Deeply compassionate, fiercely dedicated, and endlessly hardworking -- these are just some of the words that we would use to describe Social Native’s General Manager, Lisa Keogh. Learn more about Lisa and her role at Social Native in this month’s Employee Spotlight.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your background. How did your career path evolve?
It actually all started in the world of call centers! When I graduated from college, I interned with MCI -- a telecom company that no longer exists, but was one of AT&T’s biggest competitors at the time. I began as a telemarketer, trying to get people to switch from one long distance carrier to another. I then became a sales supervisor, to sales manager and eventually moved over to strategic partnerships - getting my first exposure to the account management/customer experience discipline. I was there for 7 years, and it was a great learning experience because everyone had to maintain the basic knowledge about what sellers did. I’ll never forget how even our CEO would come in, put on a pair of headphones and start selling -- just like everyone else! This framed much of my management style in regards to collaboration and leading by example.
From there, I spent the next ten years working across various industries focused on software from procurement to real estate to online banking, and finally landed in the ad tech space. Yahoo and OpenX shaped much of my experience in ad tech where I led Partner and Account Management teams focused on building performance driven, process focused teams. The combination of sales, account management, and operations roles across various industries has prepared me for the broader role at Social Native.
Q. What drew you to Social Native?
This is the third startup I’ve been involved in. I was very interested in the fact that Social Native was focused on how to support brands that need more iterations of content for their digital marketing. Prior companies were solving for making sure the ad was targeted to the right place at the right time but I always thought ‘these visual ads are not that great’ so who cares if you do the best targeting if you don’t have the right visual asset. We all respond to ads in such different ways. That’s really what excited me about Social Native -- this is a two-fold solution. Not only does our content engine empower brands to test the performance of various advertising assets, but it also offers a new advertising channel through social distribution. I’ve never seen a company that has two value propositions. What’s more, the service we provide works for both small and large clients, and I think that’s so unique. Personally, it’s so important for me that the companies I work for deliver real value and I see this time and time again at Social Native.
Q. What does your position entail?
The scope of my role tends to be broad - hence the title General Manager - where I oversee the overall office and its operations; however, my main focus is our Creator side of our business.
The hard working individuals who make Social Native come to life with their creativity for brands that range from Clinique to Burger King to Ruffles. My team and I are responsible for executing high-quality campaigns on time. We all work together to make sure that happens. For example, the Campaign Managers identify and activate relevant Creators for each brand’s unique needs, and our customer support team quickly handles any inquiries from Creators. The other members of our team are constantly working to improve our Creator supply. With hundreds of thousands of Creators in our network, we spend a lot of time grooming and educating them on what makes for high-performing assets, as well, as looking at how can we continually improve their experience.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your work at Social Native?
I’ve been involved in hiring many people here, and I love seeing people grow in their roles. Our employees are expected to exceed the goals they’re given and get out of their comfort zones. We don’t want people to be afraid of making mistakes, because that’s how you learn.
I received the best piece of advice early in my career, and I really try and reiterate this to my team: “Sometimes, you just need to jump … take the leap.” This is important no matter how much reservation or how scared you might be … this risk is the growth opportunity and you always learn more by trying vs. standing on the side lines. That’s something that’s really reflected in the culture here at Social Native, and in our energy as a start-up. We have a very high-performing team, and I think that’s because we encourage people to take risks and try new things. Hopefully, that fearlessness gets us to the best possible end result!
Q. Favorite memory at Social Native?
Our launch party, which actually took place here in our parking lot. We even had live animals - snakes, chinchilla, some big lizard, little chickens, it was crazy! It was an absolutely amazing time. We were celebrating that we had finally made it. We were on the map, and that’s a moment I’ll never forget.