Anna Skrzypek of Yahoo chats with us about making it in ad tech
What's it like working in ad tech? With its rapid growth and intense competition, the industry is attracting some of the best digital talent out there today. We caught up with Anna Skrzypek, former Commercial Director Resellers & Expansion Markets at Yahoo, to find out more about her career and how she's made it in the industry.
Why did you get into the digital/ad tech industry?
One of my first jobs after I finished my degree was working for a job board that was expanding in international markets. This was my first contact with digital. Like in every start-up, I had an opportunity to perform different responsibilities from customer service through marketing, business development to sales. When the company moved the sales operations to the local markets, I decided it was a time for me to look for a new challenge and I took a job at Yahoo. Joining such an iconic company was like joining a digital university. It gave me a strong base for anything related to digital that later I had an opportunity to put into practice.
What personal attribute has most helped you succeed in your career?
Digital space is an extremely fast pacing environment. In order to thrive, there are certain attributes that were essential for my career. Being inquisitive and eager to learn would be the ones but I also couldn’t omit patience and persistence. I have been working in sales for many years now and I know that hard work is not the only part of success. It is important to be patient and persistent in achieving goals. Business can change and evolve but you can only succeed if you are able to stay positive, learn and adapt.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge that you’ve overcome?
Frankly speaking, I do enjoy taking on new challenges. I have great satisfaction when I succeed and I learn from my mistakes. One of the biggest challenges I have overcome was making sure my teams stay focused when the company shifts business priorities. It is always a challenge for any manager to keep people engaged and willing to go above and beyond. However, once you get to know people you work with and understand what makes them tick you find ways to motivate them and stay focused.
Who would you say has been the most inspiring person you’ve worked with?
Throughout my career, I have met many inspiring people from different countries and cultures. In my recent job, as a team we could speak 15 different languages. This is an extremely enriching environment and I am grateful for being a part of it. However, the person who truly marked my career was my very first boss. He gave me a lesson on how to overcome challenges and aspire for the best. He was also a great mentor that taught me how important it is to really enjoy what you do and make sure you find time for yourself to relax and bring the energy back every morning.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Many times women find it hard to ask for things, whether it is a promotion, salary raise, or a business opportunity. It comes from a simple expectation that our hard work or value will be recognised automatically. It is also related to the fear of how other people perceive us. We are afraid of being seen as too demanding, complaining, or bullish. However, I was given this advice at the beginning of my career and I followed it. Guess what...? It worked! Being able to ask for things in a thoughtful way may actually result in getting what you want.
In 5 years’ time, what do you think will be the biggest change in the digital/ad tech industry?
Ad tech/digital mirrors change of users' daily habits. While digital consumption is changing, it causes the overall industry to shift. Current mobile advertising trends follow user's digital consumption patterns, yet they haven’t been fully adopted by marketers. I expect that in 5 years’ time, ads will be more relevant, less intrusive, and the new ad spaces will be created. We can already observe this trend in native ads taking the lead in becoming the most favourable format both by users and marketers. Native is the new way of blending within the content without interrupting the user experience. Future of ad tech looks extremely interesting. The rise of virtual reality and wearable devices gives birth to a completely new ad space and it is exciting to imagine how much more relevant and creative ads can become.
What would you say are the three words that best describe you as a communicator?
Good listener. Transparent. Emphatic.
Apart from your current role, what would be your dream position?
I enjoy developing businesses, launching new products, and leading international expansion. Most of the time, it requires creativity and strategic thinking and I consider it a very inspiring type of role that suits my personality. —
How can Hanson Search help?
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