Why is the Performance Marketing Awards such an important event in the industry calendar year?

Paul Stewart: The Performance Marketing Awards have always been at the heart of the industry, it’s one of the key times the market comes together to celebrate and it’s been a joy to watch the awards get bigger and bigger each year (I’ve been attending since 2010!). The PMAs represent more than just a good night though; winning an award highlights businesses and individuals that are driving the industry forward and bestows on them a status that helps amplify their growth. The awards, in turn, also set the high-water mark for those wanting to compete for the following year (which is everyone) and this helps drive the whole industry forward. 

From your experiences, what qualities make an award-winning campaign?

PS: In today’s competitive industry all great campaigns have to be data-led and hit their main KPIs – that’s not to say it isn’t OK to miss some targets (in fact I’d argue that if you hit everyone you’ve not set them high enough), but what separates great campaigns from award-winning ones is if they dare to do something new.

If I were to offer one bit of advice, I’d say that ultimately to win an award the project you’re submitting has to be exciting to you, because if you can’t get excited about it then I can guarantee no one else will!

Tell us about winning the Publisher’s Choice of Network Award?

PS: This is an award that means everything to Awin (as you may have noticed when we celebrated it on the night in 2019!) and is one we never take for granted. Winning the Publisher’s Choice of Network award marks the successful culmination of the work of hundreds of staff, ranging from our Publisher support teams that look after our live chat services and manage our clients, to the development teams that build the products that publishers use to grow their businesses 365 days a year. With the award being voted for rather than judge it makes it that much more special when we’re lucky enough to lift it.

What challenges did you face in your campaign and how did you overcome them?

PS: 2018-19 was arguably one of the most disruptive that the industry has ever seen with the launch of the GDPR as well as multiple browser updates  – Awin moved quickly to clarify our GDPR stance ahead of its launch, taking a position that was different to some other networks at the time, but which we believe has subsequently become validated, and also pushing ahead with the mass adoption of our MasterTag solution in order to mitigate the impacts of Safari, Firefox and Chrome privacy updates.

We weren’t perfect, I don’t think anyone was, and where we couldn’t get our solution in place we made sure publishers were kept informed by being able to download a list from our platform that would indicate where issues remained. We also then rolled out a compensation tool that would ensure publisher losses were minimised.

Whilst the above changes are certainly enough to keep most busy, it was also important for Awin to push the industry forward and our entry included case studies and exclusive partnerships that we’re using to significantly grow the activities of key media partners in the performance space as well as our release of the second Awin Report which has been downloaded over 7,000 times. As said by our strategy director Kevin Edwards – ‘As an industry that drives over 10% of e-commerce worldwide, this is a story that deserves to be told’ and Awin is making sure that happens.

Has anything changed for your company since winning the award?

PS: It’s been a point of personal pride that Awin has retained the Publisher’s Choice of Network award for a number of years and it’s the first goal we set out to replicate when developing a strategy for a new year. Attempting to win this award forces us to think long and hard about our offering to publishers and with this being a voted award, winning shows the industry that Awin’s successes are because we care deeply about all our clients – especially our publishers.    

Do you have an award-winning worthy entry? Download the entry kit and submit ahead of Thursday’s entry deadline. Find out more about the 2020 Performance Marketing Awards.