“Living the performance marketing dream”: 30 Under 30 winners announced

In a rapid and transforming industry, it’s the younger generation that is pioneering the future – driving change, inclusivity and innovation in every click.

PMW today announces the winners of its international competition to celebrate the rising stars in the industry.

The awards were set up to recognise the work of breakthrough talent aged 30 years and under in the performance marketing industry.

Winners include agency founders, platform developers and programmatic gurus, singled out for their contributions towards exceeding company goals and instigating positive change within their teams. The varied skill sets demonstrated by the winners are an example of the industry as a whole: diverse, inventive and specialist.

“The future is in capable hands”

One of the judges, Gareth Turner, Founder of Big Black Door, said: “It was great to see the abundance of young talent in performance marketing. There were numerous examples of entrants living the performance marketing dream – finding ways to do things faster, cheaper, or just better and discovering new opportunities as a result. 

“I was blown away by the achievements and passion shown by these leaders who are harnessing cutting-edge strategies and data to deliver outstanding results and tangible commercial impact. Their innovative thinking, relentless pursuit of excellence and the testimonials from their line managers left me inspired and assured that the future is in capable hands.”

Due to the cross-border nature of the sector, entrants could apply to be recognised as one the ‘30 Under 30’ from around the world alongside an extra award to celebrate six ‘Newcomers’ to highlight those ones to watch at the very start of their career. 

The list was selected by an esteemed panel of high profile judges from diverse parts of the industry. The full list includes:

  • Oliver Shayer, Omni-media Director at Boots UK
  • Megan Beatty, Group Director, Digital Strategy, Media.Monks
  • Guy Gobert-Jones, Managing Partner, Omnicom Media Group
  • Devin McGuire, Global Marketing Manager, ASICS Digital
  • Victoria Murden, CMO, Herdify
  • Gareth Turner, Founder, Big Black Door
  • Adam Hawkins, Head of Client Success, Mediaocean
  • Kristina Nolan, Vice President of Affiliate, DMi Partners
  • Charli Rogers, Senior Vice President, International Customer Solutions, Yext 
  • Piper Heitzler, Head of Growth, EMEA, Amobee
  • Julia Linehan, CEO, The Digital Voice
  • Michael Russel, Head of Production, Manchester City
  • Claire Stanley-Manock, Paid Media Director, connective3

Chair of Judges, Oliver Shayer from Boots UK, commented: “Congratulations to the remarkable winners of the Performance Marketing World 30 Under 30 award, the winners showcase the depth of talent and dedication within the performance media industry. Your innovative strategies, unwavering determination, and ability to deliver outstanding results truly make you the rising stars of performance marketing.”

See all the winners below, and look out for the winners interviews coming out over the next few weeks.

PMW 30 Under 30 Award winners

Sean Goodchild, Head of Media Services, Rocketmill

As Head of Media solutions at RocketMill, Sean Goodchild has worked with many world-renowned brands including Tesco, Emirates, Canon, Sky and his efforts for Now TV were recognised by the DMAs for Best Use of Automation in 2020. 

Headhunted by RocketMill and joining in June 2022, Goodchild rose swiftly through the ranks and has built 15 proprietary tools to drive simplification, automation and innovation across the company’s paid media capabilities. In one month, his tools equate to 500 manual hours and billable time saved, hence it’s little surprise to hear him described as “an inseparable part of RocketMill’s winning formula”. 

Judges’ comments: “The description of Sean's work with automation and innovation is likely a game changer for Rocketmill's paid media campaigns. An exemplary submission that demonstrates tangible impact on the business, excellent performance marketing skills put into clear practice, and a clear career journey. The narrative communicated in both endorsements shows that Sean's work is appreciated and recognised across all levels and I particularly loved this: ‘He brings out the best in us all’.”

Dalvir Virk, Biddable Manager, Mediahub

Since joining Mediahub, Dalvir Virk has managed multiple high-profile European accounts with media spend in the millions and was instrumental in deploying a UK Search Awards winning script called Equilibrium. The script automatically paused paid brand keywords on Google Search campaigns, allowing conversions to be picked up by organic traffic and in turn powering huge media savings within the first month. This in turn was invested into generic search campaigns, bringing 30% incremental value over the first year. In her rapid progression from an executive to manager, she now manages junior executives and supports their own career developments, with two being promoted less than a year after joining the industry. 

Judges comments: “It's truly impressive to see what Dalvir has achieved in such a short time. Her work has clearly had an extensive effect on business success, but it is also excellent to read that her leadership skills are so sharply honed that her direct reports have also been able to shine in her team. Definitely one to watch.” 

