Our ‘Profile: A Day in the Life of’ feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working within performance marketing. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry:


​Name:  Martha Dubicki

Job title and company:  Senior manager, client services at Rakuten LinkShare

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Rakuten LinkShare is a performance marketing company that provides online retailers with expert online services and solutions to more effectively reach their consumers, meet their business objectives, and better understand the consumer journey across digital marketing channels.

What are the company’s unique selling points?

Breadth of offerings: Along with our affiliate network, we offer search marketing services, lead generation campaigns and retargeting solutions.

Technology: We continually invest in our technology to ensure clients get the most from their participation in our network.

Service oriented: We’re committed to client satisfaction, which is why we’ve been ranked the number one performance marketing network for the past two years.

Within the last six months, what stands out as the company’s major milestones? 

The past six months have been very exciting! Here are four of the biggest milestones:

Rakuten LinkShare has experienced double digit growth over the past quarter. Specifically, in the US same store sales were up 22% year-over-year while same store sales in the UK were up 34%.

The closing of the Google Affiliate Network also had a significant impact on all facets of our business. We worked hard at migrating all of the GAN clients who chose to move forward with Rakuten LinkShare and are happy to report the transition for them was fast, seamless and has helped them achieve strong results.

We also continue to grow throughout the US and globally. Rakuten LinkShare currently has full service affiliate networks in the UK, Canada, Australia and Japan. Also, we’re building up our presence in new areas and we’ll be sure to keep you posted as soon as we can share more details about this exciting news.  And in my office in Chicago, we’ve also significantly increased our staff.  

Finally, we’re finding more clients are now taking advantage of our additional Rakuten Marketing services such as display and search marketing to succeed across more of their digital marketing channels. While integration of these additional services requires more coordination across Rakuten teams, it leads to additional insights and opportunities for clients.

Duration in current role:

I was hired in March of 2008 as an account manager, and I was promoted to my current position senior manager, client services in April of 2013.

Where are you based?

Chicago, IL.

Previous performance marketing-related Co’s you have worked at:

This is the first position I’ve had that was directly focused on performance marketing. However, I had several years of client facing marketing experience prior to Rakuten LinkShare. I worked for a more traditional advertising agency in Indianapolis managing TV, radio, and print advertising for local McDonald’s Co-Ops. I subsequently moved to Chicago where I was the fourth person hired at a startup online gift company. We partnered with Rakuten LinkShare for our affiliate efforts and this introduced me to the affiliate world.

What are your main job responsibilities?

I oversee affiliate programmes for a wide array of well-known brands. My efforts include:

  • Preparing and presenting strategic solutions to exceed client goals
  • Monitoring advertiser account performance to specific KPIs, such as sales growth, total programme ROI and new customer acquisition
  • Developing and strengthening relationships with advertiser and publisher partners (This really is a relationship business!)
  • Managing three direct reports, delegating responsibilities and overseeing the work of an internal Client Services team, and coordinating activities with other cross-functional teams (Technology, Analytics, Marketing, Legal, and Sales).

Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:

First and foremost I have to mention my cereal and coffee habit. It’s my ritual. I review the weekend performance of my accounts and get my checklist ready for the day while eating breakfast.

We then have our ‘all company’ meeting to start the workweek. Transparency is very important to Rakuten. Here senior leadership discusses high-level performance from each business unit along with notable endeavours. Each meeting ends with a message from Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.

Post meeting, I organise the strategy/content for upcoming client meetings and check in with my team to make sure they have everything they need.

I’m also on the phone a lot. Whether it’s a regularly scheduled meeting or an impromptu touch base, I’ve found that phone calls are often more efficient than working through a string of emails.

Of course, in any client facing role things come up that you cannot prepare for. The keys to success here are prioritisation and organisation.

What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?

Yelp, Polyvore and Houzz. I’m always looking for new restaurants to try, and I’m an online shopper through and through. Houzz is a new favourite as I recently moved to a larger condo and need help furnishing my new space!

What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?

Network! Several new hires have been referred by current employees.

Do your research. Make it obvious that you understand the industry. We’re always impressed by people who come out and say they want to work here and provide indisputable reasons why they’re the right person for the job.

Curiosity and creativity is essential. We’re looking for problem solvers – candidates who are genuinely interested in keeping up with what’s new and notable in the industry and who will, in turn, apply this knowledge to exceed their client’s expectations.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

I really love this industry, so I do not see myself leaving the affiliate marketing field. However, I want to expand my horizons as Rakuten expands. The acquisition of Rakuten MediaForge offers a great opportunity for me to get more involved with other online marketing channels.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

Ha, this is difficult as I’m close with many of my co-workers and have a tendency to over share. One thing they might not know is that I sometimes change into workout clothes at the office, even though I have no intention of going to the gym after work. Workout gear is so comfortable, and wearing it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something athletic, even if it’s just a walk to the train. So I suppose people at work might think I’m sportier than I really am!

Did you catch some of the other profiles on PI?

SVP of International at RetailMeNot – Shares Insights

Global MD at Profero Performance – Shares Insights

UK MD at AffiliateTraction – Shares Insights

UK MD at Vibrant Media – Shares Insights

Account Director at Affilinet – Shares Insights

VP, Direct Response Advertising, Adknowledge