Robin Langford Robin Langford Premium Content Editor, Performance Marketing World

The performance marketing world this week: LEGO gets creative, Primark gets serious about CX

How is Primark boosting customer experience? What new adtech tools are you missing out on? From Shopify to Spotify, we’ve assembled the biggest performance marketing news this week, all in once place...

Power up: new tools for performance marketers

As performance marketers face ever more data regulation, new tools are cropping up to help them navigate this new privacy minefield. One example is customer data platform Zeotap which has launched a ‘Consent Orchestration’ tool to simplify data compliance for marketers. It unifies, configures and automates an individual’s consent and marketing preferences across the customer journey, from data collection through to channel activation, ensuring compliance with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. These challenges have become an increasing concern as the number of fines for GDPR violations has surged by 113% in the last year, most notably with Amazon’s record July 2021 fine of €746million. This end-to-end orchestration of the consent journey is governed by settings that only need to be reviewed once by a DPO in order to create a system of universal guardrails. 

Two years on from its launch, Opera Ads is launching a self-serve platform powered by leading provider DanAds, a customisable and scalable self-serve ad tech infrastructure for publishers. It is designed to create, manage, and report on digital advertising campaigns in one place allowing advertisers to reach customers in all phases of their journey from discovery to conversion. Opera Ads  advertising revenue increased 128% year-over-year, to $28.9million, predominantly fuelled by monetisation growth within Opera News and mobile browsers.

Since iOS14.5 and the end of Apple’s IDFA, mobile games have found it much much harder to find and acquire users. And similar changes are expected on Android and Facebook too. As a result, Tenjin and GameAnalytics have teamed up to launch Growth FullStack, a platform to help indie and mid-size games figure out privacy-first mobile marketing. The plug-and-play platform lets mobile publishers  collect, store and analyse numerous datasets using their chosen tools. 

As smart TV ads get even smarter and measurable, VideoElephant has launched ‘Channels Marketplace’, a linear licensed programming solution designed for streaming and OTT platforms. Channels launches with over 150 premium streaming video channels from partners like Bloomberg Media, Sports Illustrated, USWeekly and more. Initial customers include Loop Media, TCL (Ffalcon), Consumable, Rokbot, and Local Now.

Kantar has joined forces with out-of-home audience measurement business Route to launch a new ad buying platform.  The partnership will combine Kantar’s TGI consumer data with Route’s audience insights to allow clients to plan and deliver highly targeted out-of-home campaigns.  The move will allow clients to undertake more refined audience profiling and exploit enhanced advertising targeting opportunities when planning and buying out-of-home campaigns. This is thanks to the addition of over 450 data points from TGI consumer data, over and above those already available on Route. The new data variables cover media consumption, lifestyles, attitudes, retail habits and life events. Kantar’s Great Britain TGI survey gives a detailed picture of day-to-day consumer behaviours, attitudes, and media consumption to help marketers create highly targeted campaigns.  The data is relied upon by hundreds of media agencies, owners, and advertisers to inform creative planning and media buying thanks to the breadth and depth of its insight.  By combining TGI’s consumer data with Route’s rich out-of-home audience information, the new platform will enable clients to pinpoint and reach audiences more effectively, track return on investment and maximise the value of their campaigns.

Get inspired: latest campaigns and brand wins

Global fashion retailer Primark has chosen InMoment to be their CX partner. The fast-fashion firm, which has famously been slow to make the move to sell online, hopes to understand what brings their customers back, and make improvements to customer experiences that encourages customers to shop more. By focusing on what customers are saying in real time, and being able to gauge their tone of voice (sentiment), Primark has the ability to quickly understand what  customers like and dislike and take action to improve the experience for future shopping trips. 

Reddit has launched its first UK brand marketing campaign to celebrate a one year milestone in its London office. “Maybe Together We’ll” is live throughout London and will appear across high profile out-of-home placements including at Waterloo Station and Westfield London Shopping Centre, as well as within 26 tube stations around central London, and street postings across several neighbourhoods. 

