With the glittering Performance Marketing Awards (PMA) just around the corner, A4u caught up with the six budding under 30s who have made it into the Hotshot Rising Star shortlist.
The nominees, from Quidco, 7thingsmedia, TopCashback, FusePump, iPropsect, and Performance Horizon Group, were put forward by their employers as examples of promising talent; having not only made progress within the company, but having played a vital and supporting role at the business.
Each nominee answered a handful of questions, giving insight into not only their current roles, but where they were before and where they hope to be in 10 years time.
From TV presenting and farm animals to retiring at 40, two footballer wannabes and dustbin man dreams – their answers make an interesting read.
Delaine Yeoh from Quidco
Job title and responsibilities: Account manager and part-time boundary explorer in the pursuit of driving incremental sales across multichannel avenues. I also input into promotional strategies in line with clients' KPIs that delivers a successful year in trading.
Time in current role: Almost three years
What were your thoughts on making the shortlist? What a thrill! I am both grateful and humbled that Quidco considered me for a nomination. I am absolutely blown away to be shortlisted in a category that features some of the most innovative people in our industry today and I’m proud to stand with them.
Why do you think you have made the shortlist? I've been in this dynamic industry for about three years and have met some incredible people, from the creatives to the statistical that live and breathe numbers. To be shortlisted for an award to celebrate this industry and those in it I can only concur I am doing an ok kind of job at the UK’s biggest cashback site!
When you were a child, what job did you envisage doing? I've always loved animals and thought that one day I would love to work on a farm full of them. That is until I discovered handbags, shoes and clothes. Unfortunately, not uniform de rigueur on farmland. So working for an advertiser that pays you to shop and with some of the UK’s biggest brands, was the next perfect step for me.
What were you doing before your current job and how did you get into the performance marketing industry? I was browsing on Quidco for bargains and saw that they were hiring. So I applied because I relish a good deal and so do they!
Where would you like to be career-wise in 10 years time? With the rate of growth at Quidco, anything is possible I guess. Those working on the team have the performance marketing industry world at their feet. It is impossible to tell you where I see myself in it in a decade’s time.
In one sentence how would you describe the performance marketing industry in the UK? A professional, powerful and ephemeral channel of digital optimisation that has led to the emergence of publishers becoming big brands in their own right - and I love being part of that as it grows in size, markets and excitement.
Fiona Gandy from 7thingsmedia
Job title and responsibilities: Account director. I head up the affiliate team at digital media agency 7thingsmedia, co-ordinating global client campaigns and strategies working across brands including boohoo.com, Ted Baker, Liberty of London and Ideal World.
Time in current role: Three years
What were your thoughts on making the shortlist? Naturally I was very excited, but also immensely proud that my achievements in the past three years have been recognised by the PMA judges.
Why do you think you have made the shortlist? I would like to think that this is due to the standard of work I have achieved and also my contribution to 7thingsmedia as a company and the industry as a whole. 7thingsmedia is a company I am immensely proud to be a part of. I would not be where I am without the support and lessons I have learnt from the team and the individuals that make the agency.
When you were a child, what job did you envisage doing? I always wanted to be either a TV presenter or an air hostess, quite a way off my career now!
What were you doing before your current job and how did you get into the performance marketing industry? Not many people know this, but I actually studied City and Regional Planning at university, although an odd choice, it has put me in good stead for my current role as I was able to practice public speaking, forecasting, budgeting, law and I had to be creative - all aspects I now use. After leaving university I realised that what I really wanted to do was to work in fashion, but particularly PR and marketing. From there I then moved to London and got a role in-house at a brand and then got a job at a fashion PR agency. I worked in fashion PR for over a year, but realised that I found it hard to work in an industry that was held so un-accountable for the activity they did. It was at this point I met the team at 7thingsmedia and quickly realised that I could apply my PR skills and relationships. It also provided me the opportunity to still work in fashion and better yet, everything I did was accountable. I applied for the role and as they say, the rest is history.
Where would you like to be career-wise in 10 years time? In 10 years I want to have my own fashion brand, so watch this space.
In one sentence how would you describe the performance marketing industry in the UK? An ever-evolving industry that constantly keeps me on my toes, meaning no day is ever the same and it is full of some amazing and inspirational individuals.
