Econsultancy: Please describe your job.
Anne Coghlan: As an implementation consultant, I manage projects and consult with new clients to help them achieve their objectives and capitalise on the vast possibilities created by programmatic advertising.
I also frequently liaise with our product and account management teams to identify opportunities for business growth and adoption of the AppNexus platform. This often includes working on our alpha products.
(Editor’s note: AppNexus works for both the buy side and the supply side, running an ad exchange, and DSP and SSP platforms)
E: Whereabouts do you sit in your organization? Who do you report to?
AC: I work in the European Services organisation, reporting to the Lead of Implementation Consulting in London. We work in tandem with our commercial counterparts, who are more focused on different European regions.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
AC: Deep product knowledge and understanding of the digital advertising ecosystem is a must. I need to be able to understand whether what a client wants to do is feasible and think of creative solutions.
My role also requires me to be an effective communicator to advocate for my client when feeding back requests to the product organisation.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
AC: My schedule at work varies from day-to-day. To give you an example, today I:
- Concluded analysis on a test a client was running. This involved a 2.5m row base data set, along with plenty of filtering and graph drawing.
- Met with the internal account manager of a strategic client to align on quarterly revenue goals and workstream priorities.
- Attended a field and product sync for our data management products. This was a very useful discussion, where I was able to feed back a client request and brainstorm improvements that will help clients independently troubleshoot issues.
- Concluded a three-month implementation project with a client who is now autonomous from a technical perspective.
- Attended a Data Science Showcase. AppNexus actively encourages us to devote a portion of our week to learning and teaching.
- Supported a new colleague conducting a two-hour training session for a new client.
- Attended the IAB Ad Ops Council Meeting, a forum for companies dedicated to improving the operational efficiency of interactive advertising.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
AC: I love working with clients to help develop solutions together. If I don’t know the answer, there will definitely be someone in the organisation who does.
Sometimes though, because product and engineering is mostly based in the US and I work in London, if I have a problem it can be harder to find that person and I have to shout a little louder.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
AC: My goals focus on customer success and product adoption. Overall revenue is a key metric, but it is equally important to assess how an implementation project shifts client satisfaction and engagement.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you get the job done?
AC: Working for a data-driven company means we have plenty of internal tools at our fingertips to help us automate analysis. One of these is a command line tool that provides handy shortcuts to query or to action common tasks. This probably saves me at least 30 minutes every day.
I’m also a big fan of using python to help analyse big data sets. Excel doesn’t work very well when you need to filter a column in a file with 2.5m rows!
E: How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?
AC: Prior to joining the digital industry, I worked in telecommunications consulting. I recognised the huge growth opportunities in digital, and the speed at which the industry moves excited me, so it felt like a natural jump.
E: Which brands do you think are doing digital well?
AC: There are many brands using data successfully to enhance their digital footprint. Strongbow did this effectively during the Olympics when it used real-time data on Team GB medal wins to adjust its creative messaging.
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in digital?
AC: My colleagues all come from a variety of backgrounds, but we’re united in our interest in technology and love for being at the cutting edge of a fast-moving industry. My advice is that being passionate about digital is the most important – all other skills are transferable.