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: Graham Jenner
Job title and company: Head of Partnerships, TopCashback
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
We drive sales for brands and any commission we earn, we pass back to our members in the form of cashback.
What are the company’s unique selling points?
We focus upon what our members want. If we get that right we make more sales! We also take time to listen to our clients’ objectives and tailor promotions to suit them. Examples include branded campaigns for B&Q and Premier Inn which have won the Advertiser Innovation award at the Performance Marketing Awards for two years running.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
We have seen good growth in the US which had its second birthday in November. We have a very fast-moving company so we have seen lots of additions to the team. I think since I joined the company (around two and a half years ago) we have increased the number of staff by 300%.
Duration in current role:
Where are you based?
Previous performance marketing-related Co’s you have worked at:
I was at buy.at before TopCashback.
What are your main job responsibilities?
I manage TopCashback’s partnerships department. I tend to think of my role as being split into three main areas. Firstly the process of managing the department – within this area I look at how to improve the productivity of my two teams (one in London and one in Uttoxeter). To do this I set up KPI’s and look at how to improve processes.
The second part is the people side managing the people that report into me. This involves keeping people motivated, making sure they have the training they need and being available to give advice or be an escalation point if they need it. Team spirit is important to me as happy people tend to work harder. We tend to have a lot of different things going on most weeks from French-themed days (to see off our placement student France), to hat-tie day (wear a hat or a tie to celebrate Hattie’s birthday). A bit silly but we have fun and everyone enjoys coming into work.
The third part of my role is more strategy-focused. Looking ahead at how we can develop new opportunities for clients and increase revenue for the company. I have big targets for 2014 so I try to put aside time each week for planning and developing ideas to achieve them. Within this area I would include seasonal promotions like Christmas. We have recently started doing more themed promotions with micro-sites which have proven really popular and given advertisers more choice.
Take us through what you get up to on a typical working day:
My days tend to be dictated a little by what is occurring that day. On a quiet day I might spend the day analysing performance and working on the strategy for the team. My role requires discipline as I need to make sure that I work on areas that might not come to fruition for months. It is important to have the ability to step away from the day-to-day and make sure these projects progress. A good example is Christmas, which I started planning in June. On these quieter days I tend to have meetings with my team so they have a chance to ask questions or get advice on smaller issues they might not have asked me about in day-to-day work.
On busier days I can get involved in a lot of different areas. This might be to act as an escalation point on an issue or alternatively I can be in meetings the whole day either internally or externally. These might be meetings with bigger clients (where I come along to consult on strategy) or alternatively an internal call to discuss plans for the next quarter.
I always like to start the day by making a list of the things I want to do that day. I try to do at least three things on my list each day (sometimes that can be harder than it sounds). One of my team prepares a report for me to look at commission trends for the major networks over the year and the best performing clients, so the morning is spent running through numbers and isolating potential growth areas.
My role has been very campaign-focused recently so I might have a call with our tech team to see how a project is coming along. While the team focus on January exposure and booking, my sights have been on the whole of 2014 and looking how to create new promotional opportunities for merchants. A lot of different departments get involved so I tend to spend a lot of time talking to different stakeholders in the business. As part of this I need to sell in new ideas internally and ensure I have buy in from the teams that might work on it.
What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?
Sky Sports, Facebook and Twitter tend to be the top three websites. But to be honest, we normally play FIFA at lunch!
What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?
I think the important thing is to make sure that you are doing something you enjoy. If you do that you work harder and you are more likely to get good results.
After that I think the other key areas are to make sure you keep up to date with what is happening online and areas that you can bring to your company. With a big part of my role being to look at new revenue streams, I need to keep abreast of what is happening both in the industry and further afield.
Lastly; network. You can never know too many people. Talk to as many people as you can. I think the important thing here is you just talk to people and get to know them. Nobody likes people who just want to talk business, get to know people and then hopefully you can do business with them.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?
I don’t really like to set targets as I have found things evolve so quickly. What I tend to do from time to time is write down the things I enjoy doing and the things I don’t and try to adapt my role to it. I am lucky that when TopCashBack hired me they let me define my own role; this has worked out pretty well for both parties. I get to try new areas and stretch myself but also the autonomy I have is very motivating.
I also recently wrote my own book on affiliate marketing. I have done a lot of guest blog posts over the last few years but it was quite a different challenge writing a book. My focus has been towards people outside of the industry or people wanting to develop their skills/understanding, so when digital author Dr Dave Chaffey approached me about writing a book focusing on these areas, I was very flattered. I enjoy writing so it seemed a natural progression. This is an area I would like to explore more in the future.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I enjoy a good rubbish movie. Piranhaconda was a step to far though.
Did you catch some of the other profiles on PI?
Looking for a new career? Take a look at the latest performance marketing jobs here.