The International Performance Marketing Awards (IPMAs) is set to return in 2018.

The night of October 15 will see the industry converge at The Grange St Paul’s Hotel under the shadow of the landmark London cathedral, as PerformanceIN once again celebrates the achievements of performance marketing’s leading lights at a global level.

This year, the ceremony will take place between day one and two of the international performance marketing show PI LIVE. Entries will open on April 4, when the IPMA 2018 entry pack will also be made available.

The launch of the new website follows a hugely successful debut last year which saw international leaders champion 22 categories, recognising activities across USA & Canada, MENA, APAC, LATAM at the glamorous Hilton Bankside.

Truly representative

Once again, there are no physical boundaries when it comes to who can enter the IPMAs so long as campaign activity reaches consumers in one of the specified regions.

The Awards are open to advertisers, publishers, media owners, agencies, networks, startups, technology providers or individuals who operate in the performance marketing sector, and can be located in any global territory with no requirement to have a physical presence in the region entered.

As a result of invaluable feedback from the industry, however, certain elements of the IPMA categories have been renewed, revised and revitalised, with the aim of presenting a truly representative, international awards show that identifies the best performance-based marketers operating across the globe.

While categories and entry criteria have not changed dramatically since last year, below we’ve provided an overview of key updates and the motivations for implementing them.

Campaign-Based Awards

Multi-market activity no longer required, new categories added

The Campaign-Based Awards are centred on achievements within the realms of paid search, paid social, influencer marketing, data and programmatic. Significantly, this year’s entries to these categories will not require campaigns to be based in multiple markets. This follows feedback that the previous requirement that campaign activity be present in “more than one” territory was restrictive, and allows this suite of awards to benchmark the campaigns that companies are most proud. That said, companies may still enter with campaigns based in multiple markets.

This year, two additional categories have been added to the Campaign-Based Awards. This will see influencer marketing now recognised as a standalone category, now considered a “critical publisher vertical” for the future growth of performance marketing. Meanwhile, 2018 sees the introduction of the Best Industry Collaboration Award, which will seek to reward two or more stakeholders who have collaborated together to drive results for a specific campaign, strategy, or for the industry itself for the greater good of performance marketing.

Regional Awards

Clarity over regional definitions, global campaigns now recognised, UK entries face improved vetting

The Regional Awards are split under two main identifiers, Best Managed Affiliate Programme and Best Performance Marketing Strategy or Campaign, which are each open to entries from across the specific regions of USA & Canada, LATAM, MENA, APAC, Western Europe and Eastern Europe, and now, Global. 

This year, owed to the presence of campaigns that technically fall outside of these regional parameters, the IPMAs have extended the USA region to include activity within Canada as disclosed; MENA now includes activity within South Africa; and LATAM is confirmed to include all activity within Brazil. Meanwhile, both the Affiliate Programme and Performance Marketing subsets are host to a Global award category, open for entries from campaigns that have been active in two or more countries.

While the IPMAs are a young awards ceremony in themselves, the UK Performance Marketing Awards are a well established annual presence, and while the IPMAs faced calls to restrict previous UK Awards entries from Western Europe categories, we didn’t feel it was fair to eliminate these entirely. As such, campaigns entered into the UK awards in April may still be entered into the Western Europe category enabling competition with other companies across the rest of Europe. However, there will be strict vetting and due diligence carried out in order to ensure the campaign activity for entries of this nature to have taken place between the awards activity period of July 1 2017 – July 31 2018.

Akin to the Campaign-Based Awards, the Regional Awards will also no longer require entering campaigns to be active in more than one market.

General Awards

SaaS takes standalone category, agency awards merged

With the goal of identifying group leaders, the General Awards seek to reward entrants representing key demographics such as Best Full Service Affiliate Network, Best CPA Network and Best Performance Marketing Technology, along with the peer-voted Industry Choice of Network, Technology and Agency which will remain unchanged this year.

A key amendment for the General Awards is the provision of a designated category for Best SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. This, in turn, sees Best Performance Marketing Technology (formerly Best SaaS/Tracking Platform) reserved for the many new technology-driven platforms and publishers aimed at improving the performance marketing activity of stakeholders.  

The final change is the merging of what was previously two separate agency awards based on staff count. Due to the volume of companies entering with over the 30-staff threshold, the categorisation has been set aside in favour of a single Best Performance Marketing Agency category.

Industry Choice of Partner

Entry process changes

The peer-voted Industry Choice of Partner award is available to Networks, Tech Companies and Agencies deemed by the industry to be the leaders in their field.  

Following feedback from previous entrants, we have removed the requirement for companies to be nominated in order to enter into the running and be able to receive votes. Instead, entrants will be asked to complete an entry form (for a nominal charge of £25) which will be judged alongside other entrants. A shortlist of finalists will be curated, after which point the voting stage will begin.

What’s next?

The countdown is now on until entries open once again for the International Performance Marketing Awards on April 4, when you will be able to get your hands on an IPMA entry pack and take advantage of the Earlybird entry cost until July 10, with the entry deadline following on July 20.

For any questions regarding IPMA entries and sponsorship opportunities, please email the Awards’ events manager, Kezia McAuley or call on +44(0)117 990 2980.