Getting to know – Helen Southgate at BSkyB and 2011 AMC chair
With her recent appointment as IAB Affiliate Marketing Council Chair, we interviewed Helen Southgate to find out more about her plans for the council in 2011, how this is influenced by her experience working both within a network and as an advertiser and find out who she would most like to have breakfast with.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Determined, Honest, Resilient
Do you have any nicknames?
Ha, a few “HBomb”, “Hels” and “Southers” are most widely used
Who would you most like to have breakfast with?
Stephen Fry, funny, witty, intelligent, a bit off the wall and of course a Norwich fan
You’ve recently hit the big 30. Did you celebrate in style and how are the 30’s treating you so far?
Who told you I was 30? I’m still 25 …… ahem. Absolutely loving my 30s, those who say they are the best years are right so far (I think it’s just me that says that)
You’ve achieved quite a lot at such a young age. What would you say has been the key to your success?
I haven’t achieved anywhere near what I would like to so far, when I was at school I always imagined myself to be retired with my millions at 30, I have a bit of a way to go yet. I think I’ve always tried to act with integrity and done the best I can, that’s the best advice I can offer, and go with your gut feel, it’s normally right!
We know that you are personal friends with Kevin Edwards and Matt Bailey, have they given you any advice on being IAB Head?
Ha ha yes I know these two characters well. They have both been really supportive so far and I hope I can continue the great work they have done for the council over the last two years.
Does the IAB really make a difference?
Yes, I think there needs to be a body that supports and advises the industry. As the industry develops there are much more intricacies and questions raised and I think there needs to be a forum of people that are experts and passionate about the industry to address these questions and drive the industry forward. Without the IAB there is no forum for people to get together and discuss the real challenges and opportunities the industry faces.
Your background is originally network side, having worked at Silvertap and Dgm. How do you think that experience has benefited you in your current role at Sky?
My experience at both Silvertap and DGM was invaluable. I started off as an account manager and worked my way through the ranks on account management and affiliate side so I understand a lot of the challenges that different stakeholders face. I’ve worked with a lot of truly inspiring people in dynamic and pressured environments – I think this has put a good head on my shoulders!
Can the demise of dgm be fully attributed to your departure in 2009?
Ha ha, what are you saying?!! I had, and always will have, a soft spot for DGM. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and had a fantastic team whom have all gone on to be really successful which I think speaks volumes about the culture of DGM. I think the departure of some really talented people at DGM over the years led to its demise…
What do you envisage your legacy to be as head of the IAB in 2011?
I would like to get affiliate marketing on the map and educate the online industry about the real value of affiliate marketing. I’m bored of reading about other online channels, let’s talk about the fantastic work that is done through the affiliate channel.