The final competitive stage of The Drum and Google’s Women in Search initiative took place on Thursday 19 May.
The three finalists were asked to pitch as to why they should receive the final accolade, in front of a panel of industry judges, drawn from The Drum Search Awards panel.
Three of our judges formed part of the 2015 cohort of Women in Search, with Rebecca Weeks, head of SEO at Manning Gottlieb OMD; Varthana Faulkner, EMEA search director of Performics and Helena Lopez, head of performance at OMD forming the majority of the panel. They were joined by Fintan Gillespie, industry head at Google, and together made the final verdict on the winner of the initiative.
The finalists from Women in Search were those that received the most votes in the preliminary public vote stage of the initiative. The three women to progress to the final stage are:
Lauren Rogers, associate director, paid search planning, iProspect
Rogers started her search career in 2010 fresh out of an English literature degree. Her six-year career has seen her work in agencies in Leeds, London and Manchester, with brands such as Thomas Cook, Arcadia Group, Marriott, giffgaff and many more. In her role as associate director in paid search planning she spends her time looking at the big questions that are transforming our industry, coming up with creative approaches to old problems, and thinking about what the world of search will look like 12 months or five years down the line.
Melissa-Jane Daniel, digital marketing manager, Timico
Daniel comes from a B2B background and has applied her unique understanding of digital mechanics to see success in highly targeted, niche and technical industries.
Currently heading up the digital marketing team at B2B telecommunications and internet service provider Timico, Daniel has transformed online perceptions of the firm through PPC, attribution, remarketing and lead nurturing.
She has helped organisation of all types to use digital marketing effectively, working with a wide range of business, from startups through to large corporations.
Often seen with the latest gadgets the day they’re released, her passion and relentless energy for technology, information accessibility and cross-channel and device seamlessness remains at the heart of her digital approach.
Sophia Glennon, PPC manager, Confused.com
Glennon joined Confused.com in 2013 after completing a degree in music at the Royal Welsh College of Music, which led to a short stint as a session musician.
The commercial world came calling and just two and a half years later, she now leads the PPC team with full responsibility for multi-million pound media budgets (and the profits), as well as the recruitment and training of Confused.com’s award winning in-house PPC team.
Her approach to search marketing is highly analytical and practical, however, she encourages the use of hard graft, insight and technology to drive excellence across the team.
The aim of the Women in Search initiative remains the same as last year, to both highlight the shocking gender imbalance in the search marketing industry and to showcase and celebrate the opportunity for women in the sector. The ten finalists from 2015 are profiled on the Think with Google platform.
The final winner will be announced at The Drum Search Awards on Wednesday 8 June, hosted at the Marriott Grosvenor Square.
You can view the complete list of shortlisted candidates for 2016 here.
Questions regarding the initiative can be addressed to Shane Taylor, research manager at The Drum.