Sarah West, Director of Integrated Media, Stream Companies

Rising quickly through the ranks to become Stream Companies’ Integrated Media Director managing SEO, PPC, and social media teams, Sarah West’s performance at just the age of 27 has put her firmly on the map as a leader in performance marketing. Since moving into an integrated media role, West has led her team to a 108% YoY increase in budget managed and guided a top US ecommerce client to a +29% YoY increase in traffic and +26% YoY increase in leads. With a reputation which now precedes her, West presents as a digital integrated media expert on new business pitches with a 46% close rate. 

Judges comments: “Great stats for business growth. Her speed of growth as well as her leadership of four different media teams is compelling, on top of her KPI gains.

“It is clear that Sarah's love of learning and developing her team have in turn developed her own career in a most impressive way. Her achievements are impressive, but it is her work ethos that shines through, and will continue her career on the upward trajectory that it is clearly moving quickly on.”

Campbell Williams, Senior Manager, Display, Tinuiti

The two words that drive Campbell Williams’ professional career in the digital marketing space are inclusivity and efficiency. 

She participated in the launch of Tinuiti's Impactful Investment Initiative, which serves as Tinuiti’s solution to help clients allocate media budgets via a thoughtfully-sourced diverse supply of inventory. This has served to make an impact not only for the client but for the community too, reaching audiences and amplifying traditionally underrepresented voices including BIPOC, Hispanic/Latinx, AAPI, LGBTQIA+, PwD/Disabled people, and Women creators. Williams’ projects to increase efficiencies also include building a best-in-class supply path optimisation solution and a platform to automate campaign pacing. 

Judges comments: “Campbell's focus on inclusion in the digital marketing space is essential for the industry and needs to be a part of all advertisers' marketing plans.”

“An excellent submission that demonstrates a well-rounded career clearly contributing hugely to the wider business and community. I loved the references to reaching audiences in an authentic way, a more inclusive media landscape and a people-first approach - these are all areas that are often missing in a performance marketing role.”

Carmen Urquhart, Senior Media Manager, RocketMill

When Carmen Urquhart joined RocketMill seven years ago as an intern, she had no prior experience of paid media. Now a leading member of the media team, she manages a staff of five and her mentorship has enabled two promotions for her direct reports within the last year. She led on the paid media strategy for The Telegraph, which saw subscription volume increase +30% above target and it was her expertise on this project which saw her work on secondment as Head of Media for the newspaper title aged just 28. She is currently responsible for the performance, strategic execution, and revenue growth of +10 clients each with multi-million pound media budgets. 

Judges comments: “Love how she embraced a placement at the Telegraph – a great development opportunity taken with both hands. The stats from The Telegraph speak for themselves, giving Carmen a high rating not only for her execution skills, but also the strong client relationship she has built.”

“Carmen's ability to integrate seamlessly within another team and to contribute at such a level demonstrates a high level of skill and maturity. Her omnichannel approach clearly produces excellent results, and it's commendable to see that this is recognised by the C-suite.”

Erik Stebbins, Senior Manager, Paid Social, NP Digital

Creative sprints have been a major part of Erik Stebbins’ success. He played a pivotal role in the performance breakthrough of a financial client at NP digital, helping to contribute to an increase of 667% over benchmark for its primary KPI, leading to recognition from Search Engine Land for the Best Omni-Channel Campaign in 2022. Stebbins’ expertise and experience spans across all business models in the B2B and B2C industries, and he frequently discovers new platform updates even before the platform partners do. With his natural curiosity and passion for all things digital, he is consistently the most requested senior manager for all new accounts both internally and externally.

Judges comments: “A submission that demonstrates a hardworking and passionate individual who has made an impact on his business and the wider industry. It's unusual and impressive to read about his testing work around creative campaigns, and to see a focus on creativity alongside performance marketing.”

Tallulah Moody, Senior Account Manager, Rakuten Advertising 

In just two years, Tallulah Moody has been promoted four times in the Rakuten Advertising client services team. Now managing a demanding global client portfolio including Mango, NET-A-PORTER, Vilebrequin and TOMS, her clients can boast an average 50% increase in gross sales YoY with a 100% retention rate. Moody’s position as global lead for NET-A-PORTER’s affiliate programme sees her work with regional teams across APAC and the US, increasing revenue by +34% YoY while decreasing costs by -35%. Thanks to her passion for spearheading international expansion, she has helped another luxury client drive rapid growth in its EU programme, growing it by 118% since its launch in 2021 and has increased revenue driven in the Middle East by 101% YoY.

Judges comments: “Very impressive performance stats and progression! Strong career trajectory in a growing business and growing into new markets. Tallulah's quick growth at Rakuten shows how valued she is by the team there and her clients, especially with a 100% retention rate. An impressive client roster and track record that shows passion and commitment. It's great to see expertise in international markets.”

