We’re just a week away form Performance Marketing Insights: London and it’s time to introduce another one of our top speakers. Gavin Wilson is the managing director UK for Sociomantic Labs and we spoke to him ahead of his session, ‘Beyond Retargeting: Driving Display Personalisation and Performance Cross-channel’, on Day 1 at PMI London.

For those who may not be too familiar with Sociomantic Labs, can you summarise what the company does and to whom does it appeal?

​Gavin WilsonSociomantic helps e-commerce advertisers leverage their proprietary enterprise data for real-time media buying and creative personalisation across desktop, Facebook, and mobile display. These advertisers are looking to drive more online sales, and we help them achieve this within their ROI goals with a suite of digital display advertising solutions that include real-time bidding (RTB), dynamic creative optimisation, and first-party data streaming technologies. For example, for retailers, we can help them leverage customer loyalty data to help drive more intelligent buying and messaging decisions to reach their users across devices. On the other hand, for online travel agencies, we could leverage proprietary data sources such as revenue management data to drive the personalisation of price and message. For telco companies, we leverage purchase history data from offline to help them up-sell online. To summarise, our streaming technologies enable e-commerce marketers to use their own data to drive incremental sales at scale.

How did the company come about and what international presence does it have?

GW: Sociomantic was founded in Berlin in 2009 with the mission of building a sustainable global company that would help advertisers to bridge the gap between their first-party data and their online marketing. Our three founders each invested 1,000 euros to launch the company. To date, we have grown organically from that small investment to a global team of more than 150 online marketing experts spanning 14 offices that are serving marketers in more than 60 countries.

How are you feeling ahead of your session at PMI London and what are your top three ‘must attend’ sessions?

GW: Although the name has changed, this will be my fifth time attending this conference, and I can tell you that it’s a high quality performance marketing event that my team and myself always look forward to attending. This year, I’m especially looking forward to the panels on attribution, customer loyalty and the keynote from Greg Nugent, the director of brand, marketing and culture for the London Olympics and Paralympics.

What is your main top tip to nervous speakers and how much prep is needed to speak at an event such as PMI London?

GW: You shouldn’t be nervous if you have content that is relevant and value-adding for the audience! In such a complex and quickly changing market, events like PMI offer an incredible opportunity to exchange knowledge and best practices. Once you know the foundation of your content, then preparation and creativity are the keys to success. Content for an event like PMI can be weeks or months in the making, requiring a careful collaboration between the speaker, marketing team, design team, and even getting feedback from clients, journalists or partners to refine the content for the given audience.

Is there a certain speaker/attendee you are keen to meet and why?

GW: Based on his session description, I’d be keen to catch up with Emmanuel Arendarczyk, who’ll be speaking about TV advertising’s effect on search traffic. We see TV as one of the next major sources of programmatically purchased media, and I’d be very interested to learn more about how this (for now) largely offline channel is impacting the online activities our customers’ customers. Just imagine the power of being able to use programmatic buying to reach customers and prospects with targeted, personalised messages on TV. In the meantime, we’re very excited about the possibilities of programmatic mobile, just one more stepping stone on the path to a fully unified multichannel, multi-screen customer journey.

Why is it important to attend industry events such as PMI London and how important is networking in this industry?

GW: There’s so much new technology in the market that it’s important for marketers, vendors, and the press to come together to exchange knowledge and cut through the noise of an always-changing industry. Meeting in person gives all parties the chance to improve their businesses.