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Meet The Drum Awards for Search panel of judges 2021

Meet The Drum Awards for Search panel of judges 2021

The Drum Awards for Search recognize creative thinking, strategy, and technological innovation, setting the standard for best practice. Whether you work with organic or paid search, across music, finance and more, these awards are for you.

Open worldwide to teams of any size that can prove their campaigns have had a measurable effect, the awards encompass categories including Best Pivot Iniative, B2B, SEO – Best B2C Campaign, PPC – Most Effective Use of Data or Insights, Not for Profit, Technical Innovation of the Year and Rising Star.

Our jury also sees brands from all over the globe come together to decide the best in class: Happy Cog, Essence, GrowthOps, Culture Trip, UM Birmingham, Zenith, Yoox Net-A-Porter, Publicis Media, Havas Media Group, Stella Rising, LinkedIn, MightyHive, S360, Tide, GoCardless and The Organic Agency.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday 10 February.

Elise Connors
Happy Cog
Elise Connors
director of marketing client services
Connors expertise is in crafting complex digital strategies, with a focus on conversion rate optimization. With over 13 years of digital marketing experience, she’s passionate about sharing her extensive knowledge with others who are interested in starting their careers. At Happy Cog, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the agency’s digital marketing team, as well as strategy and execution on clients like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Adelphi University, and Lonza.
I'm thrilled to have been selected to judge this year's Search Awards. What I'm most looking forward to is seeing some of the cool work my industry peers have done this year. It's easy to be so heads down and focused on working with your clients that you don't get to see what's 'hot' out there. I think I'll walk away from this awards season feeling refreshed and inspired to bring some new ideas forward for my team and clients.
Athena Bughao
Athena Bughao
AVP, search and biddable media activation, APAC
Bughao is associate vice president, search and biddable media activation, APAC at Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency which is part of GroupM. In 2018, she was named to Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Women to Watch list, which highlighted her subject matter expertise, leadership, and excellence in building teams as well as creating effective systems and tools. Prior to Essence, she served as assistant director, global marketing at self-publishing company Author Solutions in the Philippines.
Digital marketing is like cooking - anyone can do it. But what differentiates a master chef from an everyday novice? When teams serve up the best campaign ingredients with precise execution and strategy to drive positive impact, then this should be recognized. This is what The Drum awards is all about. I look forward to seeing how the ordinary is elevated. It's an honor to learn from cutting-edge campaigns that drive quantifiable outcomes and to celebrate the minds and hearts behind them.
Shaad Hamid
Shaad Hamid
regional head of growth marketing services
Hamid has practised integrated digital marketing for over a decade across the UK, MENA, and APAC regions. He has helped some of the world's most iconic brands acquire, retain and increase customer value by employing a fusion of digital media, data, technology and user experience. Hamid currently leads a diversely-skilled team of individuals located across Southeast Asia, who continue to shape the future of digital marketing for the region's most forward-thinking and innovative businesses.
In the past year, we've contended with everything from shifting consumer expectations to rapid adoption of technology to increased search for growth. As search marketers, we had to work miracles to impact business revenue and growth while balancing ever tighter budgets. I am therefore incredibly honoured by this opportunity to celebrate all the work from our industry that managed to shine amid this volatile landscape - creatively fusing data, technology and customer experience to acquire, retain and drive customer value.
Damian Burke
Culture Trip
Damian Burke
head of SEO
Starting out with SEO in Cape Town in 2007, Burke has worked across a range of industries ever since, spending time at various agencies, startups and enterprise businesses. Currently head of SEO at Culture Trip in London, previously Havas Media Group, Investoo, Greenlight Digital, TravelSuperMarket and MoneySavingExpert, Burke is an SEO all-rounder with experience across technical, content and off-site authority.
I'm really excited to see how the changes in organic search are reflected in this year's entries. There have been some significant industry developments in the recent past, so personally I'm looking for innovation and creativity, and hoping for at least one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments of awe.
Ruepal Aujla
UM Birmingham
Ruepal Aujla
managing partner
Aujla leads the digital media team at UM Birmingham and has contributed to its development and significant growth of the digital media arm. She is also the Chairwoman of McCann Birmingham’s Conscious Inclusion Council. Aujla has previously worked for several of the largest media agencies in the UK and has been responsible for the strategic digital planning, buying and campaign management of several large travel, telecommunication and finance clients. Her client experience includes; British Airways, Virgin Media, Hitachi, DHL, Volkswagen, Unilever Global.
As the SEM industry continues to thrive and innovate, I am excited to be judging this year’s awards and shining a spotlight on the opportunities that this marketing channel delivers. It will be really interesting and inspiring to discover the best-in-class ideas. I am hoping to see lots of strategic thinking, creativity, innovation and of course outstanding results.
Thiago Correa
Thiago Correa
head of performance media