Katie McMahon, Biddable Associate Director, Croud

Already recognised for one of Marketing Brew’s Go-Getter Awards 2022 and a bronze winner in the 2022 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Biddable Associate Director Katie McMahon is a jewel in the crown for Croud and is beloved by clients alike. She has been instrumental in winning and onboarding some of Croud US’s biggest clients and has developed the US onboarding training curriculum for all new starters in the Biddable team. McMahon has also helped establish an international buddy system to encourage collaboration and friendships across Croud's global offices and hosts regular knowledge-sharing meetings with international Biddable teams, helping to promote standardisation and best practice on a global scale.

Judges comments: “The standout part of this submission is Katie's commitment to a training curriculum and new solutions, demonstrating maturity and skill that positively impacts the business. It's also excellent to see that her focus on cross-channel leadership has helped to develop client relationships.”

Laura Donadio, General Manager, THG Society

Credited with successfully establishing THG Society, The Hut Group’s influencer marketing agency and platform, Laura Donadio has nurtured its client base from a humble four in 2022 to a whopping 33, increasing annual revenue by 1090%. 

Now working with a large budget across THG brands, THG Society has become a major player in the influencer marketing industry. Donadio herself played a pivotal role in creating a ground-breaking outfit for Zendaya’s appearance at the 2019 Met Gala as part of Tommy Hilfiger’s Global Celebrity and Influencer Team, generating an exceptional earned media value and 364m impressions for the brand, making it the most talked-about outfit of the night. 

Judges comments: “Leading a whole business unit for The Hut Group under 30 is amazing. This was a clear winner for me from the applications I reviewed. Incredible business growth, clearly articulated in a compelling entry.”

“Laura's achievements for THG society are truly impressive – notably the large increase in external revenue for the business as well as founding this group herself. An excellent submission that shows an innovative approach to performance marketing, and an incredible achievement to head up a successful agency at 30. Laura clearly leads with empathy and passion, and I look forward to seeing what's next for her. Fantastic accomplishments founding and scaling business org beyond client impact.” 

Ruby Young, PPC Strategy Director, Croud

A rising star in the business, Ruby Young was responsible for on-boarding one of Croud's largest clients with activity running across 65 accounts.

Her innovative and problem-solving approach saw her develop a strategy alongside Google and Croud client PrettyLittleThing after noticing some 32,000 products were not generating clicks. Young’s solution ensured 60% of those dormant products were recognised in search engine results, leading to a significant amount of incremental revenue for the client within 30 days and two industry awards for the campaign in general. Young has led the charge for creating award-winning campaigns for the PPC team, collecting trophies from the Alliance of Independent Agencies and the Online Retailer Awards, as well as being shortlisted for The Drum Digital Advertising Awards. She was also an integral part of Croud being shortlisted in the Microsoft Partner Awards 2023. 

Judges comments: “It's rare to see such a problem-solving submission that clearly demonstrates excellent contributions to the business. It's also notable that Ruby is adept at identifying incremental opportunities, and helping to develop team members.”

Oliver Williams, Head of Digital Performance, Total Media

Leading a team of 40 specialists across Search, Social and Programmatic, Oliver Williams has been described as a “visionary” for his work in creating successful performance strategies for clients. 

Upon inheriting the agency’s biggest client in the form of the BMW account, Williams was able to drive an 80% increase in the brand’s highest value conversion via an industry-first bidding strategy focused on combining data from omnichannel touch points. Resulting in Total Media’s first Google published case study, the strategy has since been used as a PPC best case activation template and has been replicated across BMW’s other European markets. 

Judges comments: “I think that Oliver's strategies leading to an 80% increase in conversions is a great indicator that he should be in the running for 30 under 30, especially with the inclusion of a Google Case Study.”

“It's excellent to see such an omnichannel approach that embraces digital and more traditional channels, leading to a Google case study. Also notable is his desire to problem solve, leading to great success and leadership of a sizable team.”

Victoria Pace, Senior Client Development Manager, CJ

Described by one direct report as a “superhero”, it’s safe to say Victoria Pace has made a positive impact among her peers – and in a climate where clients are currently divesting marketing channels and struggling to achieve revenue goals, her profile has grown by 24% YoY and increased investment by +19%. 

Pace has a reputation in the affiliate industry for staying on top of trends in order to make informed strategic decisions to scale growth and mitigate potential loss and she is a hands-on professional who challenges herself daily to audit her client's programs and identify areas for improvement and growth. 

Judges comments: “It's rare to see an affiliate marketing submission, and Victoria is clearly a mistress of her craft. I really commend her commitment to wider activity such as DEI and corporate responsibility, and it's clear that Victoria is well-respected by her peers and mentors. I love the passionate testimonials and the reference to both soft and hard skills. Solid performance across the board.”

