Performance marketing software provider CAKE offers marketing intelligence and solutions to track and optimise spend for advertisers and publishers. As the company continues its global expansion, we caught up with CAKE's head of sales for the EMEA region to find out what her daily routine is and how her role fits within the company.
Elizabeth, could you tell us a bit more about your role at CAKE?
Elizabeth D’Arcy-Potts: I head up CAKE’s sales operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and work out of the company’s Charlotte Street office in the UK.
CAKE offers real-time tracking, reporting and optimisation solutions to digital marketers around the world. Our white-labelled performance marketing and attribution technology powers hundreds of affiliate networks, direct advertisers, agencies and affiliate organisations, giving them granular insights into the performance of their digital marketing campaigns. My role is to oversee CAKE’s efforts to introduce our services to potential customers and maintain relationships with existing clients in the EMEA market, and to grow our global business by meeting monthly, quarterly and annual revenue targets.
I love my job at CAKE as the day-to-day activities offer great variety. I work closely with my team of business development managers and sales development reps to create and implement growth strategies for each market and geography that we cover, maintain relationships with our customers in the region and share best practices with my colleagues in America and India. CAKE is an exciting place to work as our global business continues to grow.
How would you describe a typical day in the office?
EDP: My day typically starts at around 8 am with a coffee at my desk. Although the office doesn’t really get going until around 9 am, I like to get in early since I work across many different time zones. This extra hour in the morning allows me to stay engaged with what the sales organisation is working on in the Middle East, Israel and Africa, or to catch up with my colleagues in India. I also like to use this time to nerd out with a review of our key stats – looking at where we are against targets, sales trends, pipeline forecasts, status reviews and more. My team usually arrives in the office before nine as well, and we always find time to catch up one-to-one each day. This gives me the opportunity to see what they are working on and to make sure they are tracking towards their monthly goals.
Later in the morning, I have a meeting with the head of operations to check in on the status of various client accounts and ensure that we are both aware of what is coming down the pipeline in terms of new business. Our California office comes online later in the afternoon, so I usually have a Skype conversation with CAKE’s president to update him on what is happening from our side and catch up on any big news.
As the head of sales, what did you find to be the key performance marketing trends of 2016?
EDP: Because we are constantly having front-line conversations with our customers (and potential customers) about their organisational challenges and priorities, my team gets a clear view into which issues are consistently coming up for digital marketers. Recurring trends in the last year included a desire to gain accurate insight into the customer journey, attribution across channels and the associated campaign costs vs. profit. Rather than simply seeing how much traffic was converting from a particular source or campaign, our clients need to be able to see each step of the journey from the first click or impression, through to the conversion and beyond. They also want to track rich data to calculate the quality of traffic – by lifetime value (LTV), device, operating system, carrier and more – in order to optimise their online marketing spend and cut out the spend that isn’t working for them.
What kind of challenges do you face in your role?
EDP: We work with a range of organisations including advertisers, agencies, networks and affiliates, and with a variety of users like hands-on media buyers, campaign managers and operational staff who use our system every day, through to executives in legal, finance, and at the C-level who use the platform more sporadically to grab specific metrics and reports. My team needs to be conversant with all these different areas, and flexible enough to switch gears to talk high-level business benefits with a CEO or explain very technical details about how the CAKE platform works to a power user.
In addition, the ad tech and performance marketing industry continues to evolve at lightning speed, and we constantly have to stay on top of the trends most important to our clients. This means asking the right questions about what’s driving their business today and being able to anticipate where the trends might take us tomorrow.
Finally, because we are working across different time zones and business cultures, we also have to be incredibly organised, and ready to adjust strategies depending on the needs of each particular ‘micro-market’ within the EMEA region.
Who do you work closely with on your team?
EDP: I am fortunate that my role allows me to spend time with different areas of the business, so I work closely with client services, marketing and human resources, in particular. We are a very close team at CAKE, with a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experience, so I like to share ideas with other departments and learn from their input. It is important for me to have close working relationships with all departments in order for us to support each other and be efficient.
What did you do before becoming a head of sales, and does that experience help now?
EDP: Directly before working at CAKE, I worked at another tech provider in the performance marketing space, which gave me an introduction to the changing relationships between advertisers, networks and affiliates. Prior to that, I worked as head of sales at other SaaS companies in different verticals, where I learned about the market entry for new tech products, how to effectively communicate market demands back to the product team and to ensure that our service offering continued to meet evolving client requirements.
What do you like most about working in the performance marketing industry?
EDP: I really enjoy the variety of work we do in the performance marketing industry. The landscape is constantly changing, with new technical requirements and developments cropping up each month and this keeps it interesting.
I get to meet people from all over the world, working in different verticals and with different priorities, so each conversation is unique. And most of all, I love playing a role in shaping our product offering so that it helps businesses worldwide get the best return possible for their ad marketing spend.