Mandy Pitera is often one of the last people to go home in the Ad Purp office. While her work ethic is certainly admirable, it’s clear that she isn’t putting in what many refer to as “facetime” just to look good to her higher ups. She is actually truly customer obsessed.
Anybody who’s worked at an agency knows how important it is to do everything in your power to get it right. In any form of advertising – but particularly in the affiliate space – the client’s success is our success. If tinkering, optimizing, and acquiring new affiliates boosts revenue for the client, then we’re doing our job. If things aren’t working out, it’s important to stay late to understand why.
I was drawn to Mandy’s quiet leadership and her propensity for burning the midnight oil (staying late). But I found out a lot more about her that I’d love to share.
In fact, she recently was awarded Best Account Manager for this quarter from the team that manages her. She’s absolutely killing it right now and it’s good to see her receive recognition for her hard work.
Check out our interview below!
Q: What’s your background? Where are you from? What makes you tick? Where’d you go for school?
Mandy: My background is in Account Management at award-winning, fully-integrated global advertising agencies. Before I moved to Los Angeles, I lived in Chicago and worked at an agency where we were Pepsi’s Agency of Record so we did everything from conception to execution for creative, media, strategy, production, and analytics initiatives. I went to college at Loyola University of Chicago and got a full-time job my senior year of college at Havas Worldwide. I immediately fell in love with the fast-paced grind of agency life and building rapport with clients. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for good office snacks and dog-friendly offices…
Things that make me tick: slow walkers, when someone puts an empty food container back in the fridge, when an office dog chooses to play with a dirty shoe instead of me. Woof.
Disclaimer: Mandy misunderstood the “what makes you tick” question, but it still helps highlight her personality and honestly I’m here for it.
Q: What originally interested you about advertising?
Mandy: I’ve always been interested in marketing — how a brand portrays itself, how it influences customer’s purchase decisions, how it has the power to single-handedly change cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles. During a college lecture, my digital marketing professor said the average person is exposed to 5,000 ads a day. FIVE THOUSAND. The next day I enrolled in advertising courses to understand why brands spend so much money on this marketing channel and it didn’t take long to learn why; it’s because this stuff really works.
Q: What specifically about affiliate advertising gets you excited?
Mandy: In all honesty, I love the challenges and opportunities that affiliate advertising brings. It’s not like traditional advertising. It’s an emerging channel so it makes you think out-of-the-box and you’re constantly thinking on your toes. You’re continuously exploring new avenues for your clients and testing new strategies day-in and day-out. The number of possibilities is never-ending and there’s always new ways to increase ROI.
Q: How did you find out about Advertise Purple?
Mandy: I heard about Advertise Purple through one of my old co-worker’s roommate. The first time we met, she was talking so highly about her job and I couldn’t resist asking her if they were hiring. A few weeks later, she reached out and the next day I was interviewing at Advertise Purple’s office.
Q: How long have you been at Ad Purp?
Mandy: I’ve only been here for six months but it still feels like just last month I was taking my Account Manager exam. The time has flown by.
Q: What is the hardest part about the job? Easiest?
Mandy: The hardest part of the job is the massive amount of affiliates that are in the affiliate space. There are so many affiliates you need to know the ins and outs of as an Account Manager. You have content, cashback, shopping, loyalty, technology, etc. and they all serve multiple purposes and benefits. But at the same time, this also makes it the easiest part of the job. Since you have so many affiliates, there are always new avenues to explore and new strategies to test with clients. If one affiliate isn’t working, there’s thousands of others you can try instead. New affiliates pop up everyday so we’re constantly developing new relationships on a daily basis.
Q: Why do you stay late at the office so often?
Mandy: Why sit in LA rush hour traffic when I can sit at the office with free snacks? Oops, just kidding!
I could definitely leave everyday at 5pm while still being ahead on all my work, but I genuinely want to help my clients by adding incremental value to their business and having their KPIs perform above expectations. Their success is my success. I spend a lot of time after work hours vetting/recruiting potential new affiliates to make sure they’ll bring success to my client’s program and finding placements that will get them just as excited as I am. If there are ever any holes in my client’s program, I always take time after work to go the extra mile to find out exactly what’s wrong so I can present a new solution to my client. It’d be easy to brush it under the rug, but I genuinely want the best for my clients so I’ll do whatever it takes.
Q: What do you think it means to be client-obsessed?
Mandy: The client is always the priority. Everything I do strategically revolves around my clients in order to exceed their business goals. I’m constantly spending time going out of my way to learn more about their brand, their competitors, and ultimately looking for ways to grow their program. The more I’m able to immerse myself in the brand’s lifestyle, the easier it is to understand the needs and wants of their target audience. Whenever I get a new client, I get familiar with their target market then I try to find at least one new niche market they aren’t already targeting but could still strategically benefit from. This always gives the client a refreshed perspective and opens countless new avenues for us to explore while still staying on brand strategy.
Q: How much have you progressed in your career since joining Ad Purp?
Mandy: So much! Being an Account Manager at Advertise Purple is a great opportunity for anyone in the marketing field looking to enhance their client service, communication, and business skills.
Q: Any words of wisdom to a new hire or someone who wants to work here?
Mandy: To any new hire, always take the time to get to know your client’s business goals, but don’t forget to take the time to get to know your client’s on a personal level too! What they do for fun, their family life, etc. If you build a great relationship with them, you’ll produce even more successful results. Often times to get even more successful results, the client has to take a little risk and be pushed out of their comfort zone. Clients (and people as a whole) prefer to play it on the safe side and don’t want to take risks, but they’re much, much more likely to take risks if they trust you as their Account Manager and know you have their best intentions at heart.
Also, always listen more than you talk, act with integrity, generate new ideas, and have an orientation to organization and detail.
Thanks so much Mandy!