December 9 - 10, 2020
Virtual Event

Planning For Uncertainty

The digital marketing ecosystem has accelerated five years in seven months of crisis. Ecommence is on fire, as are the performance media that drive it. But as search and performance marketing teams budget for 2021 they face a clutter of competition and product offerings. Search and shopping queries are proliferating across social platforms and retailer sites. The sales funnel is bending and fluid as the ecommerce windfall drives focus even more on conversion and sales.

The annual December meeting of search and performance marketing leaders at MediaPost's Insider Summit digs into the media plan for an uncertain 2021. How are planners and buyers forecasting in a fog? (Re)evaluating the tech that is best able to pivot with them? Managing performance new media options from social, retail, audio and video products? Keeping an eye on the entire funnel?

The Summit will cover

  • Solving for planning into 2021

  • Vetting tech investments in a more fluid environment

  • Leveraging new shopping opportunities across platforms

  • Managing the retail adnet clutter

  • Engaging the post-cookie identity challenge

In its 15th year, the Search and Performance Insider summit maintains its focus on sharing best practices and providing marketers with ideas, case studies and actionable intelligence.

For complimentary Brand Marketer or buy-side Agency VIP pass consideration, please contact Kevin Massa at

The Search & Performance Insider Summit is brought to you by the MediaPost journalists and editors that produce Search & Performance Marketing Daily and Inside Performance - important sources of news and commentary for the search and performance marketing community.

Conference Content Programmers:

Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost

Lisa Singer, Event Editorial Manager, MediaPost

Advisory Board:

Kerry Curran, Executive Director, Marketing, GroupM
Clayton McLaughlin, SVP, Director of Media Investments, iCrossing
Jonathan Kagan, VP, Search, Cogniscient Media

Search and Performance Insider Summit 2020 Attendees Include

Reasons and Benefits of Attending

  • Unparalleled access and knowledge sharing with the leading minds in the Industry
  • Be part of driving the Search Channel forward as a key component of marketing campaigns, within your company and the industry
  • Unlimited access to stay in touch with the office: WiFi enabled conference room and quiet office area; opportunities in morning to stay up to date at the office; afternoon five hour break in order to stay on top of duties
  • Congenial, relaxed experience. Attendees are working together to move the industry forward
  • Enhance your Search initiatives with new solutions learned and partnerships gained

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Wednesday, 12/09

Day 1 - Change, clutter, unpredictability On Day 1 of the Summit, marketers share how they are planning for a challenging 2021
3:00 PM ET
Opening Remarks - ALL times EST
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
3:10 PM ET
Keynote Q&A: What happens when you turning off half of search?

Why would one of the major mobile brands on the planet take the risk of turning off half of its search spend? After a two year process of bringing search in-house, the company's "T-Search" internal agency needed to know once and for all whether and where their allocations were producing the best efficiency. What happened next? Cindy Lee shares what they learned.

Cynthia Ballard Lee, Senior Manager, Marketing, T-Mobile 
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
3:35 PM ET
Panel: Uncertainty Planning: Solving the Search + Performance + X Equation

Search and performance channels have become both more integrated and diffuse. Retail search and display networks, vertical search, even more social walled gardens, CTV and more have hopelessly complicated the media planning equation. And now unpredictability of the economy, consumer habits and pandemic effects add a maddening X-Factor. So how are cross-channel media planners and buyers doing their jobs? What are the best practices in contingency planning, media negotiations, quick-pivoting creative? We ask the pros to compare notes.

Clayton McLaughlin, SVP, Head of Media Investments, iCrossing 
Christy Clarke, Managing Director, Belle Tire 
Brandon Rhoten, CMO, Potbelly 
Joseph Sanfratello, VP of Performance Marketing, Hubble Contacts 
4:05 PM ET
Sponsor Spotlight Presentation
4:15 PM ET
Case Study: When AI Works

With over 2000 dealers nationwide with their own needs and digital strategies, FordDirect needed a way of both centralizing and iterating its growing trove of first party data across search, display and social. Digital evangelist Robert Skinner explains how the company brought the programmatic program in-house, focused on its own data and leverages machine learning to test and learn at a massive scale.

Robert Skinner, VP, Digital Strategy and Marketing Technologies, Ford Direct 
Tanya Gazdik, Senior Editor, Automotive, MediaPost 
5:00 PM ET
For 15 years the Insider Summit Round Tables have been where marketers bring their questions, challenges and insights for one another to share in casual, off-the-record conversation. This Virtual Insider Summit is no different.  Webcams and Mics ON. Recording and reporting OFF.  Discuss amongst yourselves!
5:00 PM ET
Roundtable: Show Your Math: Measurement in the the Post IDFA/Cooke Age

How should performance media buyers prepare for the dramatic crumble of campaign tracking capabilities as iOS14 opts out of IDFA, browsers go on a cookie diet and ever more choice audience and inventory go behind platform garden walls? We ask our panel of media mavens to show their math and share how they are prepping for a less precise future.

