Tell us a bit more about your session at PI LIVE 2018?

I am co-presenting a session this year with Anthony Clements called Hands off my Grad. We’ll be exploring the recruitment and entry-level progression strategies that have been vital in bringing new talent into the industry. The session is a bit different as we’re going to be talking more about the people-side of our industry.

There’s more pressure on employers today than ever before to support their staff and nurture talent, and we’re seeing more investment in people with initiatives such as the Digital Disruptors Award and Optimise’s Data Science Internship Program. We plan to take a look back at the strategies the industry has used in the past to support entry-level roles and how that is inevitably changing in a more automated world.

What key takeaways do you think will drive the most debate?

Well, most people have been to an event in the last year where someone has asked “are machines going to take over our jobs?”, so I guess this is that session at PI Live 2018!

Performance marketing is a very manually executed marketing channel, which has created a need for large numbers of entry-level roles. It’s inconceivable that this will not change in the years to come, and we’ll examine what that change will look like and what it will mean for this idea of entry-level progression that has been the mainstay of so many careers in performance marketing.

I think the concepts of AI, machine-learning and automation are going to be some of the biggest talking points generally over the two days, and I hope that our views on automation and what this means for people’s jobs will be a good point of discussion.

Without giving too much away, how do you think the role of the performance marketer will change in the future?

The obvious cliché is performance marketers will be more ‘data-driven’, but that’s a really lazy and nebulous explanation. The performance marketer today still devotes a significant portion of their time to the manual tasks needed to make the channel’s advertising a reality. We believe the performance marketer should be more of a channel controller; somebody that is making strategic spend decisions, opening doors to new, innovative partnerships for their brand and solving issues like cross-channel value and the proper measurement of upper-funnel advertising like influencer campaigns. To make this a reality, the day-to-day tasks that currently subsumes most performance marketers need to be made more automated and efficient.  

The show isn’t far away – what are you most looking forward to, whether it’s sessions, meeting people or just being in London?

I’m really looking forward to the Performance Punch sessions that are taking place on day two at the Marin Dome Stage, there are some really great topics up for discussion and I’m hopeful that they’ll spark a good debate from opposing viewpoints.