Media jobs are as popular as ever with graduates looking for their first full time roles, but what does it take to go all the way to the top. Our Sales Director Jermaine is something of a legend around Farringdon, both for the work he has done to put game advertising on the map and his Avant Garde taste in drinks. For him the way up has been one of hard graft.
What did you want to do when you were younger?
To be honest I didn’t see myself having a “proper job” and always thought I’d grow up to be one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or a Power Ranger. Even now I regret that I didn’t quite think the supernatural powers part through…
What made you decide to pursue your chosen profession?
A great opportunity came up after university that utilised the marketing part of my Business Management degree. It seemed like a very interesting career path with the added bonus of being extremely sociable.
What is your career history prior to joining Venatus?
I started work when I was sixteen and 1 day, my mum didn’t miss a beat! She set me up with a friend of hers and I started working as a sales assistant at the Sony Centre Epsom (clearly selling was always in the blood). At Uni I worked a few jobs including some time with a call center and even a small stint with ASDA!
My graduate job was at Mediacom where I worked as an Analyst on the Dell Account for just over eighteen months. I then transferred to the newly created M4C to start my life in media planning and buying as a radio executive. This was short lived because above the line marketing spend was slashed after the 2010 General Election. Group M then found me a role working for their latest agency at the time, Maxus, as a planner and buyer across all media for Ubisoft, UPS and the Shangri-La hotels.
What training did you need?
Apparently, none! Rob (Gay, CEO and Co-Founder of Venatus) believes a good sales person shouldn’t learn how to sell by being taught, they should adapt naturally. That said, as I have progressed through to management level I have had a few training sessions to go over how to get the best out of my sales patch and help my team to grow.
Please describe a typical day in your role chronologically:
My KPI is to help Venatus grow on the advertising side so while I maintain that sales people need to be out and about constantly, these days I split my time between seeing clients and supporting business growth. I spend a lot of time understanding the markets we work in and how we can continue to offer the client care and innovation that we do. Internally I work with the Programmatic and Marketing Departments to keep everything ship shape, and make sure my team are doing the best for Venatus and for themselves.
What do you like best about your role?
Luckily I’m a huge gamer so I really enjoy working with the publishers that I’ve held in high regard since I was a little boy. I also enjoy evangelising about the gaming industry as a whole, particularly about the growth of mobile gaming and the size and diversity of the gaming audience.
What is the best piece of professional advice you have ever been given?
It would have to be our CEO’s wonderful piece of sales advice when I started at Venatus. I was stressing myself out as I’d only a few small value deals coming in on a regular basis whilst my sales manager was living the good life with a couple of big boys. Rob said, think of it as a garden. You keep watering those little acorns and they’ll grow into big oaks one day – and better yet, if a storm passes and takes out some of your garden you’ll always have more to fall back on than someone who loses their big oak tree.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to enter your profession?
You must be driven, hardworking, thick-skinned and resilient if you’re going to be able to handle the pressure of media sales because it’s a very competitive market and full of ups and downs. If you can handle the rollercoaster of emotions you will build a strong skill set that can only result in your business goals being achieved.