The entry deadline for the PMW UK Awards 2022 is just weeks away and the judging panel is being finalised, with an exciting line-up of brands, platforms and experts ready to view this year's batch of innovative campaigns and teams.
To get a better idea of what makes a good entry, the PMW team sat down with our Chair of Judges, Greg Levine at Vitality, to talk about ‘Atomic Networks’, dog years and why performance marketing is the hottest skill in the world right now…
With an illustrious career spanning high performance cars to high performing marketing, it’s no surprise that Greg stood out as our selection for this year’s Chair of Judges for Performance Marketing World's 2022 UK awards.
Born and educated in South Africa, Greg has worked for Vitality for nearly eight years and occupies the role of Managing Director: Sales, Retention and Advisor Support.
Greg’s numerous roles at startups and charities alongside insurance and automotive giants gives him a huge amount of experience of performance marketing across a range of verticals and channels, helping him steer our judging panel across all 27 categories this year.
Ahead of the PMW Awards standard deadline for entries on 28 July 2022 we quizzed Greg for what he’ll be looking for from this year's batch of entries.
Q. What do you look for in a winning performance marketing campaign or team?
“Performance marketing is all about delivering two fundamental things. Number one, creating and developing relationships with potential clients and customers. Number two, translating those relationships into actual monetisation. For any team from a performance marketing perspective, it's those key factors that really come to mind.
“It's about how do you grow, retain and monetise online. The campaigns that cut through are the ones that I believe are the worthy winners in what is a very competitive space.”
Q. What advice would you have for anyone unsure of entering this year's awards? For example, if they feel they're too small or different to compete, or they offer a mixture of performance marketing and branding campaigns?
“For me, performance marketing is probably the most exciting area of business today. If you ask me ‘what are the two key skill sets in the world that are most in demand’? I'd probably say it's performance marketing experts and software engineers. Why? Because the battleground of the future is how do you acquire, retain and monetise customers.
“If you ask me ‘what are the two key skill sets in the world that are most in demand’? I'd probably say it's performance marketing experts and software engineers.”
“So anyone who has any exposure to this field has value to air. And that doesn't mean that you have to be part of a big organisation to contribute to this field, because it's growing so fast. Some of the best ideas that are coming out in this area are actually coming from smaller firms who are using much more innovative ways to talk to larger groups of customers.
“I’m obsessed with the concept of ‘atomic networks’. Networks with the usual call to actions, but that grow through referral mechanisms via word of mouth and referral programs. That can happen from very small and humble beginnings.
“There's so many businesses, startup businesses – even established businesses – that are making that transition into this online world. Sometimes the greatest value they will gain is from the smaller players. Because they'll be answering problems that they're trying to grapple with. Whereas your more sophisticated players are dealing with more complex problems and therefore not really answering the problems that small entrepreneurs are looking to resolve.”
Q. PMW has added some new awards categories this year to meet demand, including one for ‘best skills innovation’. How has ‘The Great Resignation’ affected performance marketing specifically?
“As I mentioned, performance marketing is one of the hottest jobs in the world right now, because acquiring customers and returning and monetising online is the key of the future. I joke that performance marketing actually works in dog years. You see seven years of innovation in one year. So the skill gap and this innovation gap is critical.
“Performance marketing actually works in dog years. You see seven years of innovation in one year. So the skill gap and this innovation gap is critical.”
“Companies need to provide employers with that growth opportunity, with the ability for them to test and learn, to stay relevant. Unless you can deliver a platform where they can use data and maximise the benefits of data in innovative ways, they will go to companies which will enable them to do it.”
Q. Another new awards category this year for PMW celebrates the best ethical or sustainable initiative. Do you think the performance marketing industry is doing enough in these areas?
“The world’s consciousness around sustainability is at a really high level. As the quote goes: ‘we are the first generation to notice the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do anything about it.’ Those are haunting words!
“Performance marketing does go a long way in creating more efficient ways to transact. But does it go far enough to enable the fulfilment to be done in a more sustainable ethical way? That is the big question mark that needs to be resolved.
“Performance marketing's influence has to go far deeper down the supply chain to have the impact that it should have across a business. Performance marketers have got to do their role within the marketing umbrella, but they have a huge role to play in influencing how their role is sustainably and ethically realised across the entire value chain.”
What awards have you won in your career? How did it help you and your team?
“I've been lucky enough to accept a couple of awards on behalf of companies and on a personal level. But the ones I’m always proudest of are the ones that celebrate our teams' massive achievements.
“For me, an award is a celebration of all the hard work and commitment of the team. Companies don't succeed, people do. Awards have the ability to galvanise groups together around achievements. What motivates me most is to see the joy in teams to drive that competitive spirit to always be better. In turn, that competitive spirit fuels innovation. That creative tension is what produces brilliant ideas.”
Q. What is your favourite part of an industry award ceremony, specifically the night itself?
“I love awards nights for three reasons. First and foremost, it's a celebration of the industry. If we held a performance marketing awards 10 years ago, we'd have had about 12 people. We’re filling ballrooms now! So that tells me just how far the industry has come and for me it’s going to be a very proud moment standing there introducing the PMW UK Awards 2022. When I see the room full with amazing marketeers and innovators across the UK, it will just be unbelievable.
“If we held a performance marketing awards 10 years ago, we'd have had about 12 people. We’re filling ballrooms now!”
“The second thing is award ceremonies, the coming together of great minds, the networking and the ability to talk to colleagues and friends is hugely rewarding.
“The third reason is celebrating the success of the strongest people in the industry. It also ignites the competitive spirit. I think there will be a couple categories where I think, why are we not there? And that's also good…because I'll go back to my team and challenge them!”
There’s still time to enter the PMW UK Awards. Celebrate your successes and enter now.