With entries open for October’s inaugural International Performance Marketing Awards (IPMAs), this Q&A series looks back at the winners of the Awards’ ceremony last year, gathering insight into the some of the past winners and inspiration behind the industry’s newly-decorated campaigns and companies.

Today we’re speaking with Carla Arrindell (UK managing director) and Stephen Rumbelow (group CEO) of Optimise who won the awards for Best Performance Marketing Campaign or Strategy in APAC and Central & South America.

Tell us about winning an International Performance Marketing Award?

SR: We were delighted to be short-listed in six categories across each region we operate in. But, winning two IPMAs (for APAC and LATAM) was a real testament to how we’ve excelled at providing our global clients with the best products, technology and service, as well as for delivering some really exciting innovation along the way.

CA: Winning two IPMAs last year was a fantastic experience and real testament to the quality of our work across the markets we operate in. It was such a great opportunity to showcase our strengths and be recognised for incredible results achieved by our team, through our tech for advertisers, in both Finance and Travel verticals.

Where does the value lie in winning the Asia Pacific – Best Performance Marketing Campaign or Strategy / Central & South America – Best Performance Marketing Campaign or Strategy?

SR: For APAC, Advertisers face significant challenges in running cross-border commerce campaigns (cross-device tracking, different time zones, multiple currencies, languages etc), so it was fantastic to be recognised as being at the top of our game in helping Agoda achieve 300% year-on-year sales growth with a campaign designed to deliver incremental sales across all devices and multiple countries.  

For LATAM, the challenge was slightly different – how to innovate performance marketing using native advertising combined with a performance overlay and deliver a step change in naïve media buying in the Brazilian market. It was great to be recognised by the industry for this and help Santander exceed their targets and optimise their costs.

CA: Both markets are maturing at a rapid pace and competition is fierce so one of the biggest value adds in securing the awards is having that validation from the industry that Optimise are delivering the most progressive and innovative Campaigns in their respective markets.  

Has anything changed for your company since winning the award?

SR: Winning these two awards have helped increase awareness of Optimise across the globe as an innovative performance advertising company. It’s also galvanised us as a global team to push the boundaries of performance even further, with universal tracking and data-driven performance analytics solutions designed to help our clients overcome the three main challenges of performance marketing – how to increase market share of cashback sales, how to increase incremental sales from other channels and how to increase sales from higher value customers.

CA: I’m not sure it’s changed anything but it’s true to say the wins have galvanised us as a global team and strengthened what was already a strong collaborative approach across our technical, insights and sales teams to deliver greater results for the brands we work with.

In your opinion, what kind of attributes stand out in succeeding in such regions as APAC / LATAM?

SR: Having global reach and local expertise – you need to know what you should and shouldn’t do in each market, help brands reach wider and deeper into their chosen markets, and make it easy to run cross-border campaigns.

Being more than just a platform – you need a people + technology approach so clients think of you as an extension of their marketing team.

Brand protection – you need to provide full transparency on where campaigns are being run so brands have trust and confidence in you.

CA: The businesses that succeed in these markets are those that combine global reach and progressive Adtech with local knowledge and expertise. Each market and vertical have nuances that if overlooked can prevent campaigns realising the best possible return for their ad spend. Optimise have been at the forefront of this model in the international space and it has clearly paid off.

What’s your take on the IPMAs as a vital aspect of driving the industry forward on a global scale?

SR: It’s all about showcasing excellence in performance advertising and being able to evidence the latest insight and innovation from around the world. It’s no longer a case of North America and Western Europe exporting tech and know-how across the globe, but more a case of how can we apply learnings from the mobile-first world of Asia-Pacific into other markets. The IPMAs create healthy competition in the market and are a great way to champion performance marketing excellence and innovation across the world.

CA: I agree it’s a vital part of progressing the industry globally. There’s still a need for education of the benefits of PM in some emerging markets, but most importantly, Brands and Partners want global reach and access to the relevant audiences anywhere in the world, so the PM industry needs a platform to showcase just how effectively it can meet these demands and achieve these goals. The IPMAs is a great way to champion that message.

Earlybird entries for the International Performance Marketing Awards 2018 close on July 10. Download the entry pack for more insight into the regional and channel-based categories that could see you, or your overseas teams, crowned international performance champions.