Correa begun his career at Zenith seven years ago, joining one of the first dedicated social teams in the UK. He has worked across a significant number of the agency’s brands, including O2, Aviva, eOne, RBS, Mercedes & H&M. Correa has shaped Zenith’s paid social proposition, with a persistent focus on nurturing talent and delivering client value. His team was among the first to scale dynamic ads outside of the US. And this approach has seen a continued stream of client success stories, awards and case-studies across Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
I’m judging these awards because I believe search is much more than a bottom of the funnel, pure demand conversion platform. I want to see people using search for insight, not just activation. I’d like to see strategies that deliver growth, not just last-click conversions. And I expect to see holistic thinking around SEM
Sam Hailstone
Yoox Net-A-Porter
Sam Hailstone
head of SEO
Hailstone has been in SEO since 2007. Starting out as the technical SEO on the launch team for, he has since led multi-faceted teams at Razorfish and OMD working across a wide range of clients and sectors. He is currently head of SEO at Yoox Net-A-Porter where he leads a versatile team working across 4 of the best-known brands in luxury retail.
Industry recognition of great work is so important and what better and more prestigious way than by winning a Drum Search Award. I am delighted to be on the 2021 judging panel, and I can’t wait to see the innovative and creative work in this year’s entries. I’ll be keeping a particular eye out for campaigns which are rooted in data and insight but are delivered with creative flair. It’s a tricky thing to pull off successfully.
Helen Lin
Publicis Media
Helen Lin
chief digital officer
Lin oversees all digital and programmatic strategy, partnerships, investment and negotiations on behalf of Publicis Media globally, representing the group in industry-leading initiatives and enabling our clients to remain at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving digital ecosystem. Prior to her current role, she served as EVP managing director, digital and publishing activation at Zenith. She has been recognized as a 2019 ADCOLOR Legend, MediaPost Digital All-Star, Cynopsis Top Women in Digital honoree, and was appointed digital chair for the American Advertising Federation (AAF).
I’m here to be inspired! There is no stronger intent signal than search, which has proliferated well beyond search-dedicated destinations. Think robust content and commerce environments. So I’m gearing up to be inspired by the most innovative ways brands and agencies are super serving their most valuable hand raisers, based on known intent. With all the ways consumer needs have had to change suddenly, in massive waves, I am sure this year’s submissions will be incredibly impressive.
John Stuchfeild
Havas Media Group
John Stuchfield
head of performance
Stuchfield has worked in search marketing for over 10 years. Currently, he leads the 50+ performance activation team in the UK – with paid search, marketplace, affiliate, SEO and performance content falling under his remit.Prior to joining Havas, Stuchfield led the paid media team at digital marketing agency, Found, where he oversaw the successful growth of their performance offering across search, social and display.
The Drum is such a revered publisher in the industry and has been for many years now, so it’s an honour to be part of the judging panel for 2021. Having been a judge back in 2019, I know what a great experience it is, so coming back was an opportunity I simply couldn’t turn down. With all of us having faced such turbulence and strife over the last year, I’m excited to see how search teams have navigated these challenges and continued to deliver outstanding, innovative campaigns for their clients.
Dexter Laffrey
Dexter Laffrey
head of search, APAC
In his role at MightyHive, Laffrey has helped to transform some of Australia and Asia Pacific’s largest brands through technical SEM projects, strategy and consulting, with a focus on Search Ads 360 and e-commerce. He’s energised for the near future of the industry, particularly in how the use of first party data by brands will shape the future of search marketing.
Who could have imagined the impact 2020 would have on our lives? Lockdowns and societal changes in most countries saw the tectonic shift to digital services and e-commerce. You only need to look at Amazon’s incredible growth as a guide to how things have changed. I’ll be eager to see entrants who led their clients and teams through adversity, and adapted to the changing 2020 landscape. I'm excited most of all to see brands and agencies that used data-driven decisions and automation to adjust their approach to rapidly changing customer behaviour and expectations.
Kerstin Reichert
Kerstin Reichert
SEO digital marketing manager
Reichert has over 10 year's experience in digital marketing at companies large and small, both agency-side and in-house in England, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She's continuously updating her knowledge and loves to pass it on - through co-authoring the 2020 book, 'Mastering in-house SEO', as an instructor for LinkedIn Learning and as a contributor to the IAB UK's advisory groups for search, content and native advertising.
I am incredibly excited to be on the judging panel for this year's Drum Awards for Search. It is always great to see the incredible work submitted and getting a direct view of how teams keep on top of the search industry delivering best-in-class campaigns. Apart from creativity and out-of-the-box-thinking, I'm especially keen on seeing tangible results that directly contribute to overarching business goals. A great entry for me details all stages from setting targets to execution to measuring results and showcases teams and collaborations that are not only best in their discipline, but truly understand how to make an impact to the business they work for.

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