Welcome to our latest Industry Profile, showcasing the talent across Rakuten Advertising. Today, we speak with our UK Senior Manager of Display, Belinda O’Reilly.

How long have you worked for Rakuten Advertising?
I’ve worked for Rakuten Advertising for just over 3.5 years, but it feels like forever!

How did you get into Display marketing?
An old friend let me know about an opportunity for an Account Manager at a start-up programmatic consultancy agency that was working in the same building as them. It was brand new to me, but after one conversation about the channel and the industry, I was sold! I was fresh out of University, which made it the perfect opportunity for me.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
This is a hard one. I’d have to say that the best part of my job is the people I get to work with, both internally and externally. I’ve always been a big people person, so I love that I get to meet new people all the time, build relationships and partnerships to work towards a common goal.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing Display marketers today?
A big challenge is data – tracking, transparency, analysis. The ability to gather relevant data sets and be confident in your measurement is key to truly understanding both your marketing channels and your customers. If you’re unable to accurately review the performance of each channel and how that has contributed toward the goal, it may impact the accuracy of the strategy and ultimately, the success of the brand.

What are the biggest trends that you’re seeing in your market and from others?
In the last few years, we’ve seen a strong shift to digital, led by the challenges in the high street as well as verticals that previously favoured more traditional marketing. It will be interesting to see the digital landscape post-COVID-19, as we’re all predicting a surge in online presence for many retailers on a permanent basis. The move to digital means testing, learning and adapting have to become best practice as things don’t stay the same for long! I love being able to work with brands to grow their digital presence as they discover more about their online customers and ways to communicate through new channels.

Is there any advice you’d give to companies looking to optimise their campaigns?
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to look at the big picture – so many businesses are only focused on the elements that drive the strongest ROI or lowest CPA. To achieve long term growth, you need to nurture and nourish every part of the funnel, sometimes at the expense of ROI. So, pick apart those strategies that are delivering your ROI and see what you can learn and apply to a mid or upper funnel campaign to drive new audience engagement and traffic – whatever you do, you will always learn something in the process.