It will also be live on digital channels, over-the-top video and addressable TV. In partnership with agency R/GA, “Maybe Together We’ll” is designed to showcase the depth and breadth of Reddit’s communities, including  thousands of UK communities, and inspire more people to dive into the platform. 

LEGO has launched a playful new iteration to its Rebuild the World brand campaign, combining strong branding with performance marketing across audio, social and e-commerce channels. Now in its third year, the 2021 Rebuild the World campaign celebrates children as the masters of creative problem solving and shows what can be achieved when people work together to overcome their differences or challenges. The campaign’s hero film tells the story of a Knight who overcomes an exacting challenge by working with others to find a happy ever after solution.  The film concludes by revealing how the Knight’s story has been imaginatively conceived by a group of children building, unbuilding and rebuilding through LEGO play. The fully integrated global campaign will run across a variety of channels including TV, digital, Spotify, out of home, e-commerce channels and in LEGO stores in over 20 countries. It will also be supported by a global creator campaign, as well as a series of activations and events in markets where the LEGO Group has a presence.


Legal and financial services firm Irwin Mitchell has launched a new, powerful campaign – The Human Touch – created by global full-service agency Merkle B2B which includes real clients sharing personal stories, with the ad production team believed to be the most inclusive ever. The brief was to ensure inclusivity was at the heart of the campaign, and Merkle B2B and Irwin Mitchell saw an opportunity not just to reflect inclusion on screen, but also off-screen. Blind photographer Ian Treherne, wheelchair user, Owen Tooth, who was the film’s director, and Musician Derek Paravicin who is blind and autistic, on piano, are just a few members of this incredible production team.  The new campaign brings to life how Irwin Mitchell has the empathy to understand and deal with clients on a human level. The creative approach is currently airing on TV, print and online and will be shown over the next couple of months.

Shutterstock has launched its new brand campaign and TV commercial, 100% Shutterstock. The TVC, co-produced by Shutterstock Studios and Ridley Scott Studios, asks creatives, ‘What can you create with 100% Shutterstock?’. Created with only Shutterstock content and tools, the TV campaign showcases the creative platform’s ability to enable creators to start and end their whole content creation process on one platform. The campaign aims to demonstrate Shutterstock’s drive away from its roots as a stock image house, aiming to expand people’s breadth and perception of its entire offering. The fresh brand positioning is in response to the industry's demand for cost-effective and flexible creative solutions. The TV commercial airs until the 12th December and will also be viewable through digital platforms. 

The changing marketing landscape: partnerships, mergers and rebrands

As hybrid working fuels demand for omni-channel sales tools, Salesforce rival Freshworks has raised $1.03billion in a US IPO, valuing the business software firm at $10.13billion. Founded in Chennai, India, in 2010, Freshworks helps businesses with customer management, offering products including a messaging platform, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot for customer support and call-centre solutions that promise shorter wait times.

Native ad platform Outbrain has renewed its partnership with Immediate Media, the award-winning special interest content and platform company that reaches over 16 million engaged UK consumers per month, and will begin utilising Outbrain’s Smartfeed technology. Since 2014, Immediate Media has successfully partnered with Outbrain to drive reader engagement and boost revenue across a diverse set of publications such as BBC Good Food, Radio Times, Olive Magazine, Gardeners World, and BikeRadar. With this renewed partnership, Immediate Media will start leveraging Outbrain’s Smartfeed, a customisable feed of content discovery that allows publishers to optimise the user experience to improve engagement and revenue. Smartfeed is a blank canvas on which a suite of card formats can be used to deliver editorial, monetisation, and specific revenue goals, generating a 20% RPM lift when compared to Outbrain’s standard widgets.

Adtech firm Tappx has acquired PlayOn Content, a video generation and monetisation platform. The acquisition will create a platform for global publishers which can generate, display and contextually monetise video content. This key strategic acquisition allows Tappx to offer more value to publishers, allowing them to make important qualitative leaps in strategies for generating and monetising video content.