Graham Jenner from TopCashback
Job title and responsibilities: Head of client strategy
Time in current role: Two years at TopCashback and one month in my current role.
What were your thoughts on making the shortlist? It is extremely flattering to be shortlisted for this award, especially as there are lots of people doing exciting and innovative things in the industry at the moment. Hopefully the fact I made the shortlist reflects the hard work everyone at TopCashback has put in to be at the forefront of that innovation.
Why do you think you have made the shortlist? Within my role I have over achieved on the targets I was set and this has helped contribute towards TopCashback having a fantastic 2012. I have worked hard to develop and improve relationships with clients, networks and agencies. I like to think outside the box and have helped to create campaigns for our clients that have won or been shortlisted for awards. I would also like to think it’s because I have tried to get involved in a number of different areas outside of my job. One area I am really passionate about is spreading the word about affiliate marketing. I regularly write blog posts for digital marketing focused sites like www.smartinsights.com and www.imediaconnection.com and have also, more recently, written a guide to affiliate marketing which is soon to be released as an e-book. Too often I find people mystified as to what affiliate marketing is outside of our channel, so I try to avoid using jargon and focus on how affiliate marketing can support and supplement other digital areas in an engaging and relatable way.
When you were a child, what job did you envisage doing? I always wanted to be a footballer. Anyone who has seen me play will say this is a futile dream. As I approach 30 I am starting to think that it might be time to accept it might not happen.
What were you doing before your current job and how did you get into the performance marketing industry? Prior to TopCashback, I worked at buy.at as an account manager. My major accounts were T-Mobile and the GAME group, but I also looked after Bravissimo, Euroffice and for a short while LV=, which combined, gave me great exposure to lots of different verticals. My first taste of performance marketing was working on lead generation for a finance company.
Where would you like to be career-wise in 10 years time? Ideally I will be in a job I enjoy, where I can be creative and have the chance to make an impact.
In one sentence how would you describe the performance marketing industry in the UK? The UK performance marketing industry is exciting; it’s constantly pushing the boundaries with fresh and innovative ideas.
James Baigent from iPropsect
Job title and responsibilities: Head of affiliates at iProspect. Responsible for leading the affiliate team at iProspect to deliver an integrated product solution to a multitude of brands across the agency and the wider Aegis Media Group.
Time in current role: Six months
What were your thoughts on making the shortlist? I felt very privileged to have been included in this year’s shortlist and be a part of a strong list of representatives within the affiliate industry. To be shortlisted is a recognition of great work within my channel and the continued success with new client wins and industry nominations for our affiliate strategies.
Why do you think you have made the shortlist? I have developed and grown my affiliate team to be the biggest agency affiliate team in the industry which is something I am very proud of given we were just a team of three only when I joined four years ago. I have tried to drive innovation and forward thinking within all of our affiliate clients and succeeded in a channel which can still often be restricted by an over reliance on traditional mediums. Technology underpins my teams overall approach, and we have continued to integrate market leading tools to create affiliate marketing strategies that have delivered consistent growth and enabled media types that have traditionally sat outside the affiliate channel to be utilised to deliver truly diversified programmes. This approach has been the reason for our continual success with new business wins and will be our platform for creating a global affiliate product solution.
When you were a child, what job did you envisage doing? Being a professional footballer, then a golfer, then an entrepreneur!
What were you doing before your current job and how did you get into the performance marketing industry? I worked for Hewlett Packard in the consumer product team, before working at an online cosmetics company, and then moving into Aegis Media four years ago. I have always been interested in online marketing and understanding how businesses can generate revenue from e-commerce; so affiliate marketing seemed a natural fit to me.
Where would you like to be career-wise in 10 years time? In 10 years time I would like to be in a global strategic role where I could apply my approach to digital to a broader set of disciplines and give clients integrated global strategies that complement their brands.
In one sentence how would you describe the performance marketing industry in the UK? A fast paced, diverse and thriving industry that will continue to grow at a rapid rate with the growth of online commerce globally.
Sean McAuley from FusePump
Job title and responsibilities: Commercial director. Responsible for all revenue streams across the UK and Ireland. Generating new revenue via new business and existing clients whilst protecting current revenue streams.
