"84% of millennials don't trust traditional advertising" – Sam Crocker, impact.com

A collector of unusual objects, but sharer of great advice. Sam Crocker gives us his 3 top tips for young performance marketers.

Sam Crocker

Director of Sales, EMEA


What are you going to do with your PMW 30 Under 30 Award trophy? 

My friends and colleagues know me as a bit of an oddities collector, so it will probably take its place on my mantle between a set of Rorschach-esque Goliath beetles and a jar of Ernest Shackleton's antarctic seaweed samples.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I love working with technologies that are bringing something new to the world, so I hope the job that I'll be doing in 5 years' time doesn't exist yet. Then again, if I am learning every day, giving the right amount of effort and appreciating what I have, then I'm happy.

What piece of advice would you share with young professionals looking to work in the PM industry?

I have three pieces of advice: 

1) Work with people who want to see you succeed. If you can find a team that is able and eager to support you through challenges and cheer you on when you win, then you're far more likely to succeed in whatever you choose to do. Plus it's a lot more fun.

2) Mentors don't have to be your managers. Treat every interaction as an opportunity to be curious and make a new connection. I consider every member of my team a mentor to me and I've benefitted an immense amount from their unique insights.

3) Seek wisdom over knowledge. We are operating in an incredible era where our world is flooded with information – the most successful people will be the ones who know how to harness it best to achieve the right outcomes.

What is your favourite statistic?

84% of millennials don't trust traditional advertising. 

Okay, so this might be a bit of an odd one given our line of work but bear with me here. In many ways, this statistic provides a wake-up call for our industry and represents an opportunity to reimagine how brands interact with their desired audience. As performance marketers, the challenge that many of us on the PMW 30 Under 30 List will need to tackle in the coming years will be understanding the increasingly interconnected and sceptical audience we're aiming to reach. Today's consumer is far more likely to trust a reputable third-party making an authentic recommendation that educates or inspires them rather than a traditional online ad. At impact.com, we're already seeing brands investing heavily in developing performance-based partnerships with influencers, premium content producers and brand-to-brand partners; I expect to see this piece of the marketing pie continue to grow.

What one thing above all would you change about the PM industry?

I'd love to see a more diverse range of people in leadership positions. It's been really encouraging to see the majority of this year’s list are women, and diversity on conference stages seems to be improving but I would like to see more people with less privilege than I at the very top of the performance marketing industry. Not only is improving equality the right thing to do, but study after study has shown diversity to increase business performance, so there's really no reason this shouldn't be a focus for every business in our industry.

Bragging rights: what’s your proudest performance so far? 

The first person I hired at impact.com as a Business Development Representative has just set the EMEA record for the best performance in a single quarter as an Account Executive. A big shout out goes to Alex Barriff - I hope to see you on this list next.

What do you listen to on your commute to work?

Current Spotify playlist: Electronica Romantica,

Current podcast: Ram Dass Here And Now,

My team's sales calls from the day before, and the sound of blaring horns as London cabs overtake me on my bike.

What is the one data or tech trend to watch out for in PM in 2022/23?

I think this year is the year commerce content solidifies itself as a key pillar of revenue for premium publishers and a key partner category for brands with mature partner programs. Advancements in compensation models for these kinds of relationships have provided more openness to testing and ultimately better results for both parties. Further focus on improving technology, strategy and staffing in commerce content over the coming year will only speed up this shift to more performance-based partnerships in the content space.

I was delighted to see Trackonomics and Pressboard join the impact.com family over the past 12 months as both teams specialise in developing technology for publishers to optimise their work in this space.

Thank you so much for the award, PMW. Anybody who would like to get in touch is welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn.