Why we need to decentralise performance marketing – Breckon Lewis, Tinuiti

Regaining trust for publishers and reducing ad fraud in the morning, followed by an afternoon of increasing personalisation for consumers – a relatively low key day for this 30 Under 30 winner.

Breckon Lewis

Senior Manager, Client Strategy

Tinuiti, Inc.

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

You don’t need to be an expert in every facet of performance marketing to be successful, especially early in your career. PM is a rapidly evolving field that spans an incredibly broad range of disciplines from psychology to web development. With rabbit holes around every corner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed!

Instead, aim to develop a foundational understanding of how each piece of the ecosystem operates and how they work together. Cultivate your ability to think critically and be resourceful. Prioritize continuous education and never turn down an opportunity for strategic discussion, even when you think you might be in over your head. 

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

I would love to see the performance marketing industry further decentralized, removing black box intermediaries as gatekeepers and reconnecting brands directly with their customer base. Platform centralization has really degraded trust between publishers, advertisers, and users, while significantly driving up the cost for brands to interact with customers. 

The web is undergoing a foundational shift away from suspicious walled gardens, toward community-driven accountability and authenticity. This new infrastructure presents the opportunity to restore trust between individual users and networks. Increasing transparency around paid customer engagement, would drastically reduce ad fraud, protect consumer privacy, and introduce cost efficiencies. 

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

I have the opportunity to direct cross-channel media strategy for Tinuiti’s biggest and most technical enterprise e-commerce accounts. Due to their size, these accounts typically struggle to make intra-period strategic pivots. The pandemic eliminated nearly all predictability in the retail industry, however, which made agility the name of the game. 

With the support of a rockstar team, we helped one client overhaul internal processes to shorten feedback loops and prioritize flexibility in planning. Over the following 12-month period, we activated media across three new channels, expanded into seven new international markets, executed five geo-holdout incrementality tests, and grew revenue +300% YoY. 

What do you listen to on your commute to work?

I love morning news podcasts like The Journal (WSJ) and The Daily (NYT). Being able to speak relevantly about current events is super important to me. It helps me tie macro social/economic trends into whatever I’m working on that day. And allows me to weave an additional layer of sophistication into the strategies I develop for clients. 

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

Further convergence of brand awareness and performance marketing. One-to-one user level tracking/reporting has really separated how we think about brand vs. performance marketing. Many advertisers have even sacrificed brand identity across performance campaigns in an over-prioritization of conversion rate. 

I think we’ll start to see this shift in the next couple of years as privacy updates restrict 1:1 personalization, and consumers start tuning out our highest-converting placements that increasingly look the same. Brands will need to employ a consistent and unique identity/voice across all digital touchpoints to draw attention –engaging real people with their message as opposed to just advertising to convert.