A Q&A with Lindsay Shelton
Lindsay Shelton, A Million Ads, Director of partnerships
About A Million Ads
We are the personalization experts. We use data to create personalized advertising with more context and more relevance to better connect with people.
- I have always been passionate and curious about people, and after graduating from Boston College with a degree in business, marketing and international studies, it really wasn’t clear what the next step in my career would be. Luckily, when talking to a friend, they told me about their experience at BzzAgent, a dunnhumby company; and I was hooked.
- There was a cutting-edge industry focused solely on using data, research and creativity to understand and predict (and maybe even change) consumer behaviour – the Ad Tech Industry. I liked the fast-paced, ever-changing energy which is fundamental to Ad-Tech companies and those people who work for them.
- Since then, I have worked in the US and UK for different ad-tech companies and most of my experience has been at start-ups! Actually, throughout my entire career my experience has been working for companies that identify ‘personalisation’ as a core differentiator for product offering. I truly do care about how advertising impacts people on an individual and society level.
- Director of Partnerships at A Million Ads, a creative ad tech company that creates data-driven, dynamic audio ads at scale.
- The main focus of my work has been centred on establishing, building and executing the partnerships function and strategy across the UK, EMEA and APAC regions.
- My day to day consists of rolling out strategies, product offerings and growing existing partnerships while also identifying and pitching new partnership opportunities all with the overarching goal of increasing partner spend and revenue. All of this has been achieved with the great working environment and great team that sits alongside me!
- As a young woman in the workforce, it is hard to maintain confidence and trust in your ‘gut instincts’ and what you know makes you ‘you’. There is a lot of advice, easy ways to compare yourself to other people and also feel like you should just do what your boss tells you to do. Don’t forget that you add value and your voice should(!) be heard!
- Moving to London from the US was the biggest challenge, with the realisation that I needed to redefine and understand my identity and value in a new cultural context and apply this to my workplace. Being clear about what matters to you and finding the simplest, clearest way to communicate that to your company and clients will always deliver the best work.
- My current manager, Silke Zetzsche, Commercial Director at A Million Ads, has been such an amazing manager and mentor. She is one of the hardest working people I know and pushes her team to achieve while also being supportive and real. The knowledge, energy and passion she brings to work every day is so inspiring and lights up the room!
- That being said, I think you learn a lot from bad managers – you learn what not to do so take every positive and negative experience as a chance to better yourself.
- Let the client do the talking; whoever talks most in a conversation leaves feeling like it was a great one!
- Find time to have fun! Make connections, find common ground and remember why you wanted to join the company, team or role in the first place. Also, be hungry for challenges, you never know what you will learn about yourself or the industry.
Empathetic, Curious and Enthusiastic
- The buzzwords – AI and Automation. We are only going to get more streamlined, efficient and consolidated from an activation and data-usage perspective. We will be a lot smarter with a lot less wastage.
- I hope that the industry will be putting empathy first. This is within company cultures as well as within advertising strategies. There are a few companies and Universities that have been working on Empathy AI technology.
- We know so much about what people are doing and we are getting better at understanding the why behind consumer behaviour with customer journeys, mapping, etc. Imagine if we will be able to integrate Empathy AI into our campaigns, the ad-tech industry will be delivering ads and content that people truly want, relate to and can understand them (all in a GDPR compliant way, of course!). Watch the space…