Kirsten Black, Head of Affiliates, EssenceMediacom 

Kirsten Black has enjoyed a rapid trajectory within EssenceMediacom, having joined the business as an executive in 2018 to being promoted to Head of Affiliates in 2023. 

Black has embraced the post pandemic work trend, giving her staff freedom around hybrid working and supporting flexible hours. She has also delivered significant commercial growth through new business wins and programme development with 47% growth in revenue YoY. This includes significant new deals with Studio Retail, Moda Furnishings, Amazon Audible and Warner Leisure, as well as award-winning work with current clients including Emirates and Boots, for which her team scooped Winner of the Partner & Affiliate Marketing Awards for Boots at the PMW Awards. 

Judges comments: “I particularly enjoyed reading about Kirsten's proactivity in creating a community for performance professionals across the North. It is this commitment to developing the industry for her peers that will see her go far in her career. Her determination to deliver for her clients also makes this submission commendable.

Ryan Davies, Head of Digital Marketing, Kwalee Ltd

Responsible for running performance campaigns that have driven dozens of games to the top 10 on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and with more than 10 of those hitting the number one spot, Ryan Davies clearly stands out as Head of Digital Marketing at Kwalee Ltd. Starting at the company as a junior and now running the department with a 50+ strong team handling hundreds of thousands in daily spend, Davies is considered an incredibly astute marketing leader in the industry. In a mobile game economy where performance marketing is a key to success, he has been responsible for driving over 950 million app downloads for the company, demonstrating the power of an extreme data-driven approach. 

Judges comments: “A good demonstration of progression and growth, both personally and related to the company, with a strong emphasis on performance and results. It is clear by how much they've scaled the team in such a short period of time as to how much of an impact he is making at a young age.”

“The extraordinary growth in a competitive industry whilst also building a large team is to be applauded.” 

John Berggren, Senior Director of Marketing, Acquco

Described by a peer as “one of the greatest analytical minds I have ever met”, John Berggren lives and breathes performance marketing. 

During his tenure at Acquco, Berggren launched a viral TikTok ad campaign for a bedsheets brand which drove over 10m views and huge sales at a profitable ROI. For Prime Day 2022, he implemented an Amazon PPC strategy which allowed the company to drive over 100% growth YoY and he designed and executed an ad strategy on Walmart ads across the company’s portfolio of brands that grew to an impressive run rate in less than a year. 

Berggren’s creative ad strategies focus on a formula of quickly scaling growth opportunities and doing so in the most efficient and profitable ways possible, thus truly embracing the “performance” element, of which many marketers still miss out on. 

Judges comments: “The stats speak for themselves – his talent clearly has depth to it and his ability to think strategically about the combination of performance marketing and brand awareness have been a crucial piece to his success.”

“Very specific in terms of impacts mentioned. His work speaks for itself. Success in a truly demanding and competitive environment.” 

Katie Yang, VP Brand Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, DFO GPC Global Performance Commerce

At the age of just 26, Katie Yang is the youngest female Asian-American executive at GPC Global Performance Commerce. In her role as VP Brand Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Yang recruited an entire team from scratch and now sets standard operating procedures for a department whose combined brands surpass multi-million dollars in sales volume. 

Under her leadership in the last year, one fitness-based e-commerce brand achieved eight figures in revenue and in the year previously, she achieved a seven figure exit on a wireless earbuds e-commerce brand. Yang and her team leverage sales channels and key marketing campaigns alongside strategic partnerships, collaborations and social media growth, massively increasing brand awareness and attracting investors and partners alike.

Judges comments: “Great achievements in revenue growth. Excellent examples of ambitious moves and tactical thinking. Soft skills clearly evident to show agility in personal progression and strategic growth for her teams.”

“Excellent and high impact application. Indicates a rounded leader, who gives back to the community in her own time. Leads from the front, and references talk of her caring and committed approach. A networker/connector – often the glue within an organisation. At 26 years, a huge achievement and well rounded success with entrepreneurial acumen.” 

Karina Patel, Account Director, Incubeta 

Personally responsible for brand awareness strategies in the Netherlands for M&S, Karina Patel’s role involves detailed planning with Google, the creation of a measurement framework and reporting to key stakeholders as she drives growth in challenging marketing conditions. 

She is the only Account Director within Incubeta with planning and activation experience across Search, Social, Programmatic Display, and YouTube, and leads a team of ten of which half have received promotions within the last 12 months.

Patel, who is already the winner of two Drum awards for Superdrug Online Doctor and Quintain Living for Best Health Campaign and Most Effective Use of Creativity respectively, also has nominations at the Performance Marketing Awards (PMA) and iPMAs.

