Pandemic and Brexit aside, 2021 is the year of what? Why?

For me it’s the year of my firstborn, due in May! But outside of that I believe it’s the year of continued growth across the whole digital space; the re-birth of the travel sector and the year of opportunity for retail to enhance the customer experience through emerging technology partners.

What are the 3 most exciting things on your to do list for today?

  1. Today I am working on some exciting Awin award entries for The Performance Marketing Awards 2020
  2. Continually monitoring the changing sales trends, on a sub-sector level, across the digital landscape, especially as we work through the UK out of lockdown roadmap
  3. And of course perfecting my MAD//Anywhere session!

    Who inspires you in adland? Why?

Netflix's marketing team. I loved Netflix's dedication to support the ‘stay home’ message during the first lockdown including the billboards with spoilers from their top shows. They did a fantastic job of encouraging people to stay at home.

 What was the last ad your saw that made you buy something?

I am a sucker for an influencer ad, especially at the moment. Whilst staying home, I have upped the number of interior designers and DIY influencers I am following - co-incidentally have re-decorated the whole house in the last 6 months. Being able to complete a transaction within Instagram makes it too easy for me to shop in bed.

What’s your all time favourite ad campaign and why? (we embed usually embed a YouTube link here)

It’s actually another OOTH campaign back in 2013, by ‘Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk’ charity and an ad agency – Grey Group. 

They used a technology (Lenticular printing) to personalise the message on a child abuse billboard depending on who was viewing it, using assumptions based on height. The average-height adult saw a message saying “Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it." 

But from a child’s height, the image changed and a secret message appeared, "If somebody hurts you, phone us and we'll help you," containing a phone number to call for help.

What’s your single biggest learning of 2020?

It sounds cringe but I think I learnt how much I love my job, how lucky I am to work within the performance marketing industry, and for such a forward-thinking company who have not only supported myself and my colleagues throughout the whole pandemic but recently implemented a 4-day work-week pilot

How do you plan to take your business forward in 2021? 

We are lucky that performance marketing offers itself so well to embracing all digital opportunities. At Awin, we are focusing on supporting those emerging technology partners, offering our MasterTag technology for ease of integration with brands.

We’re keen to continue to educate all on how open networks enable brands to take advantage of rapid change and pivot accordingly with the correct partnerships, more necessary than ever in a pandemic. We are also progressing with our Awin Access proposition, supporting the positive rise of small and local businesses online. 

Internally, Awin have been truly focused on employee wellbeing, and ensuring they can offer a fully flexible working lifestyle that embodies a healthy work-life balance in 2021 and beyond.

What keeps you awake at night?

As well as the little feet in my tummy kicking me throughout the night, I’m sure like every new mum I can’t get my head around the idea of being on maternity leave (and not working!) for a year from May. I am really focused on trying to tick off all of the 2021 projects I started and ensure they are in a good place to be handed over to my successor.

What’s the biggest opportunity in marketing and advertising right now?

Hands down the best opportunity in marketing right now is to be authentic.

To have a message you believe in, that’s current, and that ultimately strives to do good. It’s not a marketing tactic, it has to be real.  

Your business, your strategy, and your employees must embody this message. Once you have this cracked, your customers will connect with your brand on an emotive level, and you will naturally be front of mind for decision purchases, keeping customers active and loyal.

 What kind of innovation excites you the most? 

I’m a big fan of technology that enhances a consumer experience, and now more than ever we are looking for solutions to provide digital customers with online shopping journeys which replicate the in-store experience they are currently lacking such as fitting rooms and shopping assistant advice such as Envolve Tech. 

I also love all things attribution and understanding the different live algorithms being created and the insights they provide on a channel, partner and at customer level.

Lockdown is over. The office is open. Describe your perfect working day...

Day one would be countless trips to the office coffee machine, not only because I have missed that cappuccino but also bumping into different colleagues for little catch ups. I’ve also missed our meeting rooms; we have some brilliant ideation spaces with walls you can write on and I’d love a mind-mapping session with my colleagues to get the creative juices flowing as a team and really bounce off each other’s energy. We are based next to St Katherine’s Dock, so a nice dockside lunch or dinner would also be in order!

 What would you most like to change about the ad industry?

Working at a performance marketing network, I see a lot of rivalry in the advertising space. I am all for a little healthy competition, but I think companies that negatively discuss their competition in public only bring the perception of the whole industry down.

I am much more into collaborating on industry wide initiatives that positively promote performance marketing, including standard alignment and sharing best practice.

What are you speaking about at MAD//Anywhere?

Pivoting through partnerships: the power of performance marketing. I’ll be covering off a couple of exciting brand case studies that we have been fortunate enough to be involved in throughout the pandemic, helping our clients pivot throughout the pandemic to use partnerships to drive new revenue streams, and increasing performance through outsourcing innovation. 

Joelle is speaking at MAD//Anywhere at 10:59 on 11 March. Click here for the agenda.