Drivers of change: PMW 30 Under 30 previous winner’s interview

From transparency to sustainability to automation, young performance marketers are drivers of change. What are tomorrow’s CMOs up to today?

With regulation, technology and Elon Musk’s stance on Twitter changing every day, the adaptability of young performance marketers allows them to thrive in this industry.

The spark in young talent helps ignite innovation, and PMW’s 30 Under 30 Award celebrates the achievements of those starting out in their careers and already making an impact that ripples throughout the industry.

With the 2023 standard entry closing on 9th February for this year’s hopefuls, PMW caught up with one of last year’s winners, Piper Heitzler, Head of Growth, EMEA at Amobee. She now sits on the other side as a judge for this year’s entrants and provides an insight into what's different about young performance marketers today

Q: Why should businesses be excited about young marketing professionals in 2023? 

“Younger professionals care about values such as transparency, sustainability and automation, both in their personal and professional lives. Young performance marketers that are entering this industry today are pushing all of us forward in that direction. 

“Younger generations are also showing up to the workplace as their whole selves, as opposed to a very professional versus private version of themselves, and that creates a level of authenticity that permeates throughout the work culture at large in the industry. Companies should be really excited to bring those individuals in to promote that level of authenticity at work.”

Q: What is exciting for young marketers joining the industry at the beginning of their careers?

“The opportunity of fragmentation: although it creates a challenge, it also creates a lot of opportunities to dive into different types of roles that didn't exist even five years ago. 

“The industry is exciting because it is always changing; for example, the boom that we've seen with identity over the past few years and the boom with TV and connected TV. Addressability in general is a very interesting landscape to be navigating because you have regulatory changes that shake the whole thing up. So your solutions that you've built three years ago might no longer stand today. But that is good because everybody has to innovate, so there’s absolutely no getting bored.”

Q: As a PMW 30 Under 30 2022 winner, what advice would you give to anyone starting out in the industry? 

“When you start out, it can be very overwhelming when you're in your first job and things don't go right. But I always like to remember that no one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I'm going to be bad at my job today, I'm going to hurt this person's feelings’, or ‘I'm going to make sure that this person isn't included in this meeting’. So no matter what you're doing on a day to day basis, when things are tough, just remember to give people a little extra grace and communicate with kindness. Because we're all in this together. 

“Especially as somebody who's growing in this industry, it's really important that we create organisations that feel supportive and want to grow all types of individuals.”

“When I was told by my marketing team that I was a Performance Marketing World, 30 under 30 Award-winner, I was shocked because for so many years, since my very first job out of college, I have made an adamant choice to never tell anybody my age, like it’s my biggest secret. Not only did the award make it public, but it was also celebrated.”

“My worries all of a sudden dissipated and it made me something I was really proud of.”

“My worry of always thinking that if somebody knows my age, they might not think that I'm ready for this responsibility, or they might not give me this project or this title, all of a sudden dissipated and it made me something I was really proud of. So even now I'm happy to say I'm 29 and have been able to work in North America, part time in Southeast Asia, and now live in London. I'm just thankful for all of the experience I've had today and what I'm hopeful to get to do in the next decade.”

Q: What did it mean for you to win the PMW 30 Under 30 Award last year? 

It was really humbling. When Amobee asked me to expand my role and move to London in December 2019, it was a big leap of faith, moving myself and my husband here. Taking on a whole new landscape, learning, meeting and managing new people in a new country was a lot of fun, but also had a lot of challenges. 

Winning this award felt like what Matthew McConaughey would say in his book Greenlights: you're in the right place, you're making an impact and doing you’re exactly where you should be right now. So continue on this road and on this path. And that's ever more been true throughout 2022, getting to do opportunities like this and interviews with PMW.

Q: As a judge for this year's 30 Under 30, what are you looking for in the entrants? What will make them stand out as a winner? 

“I'm looking for someone who has created a really supportive and collaborative culture around themselves as a teammate. I like to say that life is a public school, not a private school. So the act of bringing together diverse people and perspectives and delivering a single outcome that makes everybody better, both as individuals and also as a team, is really critical. That level of being a good teammate is important for anybody that's in this 30 Under 30 category and wants to continue to have success in the future. 

“I'm also looking for someone who's pushing themselves and obviously growing outside of their comfort zone. If it feels like you're dipping your toe into a pool that's a little too chilly, but you know as soon as you jump in that it's going to be just fine, that's really what you're looking for: someone who's dipping their toe in the pool and pushing themselves.”

Enter our PMW 30 Under 30 Award here:

Standard entry deadline: Feb 9 2023