Happy International Women’s day! In the run-up to this holiday, we wanted to celebrate the fact that affiliate marketing has evolved from the male-dominated industry and attracted more and more skilled women over the years.
We talked to professionals who either have made a more than a decade career in affiliate marketing or are at their start. Our aim is to inspire you to get away from stereotypes and never give up in the face of challenges, especially, if you’re breaking into the exciting world of affiliate marketing!
Our first speaker is Maura Smith, the Senior Vice President of Pepperjam, an affiliate marketing solutions provider.
Maura, you have 10+ years of professional experience, but what inspired you to start your path in affiliate marketing?
I stumbled into affiliate marketing by chance, really. I was introduced by a friend and have been an active member of the affiliate industry ever since. I have remained an active member of our industry for well over a decade, as I am continually impressed by the channels’ versatility, application, and innovation. It is also a growing industry, over $6B in U.S. ad spend in 2018 according to the Performance Marketing Association. It never hurts to be part of an industry that is growing and thriving, versus one that is shrinking.
What major challenges have you faced growing as a professional?
There are so many! The only constant is change, which inevitably can be a challenge on so many levels. But if you expect and embrace change, even anticipate it to an extent, then you can poise yourself to react.
Do you think affiliate marketing has become a less man-dominated industry than before?
Gender parity and equality are widely discussed topics within news & media and industries in general, not just in affiliate marketing. As a result, I think there are natural impacts on the affiliate industry. I have seen positive advances and concerted efforts to ensure equal gender representation in the industry. Take for example, Affiliate Summit Euro, which is producing a 100% female speaker roster in 2020, and intends to ensure equal gender representation in its speaker lineup in shows thereafter. That is clearly a message that the industry needs to act in order to achieve an equal playing field for all – I applaud this initiative!
Have you noticed any gender stereotypes in the affiliate industry?
The industry has had a legacy reputation that many marketers were skeptical of. I’m not suggesting that this is the result of a female stereotype; however, I am advocating for the industry as a whole to up its game and elevate the reputation of affiliate marketing, not just with words, but through actions.
Could you share some tips or mistakes to avoid for girls who want to enter the affiliate marketing?
Do your research. You have to understand the industry to demonstrate your knowledge and credibility. Also, hard work pays off.
In turn, the female moderators at RichPush are a part of our team that stand at the beginning of the road. I talked to Ksenia and Veronica to get the idea of their jobs as moderators and their attitude towards the industry.
Could you tell me a bit more about your job and what are you responsible for?
Ksenia: As a moderator, I check creatives, landing and pre-landing pages, make sure that particular ads can be allowed on particular SSPs.
Describe briefly the typical working day from the life of a moderator.
Veronica: The life of the moderator is not much different from the life of an ordinary person 🙂 The only difference is the irregular sleeping schedule. Before the night shift I try to get really enough sleep.
What is the most difficult thing in your work? Were there any cases that were disturbing?
Veronica: The most difficult is the number of campaigns. Now the audience has grown and the flow of campaigns has even doubled. Any ad must be moderated no later than in 30 minutes. As for the real cases, at first, it was unpleasant to check creatives for adult campaigns. But then I got used to it and do not pay attention to it anymore. I can’t name a case that was really unpleasant.
Do you find it more difficult for a girl to be a moderator?
Veronica: In general, I don’t think so. The job does not imply any skills innate to guys only. However, I think it might be hard for persons who are too sensitive and emotional.
Ksenia: Most likely, it depends on a particular person and their lifestyle. As for adult pictures and other things, I do not pay attention to it. But there are people who would be uncomfortable to work with it. For me, it’s like “associated costs”. Not everything is perfect. At first, it was rather shocking.
What advice would you give to beginners who want to join the profession?
Ksenia: Make sure that you will have enough time for everything that you are used to, that you will not have to sacrifice anything important. Besides my job, I am quite into directing, I study at the university, play the guitar a little, and like to read. Also, well, be ready for ‘spicy’ (‘adult’) offers or lots of offers with casinos, bets, or sweepstakes.
Looking at the frank answers of our amazing speakers, on this International Women’s Day we hope you understand a bit more how strong and amazing you can be, aside from any gender stereotypes that have lived for years. Stay updated for more!
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