A day in the life of... Head of Yahoo Storytellers content studio
Published: 11 July 2017 By Ben Davis
Emma Jowett is Head of Yahoo Storytellers, an end-to-end customer content studio that helps Yahoo advertisers build campaigns.
We caught up with Emma to see what her role entails.
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Emma Jowett: I am the head of Yahoo’s client and brand partnership team, Yahoo Storytellers and I lead a passionate and focused group dedicated to creating exciting content-led advertising solutions. My team has a lot of different skillsets, from client sales to creative strategy, project management, design and commercial editorial. My primary role is to bring all these talents together to deliver fantastic ideas for our clients and agencies.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
EJ: I report into Nigel Clarkson, MD and Commercial Director for the UK.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
EJ: People skills are obviously vital. On a typical day, I’ll not only speak with my team but with clients and agencies too, and it’s important that I keep my team motivated, agencies engaged and clients happy. I have a positive demeanour and I strive to inspire and empower my team to do their best work every day.
I’ve always placed emphasis on having strong product and industry knowledge, which is essential given the pace at which our industry evolves. I love what I do, and the combination of knowledge and passion for what you do is key.
Finally, although I sit on the more creative side of our sales organisation, I think having a commercial background is hugely beneficial. I’ve spent a lot of my career in global strategic sales and I have a strong understanding of the balance between commercial goals and creative output. Creativity and amazing ideas are key, but ultimately they need to deliver successful results for our clients.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
EJ: With two little girls, it’s often a whirlwind start to the day, usually beginning at 6:30am as I get them ready for school. Then, to get ahead of the day, I catch up on my emails on the train to work. Working at a global company, we tend to get a flurry of emails overnight. It’s amazing how much happens when you’re sleeping and this train time is key for staying on top of what’s happening at HQ.
When it comes to the working day, I like to devote my time to three core priorities – innovation, collaboration, and communication.
As a general rule I like to spend 20 per cent of my time focused on innovation, and on any given day this could mean meeting with new start-ups and thinking about how we could work together or quick-fire brainstorming with my team.
Collaboration makes up 30 per cent of my time, whether it’s with external partners or internal stakeholders, and with the remainder of my time I focus on communication. This may seem obvious but it’s hugely important, and includes everything from aligning our editorial and sales teams, to discussing proactive content ideas with key clients and agencies.
Emma Jowett, Head of Yahoo Storytellers
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
EJ: For me it’s all about the people. I admire and respect the different skills each person brings to the team, and getting to know what makes them tick in order to bring out the best in them. I work with some incredibly talented people at Yahoo, and the speed at which we work means that we’re constantly adapting and evolving how we think and work. Every day I learn something new and I love that.
I also cannot overstate how much I enjoy working with our clients and partners. I’m blown away by their innovation and being able to achieve incredible results when we execute a strategy together.
My biggest bugbear is that I sometimes feel there just aren’t enough hours in the day! It’s such a dynamic and fast moving industry and time can be the limit to being involved in the many new and exciting projects you might want.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
EJ: My number one goal is to make sure our clients are satisfied with the campaigns we produce for them. If we achieve that, then revenue follows – arguably the ultimate metric for any business. From a manager standpoint, it’s seeing my team grow and progress in their roles.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
EJ: Marketing intelligence and data can give us a complete view of emerging trends and triggers that we can build ideas and solutions upon, whether it’s proprietary research we commission internally or insights from our social listening partners. Industry events and knowledge are also crucial - being able to track trends in the market and responding accordingly.
E: How did you get started in content, and where might you go from here?
EJ: It was a natural evolution for me to go from working on large global campaigns that were very brand-led and involved creative use of content to heading up our content creation team.
I am particularly excited about how the traditional notion of what 'content' is has been turned on its head. The increase in user-generated content has propelled people to create and consume really innovative content and I'm excited to see where that leads the advertising and marketing industry.
E: Which brands do you think are doing social content well?
EJ: As a huge travel fan, I love the work that British Airways has been doing in social. They have truly embraced the power of content marketing and the positive effect that advocacy can have on their brand and have run some fantastic campaigns across Tumblr.
Their most recent campaign, Souls of New Orleans, perfectly captures the essence and passion of the city and has most definitely inspired me to add Nola onto my bucket list!
British Airways' Tumblr, Souls of New Orleans
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in this area?
EJ: In advertising it can be easy to get swept along with the next shiny new idea and opportunity, but what really counts is the customer. It’s so important not to lose sight of the end goal, and ultimately that will always be customer behaviour.
My advice will always be to ground ideas and creativity in facts and evidence, and that means getting comfortable with data.
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