The 13th edition of the Performance Marketing Awards (PMAs) welcomed nearly 1,000 performance marketers to the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane last night (April 30) for an evening of glamour, networking and celebration as the industry once again showcased its leading excellence, developments and resilience to performance marketing activity.
Presented in association with Tradedoubler, the PMAs celebrated the companies that continue to inspire, succeed and innovate following a record-breaking year in award entries. With this years’ entrants competing across 27 different categories, the PMAs demonstrated success within four key verticals and the individual teams that are going above and beyond as voted for by industry peers.
Tech publishers raising their game
Throughout the judging process this year we noticed a significant amount of entries from technology publishers that are raising their game by utilising emerging technologies such as AI and automation to enhance their product offering to brands and consumers. This was evident with the likes of RevLifter, Smarter Click and Increasingly all picking up awards on the night.
RevLifter scooped three awards (Best Use of Data, Best Affiliate Marketing Innovation, Best Performance Marketing Technology) as the platform’s innovative meta tag solution (RevPage) continues to disrupt the affiliate industry. Meanwhile, Increasingly in partnership with Webgains was given full praise for its work with Samsung and has been recognised as the Best Use of Machine Learning and AI, whilst Smarter Click took the award for Best Technology and Telecoms Campaign for delivering sales for Carphone Warehouse through personalisation.
The worthy winners provide solid evidence that brands and publishers are shying away from the traditional publisher model as they move up the funnel, whilst publishers were awarded on innovation rather than familiar tenancies, offering a much more diverse mix in the channel.
In addition to tech publishers, there was the introduction of new entrants in the industry which was highlighted in our first-ever award for Best B2B Campaign. With Croud, Sage UK and MediaVision all making debuts, it was the latter who were crowned winners for their outstanding campaign with Instant Offices. What stood out for the judges was the smart execution of strategic offsite SEO and an innovative, technical approach to analysing data, which led to a 50% year-on-year increase of SEO sessions and a 49% increase in revenue uptake, maintaining MediaVision and Instant Offices’ solid relationship.
Channel & Campaign and Vertical Awards
The Channel & Campaign Awards kicked off with the Best Brand Engagement Campaign, which saw The Kite Factory’s emotive campaign for WaterAid crowned the winner. The campaign generated a staggering fundraising total of £8.4 million and delivered an impressive ROI.
The ever-popular category for Best Integrated Performance Campaign saw eight companies compete for the top prize with Planit coming out on top for their impressive work for NBCUniversal’s direct-to-consumer on-demand subscription video service hayu. Best Paid Search Campaign was incredibly close as Essence Global claimed the prize for their scalable and innovative solution for targeting existing and new BT mobile customers, which contributed to 23% of sales for mobile and lowered CPA by 44%. Meanwhile, The Telegraph Travel scooped gold for Best Paid Social Campaign.
NMPi claimed their first award of the evening for Best Use of Programmatic before scooping Most Creative Performance Marketing Campaign for their partnership with Webgains to deliver a smart programmatic media buying strategy for Liverpool FC. Elsewhere, it was a solid win for Inflecto Media and Mindshare for Best App Install Campaign as they delivered an immensely successful mobile install campaign for BPme, achieving a staggering 127% install to overall purchase rate.
With the channel growing at a rapid rate, the Best Influencer Marketing Campaign category was its closest yet with Awin winning the award for its work with Voxi and The Hook to reach an entirely untapped audience through influencer marketing. Meanwhile, CJ Affiliate & Debenhams won Best Managed Affiliate Programme as they established a solid affiliate programme to beat the high street odds.
Global Excellence saw another large shortlist of entrants up for the trophy but Rakuten Marketing scooped the trophy for their work with Cult Beauty to meet an ambitious growth target for the affiliate channel through internationalisation, delivering 113% growth year-on-year for the online fashion retailer.
With barely a moment to catch our breath, it was over to the Industry Awards. Starting with the second new category for the PMAs, Best Team in Performance Marketing saw Awin win for their highly commended client services team going above and beyond to meet client needs on all sides. The award for Most Effective Agency couldn’t have been more competitive with iProspect edging it out for award number two of the evening as the agency’s forward-thinking research and insights continue to drive and shape the performance marketing industry.
Following an intense judging process, Awin’s Clementyne Lavender was named this year’s Industry Rising Star, rewarded for her passion, tenacity and fresh perspective of the affiliate and performance marketing industry. Elsewhere, Global Saving Group’s level-breaking strategy to disrupt the voucher code space won them the Industry Disruptor Award.
Finally, the most prestigious awards of the evening: Industry’s Choice of Publisher and Publisher Choice of Network. Having won the former award last year, cashback publisher TopCashback retained the prize for another year running whilst Awin once again won the latter as both companies continue to demonstrate excellence in their respective fields.
On behalf of the Performance Marketing Awards, PerformanceIN and Tradedoubler, a huge thank you to all the event sponsors that helped make the ceremony possible. And finally, a huge congratulations to all the esteemed and deserved winners.
To learn why the winners won, and how to claim gold next year, download the official Book of the Night.
International Performance Marketing Awards 2019
With the dust settling from the PMAs, it’s time to look to the International Performance Marketing Awards (IPMAs), which returns on Monday, October 21.
With the entry kit available to download now, the awards will introduce new categories, including Best Native Advertising Campaign and Best Sports Betting & Gaming Campaign as we reflect the ongoing global market developments of the industry. Judges will be looking for campaigns in these categories that are creative and smartly executed; for the latter in particular, an outstanding campaign that has excelled within the Sports Betting & Gaming vertical using a performance-based model.