Judges comments: “Love seeing the way she's impacted the overall industry through award recognition. Decent impact made via campaigns. Solid recognition through awards.”

“Good breadth of performance achievement across channels and clients. Nice application of branding to drive results to showing a full funnel application. Karina's broad knowledge as well as YouTube expertise and creativity are outstanding.” 

Rebecca Fry, Head of Product, E-Commerce, Omnicom Media Group 

It’s little wonder why senior colleagues describe Rebecca Fry as “a shining star at Omnicom Media Group” (OMG). Since joining the agency in May 2021, she has been promoted twice and started a Direct to Consumer (DTC) e-commerce practice within OMG UK from scratch, adding more than half a million pounds in revenue in less than 18 months. She led the pitch success and onboarding of 12 clients, spanning nine industries and has grown her team from one to seven eCommerce experts through the scale of her pitch wins. Most recently, Fry’s expertise saw her present a product and performance-led view on how to win Social Commerce through “discoverability to shopability” alongside OMG UK’s CEO. 

Judges comments: “Excellent application. Demonstration of personal growth, client pitches and wins, driving performance for existing clients and also developing a team. Based on the above submission, I expect Rebecca to continue her trajectory.”

“Showing entrepreneurial flair and strong pitching skills is impressive and requires an assured confidence with professional skills.” 

Lucy Culpin, Digital Marketing Manager, Ticketmaster

Since taking charge of Ticketmaster Sports’ paid media six months ago, Lucy Culpin has grown the business’ client base by 34%, resulting in 46% more bookings from clients. She is also behind the development of a pioneering new video marketing strategy to increase brand awareness which resulted in 3m+ impressions, over 100K engagements and 10K new visitors to the website. 

Culpin’s portfolio of clients for whom she manages the B2C paid media and affiliate marketing campaigns includes such big names as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Formula E, The Premiership Rugby League, Rugby League World Cup, and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

Judges comments: “Lots of depth to the entry, it clearly shows smart strategy and execution. Great detail on the tactics used to achieve high performance using different formats. Lucy's impact in a demanding arena in such a short time is impressive.”

Emily Walsh, Client Development Director, Performics

Working within Performics' Technology and Intelligence team, Emily Walsh is instrumental in the activation, operations and sales of the tools and solutions which drive organic growth for clients through bespoke technology. She is seen as a model for Performics' 'Power of One' way of working and heavily contributed towards the development of award-winning technology that has driven awareness of Starcom, Zenith UK and Spark in both Media and MarTech awards.

Walsh’s exceptional delivery and data handling has been part of all major Starcom new business wins in the last two years and has delivered huge sums of billable revenue over the last 18 months. Her exceptional performance has been recognised internally, with Walsh winning Publicis Media's 2022 'Future Leader' award. 

Judges comments: “High impact at Performics/Starcom. Winning the Groupe Publicis Leader of the Future prize is a significant accolade. Adopter of new technologies. Nice focus on the use of technology to drive performance for clients across multiple agencies, in order to drive revenue for her business. Emily's rapid progression is clearly reflective of her talents.”

Dani Leman, Online Media Manager, The Specialist Works

Dani Leman is credited with elevating the role affiliate marketing plays for clients and partners alike and even within her own agency. 

For one client, Leman demonstrated how aligning affiliate marketing with TV activity could lead to higher engagement. After putting in place a plan and reporting framework for an energy provider brand, her strategy increased transaction volume by 91%, with that specific campaign leading to three award nominations including a win at the Performance Marketing World Awards. A first for synchronisation of TV and affiliate activity, Leman’s strategy saw a 289% increase in investment from the client to explore further innovation in the channel moving forward. 

Judges comments: “Innovative use of a holistic strategy with Linear TV and affiliate marketing. Dani clearly has a vision to stretch the opportunities in the affiliate space.”

Dan Williams, Senior Media Solutions Director, iCrossing

From concept through to launch, Dan Williams led the scoping, building, QA, and release of iX Universal. As the founder and leader of the Media Solutions team at iCrossing, he and his team have transformed its proprietary tech offering by building award-winning scripts, apps, and solutions that automate and innovate across PPC, paid social, display, and SEO. These achievements have seen wins at the Corporate Content Awards 2022 for 'Best Use of Data' and in the PMW 2021 category 'Data & Insights' for Keeping up with the Coronavirus in Wales. 

Williams has designed, built and maintains an ever-growing library of 35+ point agency solutions which automate the tedious, templated drudgery of forecasting, budgeting and reporting that delivery teams were previously having to complete. It has been calculated these tools do the work of more than three full time employees, thus freeing up the teams to maximise their intelligence and creativity to make a real impact for clients. 

