In this spotlight Q&A, we caught up with Elizabeth D’Arcy-Potts, CAKE’s Managing Director of EMEA with over 15 years of experience in digital and affiliate marketing.
Here are some highlights from our conversation.
What is your role and tell us about your journey at CAKE?
I am the Managing Director for CAKE EMEA, heading up our office in Fiztrovia, London. I started at the company in 2013 as the first Sales Director on the ground in the UK, having come directly from another performance marketing company. As UK Sales Director, I started to build the sales team and the growth strategies for our market, becoming the Head of Sales for the region before being promoted to Managing Director in 2018.
My current role is primarily focused on generating and maintaining revenue for the EMEA region with suitable organisations, developing strategic partnerships, as well as building our brand and awareness in new markets. I also directly manage the EMEA sales team, developing and executing our strategies for revenue growth and acting as the liaison with our other global offices.
In the last year, how have you seen the affiliate marketing industry shift?
In 2020 we have seen some dramatic trends across the industry, largely driven by the coronavirus pandemic which caused widespread changes to consumers’ day-to-day lives. The majority of brick-and-mortar stores have moved online in one capacity or another, so we have seen a huge increase in affiliate awareness for ecommerce stores of all sizes. Restaurant chains, bars, bakeries, and even some farm shops have also gone online in an effort to keep providing services during coronavirus restrictions, so we have seen many organisations beginning to use affiliate marketing to drive awareness and sales on a more predictable pay-for-performance model.
Stability has also been a priority for current CAKE clients and prospective clients alike. This encompasses different facets of stability from financial stability of their technology partner, to regulatory framework adherence and stability, as well as new clients looking for a stable long-term platform to build their programs on.
We have seen growth in some verticals — health and beauty, ecommerce, online dating — and challenges for other verticals which have been harder hit with coronavirus related restrictions.
Outside of work, how do you enjoy spending your time?
I have two young children to keep me busy outside of work. We moved to Kent last March which allows us more opportunities to go to the beach or for walks in the woods. We also keep geese and chickens now and I get quite mesmerized watching the chickens pecking around. In the mornings I like to run as that sets me up for the day (and allows a little peace and quiet where I can focus on listening to a podcast).
What do you love most about heading up the EMEA office?
I love the variety at CAKE. Over the years I have had different responsibilities, team configurations, and many products and features to introduce to our market. Our clients come in all sizes and range across all verticals — in one day you can be speaking to a retail company in the Middle East, a dating company in Lithuania, a mobile network in South Africa, and everything in between.
However, the main reason I love working at CAKE is the team. I never really understood how important the team that you are working with is until I started working here.
Are there any new or interesting trends coming out of the UK?
We have seen an increase in the number of new B2C and B2B lead generation companies being started in the UK since the 2nd half of 2020. Most of these organisations are leading with a vertical that is directly expanding as a result of changes caused by the pandemic. For example, loans like the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), consumers upgrading broadband for working from home, and home insulation grants in the home improvements vertical.
What advice do you have for individuals looking to grow their performance marketing program?
I would always advise to treat publishers like they are your extended sales force, so those relationships should be nurtured and developed for the best results on both sides. Additionally, communication is key to ensure your partners understand what you are trying to achieve with your campaigns, that they understand how to get there, and have the resources they need from you to drive quality traffic and referrals. It helps to bring your partners closer to the brand or network wherever possible. It’s also important to listen when they have their own ideas about how to grow your program too.
What’s the best place you’ve traveled to?
This is such a tricky question as everywhere I have travelled to has something that makes it “the best” by one criteria, but if I had to choose just one place it would have to be Croatia. It is less than two and a half hours on a plane from the UK but always feels like an exotic, tropical escape with its crystal-clear waters and long sunny days. Croatia has a fascinating history that is still so well-preserved, beautiful vineyards, olive groves, mountain ranges, sun-drenched beaches, and the food maintains the many influences of its historical past — Italian, Greek, Hungarian, and Turkish to name a few. It offers something for everyone so I hope to return with my children in the future.
Other content you might be interested in:
- Spotlight Q&A With Karen Nugent, CAKE’s Senior Director of Client Services
- Blog: CAKE Joins the IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework
- Blog: How to Run a Successful Lead Generation Program on CAKE