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 meet the senior director EMEA & APAC marketing at AppNexus. 


Graham Wylie

Job title and company:

Senior Director EMEA & APAC Marketing at AppNexus

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

AppNexus builds the technology that powers digital advertising for the world’s most advanced media buyers and sellers.

What are the company’s unique selling points? 

Our people invented programmatic advertising. And today, AppNexus is where the industry’s most talented, passionate, and forward-looking thinkers and doers want to work.  As the world’s largest independent advertising technology company, we have no media business to bias decisions. Everything we do is designed with a singular purpose: to empower our partners to win, on their terms.

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

AppNexus enjoyed rapid growth through 2014, with three straight quarters of profitability fueled by record revenue and volume. In the last 6 months, the company closed a strategic transaction with WPP; acquired Open AdStream (OAS), Alenty and MediaGlu; and raised $110 million capital that cements AppNexus as part of an elite group of private companies with a valuation in excess of $1 billion. We closed 2014 with net revenue run rate in excess of $250 million on an annualised basis with over 34 billion ad impressions per day. AppNexus also added eight offices – including new locations in Sydney and Singapore – bringing its global total to 21. In addition, the company welcomed more than 250 new employees, bringing the total number to more than 750.

However, the biggest highlight was not something we did. It was seeing so many of our customers and partners grow just as quickly and perform just as strongly on our platform.

Duration in current role:

18 months.

Where are you based?

Mostly from the London office, but working with our teams in Paris, Hamburg, Singapore, Sydney and New York.

Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:

I am primarily a client-side marketer, despite having built and run my own B2B agency for several years. There is something very rewarding about the client role in companies that are navigating periods of significant change. At AppNexus that change is rapid growth as programmatic emerges as the future of digital marketing.

What are your main job responsibilities?

I lead marketing for the EMEA and APAC region, which is an incredibly diverse set of markets. AppNexus technology is used by media traders, agencies and publishers whose needs vary greatly in each market. For example, over half of all digital advertising spend in the UK and Netherlands will be done programmatically in 2015, so the agencies and publishers here are quite advanced. In India and ASEAN, programmatic is a smaller percentage volume, but there are world class innovations happening in mobile and a vibrant programmatic community that is building on top of the AppNexus platform to compete globally.

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

This Monday kicked off with a 7am call to speak with our APAC PR team and discuss plans for the year ahead. As programmatic goes mainstream there is a real need to educate marketers on its full potential. I catch up on industry news on the train and then spend the morning focused on our European business. When the US comes online in the afternoon there is a series of video meetings to prepare for Mobile World Congress and catch up on some very cool product innovations that will drive programmatic campaign performance.

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

LinkedIn for bite-size content but if I have time I’d prefer a longer read so will dip into Wired, Fortune or TopGear. However, I have to admit that I prefer their print editions to the websites!

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

  1. I moved to Marketing from Sales in the 90’s and it has never stopped changing in all that time. If you stand still and stop learning you will get left behind.
  2. Plan your career around what you love doing, not the money or status of the next job. If you love your work, you will be great at it and the rewards will come.
  3. Marketing is a team sport. Gone are the days when the marketing department could plan and execute a campaign in isolation, get a pat on the back and repeat. Marketing is now always on, scary fast and hugely challenging. You need great marketers around you and these days they probably work in sales, services or product. Marketing is a mindset, not a title.

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

Doing something I love and working with great people. See points 2 and 3 above.

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

I am powered by chocolate. Cadbury Dairy Milk is the go to power source, but Mint RitterSport will do in a pinch.