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. This week we head to London to speak to the chief executive at Clippet, James MacLeod.


James MacLeod

Job title and company:

CEO of Clippet

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

Clippet makes news work for our generation.

What are the company’s unique selling points? 

Clippet is the UK’s first short-form audio media company. We provide a hands-free way of staying updated through curating relevant news content for 18 to 28 year olds and delivering the news in a natural, conversational way. We do so by using personalities that sound just like any other young person – not stiff, polished broadcasters.

We want to pioneer the short-form audio format by creating a product and content that engages a young mobile audience. We think that this format can be applied to many cases and we want to help publishers access this by licensing and facilitating the use of our technology.

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

Raising our first round was definitely a major milestone (and a huge relief!). We also recently moved from our detached office in King’s Cross to a self-contained management and editorial studio in Hoxton – it’s done great things for our business and team dynamic.

Duration in current role:

18 months – I founded Clippet with Grace Regan and Josh Jackson in August 2013 and it’s taken us 18 months to establish seeding and to build our MVP.

Where are you based?

I’m in London full-time. I spent my teens in Sydney and try to get back as much as possible.

Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:

I completed a six month stint for Ikon Communications in Melbourne as an account assistant whilst I studied at the University of Melbourne. I learnt a lot there about the creativity of cross platform media buying and the importance of  justified measurable marketing.

I was also a sales assistant at Fox News in New York for two months in 2009 (quite the opposite end of the spectrum from Ikon). The role consisted of keeping big clients happy which was difficult at times!

What are your main job responsibilities?

I run the day-to-day at Clippet.  So this is anything and everything from accounts and payroll, to business strategy and development, marketing strategy, fundraising (and I get to have a say in the content strategy every now and again).

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

I wake up at around 5.30am, check the digest and log any bugs or errors. I’ll send out a notification around 8am just as I’m arriving to the office via bike.

I try to spend as much time in the office with meetings in the afternoon. By noon, I’ll check the morning analytics and articulate them back to the editor. We then try to push a content update for the afternoon.

I usually spend the end of the day working from home on financial documents while the editorial team are recording.

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

Quartz, Facebook and Fast Company.

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

  1. When you have an idea, spend at least the first six months developing a business plan and working with trustworthy advisors. Find a good mentor and meet with them weekly to discuss strategy and operations.
  2. If you haven’t had experience working in your area of business, media for example, try and get an internship to get a grip on the dynamics of the different business functions. You can sense when people haven’t worked in the environment and if you need to make management decisions, you’ve got to know when and what to say.
  3. If you haven’t got some sort of business understanding already, take a short course in management. I never really applied myself at business school, but I worked in a pub all the way through – I probably learnt more about business there!

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

I see Clippet growing into a prosperous and credible business. I ‘d be happy running Clippet for the next five years – however, this might not be realistic. I believe that I’ve still got a huge amount of developing to do. I would actually love to go back to school after learning what aspects of business really make me tick.

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

My favourite snack is a peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich.