HasOffers By Tune hosted its annual Performance Marketing Meetup last night (December 7), seeing members of the industry gather to chew the fat over 2017’s key developments.

The Barber & Parlour in East London’s Shoreditch was the venue for the evening, welcoming nearly 100 marketers through its doors from companies including Inflecto Media, M&C Saatchi Mobile, Optimise Media, Wowtrack and TopCashback, among many others.

To kick off the evening, a welcome speech by Josh Swerdlow, HasOffers by Tune’s head of Europe & Australia and the evening’s host, reaffirmed the company’s belief that “all advertising should be measured on performance, be transparent and people-centric.”

It was then over to PerformanceIN’s head of content, Mark Jones, to host an expert panel including Helen Southgate (chair of the IAB’s performance marketing council and UK MD of Acceleration Partners), Jon Ostler (UK CEO of Finder.com) and Vicky Bruce (head of affiliate at The Telegraph).

Looking back over the events of 2017, conversations explored advancements in affiliate technology, raised questions over the industry’s progress with influencer marketing and addressed concerns over ad-buying transparency following a year in which Unilever’s CMO famously called digital advertising “murky at best”.

A recurring theme throughout the year, prevailing claims of companies employing Artificial Intelligence were raised, with agreement across the panel that while certain companies are genuinely making headway, much of the dialogue is “just talk” and a rebranding of existing and established technologies.

Instead of focusing on disruption, the industry should aim to find a balance between pioneering technology and ensuring “the basics” are in place – such as tracking mobile sales, improving tracking solutions, timely payments for affiliates.

With the panel coming to a close, the conversations continued over drinks and canapes long into the evening, in what was a warm, relaxed and engaging meetup of leading performance marketers.