Movers and Shakers: Merkle, AppsFlyer, Jaywing and more

David Murphy

The mobile marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is our regular feature following the hottest hires in the industry, so you can keep track of who’s joined which company, and what they’re doing there.

L-R: Warwick Beresford-Jones, Matt Eastwood, Dan Madden

Beresford-Jones to head up analytics at Merkle
Performance marketing agency Merkle has appointed Warwick Beresford-Jones to lead its combined analytics business across customer and digital analytics.

In this role, Beresford-Jones will be responsible for the ongoing integration of Merkle’s digital and customer analytics capability, which was brought together across EMEA at the end of 2019 in recognition of the increasingly sophisticated and fast-changing data and technology landscape.

Beresford-Jones joined Merkle in 2017 when Aquila Insight, the Edinburgh-based business he co-founded in 2010, was acquired by the company. He has since led a 100 per cent growth of the business by supporting standalone analytics clients, such as Total, as well as those across Merkle’s broader set of capabilities, such as Volkswagen Group and NatWest, to provide analytics and insight services that power their customer experience transformation journeys. Aquila rebranded to Merkle Aquila upon joining Merkle.

He said: “Joining Merkle has been an incredible journey for the team at Merkle Aquila. It has provided us with the ability to grow and deliver analytics capabilities as part of a wider set of services to clients focussed on delivering a total customer experience across every interaction an individual has with a brand. Bringing together our digital and customer analytics businesses has enabled us to provide a fully joined up offering that helps clients get value from their data by tapping into our leading teams in AI and automation, data science and cloud computing.”

AppsFlyer makes a Smart move
Mobile attribution and marketing analytics firm AppsFlyer has appointed Adam Smart to the role of Director of Product for Gaming. In his new role, he will help customers such as Playrix, Sega, Kabam, and Playtika develop not only their product, but also their go to market strategy and business development. 

Gaming is a high growth industry and an important vertical for AppsFlyer. With the growth in the Gaming market driven by COVID-19 as people searched for entertainment at home and the ever more competitive and complex Gaming landscape, AppsFlyer was looking for someone from the industry who could add further marketer, growth and product experience to what is already an exceptional team. 

“Adam is a highly strategic hire for us,” said Gal Ekstein, General Manager EMEA & LATAM for AppsFlyer. “ We recognised the need to add even more depth to our Gaming team and Adam has this experience in spades. He rings a depth of knowledge from a leading game developer (Product Madness) that is invaluable for AppsFlyer. As a customer-obsessed business, having someone who knows the intricacies of how gaming developers operate from the ‘inside’ is essential. He joins a host of other highly experienced gaming product and tech professionals, but that industry-side experience is essential.” 

Creative pair head to Jaywing
Integrated agency Jaywing has bolstered its creative offering with the hire of Matt Eastwood and Dan Madden, who have more than 10 years’ experience creating bespoke content for a variety of household names. Notably, the duo launched Camden Hells Nationwide, promoted the return of cricket to the BBC and have created effective, integrated campaigns for Co-op, Klarna and Skoda.  

“Matt and Dan are a brilliant addition to our growing team and signal a huge statement about Jaywing’s creative future,” said Jaywing Executive Creative Director, Karl Stones. “They’ve created some really memorable work over the years and have won every single major award out there. But more importantly, they’re really grounded, nice guys, who understand modern creativity and they’re already winning pitches and praise from our clients.  

Black is back
Splendid Unlimited has hired Dave Black as Business Development Director. Black has a strong heritage in emerging and immersive technologies having worked in AR for Blippar, in VR for Rewind and in Spatial Audio for Mixed Immersion. His career has seen him work with many global brands, including Adidas, Procter & Gamble, Wrigleys, Dominos, Warner Bros. and Renault. The company was recently appointed as the digital transformation partner for Gamesys and digital product strategy and innovation partner for Latimer Homes.

“Firstly, we are delighted to be working with Gamesys and Latimer Homes – two extremely dynamic brands with enormous opportunities in their markets,” said Paul Bishop, who head up the Digital Division at Unlimited. “Secondly, I’m thrilled Dave is joining us. With his wealth of experience, we will ensure we continue to unlock new ways to grow for our clients.”

