Lucille Brune is Head of Trading at digital advertising platform, The Ozone Project. We recently caught up with Lucille to find out more about her role, and how it has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please describe your job: What do you do?

My job as Head of Trading at The Ozone Project is to oversee all and act as a guide for the traders. The team plays an important role in helping our clients understand Ozone’s purpose and product capabilities, as well as implementing any techniques and tools to get the best results for the brands they work with.

Aside from overseeing our team of four traders, I’m responsible for reviewing and improving the overall Ozone experience for clients, offering new approaches, features or products to drive greater campaign efficiency and real business outcomes. I also collaborate internally with various teams (product, engineering, publishers) to test and build better products/technologies for our clients while providing great value, control and support to our publisher partners.

Talk us through a typical day…

My normal day starts at 7:30am with checking emails and then I will typically move onto looking at how my team’s day is shaping up, so I can begin drafting priorities for all. There are thirty plus of us at Ozone, and in these unsettling times when we’re lacking face-to-face interaction it’s really important that we as a whole team meet every two days to keep us aligned and connected, albeit virtually.

As we’re now in another national lockdown, Google Hangouts is once again my go-to tool for facilitating collaborative team thinking. At the same time, it’s important to find that balance between video calls and setting time aside to spend on client strategy. While my schedule changes day-to-day I also like to mix things up, particularly now I’m WFH, so whether that’s lunch, coffee runs, exercise or spending some quality time with my daughter – these are all simple but important things that keep me grounded and productive.

How do you maintain an effective work/life balance?

Adapting to WFH has been a universal adjustment for us all, yet at the same time it has been quite a steady transition for the Ozone team, bar the odd challenge along the way. As a team we have stayed well-connected virtually both from a remote working and social sense.

Outside of work, I’ve also been juggling parental duties looking after my two year old daughter. As you can imagine it’s all been fun and games – my husband and I were very much winging it towards the start of lockdown, taking it in shifts depending on changing schedules as to who would be the professional and who would be the parent. We are both working from the same room as that’s where we can get our best Wi-Fi connection, so it has been a bit chaotic at times. Fortunately, Ozone has acted as a great support network, helping to streamline my work-life balance and giving me the flexibility needed to support my parental duties. We have even onboarded additional hires to help with workload, due to team members family commitments and the growth Ozone has seen throughout the pandemic. I think communication is the key to success and that is something that is strongly championed at Ozone – that, mixed with the fact we now have our childminder back, has definitely helped!

How has strategy changed at your company?

At the start of lockdown, brand safety was high on the marketing agenda. While news brands were experiencing a huge surge in digital audiences, keyword blocking on stories around Covid meant publishers were being negatively impacted. It was important for us at Ozone to adapt and educate our clients on best practice for blocking sensitive content, as much for the benefit of their campaigns as it was for supporting the future of the publishing industry.

In addition, the pandemic amplified advertisers’ calls for digital solutions in line with what Ozone delivers; access to trusted, safe and known environments in a way that is easily accessed and with the audience scale they need. This has led to our publisher shareholders scaling their investment in Ozone to meet the advertiser demand we’re experiencing.

We have also been adapting our strategy for how we work with our clients remotely. Physical interaction is normally a key relationship builder in the media and publishing industries and this is something everyone has been without for months now. In spite of this we have still had great success onboarding new publishers, like ESI Media and Time Out, during the pandemic.

How has customer behaviour (or your clients’ customer behaviour) changed during the pandemic?

My role is not super client facing, it’s more about building the strategy and implementing it behind the scenes. However, with clients playing with tighter budgets, we are seeing higher KPI targets than pre-Covid, with a key focus being on return on investment. There has also been a huge focus as you can imagine on brand safety.

What do you predict for the future?

Following our recent success at Campaign’s Media Week Awards and the significant investment being made in our publisher alliance, I am optimistic for Ozone’s momentum as we move into 2021. A core focus for our business will be the accelerated development of our product capabilities so we can support our advertiser and publisher partners in addressing the challenges of the digital advertising ecosystem.

What advice would you give a marketer right now?

Be in the know. With so much uncertainty, keeping up to speed with market trends is crucial. In the world of adtech and media understanding the impact of these trends and thinking ahead is critical for building new innovative products that meet the needs of clients now and in the future.

Remember to breathe. I find listening to webinars and podcasts a great way to take a step back from my screen and listen to on walks or runs. It is a very overwhelming time for everyone, and it’s important to keep your mental health in check. My day to day advice to all would be just to prioritise a work life balance, take time for breaks and you will see an improvement in your work!