In this month’s edition of our Employee Spotlight series we talked to Operations Director, EMEA, Stephanie Swan. Stephanie shares her thoughts on emerging platforms in the affiliate space and her daily routine for success in managing a large, multi-regional Client Services team.
Can you tell us about your role at AP, and how you ended up working in affiliate marketing?
I’m the Operations Director, looking after our Client Services team across the EMEA region. We have a team of over 20 people working across a variety of global and local accounts, so I’m responsible for making sure the team is working effectively and our clients are happy.
I started working in affiliate marketing at a network after I left university a long time ago and have been in the industry ever since. I definitely didn’t really know what I was getting into, but I’ve enjoyed seeing how far the industry has moved in the last 14 years.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in affiliate marketing during your career?
I’ve seen a lot of major changes in affiliate marketing, but I think what I find most exciting about the channel has been the growth of data capabilities and evolving a more sophisticated understanding of the affiliate channel. I feel there’s a lot more we can do in the affiliate space to enhance this and make more of the data we have available.
What do you think brands should keep their eye on in affiliate marketing?
It feels like the evolution of the partnership pieces offers exciting opportunities for brands to be more innovative with the channel. Our publisher development team is very focused on looking for opportunities outside some of the more traditional affiliate models, and we’re starting to see some good traction in this area.
Are there any emerging platforms that you think will eventually take off in affiliate marketing?
There are interesting developments around improved content links in the space. For example, we worked with affiliate brand Monotote to connect influencers with Monotote’s brands that allowed them to directly purchase through their social media. This is just one example of innovative testing which has shown some interesting results and insights.
What’s your daily routine for success?
My daily routine is based on structure and organisation. I find blocking time away from calls so I can focus on projects helps, as well as stepping away from my computer to stop thinking about work.
What is your top tip for working with a global brand?
We manage many global brands at AP and they each have unique challenges. It’s important to identify an effective overall strategy, but also to respect regional and market nuances and establish a structure that can support both. For regions like EMEA this can be challenging as there’s so many slight distinctions between each different country and how partnerships work, but getting the right resource and working out the most effective way to align the local and central strategies is a big focus of the team that I manage. It’s not always easy. We’ve recently released a resource for advertisers that’s free to download called ‘the EMEA affiliate marketing handbook’ which details best practice and market insights across the EMEA region.
How does working remotely accommodate your lifestyle?
The two main things I love about remote working are that I get to hang out with my two year old son much more, and I no longer have to dash to nursery each night on a busy commuter train. I also enjoy the flexibility as I love running and exercise classes and find it’s much easier to fit into my day when I’m working remotely. I do go to a co-working space regularly for variation and to get out the house, but now I couldn’t see myself back in an office!