure content was developed with relevance to the interest of the audience. 


Overall, the event turned out to be a success, with more than 38,000 unique registrations, and more than 20 unique sponsors. The customer satisfaction score also yielded positive results, having attained the highest in any ASEAN summit. 

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