Judges comments: “Good leader, good results, well respected by his team. Using a tech-first approach to driving performance for clients, as well as making the agency more efficient and unique in its proposition.

“Extraordinary achievement from someone aged 28, both having the technical skills and the leadership skills to build a series of award-winning marketing tools.”

Elisa Boivin, Managing Director, Footsprint

As Managing Director and co-founder of Footsprint, Elisa Boivin is dedicated to decarbonising the digital industry. Under her stewardship, Footprint has developed a methodology to calculate the CO2 equivalent emissions of the digital advertising value chain, from websites to digital media campaigns and influencers. It released a groundbreaking study last year that evaluated the carbon footprint of websites of 60 companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange, ranking them by Top Sustainable (least polluting) and Least Sustainable (most polluting). 

That year, Boivin and Footsprint also ranked the Top 100 US Advertisers' websites based on their ecological performance, a pioneering study which unveiled the heavy hidden cost of internet traffic on the planet as well as how companies, particularly advertisers, can take action. The agency also has officially launched a partnership with 1% For The Planet, committed to redistributing at least 1% of its revenue to social and environmental projects. 

Judges comments: “Groundbreaking innovation. Very worthy submission and the focus on sustainability is very relevant at this time. Elisa has shown clear vision for the future needs of the industry to look to its contribution (or lack of) to sustainability. Her position as founder and CEO of the business shows incredible maturity and leadership and of course, foresight.” 

Richard Masters, Technical Campaign Operations Analyst, Rakuten Advertising

Richard Masters’ achievements extend beyond his title. He is the go-to person for all things performance – from navigating global projects, to moving from Programmatic to Affiliate, to being a one-man IT department in the region. As well as his technical skills and tenacity, Masters’ resourcefulness shines brightly: While onshoring tasks, he identified a technical gap in the local team. No one outside of the global engineering team knew how to code, which is critical to reducing the time to launch. So Masters – who is now quite rightly in receipt of the accolade Employee of the Year for the second year running – simply took it upon himself to learn JavaScript, PhP and GOLang and created vital new tools for the business, reducing the launch time for display campaigns by 47% globally. 

Judges comments: “Good to see a more technically-focused applicant. The entry highlights strategic initiatives and clear grit and resilience. Clearly a self starter, Richard shows confidence and skills that have impacted a global business. There's clearly a lot that Richard has worked on very successfully.”

Gemma Ng’ona, Affiliates Performance Specialist, Boots UK

Joining Boots in November 2020, Gemma Ng’ona quickly set to work revitalising the brand’s affiliate programme. After delivering Black Friday 2020 during lockdown, she then set out a strategy focusing on improving BAU and expanding the overall programme, leading to two years of consistent growth and a corresponding increase in investment into the channel by 454%. Ng’ona did this by diversifying Boots’ publisher mix, improving relationships with key publishers, future-proofing tracking and improving the cashback and voucher strategy. Despite the challenges presented by lockdowns and the cost of living crisis, she was able to deliver two record-breaking peaks in a row and maintained an above-target ROAS. 

Judges comments: “This entry shows a demonstration of measurable impact, spanning tactics, and strategy changes. Bringing the Affiliate channel to the attention of an enterprise brand the size of Boots is a huge achievement. Great results based submission, and depth of knowledge shown in affiliate marketing prowess. Plus, Expanding horizons to become an industry expert on panels.” 

Jared Gifford, Head of Performance Media, Havas People

At Havas People, Jared Gifford’s technical acumen and ability to work with data and analytics tools has paid significant dividends. Gifford played a vital role in spearheading the performance marketing efforts for TogetherAll, an online platform that promotes mental health and wellbeing through anonymous peer-support. 

His expertise in performance marketing enabled the successful execution of a comprehensive Meta campaign, aimed at encouraging individuals to seek support and guidance on the platform. Through his strategic implementation of targeted ad placements and optimisation of spend, Gifford was able to effectively reach an audience of over 155,000 students in the UK, resulting in a significant influx of users to the site, with over 2,500 individuals utilising the platform for support as a direct result of the advertising. 

Judges comments: “Focus on impact and driving change. Innovative approaches to driving gains and savings in campaigns. Jared's analytical and technical abilities clearly combine with his strategic abilities to great effect. Nice use of softer metrics for a niche marketing area. Clear demonstration of skills in multiple areas and contributing growth to clients and the agency.”

Joe Adsett, Paid Media Director, TAKUMI

Joe Adsett founded and built performance media buying agency Unieed from scratch, which was later acquired by Takumi in 2021. In less than 18 months, he has transformed Takumi’s paid media offering from zero to a multi-million pound revenue stream, contributing to just under 25% of the business’ annual revenue globally. 

