Our ‘Profile: A Day in the Life of’ feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry.
Job title and company:
CEO at BrandVerity
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
We help performance marketing networks, agencies and advertisers ensure affiliate compliance across a broad range of compliance challenges.
What are the company’s unique selling points?
One major differentiator is that we focus primarily on compliance. The tools and features we’ve developed have largely evolved to fit the needs of affiliate managers from major brands and compliance teams at affiliate networks. We’ve learned a lot from them about the challenges they face, and the design of our system reflects that.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
We just launched our content monitoring service, after an extensive cycle of testing and development. This service is particularly suited to the compliance needs of consumer finance companies, and we’re excited about the challenges in related industries that the service can help address.
We also were thrilled to win the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Best Tool/Service of the year in January of 2014. We’re particularly proud of this accomplishment because we won the same award in 2013, the year it was introduced.
Duration in current role:
I’ve been with BrandVerity since launch and we’re a little over five years old.
Where are you based?
Our offices are in historic Pioneer Square in Seattle, WA
Previous performance marketing-related Co’s you have worked at:
BrandVerity is the first company I’ve worked for that’s truly a part of the performance marketing industry. Prior to BrandVerity I was VP of engineering at Judy’s Book – we did some testing with affiliate links there and that was my first introduction to affiliate marketing.
What are your main job responsibilities?
At one point or another I’ve held every job in the company (often poorly).
These days, my real responsibilities revolve around building our team and ensuring that they have the support necessary to go and do awesome things. I often fill gaps where we haven’t made a hire or are still trying to figure out what type of hire we should make.
Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:
Wow, my days sure don’t sound all that interesting when I put them to paper.
I typically do ‘drop off’ duties for our two preschoolers in the morning. Once in the office, I’ll quickly work with our dev team to triage any outstanding production bugs that might have popped up over the weekend, but weren’t significant enough for to resolve on the spot. We do our daily scrum at 10:30am and following that I’ll work with our sales and support teams to identify any items that I might be able to help with. I’ll usually have one or more one-on-one coffee meetings in the afternoon. At 4pm we do our weekly sales meeting and discuss ongoing opportunities and relationships.
What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?
Xkcd (often followed by explainxkcd.com), Dinosaur Comics and The Oatmeal are easily among the most entertaining websites online.
What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?
I think there are a few things that have helped me in my current role:
- Caring passionately about our users. I’m bugged by slow page loads, by awkward or inconsistent user experience, and in general when our users are having to spend more time than they should with our service. Of course our data needs to be comprehensive and current, so I find myself constantly thinking about how to optimise our data collection.
- Enjoying catching bad guys. There is a small set of incredibly sneaky affiliates that we regularly find ourselves investigating. They seem to vary their affiliate IDs as well as their accounts, so we feel that we’re constantly improving our technology, tools and techniques in order to uncover them. To some extent, this game of cat and mouse is one of the things that I enjoy most about my role.
- Constant evangelism and education. Performance marketing has numerous advantages over other forms of online marketing, but those advantages are lost without effective compliance. I really feel that an important part of my role is helping establish compliance as a foundational part of the industry. By building compliance more directly into affiliate programs, the industry can then reap the benefits of performance marketing without the associated risks.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?
I expect to continue building and growing BrandVerity. I’m very excited by the opportunities in front of us and believe that we can have a measurable, sustained, positive impact on performance marketing.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’m kind of scared to play foosball at the office.
While I’m a competent player, our company has some people who are really great on the foosball table. Last year they even won a tournament of Seattle startups.
The BrandVerity team has a friendly, but decidedly competitive culture. Recently, our office established a table rule that any team who gets shut out has to spend the night in the office. The players from our office are pretty evenly matched, so a shutout is highly unlikely to happen – but it’s actually happened twice so far. I’ll leave it the reader to figure out who on BrandVerity’s team has ended up sleeping over.
When the office first began playing foosball regularly, I was in a particularly busy phase of my life (mostly because our second daughter was born). I didn’t play foosball all that often during that time, and now I’m out of practice. Meanwhile, the rest of the office has gotten much, much better and the stakes have been raised significantly.
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