The shortlist for the Performance Marketing Awards 2018 (PMAs) has been revealed, presented in association with Impact Radius.

The ceremony will take place once again at the majestic Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane on April 24.

Revealed on the PerformanceIN Facebook account earlier today and following the release of the Rising Star 2018 hopefuls last week, the shortlist features the latest industry leaders to be making waves in UK performance marketing and proved a painstaking task for the Awards’ judging panel.

Microsoft’s global agency director, Adrian Cutler, called judging this year’s entries an “incredible experience”.

“Cutting edge thinking really came through on the entries, they were not afraid to push the boundaries of what is possible with creative flair, a key focus on challenging the norm shone out,” said Cutler.

Meanwhile, Sarah Bundy, founder & CEO of All Inclusive Marketing, said: “The innovation, intelligible execution and exceptional results of the finalists were not only inspiring, they were exciting for the future of performance marketing everywhere.”

The full shortlist is available to view here.

New categories

This year, entrants vied for a number of new categories, including Best Use of Automation & AI, Best Account Management Team and Industry Disruptor.

The newly-introduced Automation & AI category sees the likes of CJ Affiliate by Conversant, iProspect UK and Ireland, Increasingly, Wickfire LLC, RTB House SA and NMPi competing for what will surely be a valuable accolade to tout in the year ahead, with artificial intelligence and machine learning set to play an evermore frontal role in the industry.

The fierce popularity of Best Account Management Team – another new category aimed at recognising stellar teamwork – is evidenced by the standard of companies in the running, with Decision Tech, CJ Affiliate by Conversant, Direct Line Group, vouchercloud, Visualsoft Affiliates and easyfundraising, in the offing for a potential gong.

Sponsored by Thoughtmix, it’s no small feat to be shortlisted for the Industry Disruptor Award, and those companies in the running are some of the most exciting companies out there, unafraid to flex the chassis of the industry as we know it; Button, Fospha, Mention Me, NMPi, PX, RevLifter, RTB House, MonototeTrackonomics and VoucherCodes all could champion this category.

Channel, campaign and vertical

There’s a reason that there is a brace of PMA categories that return year-on-year, and that’s because they remain highly-prized and sought-after by some of the industry’s biggest players.

Sponsored by Groupon and a category at the heart of the Awards’ heritage, Best Managed Affiliate Programme arrives again with a bang in 2018, featuring campaigns from Awin & Carphone Warehouse, Tradedoubler & Sixt, Optimise Media & LBG Cards, Impact Radius & Mcafee, to name just a handful.

A channel increasingly permeating the boundaries of performance, Best Influencer Marketing Campaign sees shortlisted entries from Navigate Digital, Redu, Buyagift, Wavemaker, Mindshare, among good company. Meanwhile Best Paid Social plays host to Tomorrow TTH, Talker Tailor Trouble Maker, Market Making, Oban International and N Brown.

This year, Best App Install Campaign sees entries from Merkle (Periscopix), Taptica, MediaCom, RAPP UK, Jungle Creations, Inflecto Media, Mindshare and Amobee.

The Vertical Awards, which recognise success across the Retail, Tech & Telecoms, Finance and Travel & Leisure sectors, once again demonstrate the diversity and breadth of performance marketing, featuring shortlisted campaigns from Dentsu Aegis, Performance Horizon, XCaliber, Sociomantic, Future plc and Reward Cloud, among an extensive roster.

Voting continues

While for those mentioned and the majority of the shortlist, the wait is now on for April 24, three categories remain that will require the industry itself to make the final decision.

Following interviews last week with the PMA judging panel, the coveted Industry Rising Star Award remains open for voting following the release of the shortlist last week.

Rising Star judging panelist and Found CEO, Tina Judic, called the process of identifying promising new talent “rewarding and, equally, so inspiring”: “Rising star nominees blew us away with their plethora of ideas, approaches and results – it really puts a smile on my face when I see how much this industry continues to evolve and deliver”.

Shortlisted for the peer-voted Industry Choice of Network is Admitad, Awin, Button, CJ Affiliate by Conversant, Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network and Visualsoft Affiliates. Shortlisted for Industry Choice of Publisher is easyfundraising, Quidco, Smarter Click Technology, TopCashback, VoucherCodes and

You can cast your votes for all of the above here.

Shortlist drinks

All of the shortlisted will receive an invitation to attend the Shortlist Networking Drinks, an official pre-networking event for the Performance Marketing Awards to be held at Impact Radius’ new offices in Fitzrovia on March 13 from 16:30 – 19:00. Owed to limited capacity, attendance to this event will be on a first-come-first-served basis, with two tickets available per shortlisted party.