Luke started working in Affiliate Marketing over ten years ago, starting off working for Neo@Ogilvy he worked on the British Airways global program, and Sony UK and Europe for 4 ½ years and then moved to New York to work on E*Trade. Having then come back to the UK he worked at Manning Gottlieb on TSB, Renault/Dacia, Bathstore, Penhaligons… to name a few, and then left after three years to move to the agency m/SIX. There he looked after the TalkTalk affiliate program and headed up the affiliate channel, before coming over to work at Webgains!
Hi Luke, Welcome to our meet the team interview, our first question, how do you like to start your working day?
I’m not traditionally one of those people who gets up early and sits down to breakfast before hitting the gym, and then heading to the office – if anything I’ve always been the opposite; sleep as long as I can, have a quick shower and then go to work. But since having my daughter things have changed slightly, and we do sit down as a family and have breakfast and if the weather’s nice then we’ll try and go out for a walk around the park, or sit and play for a while if it’s raining out. It turns out that it’s quite nice to get up early and have a decent breakfast and properly wake up before starting work.
It’s a little weird working from home and makes it easier as there’s no commute to take into account, but even once we’re back in the office, I think it’s a routine we’ll try and maintain.
That sounds like a great morning routine, so Luke what do you do at Webgains and in what circumstances would I come to you?
I am the Publisher Director – that entails anything to do with publisher relationships. My team explores opportunities with potential partners and with our current partners. We help out if they are having any issues, look into our commercial agreements, approve applications to the network (or reject in some cases..), and generally look at building out our publisher portfolio with quality and establishing strong working practices. You would probably come to me if your client is interested in new opportunities, or if you want to understand what type of agreement we have in place with specific partners, but really for all sorts of queries.
What energizes you at work?
I like to find better ways of doing things; taking something and making it better to make someone’s job a little bit easier – I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of things and coming up with solutions. I like it when you’ve been thinking about something all night, and you can get into work and put your ideas in practice to see if they work as well as they have in your head for the last 12 hours.
Who has influenced you the most when it comes to how you approach your work?
My first job in Affiliate Marketing was for Neo@Ogilvy, and my boss was a guy called Ewan Darby. His approach was that you should always have fun with your work and your relationships as long as the standards remained high. He was very much into the fine details, and after you received the ‘hairdryer treatment’ a few times, for example, boxes being out of alignment by one pixel on presentations, or saying “Yeah” instead of “Yes” in an email to a client, you then tend to start looking at things in a little more detail. That team was fun to work in, though they threw you into client-facing relationships as soon as you started, which has proven to be so beneficial to me now. It was a very supportive atmosphere and getting into every aspect of the account from the data to the finance gave me a sound footing to move forward with.
Sound’s great Luke, so having just joined Webgains, what’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
Everything for me is a bit different and fresh because I spent ten years on the Agency side of things, but there are some integrations with Bing that have the potential to be very interesting. At the moment, I’m still getting my feet under the table but being introduced to a lot of engaging conversations and ideas.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
I made all sorts of mistakes early on – from little mistakes like putting the wrong dial-in details on an invite, to bigger things like not reading a contract correctly, and everything in between. From each one, if you’re smart, then you learn from it and don’t repeat it.
I think the most important thing I learnt was not to be afraid to ask questions, no matter how stupid you might feel – as long as you don’t keep asking the same question over and over, then people are generally happy to help, and you make far fewer mistakes.
Some great advice there, our next question for you, what has been your experience of working at Webgains so far?
It’s been good. I was impressed with how organised Webgains were for me starting – I had a whole week of training and introductions planned out and booked into my calendar for me. Also, everyone has been friendly and accommodating – it’s weird starting a new job from home while a global pandemic is in full flow (and hopefully I won’t start another job under these circumstances). Still, I already feel like I know a lot of the people despite having never met them in person.
What’s one thing that surprised you about working at Webgains?
How good the people are, and how well run it all seems to be (I’m aware that’s two things). There’s so much more to it than just getting affiliates to join and providing them with tracking
Thanks Luke, and finally what’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
I used to be able to ride a unicycle, but I haven’t done that for about 22 years so I’m not sure I can anymore. I don’t have any hidden talents – I’m a bit average at most things that people would consider a talent.
That’s amazing! We definitely want to hear more about your unicycling days! Thanks Luke