Adsett leads both Takumi strategy and media buying functions on some 40+ brands in the UK and US including Revlon, Haleon, Ferrero, Dorel Juvenile Group and La Roche Posay, for which Takumi has seen YoY growth of 448.65% on paid amplification. A Meta-certified media buying professional, he has been directly responsible for thousands of successful marketing campaigns across the world and has been featured in multiple media outlets including Campaign Live and Prolific North. 

Judges comments: “Previous success and opportunities offered helped to solidify candidate. Clearly is a respected industry leader. Decent application; impressive stats.” 

“Clear demonstration of growing agency business through developing a performance channel on top of a solid brand offering with key business results achieved. To build a brand from scratch to exit and then build upon that success by age 26 is phenomenal.” 

Ella French, Senior Account Manager, Rakuten Advertising

As well as managing top-tier health and beauty accounts including SpaceNK and Liberty London, Ella French is committed to driving the industry forward and is an active member of Rakuten Advertising's International Collective which promotes the advancement of affiliate marketing as a strategic digital channel. Since taking over the SpaceNK account, French’s strategic expertise and optimisation skills have seen the brand achieve a 227% increase in sales YoY, a 230% increase in orders YoY and win Best International Strategy at Rakuten Advertising's Golden Link Awards in 2022. A trained Mental Health First Aider, French is also a member of the business’ employee group, 'RadSquad' and is a driving force behind charity bake sales, social events and initiatives to support mental health awareness days.

Judges comments: “Operating effectively at individual, company and industry level. Clear focus on the performance of her clients, again depth of channel knowledge is clearly demonstrated.” 

Matthew Russell, Digital Strategy Director, VERB Brands

Matthew Russell started and grew the VERB Programmatic Team, before managing the wider Paid Media Team. He later created his own role by starting the Digital Strategy Team at VERB designed to enhance the cross-channel approach of all channels. Russell established the digital strategy, media planning and forecasting processes at VERB, which are now used agency-wide and are specifically designed for the luxury sector. He also initiated and pushed a number of firsts for the agency across multiple disciples including first campaigns for OOH (and DOOH), DCO, Rich Media and TikTok. 

A cross-channel specialist, Russell has developed himself across both the agency and publisher sides of the programmatic industry (as a trader) before upskilling himself in activating across paid and organic channels and hiring, developing and training those around him. 

Judges comments: “Lots of strategic elements described alongside the results of those elements, showed innovation. ‘The beating heart of the culture at VERB’. Demonstration of paid and organic skill-set and use of technology. Matt clearly showed great initiative for developing the approach to digital within the luxury arena.” 

Ben Amiet, Media Manager, RocketMill

Entering the industry as a graduate six years ago, Ben Amiet now manages media campaigns for multi-million pound clients across search, programmatic and social, connecting the user journey through multi-touch attribution models. His expertise combines experience from both brand and agency-side and his depth of knowledge and client-first mentality have driven significant business value for both RocketMill and their largest clients. His work for SkyBet, in which he increased first time deposits by 400% year-on-year across four key summer sporting events, was awarded gold in the Best Use of Search for Gaming category at the UK Search Awards in 2022. Outside of his day-to-day role, he is an instrumental part of RocketMill's social committee responsible for bringing the agency together for monthly events and parties – contributing to their 4.8/5 rating on Glassdoor. 

Judges comments: “Metrics speak to the movement he's made in the industry - seems to work hard at using his skills to develop the overall industry. Decent application.. A great example of a results-driven individual, working cross-channel and highlighting KPI success. Demonstration of growth and leadership.”


Flavia Lopes, Senior Account Manager, Rakuten Advertising

Flavia Lopes has been key to the growth and consolidation of the beauty segment on the affiliate market, leading brands, publishers and influencers in vastly successful strategies.

Managing accounts such as Sephora, Clarin and Boticário, Flavia delivered 219% of her revenue goal in 2022 and saw her client portfolios soar by an average of 188% YoY growth from 2019 to 2022. A monthly speaker on brand masterclasses, she is an important voice in the market and was one of the finalists in the Afiliados Brasil Award in 2022, the biggest affiliate market event and award in Brazil, competing with managers from all over the country. 

Judges comments: “In challenging times, Flavia bucked the trend and seems to have delivered exceptional sales results. For sales alone, she scored super high. Flavia seems to embody both EQ and IQ as well as a sense of team spirit. I love that she's already become a thought leader in her circle of this enormous advertising ecosystem – and those results.”

