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.


James Hardwick.

Job title and company:

Head of Lifestyle Affiliates and Partnerships, The Hut Group.

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

Built on scalable, proprietary technology infrastructure The Hut Group is the UK’s leading, multi-website online retailer with rapidly growing international operations.

What are the company’s unique selling points?

The Hut Group’s integrated strategies, concepts and unique blueprint are fuelled through our highly scalable business model and end-to-end e-commerce platform. This provision allows us to achieve growth targets and reach a global audience very easily. This, coupled with our cohesive and real-time reporting platforms allow The Hut Group to keep ahead of the curve and react positively to market and consumer trends.

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

You can’t miss an opportunity to be successful! It is important to breed success and command more real estate in teeming and competitive markets. To underpin this The Hut Group has seen international growth in excess of 1000% through some international territories and channels; as well as seeing the total number of employees rocket to over 1,000.

As a group we continually strive to enter and penetrate new global markets with a profound and targeted approach through all performance marketing channels. Our unified approach supports our comprehensive digital strategy. This enables us to offer an exceptional international reach that in turn will offer an abundant and strengthened platform enabling The Hut Group to achieve objectives and exceed goals and targets.

With this in mind, one of the lynchpins in our portfolio is Myprotein.com. Myprotein now trades in over 30 different territories, and is the largest sports supplement provider in Europe. We recently entered the US market and aim to be the biggest in the world by 2016!

Our business is heavily supported through our investment in top talent and resources to facilitate strong acquisition and performance. This has recently been recognised with our nomination and short listing in the Performance Marketing Awards 2014 for both Global Excellence in Performance Marketing and for the Industry choice of Advertiser Awards.

Duration in current role: 

10 months.

Where are you based? 

Northwich, Cheshire.

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

I have a host of experience in performance marketing related roles, both in the UK and overseas and across a multiplicity of verticals. I started out in the sport and leisure industry, before making a move into the iGaming sector working for gambling operator bet365. I love the industry, it’s great to be able to experience from different sectors, all very different yet equally as exciting.

What are your main job responsibilities?

My overall responsibility is enthralled in the digital vision and acquisition strategy to build, establish, optimise and grow the lifestyle affiliate marketing and partnership channels at The Hut Group.

My team and I are constantly investing, testing, scrutinising and improving all performance marketing channels with an assimilated approach in order to drive the business forward whilst delivering tangible like-for-like growth in terms of customer acquisition and incremental revenue. Whether this be building an affiliate programme from the ground up from one of our newly acquired businesses, implementing step changes to propel the business forward, or day to day strategy planning and micro management of through the line marketing projects.

My holistic business focus includes, but is not limited to; the procurement of online traffic and leads through affiliates, partnerships and display inventory; negotiation of commercial tiers from tenancy, revenue share, CPA, CPM, CPL, CPS, CPC, hybrid and reciprocal in-depth data, and affinity partnerships.

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

For me Monday’s are all about reporting and appraisal of the weekends activity, with this comes reflection, understanding and continuous learning with a view to improve and optimise both on a business and personal level. I’m always learning new things about myself and the business. Additionally, I like to be on top of all of our core KPIs and progress vs. target, as well as our channel mix, attribution and overall cumulative performance.

Due to the nature of our business every day is different, and there is always so much going on, with this in mind I prefer to avoid highly structured processes and regulated days. I’m a firm believer in working proactively and maintaining a balance between persistence, flexibility, logic and creativity in order to support my team and meet the needs of the business.

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

I tend to spend my lunch time in front of my PC managing my macros and eating large protein-fuelled dinners ready for the evenings exercise ahead (of course supplemented by our own brand Myprotein!) During this time I flick between local news, The Drum, Sky Sports and LinkedIn.

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

Firstly, an industry legend and good friend of mine once told me to be a ‘sponge’. I advocate this wholeheartedly to anybody looking to start out in performance marketing; soak up all knowledge and learn as much as you can. With this you must be conversant and passionate in everything you do with a ubiquitous desire to grow and develop.

Secondly, ensure you become excellent at building and nurturing relationships and be good with people. If you can do this it is inevitable that you will develop mutually beneficial win-win partnerships crucial to success, and more importantly people will want to work with you and buy into you as a charismatic asset.

Finally, strive for success, think outside the box, be diplomatic, prepare to learn and make sure you utilise your strengths and build on any areas that may need improvement while maintaining a positive work-life balance.

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

I have a similar ethos here as I do my daily work planning and routine; I am hugely ambitious and driven and I certainly see myself doing more of the same – stronger, bigger and better!

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

I used to swim at national level and have six national qualifying times. Later this month I plan on getting back in the pool with my old water polo club after a lengthy nine year break. 


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