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.


Tom Burgess

Job title and company:

CEO and Co-founder, Linkable Networks

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

Linkable Networks links value directly to consumers’ credit and debit cards.

What are the company’s unique selling points?

Linkable Networks provides a platform for loyalty and shopper marketing opportunities. Linkable is partnered with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express for tracking the redemption of coupons, rebates and deals.

We track whole store, department and item level offers and we support every type of media (digital and traditional). We’re the first and only company to combine these unique capabilities.

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

Linkable Networks launched its affiliate network, The Linkable Networks (TLN), a partnership programme between Linkable Networks and shopper marketing content publishers, mobile shopping applications and banks. Retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG’s) can reach 98% of all credit/debit card holders via Linkable’s TLN – providing maximum reach and exposure for their offers.

TLN members include partners such as Slickdeals, MySavings Media, 8coupons, Offers.com and Rebates.com among others. With TLN, retailers, restaurants, grocers, CPGs and manufacturers can target the demographic they want for in-store and online redemption.

Geo-targeted campaigns drive sales to specific stores with complete clicks-to-bricks attribution that requires no printed coupons or POS integration. A SaaS platform will also be announced soon.

Duration in current role:

Four years

Where are you based?

Boston, MA

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

I have worked at three different performance marketing companies in various capacities before Linkable Networks – Third Screen Media, CollegeLink.com and Bluestreak.com.

I founded Third Screen Media, the world’s first mobile advertising network. Third Screen Media was the first of its kind in terms of wireless advertising and really set the global stage. It was acquired by AOL in 2007.

Before Third Screen Media, I served as president of internet portal CollegeLink.com, ultimately spearheading the company’s public offering and later, orchestrated the sale of the company to Monster.com. I was also CEO of 9th Square Inc. (later rebranded as Bluestreak.com, Inc.), an e-commerce and advertising software company.

What are your main job responsibilities?

Everything! As CEO and Co-founder of a startup, I wear multiple hats constantly and can be found working on any areas of the business – from marketing and advertising, to sales, investor relations, business development, branding and everywhere in between! When I am not in the office, a good chunk of my time is spent on the road fundraising and meeting with potential media partners, retailers and the world’s leading consumer packaged goods brands. I strive to strike a balance between working in my Boston office, having face time with my team and getting out on the road to better brand Linkable Networks and secure partnerships. I am fortunate to have a strong team in Boston that allows me to have the mobility I need to expand the Linkable Networks brand.

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

If I’m not travelling, Mondays start with a 5 am rise and straight to the gym in my basement for 45 mins of ass kicking work out with some meditation to wind down.

Off to the train for a 40 minute trek to Boston while I burn through email or other prep for the day.

Arrive the office by 8am, meet with the senior team for an hour or more to set the tone for the week, compare notes on big projects and/or deal with the endless challenges of building a company and disrupting the loyalty and promotions markets.

The next call of business is to gather the rest of the managers and take the overall operations pulse. Linkable is doing things that have never been done before, by any company, so we are always learning and creating as we go. The ops meeting can run 30 minutes or two hours, it’s different every week. Finally I get to start my day and that could include sales calls, business development negotiations, marketing strategy, investor relations and more. It is never boring and always challenging. As the day winds down I usually try and catch a train that will get me home in time to see the family before they hit the sack and on some rare occasion, maybe have dinner with them!

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

 CarBuzz.com, ESPN and PYMNTS.com

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

  • Think big and do not let others dilute your vision: as the leader of a startup, you have to have big plans coming out of the gates and you need to remain focused on your goals. I cannot calculate the number of times people scoffed at my ideas or told me something was impossible. Stay focused and do not be afraid of barriers as you pave your path to success. Look beyond the cutting edge and build solutions that change the way markets do business.
  • Build a strong team: find team mates who really fit the role you are looking to fill. As CEO of any type of business, organisation or company, your staff is a representation of your company and a team that is always one step ahead of you, as CEO, is critical! I am constantly being pulled in different directions and the only way I am allowed the freedom and flexibility to expand the company is my awesome team keeping things moving.
  • Don’t fall for that old line of doing one thing and doing it well: That’s bullshi*! If you are going to create a new market or alter existing ones then you are going to fail along the way. Your ultimate goal may never waver but you need to accept the fact that you WILL change the path to that goal (maybe several times) along the way. I have developed a multi-path approach to success over the years. I start by considering many different potential paths. I spend time researching these paths until I identify an executable set. Through trial, error and creativity I have always found one or more paths to success.

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

Surrounded by a growing team of innovators, risk takers and problem solvers as the CEO of Linkable Networks, the industry leader in shopper marketing and loyalty solutions.

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

I sail globally with my wife and kids when I’m not building disruptive tech companies. We have taken two long distance, 18 month voyages over the past 10 years. For instance, in 2007 we sailed from Newport RI to Auckland NZ on our 50 foot catamaran. You can visit www.sailingzen.com to see the log with pictures and videos. 

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