Time in current role: 14 months
What were your thoughts on making the shortlist? Excitement, nerves, shock and pride. When the shortlist was announced I was stunned, but very proud. It’s an honour to be recognised alongside such outstanding individuals and I really hope I can make everyone at FusePump proud. The Performance Marketing Awards is always a fantastic event and I’m sure this year will be just as enjoyable. I can’t wait to take part in an evening that celebrates the industry’s latest successes and innovation.
Why do you think you have made the shortlist? The hotshot rising star award has always been a very competitive award and 2013 is no exception. FusePump has had a very successful 2012 so I’d like to think that my personal contribution to the company’s achievements are the reasons someone thought I deserved a nomination for this award.
When you were a child, what job did you envisage doing? Dustbin man! I used to get up at the crack of dawn each morning, run down stairs and watch them pick up the bins from the living room window. One year they even gave me my own toy dustbin lorry at Christmas!
What were you doing before your current job and how did you get into the performance marketing industry? Before being commercial director I was the client services manager at FusePump, looking after our very prestigious client base. Before this I worked at Ted Baker, and that experience put me in the perfect position to understand how clients should be dealt with and looked after.
Where would you like to be career-wise in 10 years time? I’d love to be retired playing golf every day in a sunny climate! I’ll always want to keep in touch with the performance marketing sector though, so I see myself working for a similar sized company, hopefully in an MD position driving forward the newest most innovative performance marketing technology.
In one sentence how would you describe the performance marketing industry in the UK? On the edge of greatness!
Will Goff from the Performance Horizon Group
Job title and responsibilities: Managing the PHG client delivery team. I work and manage all multi-territory and global clients through the integration and delivery period.
Time in current role: 12 months
What were your thoughts on making the shortlist? Being nominated was a huge surprise and great honour. I’ve attended every one of the awards since working within the affiliate industry from 2009 and have always respected the awards. Once it sank in, I was delighted and see it as a great honour to be shortlisted alongside people I respect within the industry.
Why do you think you have made the shortlist? I hope it is recognition of hard work and dedication; however, I am lucky to work in an organisation where I enjoy the support and encouragement of a great team. Consequently, I do not feel this award is just about me, it actually represents the success of the PHG team as a whole.
When you were a child, what job did you envisage doing? I wanted to work in performance marketing from the moment I first became aware of the Amazon Associates program in 1994, so I’ve been hooked since I was five. Okay, more seriously. I considered a number of random career options when I was younger but knew that ultimately my skills would be best used where I could build client relationships and develop and implement ideas in a fast moving environment. I realised at university that the online industry would be perfect fit as it is dynamic and technology creates new opportunities on an almost daily basis. It was either that or F1 racing with Hamilton!
What were you doing before your current job and how did you get into the performance marketing industry? My university course included an optional placement year which I wasn't planning on doing but a friend talked me round. The only company I applied to was buy.at up in Newcastle, and after a second interview with Warrick Lambert I was offered the role. During the year I was given several smaller accounts to look after and made bucket loads of tea! Then in my final year I worked one day a week at buy.at and, once I graduated, they asked me to join the company full time. I worked my way up from an account exec to a team leader at Affiliate Window after the merger.
Where would you like to be career-wise in 10 years time? Currently, I'm in an environment where I'm given the responsibility to make decisions and have the privilege of working in a team who have built up successful affiliate businesses. In 10 years, I would ideally like to be running my own business, nominating my own team members for categories in these awards. I’m incredibly ambitious and have an underlying entrepreneurial streak, but recognise there is still more experience to be consumed, lessons to be learned and many more great people to work with. I'm in an environment where I'm given the responsibility to make my own decisions and have a great team here who have built up businesses and been successful. Therefore I'm in a great place to soak up as much knowledge as I can from colleagues, clients and others in the industry.
In one sentence how would you describe the performance marketing industry in the UK? It's a fascinating, constantly evolving landscape full of possibility, which is moving towards becoming a mainstay of all global marketing, fuelled by innovation, technology, data and insight.
On May 7 hundreds of attendees, top sponsors and key industry players will fill the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane for an exclusive night of networking, entertainment and of course, the outcome of the esteemed Performance Marketing Awards.