Last year was an exciting one for performance marketers, in part because they got hyped about what scared so many professionals during the pandemic: accountability. Measurable results proved their ideas worked, and worked well. So, there’s perhaps no better year for Adweek’s Performance Marketing Awards to debut than in 2021. These 24 honorees represent a discipline that rewards tracking customer journeys to clicks, leads and sales. Performance marketing was gaining in prominence long before the pandemic toppled “the way we’ve always done it” organizational mindsets, but when widespread lockdowns forced many people to work from home, it escalated marketing model changes. From lead-generating webinars hosted on a platform that 2020 catapulted to fame, to United States Postal Service deliveries viewed via email, these campaigns delivered the accountability businesses demand and the creativity the industry celebrates with results-driven, targeted marketing that rose above the rest.
Heather Fletcher is a freelance reporter for Adweek. She covers performance and direct marketing.