Victoria Daka, Biddable Manager, Mediahub

Victoria Daka hit the ground running since joining Mediahub 10 months ago and is already managing some of the firm’s biggest clients. Within just six months, she had demonstrated the skills and attitude necessary to be promoted to her current role. One of Victoria’s greatest strengths is her ability to utilise the power of storytelling to deliver information in a way that can be understood at both an internal level and externally to clients and media owners who may not be completely familiar with the technicalities of biddable work. Without this skill, data remains just a series of numbers and letters, meaning Victoria truly stands out in this field. 

Judges comments: “Managing well with difficult clients is admirable for only 10 months at the company. Victoria has clearly demonstrated a command of written and verbal communications at a young stage of her career and can be relied upon to deliver strong results for the agency.

“What I love most is the examples of her being a mentor to juniors on her team. Impressive to be doing new business and story-telling at such a young age, as well as presenting back to the business.”

Zachariah Miller, Head of Data and Insights, Megaphone Marketing

In just three short years, Zachariah Miller has risen from a Junior Account Manager to Head of Data and Insights at Megaphone Marketing, Australia’s premier digital agency. His strategic and data-driven approach to paid marketing for Retro Print Merchants saw a remarkable rise of 1,734% in sales for the company in the three years they have worked together. Zach’s strategy focused on top-performing products and used tactics such as bundling and referral incentives to drive up average cart value and retain customers. The strategy was supported by A/B testing and Klaviyo flows, which led to a previously non-existent list of returning customers that now contribute large value to monthly sales.

Judges comments: “Zach's an exemplary teammate and leader of his company – both leveraging his knowledge to create value in new revenue streams as well as up-skilling the entire company about a critical topic: data. Congratulations.

“Great to see someone spot a gap in a company and rise to fill it as Head of, upskilling the rest of the business along the way.” 

Marcella Monteiro, Senior Media Executive, RocketMill

Marcella Monteiro joined RocketMill's paid media academy in September 2021 and within a year she had been promoted to Senior Executive. She has a track record in surpassing client growth targets and manages multi-million pound search accounts for international names with ease. Through granular analysis and creative innovations, she has pushed every account to its limits in the pursuit of performance for all of her clients. 

Beyond the world of performance marketing, she has volunteered for Allsorts Youth Project, helping members of the LGBTQ+ community to get into the world of work and is a member of RocketMill's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, planning events across important dates of the year, discussing how to improve diversity within the business and opening communication lines to educate and support all. 

Judges comments: “A very strong entry and this is no surprise as Marcie has been a previous award winner. Excellent results and loved the section on 'beyond the world of performance marketing'. Great job. Marcie is a strong candidate for the Newcomer award. She's clearly taken on responsibility in the workplace quickly and turned around results that have garnered her well-deserved compliments.”

“Fantastic to be so pivotal to a company at such a young age, making such a difference as to get accounts shortlisted for awards. Great to hear the comment about understanding a client's business and then translating this into search.”

Aoife McAnulty, Strategic Launch Manager, Rakuten Advertising

Within her first year at Rakuten Advertising, Aoife McAnulty had worked across five of the agency’s top 10 accounts in the UK including the H&M sister group, Harvey Nichols and Pandora. McAnulty has taken ownership of the firm’s Strategic Launch Packages (SLP) helping advertisers accelerate growth, and under her guidance, 38 clients have seen average publisher counts and revenue at three months reflect what would take an average industry launch 9-12 months to achieve. 

An avid speaker, she regularly participates in industry events such as PI Live, Affiliate Links, Affiliate Summit and Rakuten Advertising's DealMaker event. McAnulty is also an active member of the agency’s speech academy to help employees develop public speaking skills and she captained a team for Rakuten's Green'ovation challenge, developing a campaign to offer incentives to advertisers who are working sustainability. 

Judges comments: “Meteoric rise for Aiofe and she has certainly done a lot in two years. Solid entry! Aoife is a team player, public speaking expert and tremendously important (young) leader in the growth strategy of the company. Well deserved for her to receive this award.

Elle Barnes, Senior Media Executive, RocketMill

Within a year of joining RocketMill’s paid media academy, Elle Barnes was promoted to Senior Executive thanks to her ability to push performance and surpass growth targets time and time again. Her work for SkyBet contributed to an increase in first time deposits by 400% year-on-year across four key summer sporting events and led to the account winning a UK Search Award for the Best Use of Search for Gaming in 2022. 

Barnes has also restructured and consolidated generic campaigns across 15 countries and in 22 languages for DropBox EMEA, resulting in the account seeing a 45% increase in revenue year-on-year in Q4 and return-on-ad-spend of 179%. 

Judges comments: “Love the results! Elle is a very worthy winner and this entry was so strong. Well done. Elle is clearly great at what she does, but what really stands out to me is her willingness to step in last-minute to fulfil a key duty (senior client presentation) with grace. It is these types of individuals who should be applauded for their trustworthiness and reliability. Some impressive stats and attitude.”