Brendan McGinn, Manager Paid Digital Marketing, Pandora Jewelry 
Alex Sutton III, Director, Digital Acquisition, Avis Budget Group 
5:00 PM ET
Roundtable: New Trends in Search
Beyond Search - TikTok, Foursquare, maps, directories?
Kerry Curran, Executive Director, Marketing & Growth, GroupM Performance, Catalyst 

Thursday, 12/10

Day 2 - The New Shopper Marketing

On Day 2 of the Summit we follow the Buy Button as it proliferates outside of retail sites, and we follow advertising as it goes into e-retail sites and their emerging ad networks.

3:00 PM ET
Welcome Back & Marketer Survey Results - ALL times EST
3:10 PM ET
Fireside Chat
AJ Bhatia, CMO, 
3:35 PM ET
Panel: The eShopper Channel: Recalibrating for Commerce

The COVID crisis quickly recalibrated search and performance budgets for eCommerce, even as shopping and eComm products blossomed across Facebook, Snap, Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram. How has this radical proliferation of the buy button into every search and social neighborhood impacted planning and overall digital strategy? Our panel shares early experiences with the range of shopping platforms, how they work, share data and customers, and deliver ROI. Is this the new face of shopper marketing?

Drew Brosnan, Marketing Director, Performance Marketing, Redbubble 
Nico Bryant-Aguilar, Head of Growth Marketing, Nurx 
Riyaad Edoo, Group Director, Search and eCommerce, Mindshare 
4:00 PM ET
Sponsor Spotlight and Trivia
4:15 PM ET
Discussion: Managing the Retail Ad Nets

Every major retailer wants a piece of the ad budget now. Many brands are contending with a dozen or more retail ad networks, each with its own high garden wall, contractual obligations and ties to other co-marketing programs. How are brands evaluating and managing the new clutter of opportunities? How do they compare to platform eComm and Amazon opportunities? What have we learned thus far about making the best of the inventory?

Joniece Hinds, Retail Media Lead, Georgia-Pacific 
Michelle Schumaker, Performance Marketing Manager, Amazon & Retailer Media, Scotts Miracle-Gro 
4:40 PM ET
Case Study: We Want Our Performance TV
5:00 PM ET
For 15 years the Insider Summit Round Tables have been where marketers bring their questions, challenges and insights for one another to share in casual, off-the-record conversation. This Virtual Insider Summit is no different.  Webcams and Mics ON. Recording and reporting OFF.  Discuss amongst yourselves!
5:00 PM ET
Roundtable: Vetting the 2021 Product Mix

Featured Speakers

Cynthia Ballard Lee

Senior Manager, Marketing

AJ Bhatia

Nico Bryant-Aguilar

Head of Growth Marketing

Kerry Curran

Executive Director, Marketing & Growth, GroupM Performance

Riyaad Edoo

Group Director, Search and eCommerce

Joniece Hinds

Retail Media Lead

Brendan McGinn

Pandora Jewelry
Manager Paid Digital Marketing

Brandon Rhoten


Joseph Sanfratello

Hubble Contacts
VP of Performance Marketing

Robert Skinner

Ford Direct
VP, Digital Strategy and Marketing Technologies

Alex Sutton III

Avis Budget Group
Director, Digital Acquisition

Drew Brosnan

Marketing Director, Performance Marketing

Christy Clarke

Belle Tire
Managing Director

Tanya Gazdik

Senior Editor, Automotive

Clayton McLaughlin

SVP, Head of Media Investments

Michelle Schumaker

Scotts Miracle-Gro
Performance Marketing Manager, Amazon & Retailer Media

Steve Smith

VP, Editorial Director, Events

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Speaker Consideration

For speaker consideration please complete the speaker proposal form. Due to the high volume of speaker proposals that we receive we will only be able to notify those whose proposals have been selected. All proposals must go through this form, no exceptions. Do not contact other MediaPost representatives regarding speaker opportunities.


For questions regarding sponsorship of this event please contact Jon Whitfield, VP, Event Sales at


For press inquiries, please contact Ken Fadner at


For general summit inquiries please contact Maya Abulashvili, Coordinator of Events and Conferences at

VIP Program

For questions about or to apply to the VIP Program please contact Kevin Massa, Manager of Brand & Agency Relations at

Quality Pledge

MediaPost strives for excellence in its coverage of media, marketing and advertising. Our mission is to critically engage key questions for brand marketers, media buyers, sellers and emerging platforms. We choose speakers exclusively for their ability to bring perspective and insight to our stage. All conferences are programmed by proven, expert, unbiased journalists. MediaPost has never and will never engage in "pay to play" conferencing.