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“In this new Age of Participation, you must get customers to participate in order to achieve results” / Daina Middleton, Global CEO of Performics

A Marketingblog Exclusive

Five questions interview with Daina Middleton, Global CEO of Performics

A pioneer in the digital marketing space and marketing professional with more than 20 years in the industry, Daina Middleton is the Global CEO of Performics, the performance marketing division of Publicis Groupe.

As one of the largest and oldest search and performance media agencies, Performics delivers performance marketing solutions and solid results for a list of blue chip clients through smart innovation and solving complex challenges.

1 What performance trend is dominating your thoughts at the moment?
I would say that by far the strongest performance trend at the moment is mobility.  This is particularly exciting for advertisers and marketers, because mobile is taking the digital marketing industry in new, and unexpected directions.  In fact, at Performics we think of mobility as more than just another channel – mobility is full of possibilities and means more than just implementing marketing on mobile devices.  It is actually creating different behaviours and opportunities for customers to participate with brands.

We have data that shows us the way participants use their tablet is very different to the way the same participant uses a smartphone, and yet both are considered mobile devices.  The different forms of participation associated with different devices is an important consideration for marketers  when planning mobile marketing campaigns.

2 Latest research from Forrester claimed Performics are ‘Leaders’.  How do you maintain and strengthen that position with your people?
I am delighted that Performics is named a ‘leader’ in the Forrester Wave™: Search Marketing Agencies, Q4 2012 report from Forrester Research.  Obviously, the outstanding quality of Performics people around the world is a big part of delivering outstanding value in the marketplace. Attracting and retaining outstanding talent is crucial to the marketing industry and a huge part of Performics’ success.  We live in a very competitive talent environment, and so keeping people happily motivated at work is a key priority and also a differentiator in the marketplace enabling us to maintain our market leadership position.

Our leadership team works hard continually on creating a working environment where everyone feels valued and inspired.  Ironically, this formula for creating motivating work environments is very similar to the new marketing philosophy modelled in my new book, Marketing in the Participation Age.  There are three variables that we conscientiously work to actively encourage employee participation.  It’s about satisfying employees’ desire to continually learn and develop themselves.  It’s ensuring that every individual feels they have a meaningful role in the organization, and is empowered to make a difference.  Finally, it’s about helping to build strong relationships within the company.  Performics people love working with one another.

I often compare employee culture to gardening – you can’t just invent a great culture.  You have to enrich the environment, sprinkle the seeds, watch it continually with consistent guidance and support.  At Performics, we enjoy our work and we enjoy working with each other.  Genuine ability and camaraderie shines through and, I believe, is among the reasons why Performics has been selected as a search marketing leader.

3 You are speaking at the AllFacebook conference next week. What specific Facebook point do you want to get across?
Well, it’s relevant given I have just launched Marketing in the Participation Age. Participant marketing is highly relevant to how marketers interface with participants in the Facebook environment.  Marketing in these new environments is a great example of why it’s really important for marketers to recognize the old philosophy of helping uninformed consumers make a choice just isn’t relevant for our very informed, technology-enabled participants.  Our new role as marketers is to motivate people to take action on behalf of our brand and participate.  Those marketers who inspire participation will yield greater results.

4 Tell me about your new book, Marketing in the Participation Age
The whole notion of Marketing in the Participation Age first came about in late 2006 or early 2007 when I was still working at HP.  I worked in marketing at HP for sixteen years before I moved over to the agency side of the business.  So, during the last few years at HP,  I was working on launching a very big global program and recognized the world had really changed and yet our marketing language, processes, and tools were just no longer suitable for this new Age of Participation.  The traditional marketing philosophy is about persuading someone to change their perception of a product or service.

As I mentioned previously, we need new tools and a new approach designed to inspire participation.  After doing a great deal of research about where the original tools came from and the sociological and psychological science behind intrinsic motivation, I focused on a marketing framework that helps marketers develop programs designed to inspire customers to participate with brands.  The goal of marketing still has to be to deliver business results, and in this new Age of Participation, you must get customers to participate in order to achieve results.

5 Please give me your thoughts on differences between your European operation and the US one
Performics has eighteen global offices around the world and there are differences in every one of those markets.  We strive to balance delivering a consistent product and service while at the same time ensuring we deliver the specific nuances to that market.  Even within Europe there are significant differences from market to market.

Obviously, the US and European markets are both responding to tough economic times.  We are fortunate that performance marketing tends to do better in tough economic times because marketers feel it’s a tactic they can count on.

Performics is a global performance marketing company.
One of the companies who helped to create the performance industry and is still redefining it today, the company’s talented employees apply the fundamentals of search marketing to SEO, feeds, social, display, mobile and affiliate marketing. The company is head quartered in Chicago, with offices in 18 countries and three regional centres.

Our performance specialists are certified experts & recognized thought leaders. Their proficiency in paid search, SEO, feeds, social, display, mobile, & affiliate empowers our clients to make smart decisions about their digital spend & increase ROI.

Participate with Performics here!.


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