Carr takes up paid social role at Digilant
Digilant, an omnchannel digital advertising services company, has hired Calvin Carr as its new Director of Paid Social. Based in New York City, Carr will be at the forefront of Digilant’s social team, offering strategic counsel on paid social campaigns.

Carr’s previous experience includes working as a Senior Strategist for Havas Attn, where he led a team focused on helping brands understand human behaviour and how it translates to digital mediums. Prior to this, Carr worked for Havas Formula, where he worked with a variety of clients, including Chase, K-Y, Edrington and ADP. Before Havas Formula, Carr was a Research Associate for Trumpet Advertising, where he focused on brand strategy and rebranding efforts. He started his career at The VIA Agency, where he assisted with campaign strategy for brands such as Welch’s, 1800 Tequila, and Perdue Chicken.  

Focusing his efforts on Digilant’s paid social offerings, Carr will look to bring clients unique opportunities on emerging platforms such as TikTok, Twitch, Reddit, and Snapchat. His day-to-day duties will include offering direct insight and guidance to the social team and proving how advertisers can succeed on social media in the new pay-to-play environment.

“With vast experience leading social campaigns beyond their benchmarks, we’re thrilled that Calvin is joining our team to innovate and invigorate campaign strategies with his understanding of unique and emerging social channels and offer new insights to today’s digital space,” said Digilant CEO, Raquel Rosenthal.

LiveArea hires Fiske
LiveArea, a global customer experience and commerce agency, has appointed Barry Fiske as its Senior Vice President of Global Experience and Innovation.

Fiske brings an accomplished career in design and customer experience transformation to LiveArea. Previously, he served as Group Vice President at Publicis Sapient where he spent more than 10 years. He has a long track record of driving new business growth and piloting innovation for leading brands. In addition to Publicis Sapient, he has held leadership positions in top agencies, including DDB Los Angeles, and TBWA/Chiat/Day.

“Our clients are asking us for more than commerce design,” said LiveArea Executive Vice President and General Manager, Jim Butler. There’s increased demand for expertise in product innovation, service design, performance marketing, and overall customer experience design. Barry brings this leadership to LiveArea, along with incredible talent and a strategic vision that will help us elevate our award-winning design services as we help clients adapt to today’s ‘new normal’ through new product design and creative customer experiences – in-store, online, everywhere commerce exists.”

Gardiner named CFO at Sitecore
Digital experience management software firm Sitecore has named John Gardiner its new Chief Financial Officer. Gardiner brings more than 25 years of financial and strategy experience in high-growth technology businesses, including an extensive history scaling global operations at SaaS-based companies. He joins Sitecore from MedBridge, a developer of patient engagement and clinical education software, where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer. His experience includes serving in roles such as CFO, Chief Strategy Officer, President, and other leadership positions at ZoomInfo, Citrix Systems, and SirsiDynix, as well as working for some of the world’s leading private equity firms, including TA Associates, The Carlyle Group, Vista Equity Partners, and Francisco Partners.

He said: “The momentum building at Sitecore is contagious. I’m excited to be joining a company in the mission-critical digital experience space, at a time when companies need our technology more than ever. I can’t wait to get started.”  

Mellish is BIMA’s new president
BIMA, the industry association representing the digital and interactive media industry, has appointed TMW Unlimited CEO, Chris Mellish, as its new President. He is the former CEO of interactive agency Razorfish and the CEO and owner of marketing consultancy Blackbook London.

Mellish, who succeeds Natalie Gross and Tarek Nseir in his new role, said he is acutely aware that his presidency coincides with a critical time for the digital sector. “The government needs to do an incredible amount to support both business and individuals, otherwise the economic consequences could be severe for many in our industry,” he said. “Small agencies are often the starting point for many people’s careers, they are the lifeblood of our industry if you like. This virus doesn’t discriminate by industry sector, so the government needs to provide comprehensive support across all areas, for both brands and agencies. But support for smaller agencies through the coming months is what would be of most use to our industry”.

He described the chance to lead an industry body such as BIMA as an amazing honour. “I hope in some way it gives me the opportunity and platform to pay back and help an industry that has been amazingly good to me over the past 20-plus years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to helping all sides of our membership think creatively about how we can do this.