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Social Media Portal interview with Bronwen Rolls from PerformanceIN

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 20 May 2013

SMP Q&A with Bronwen Rolls, events and marketing manager at PerformanceIN

Profiled interview with Bronwen from PerformanceIN on its performance marketing events and the forthcoming A4uExpo Europe

PerformanceIN logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do there for PerformanceIN, the company behind A4uExpo Europe?

Bronwen Rolls (BR): I’m Bronwen Rolls, events and marketing manager.  I am the events manager for the annual Performance Marketing Awards held in London in the spring.  I’m also the marketing manager for these awards and all our global Performance Marketing conferences (A4uExpo, The Performance Marketing Awards, Performance Marketing Insights: New York), which happen throughout the year.

SMP: You’ve recently returned to the UK, where were you and what were you doing?

BR: I returned to the UK in December 2012 after 18-months of thoroughly enjoying myself around the world.  I walked the Camino, sailed yachts into Venice, rode a motorbike across Vietnam, picked grapes in Australia and danced (a lot) in India.  Not forgetting riding the Greyhound down the Mississippi delta, island hoping in the South Pacific and joining the arts scene in Berlin.

SMP: What are / were the major differences to how marketers did things over there?  

BR: You could haggle!

SMP: Briefly, tell us about PerformanceIN (for those that don’t know), what is it, how long has it been going and what does the site do?

BR: PerformanceIN is the performance marketing news site and leading industry events company formally known as A4u, which has been operating since 1999.

The company, which is well-known for producing unique and targeted conferences and expos aimed at industry professionals, runs the popular news website and also creates detailed reports and surveys related to the performance marketing sector.  

In addition to covering global performance marketing news and having a 14-year heritage of affiliate and performance marketing, the company is also known for its prestigious conferences, events and glittering award ceremonies.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

BR: Anyone wanting to know more, share, network and develop insight and best practice values in the vast and ever changing world of Performance Marketing.  This also includes its eight disciplines of affiliate, mobile, social, search, display, email, lead generation and analytics.

SMP: PerformanceIN publish and organise the excellent and very well known A4u events, can you briefly tell us a little about them?

BR: With over 15 successful global conferences and networking events and a proven track record of delivering the very best in the industry A4uexpo is an agenda led, must attend event.  This year we excelled our own expectations with our USA launch and the forthcoming A4u Expo Europe 2013, 02-03 July 2013, Amsterdam, Holland,

SMP: What are the low moments and challenges of what you have been doing so far (including at Existem)?

BR: It was not a low moment but a huge challenge, we launched our event organically in New York in March – it was a colossal team effort resulting in a great success.  Breaking America was a mountain to climb, but worth it.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far (including at Existem)?

BR: On the 07th of May we had our annual awards ceremony and this was my first event I managed for PerformanceIN – and I loved it.

SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities for performance marketers?

BR: It’s a combination of things I believe.  To recognise the opportunities to overcome the challenges I believe performance marketing professionals have to be educated and up to date with all the ever-changing factors in the marketing.  The launch of a new technology or the passing of an EU regulation can have great impact.   Keeping up with these changes is the challenge and then in turn to keep up with the changes means you can recognise the opportunities.  You have to act fast.

SMP: What’s the next big step for social media / networks and what impact may this have for marketers throughout 2013?

BR: The next thing will be social commerce – finding ways to remunerate brand builders.  They ‘like’ you get paid.  It will be a balancing act and a fine line to deliver against so as to not pester users.

SMP: What will be the most challenging part of continuing to build upon the brands presence in digital environments (including social media)?

BR: Saturation causing decreased boredom thresholds.  Brands will need to be extremely selective in which Social media formats to use to best work with, not against the brand.  

SMP: What’s going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology for the next 12 to 18-months?

BR: Tracking of the consumer journey across multiple channels.  Every step will be documented allowing brands to see where, when and what exactly happens during the social purchasing experience.  Meaning marketers can directly influence (and change?) the consumers decisions… jury is out on this one for me.  

Photograph of Bronwen Rolls, events and marketing manager at PerformanceINSMP:  What are your top five predictions for social media for the next 12 to 18-months?

BR replies with:

1. There is just going to be so much more of it… everywhere.  Choosing what fits which brand and what does it going to be a fine balance to achieve

2. Real time in-store purchasing, sharing the moment of purchase will further engage audiences and will add new approaches to social media for both users and marketers

3. Monetisation of Twitter and file sharing sites will create further potential revenue streams

4. Mobile, mobile, mobile.  It is not going anywhere apart from up

5. There will be level of backlash against the whole channel, due to saturation and boredom

SMP: What are your top five social media tips for performance marketers and marketers in general?

BR replies with:

1. Start building your brand on the correct social platform now and do it SMART and always on brand 

2. Never push or over push your users or they will leave and take friends, likes, and shares with them – getting them back is not easy.  Trust lost on social is rarely regained.

3. Always make it count – content, information and promotions need to be relevant and engaging – no one cares about the small stuff out there.

4. Never forget the importance of physically connecting with your consumer and remember that your brand must exist offline – they need to be tangible, social media is there in essence to communicate what the brand is doing offline – so keep it real.

5. Never spread your clients too thinly across too many places.

SMP: Best way to contact you and Existem?

BR replies with

A4uexpo Europe

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

BR: A great espresso and some raspberries

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

BR: Anyone I see in town with a map looking a bit lost I offer directions to… whether they like it or not.

SMP: How many hours do you work a week?

BR: This week is calmer so it will be 41-ish, but before an event about 60

SMP: If you weren’t running or working on PerformanceIN what would you be doing?

BR: Writing and taking photographs and talking to strangers

SMP: Who is your favourite fashion designer and why?

BR: Depends on which city I am in: London: Stella McCartney. Paris: Joseph. New York: Acne.  The truth is however I am broke and short so I wear high street or vintage.

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

BR: I sailed the Croatian islands from May till October 2012 (I was working but it really was a holiday)

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

BR: Choose the soundtrack to my day.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

BR: To speak every language fluently so I could go anywhere and be able to talk openly

If you're interested in doing a Social Media Portal (SMP) interview, get in touch.

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