Today more than ever, brands are seeking the ability to deliver livestream shopping experiences and provide stand-alone livestream solutions. Following that trend, customer experience platform Emplifi has bought UK-based video powered retail platform Go Instore. Go Instore enables live commerce by connecting online customers with in-store product experts using immersive HD live video. Their video technology provides brands with a new channel via which they can engage with and serve their customers, strengthening Emplifi’s omnichannel approach – meeting customers, wherever they are.

Making Science, a technological and digital marketing consultancy, has acquired Sweeft Digital, a leading e-commerce, payment platform and app development company with an office and team of experts in London. Sweeft Digital is a full-stack development and business-building agency, offering a wide range of creative and customised technology solutions.  With a dedicated team of professionals, it provides end-to-end mobile solutions, including iOS, Android, frontend, backend, and third-party integration. It also develops any type of web application and has extensive experience in Fintech and e-commerce, among other areas. Through this acquisition, Making Science plans to capture Sweeft Digital’s UK customers and add to its product portfolio, which is another step forward in the company’s  growth strategy.

E-commerce marketing platform Yotpo has struck a  multi-year partnership announcement with Shopify. Yotpo has recently released a new ‘Partner Portal’ to meet the surge in demand for B2B eCommerce services, that allows its partners to have a seamless process to access their customers. The new portal has seen huge growth in the past 12 months, covering a global audience with 68% increase in active partners globally. In the UK, the number of active partners grew 63%, while  in the US, the number of active partners grew 70%. In Australia, the number of active partners in Australia grew 700%, with over 70 new partners onboarded in the previous quarter.

ForwardPMX, a digital marketing agency that works with the likes of Nike, Adobe, Ralph Lauren, Con Edison and Red Robin has joined forces with Assembly to become one integrated agency operating under the new name Assembly. The new group will be part of the Stagwell Media Network, which manages nearly $5 billion in media across 7 agencies and delivers client-centric solutions across media, data, technology, insights and creativity. Assembly will be led by current ForwardPMX Global CEO, James Townsend, who is also the Global CEO of Stagwell Media Network.

UK-based payments fintech Modulr has opened offices in the Netherlands as part of its EU-wide expansion strategy. Following strong business growth in the UK Modulr is expanding rapidly, putting significant investment into its EU operations. Amsterdam is the perfect commercial, operational and regulatory hub for accessing continental Europe. Modulr has appointed the former Head of International Development at WorldFirst, Marca Wosoba to spearhead it’s Dutch entity.

Digital transformation consultancy Kin + Carta, the digital transformation business, has taken a major step forward in its commitment to achieve B Corp certification. Shareholders in Kin + Carta voted overwhelmingly to change the company’s articles of association to that effect. This move establishes Kin + Carta, whose shares have quadrupled over the past year, as a leader in ESG and responsible business practices and takes it one step closer to being the first B Corp certified company listed on the London Stock Exchange. 

Ones to watch: Movers and shakers in performance marketing

Reddit has appointed Laurelle Potter as its new UK General Manager, who joins from Tinder where she served as Marketing Director. With over a decade of experience joining companies in their early growth stages – including her former role as Marketing Director at Snap, where she led the EMEA launch of Spectacles – Laurelle is tasked with leading Reddit’s UK team and setting the overall strategic direction for the country. Her early priorities will include continuing to build out our local communities and user base with a focus on marketing and partnerships, as well as help to scale Reddit’s Ads business and attracting more local brands to the platform. 

Joanna Milliken, SAP’s Head of CX Marketing, will step into the role of CEO at Emarsys from October 1st. The move follows the multi-billion acquisition of Emarsys by SAP in November 2020. With over two decades of experience in technology companies, including a key role in the sale of one company for $2.5bn, Joanna will be responsible for overseeing the next phase of business growth for Emarsys, and the roadmap for its continued emphasis on customer centricity. Joanna is the latest in a run of new hires at SAP and Emarsys that includes Meghann York, Global Head Product Marketing, Marketing Solutions, Emarsys and Byron Pitney, Head of Engineering CX Marketing Cloud for North America at SAP.

