Our profile feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing, shedding light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry. This week we head to Christchurch, New Zealand, to meet Simon Slade.
Job title and company:
CEO and co-founder of Doubledot Media Limited.
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
Doubledot Media provides e-commerce products, most notably Affilorama and SaleHoo, to help small business owners grow their online businesses.
What are the company’s unique selling points?
Affilorama was the first affiliate marketing training portal to offer a free membership option, and we offer the most in-depth (and free) video training lessons on affiliate marketing.
SaleHoo is a wholesale directory of 8,000 suppliers. Each one has undergone a rigorous screening process that is unmatched in the industry to ensure their authenticity as legitimate businesses.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
In the last year, we have enhanced AffiloTools’ functionality by introducing the new ‘Social Media Discovery Module’ for better managing your social media platforms. This module features a search tool for locating relevant articles to share via social media. Users can post these articles and more on social media directly from AffiloTools or schedule them to be published later. The search tool also allows users to identify social media authorities in their niche, which can increase their reach and provide content to share.
On SaleHoo we have recently made some major changes to the way our members interact with suppliers. They now have the ability to contact and manage all their suppliers directly through our website, via a new email inbox added to all accounts. This change makes it faster and simpler for members to get responses and start importing products from our prescreened suppliers.
Duration in current role:
Where are you based?
Christchurch, New Zealand.
Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:
I began my professional career in 2001 as a sales representative at Sellagence Limited. Two years later, I moved to Hewlett-Packard as its South Island territory manager. While working there, I started developing SaleHoo and eventually resigned my position at Hewlett-Packard to pursue my new business venture full-time.
What are your main job responsibilities?
I oversee the strategic direction of the company, manage and contribute to product design and supervise daily operations.
Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:
Every Monday, I arrive at the office about 7:30 a.m. and spend the first one or two hours reviewing the operational status of all our current projects and tasks. The rest of the morning, I spend reviewing and replying to emails as needed. My afternoon is dedicated to higher-level planning, looking at future projects or meeting with key staff to discuss their respective areas.
To get the most out of my day, I try to keep meetings on fixed days and straight after lunch or first thing in the morning if needed, so I have longer periods of time to concentrate on the larger-picture aspects of our business that give us the biggest potential gains.
What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?
On my lunch hour, you can find me browsing Customer.io, Fitbit.com and CodePen.io. Doubledot Media uses Customer.io to proactively communicate with customers as they engage with our websites, and I like to monitor its performance. I use Fitbit.com for tracking my daily activity and gauging my overall health. I find wearable technology to be a fascinating industry, and it melds well with my commitment to living healthy. Finally, I enjoy browsing CodePen.io to be current on the latest front-end Web developments. To stay ahead in e-commerce, you must monitor new developments daily or you’ll fall behind because the industry evolves that quickly.
What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?
Successful entrepreneurs embrace risk. If you only sell products that are already successful, you’ll always be a follower. True entrepreneurs create and offer new products that customers have never seen before. It’s riskier because you can’t be sure of customer demand, but taking risks is the only way to discover the next big thing.
Second, all business owners should hone their HR skills. You’ll spend much of your time managing others, and if you want to hire and retain the best, people skills are key.
Third, learn everything you can about sales and marketing. In your business’ early days, you may be the sole person providing sales and marketing services. Even after your business expands and you hire others to oversee these tasks, it will still be important for you to understand them because they are so integral to the success of every company.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
Three years or five years or 10 years out, I can’t see myself anywhere but as CEO of Doubledot Media. I so firmly believe in our mission of helping others achieve professional independence through e-commerce that I can’t picture myself doing anything else. Additionally, Doubledot Media serves as the umbrella company for any new e-commerce products or services we decide to pursue. Technology and e-commerce are always changing, so it excites me to be part of a company that’s committed to staying ahead of the industry and to offering new products as the industry demands.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I originally studied health sciences at university and wanted to pursue a career in medicine. I took one marketing course and loved it, which is when I decided for a complete change in direction.