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Company: Performics, Chicago, IL USA
Company Description: Performics is a leading global search and performance marketing agency within the Publicis Groupe. Performics has redefined performance marketing by using data, technology, and media in novel ways that achieves success for our clients.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Business Services –11 to 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: Daina Middleton, Global CEO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Daina Middleton is the Global CEO of Performics, the lead search and performance marketing agency within the Publicis Groupe. She oversees more than 1000 employees across 30 countries. As the only female CEO at the top of the industry, Daina has emerged as a thought leader, featured speaker, and recently, author.

A marketing professional with over 25 years in the industry and an expert in the digital space, Daina was named President of Performics in 2010 after serving as SVP with Publicis’ Moxie Interactive. She was elevated to Global CEO in 2011 and has guided the company’s global expansion, growing the footprint nearly 30 percent this year, establishing a presence in 39 international cities.

Named “the original performance marketing firm,” by Forrester Research, Performics inspires participation by applying the principles of search marketing to drive performance across owned, earned, and paid media. Performance now works with over 300 global brands, manages more than 68 million keywords, and drove in excess of $1 billion in retail sales last year. The 2012 Forrester Wave called Performics an industry “leader.”

Daina believes marketing and consumerism are undergoing a transformational change and she has originated a new philosophy, tools, and processes that will forever alter how performance marketing is approached. Even the language has changed – consumers are now “participants” – and brands need to encourage participation. She is passionate about sharing this approach with the industry and her first book, Marketing in the Participation Age: A Guide to Motivating People to Join, Share, Take Part, Connect, and Engage, published by Wiley, was released in November 2012. It was recently named one of the top three “Best Marketing Books of the Summer” by Ad Age.

Daina’s leadership has transformed the company’s practice. Unique in the industry, Performics is so confident in their ability to achieve results that over 25% of their total revenue is now derived directly from client ROI. Recent client success stories include: 211% increase in daily sales year-over-year; nearly 1400 % increase in new customer acquisition through SEO; 1700% lift in landing page conversion; and 3 to 1 return on ad spend.

As a regular industry speaker, Daina has appeared at such influential conferences as ad:tech, SES, Dubai Lynx, SMX, and Dmexco to name a few. She is also an advocate for empowering women in the workplace and has recently spoken to several women’s organizations including the Empowering Women’s Network in Chicago, the Women’s Leadership Summit in New York City, and the Women of Google. In addition to speaking, Daina’s work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Forbes, Direct Marketing News, The Marketing Blog at Mobile Marketing Live, and HUFFPOSTLIVE.

Under Daina’s management and direction, Performics has been named one of 2012’s Best Places to Work by Crain’s, The Chicago Tribune, and Advertising Age, a Best Place to Work for Women by Crain’s, Best Agency by the European Search Awards, and most recently had 13 nominations chosen as finalists for the inaugural US Search Awards. Daina herself has been named a “Disruptive Expert,” by Bill Jensen, was on the jury for the AME Awards, and sits on the board of Healthwise.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):

Daina Middleton is CEO of Performics, one of the largest global performance marketing agencies. As the only female CEO at the top of the industry, Daina is a thought leader, featured speaker, and recently, author. Her first book, Marketing in the Participation Age, debuted in November, 2012.

Prior to leading Performics, Daina was the SVP at Moxie Interactive, and she spent 16 years working at Hewlett-Packard in key marketing positions. She ended her tenure with HP as Director of Advertising, managing their $28 billion global Imaging and Printing Group. She was involved early in exploring the marketing impact of the new phenomenon called the “Internet.”

Daina is an accomplished horsewoman, photographer, cross-country skier, and is active in several women’s and ecological support organizations.