E-commerce and UGC tech firm Bazaarvoice has appointed David McIntosh as Vice President of Sales for EMEA. David joins the Bazaarvoice team from Coupa, where he was the Regional Vice President for UK&I. He will be bringing over 20 years’ experience in successfully growing and scaling businesses to the role. David will be responsible for helping Bazaarvoice expand its European business by spearheading the highly successful EMEA sales team, who have been consistently driving exponential growth for the region in recent years. David will play a key role in showcasing how Bazaarvoice’s capabilities can help meet the evolving needs of its increasingly diverse brand and retail customers in the EMEA region. 

Former MullenLowe MD Buster Dover has joined Brave Bison to lead their transformational digital proposition, taking on the role of group COO. With more than two decades working across digital, creative and social change businesses, 10 years of which have been in MD positions, Buster is uniquely situated to take Brave Bison to the next stage of their innovative journey, which has already seen them acquire Greenlight Digital and Greenlight Commerce to combine full-service digital expertise with their existing network. Hannah Kimuyu, previous Director of Paid Media, Data & Analytics at Greenlight Digital, has also been promoted to MD of Greenlight Digital. Her appointment heralds a new era of joined-up propositions between paid and organic digital media, offering new and exciting opportunities within the industry.

Wavemaker has appointed Monica Majumdar as Head of Strategy for the UK, reporting into Verra Budimlija, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Committee member. Monica brings over 15 years of communications strategy experience, specialising in FMCG and UK marketing. She joins from Verizon Media where she was Head of Strategy for over two years. A central part of Monica’s role was establishing a highly skilled strategy team and leading creative solutions - which including being part of the team that defined the UK positioning of Huffpost and Yahoo; and revamping the company’s strategy.

Tribal Worldwide has brought on a new Chief Technology Officer Mark Sweatman. Mark joins from VCCP CX, the dedicated customer experience arm of VCCP, where he was its Head of Technology. With over two decades of technology and leadership experience, including roles at and Ogilvy, he has helped build world class enterprise solutions, apps, and digital experiences for some the UK’s best known brands – he will be pivotal in supporting Tribal Worldwide as it looks to grow the business and take on more complex and technical offerings. Sweatman will lead Tribal London’s 60 strong Tech Engineering Practice , as well as overseeing strategic technical projects across all clients. In particular, he will work across the whole Volkswagen Group, including Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, SEAT, CUPRA and ŠKODA.

Lila Tretikov (Microsoft’s Deputy CTO) is joining London based start-up Cervest, creator of the world's first AI-powered Climate Intelligence platform, to play a key role on its board - see attached release. This is a major coup for a small business who have been recognized for the work they are doing to help businesses across the UK understand the implications of climate change on their companies. Cervest’s Climate Intelligence Platform, EarthScanTM, empowers enterprises to proactively manage their climate security. A world-first, EarthScanTM enables enterprises to baseline their physical climate risk and contextualise and prioritise climate risks alongside other business risks and opportunities. Lila joining Cervest is something of a big win for the business. She’s a leading expert across artificial intelligence (AI), technology-enabled business transformation and climate science.  AI in particular will increasingly play a role in the battle against climate change and how climate intelligence is crucial to help businesses with built assets nationally or globally. 

AdTonos, run by Radio Net Media which monetises podcasts, audiobooks, music and radio streams of over 200 recognised publishers across the UK, EU, LATAM and the US, has appointed Paul Smith as Senior VP of Sales to support the global growth of sales, with a primary focus on the UK.Paul has over 12 years of experience in the Radio Industry successfully managing multiple Commercial teams across the UK, representing some of the largest market-leading brands. Paul spent much of his career with Global becoming the youngest Commercial Director at the time, managing some of the biggest relationships across the group.

Performance marketing agency MediaVision is bringing in client side talent with three key hires, including EMMY nominated journalist Bethan Howe as their senior content lead. It has also hired two senior digital marketing experts from the travel industry - Helen Milestone, formerly of Thomas Cook Airlines and and Emanuele Rossi who joins from MediaVision has seen a year of 30% year on year growth, driven by the shift to online.  It has won a range of household name clients including New Look, Karen Millen, Strutt & Parker and Addison Lee. It is now focused on doubling the size of the business in the next 18 months.