An accomplished digital marketer and dynamic relationship builder, Jason has considerable experience from a European and North American perspective. His roles have included stints at Epic Search Advertising, Zanox (German performance marketing agency), plus Ladbrokes eGaming and UpMyStreet (UK’s leading online portal for home and local information). He is ruthless in pursuing clients’ objectives and combines this with strong communication skills to deliver online marketing excellence. Jason is a graduate of Hull University with a degree in Political Science and Government.
Jason, does having a degree in Political Science and Government help you at your sales work?
Given the state of politics at the moment, I respectfully refuse to answer that question! Haha. Honestly, I think it has been useful in terms of learning how people can sometimes be so dogmatic they give themselves absolutely no latitude to come to working agreements and hence get very little done. You can’t always get on with everyone you work with, right? However, you can still find ways to cooperate and build a relationship based on trust and respect. Hold strong views, for sure – but you should always be open to learning from others.
Throughout your career, working in multiple companies, you’ve been involved in projects based in Europe and North America. Can you share your take on differences of working on the opposite sides of the Atlantic?
The basics of the business are the same. The US can be more aggressive sometimes, which is a double-edged sword. Sometimes the overly-aggressive style can push relationships the wrong way, sometimes it’s exactly what they need. What I think helps Aragon differentiate is that we have a good combination of American confidence and British reserve! Hahaha. Todd (New York native) and I seem to work well to balance each other out, which is vital. Europe is definitely a slower pace versus the US (and I am talking about NYC here), but may sometimes be a little more considered! We have the best of both worlds and we are very fortunate that a large proportion of our business is focused on Europe. Speaking and learning from all the various countries and cultures impacts our business very positively.
Supplying advertisers with high quality ad inventory requires diligence at finding great publishers. What is your approach for reaching out affiliates?
Partnering with a great Director of Distribution was the initial step. My business partner, Todd Stearn and I worked at a previous company together, and he was the only affiliate manager I truly trusted to run my bigger, branded accounts adhering to all the various restrictions. That’s how we built our trust and why we have been able to make Aragon a success so far.
In general, I believe the best way to attract the best publishers is to give them a suite of campaigns that inspires them to work with us and then treat them the way we expect to be treated. Word of mouth and referrals are the best avenues to publisher recruitment – and we offer an industry-leading referral bonus to help that flourish!
To maintain a healthy advertiser-publisher ad ecosystem advertisers screening is always necessary. How do you screen your advertisers?
For all new Advertisers we take as much time as possible to speak with them and fully understand their requirements, while relaying to them what we expect and how we work. There must be that equality of information and professional respect from the start to be able to maximize the relationship’s potential. We then make sure we do full due diligence, including full credit checks etc. Then, we generally build the relationship carefully through a couple of payment cycles, so both parties can see how they conduct themselves. We have found that this lends itself to strong, long-term partnerships in an industry where too often bridges are burned. We are very proud to say that we still maintain a very high percentage of the same partners that we had when we started in 2012.
In today’s highly competitive ad environment finding new leads and converting them into clients is a serious feat. Can we talk about your day-to-day sales process?
I try to look at the sales process as a whole, not one single part. The whole team here feeds into the sales efforts. We definitely want to act as the sales team for our publishers, who may not have the resources or time to bring on new campaigns and expand their business. We want them to grow with us and they are also a fantastic source of good sales leads. Of course we use the traditional tools available, plus we get a lot of referrals, which is always gratifying. We run competitions internally, reward milestone achievements and thanks to the March sales contest, I now owe our Senior Business Development Tyson a night out!
You can visit the Aragon Advertising website here.