Every month, MCV’s Levelling Up gives you cherry picked advice to help you reach the next level in your career. This month, Genba Digital’s head of commercial Charlotte Cook tells us more about the ins and outs of digital distribution and what’s needed to thrive in a start-up a team.
What is your job role and how would you describe your typical day at work?
I’m the head of the commercial team at Genba Digital. I lead a team of four people who work across our commercial, business development, PR and marketing functions in our two offices in London and Leamington Spa. It’s the role of the commercial department to connect publishers and retailers together and provide them with a great service supporting both of their businesses. In doing so, we help all parties (and us!) increase revenue and presence globally.
Some of the work we’re doing is groundbreaking in the industry and adapting to emerging markets and processes. So we have to be pro-active and agile in ensuring we provide the best possible customer service and always be looking to improve Genba’s offering and its ability to add value. Part of that means never resting on our laurels or taking any of our success for granted. In practical terms a day would involve agreeing deals for new content providers or retailers, ensuring we’re still on track to meet our revenue targets, working with our data team to analyse activity on the platform and tuning it to be more efficient and effective.
What qualifications and/or experience do you need to land this job?
It is hard to break into the games industry but I was lucky enough to start my career in digital distribution at Take-Two Interactive and Sega. This introduced me not only to working with some of the most impressive publishers in the industry but also to working with the first parties – Sony, Microsoft, Valve. I was also able to increase my network of contacts and experience which is invaluable when looking to change roles. At Genba, the skills you need to thrive are similar to any role: you need to think strategically, have strong relationship management skills and (especially for a start-up) be flexible, dynamic and hungry for the company and your role to be successful.
“When you’re spending more time with your colleagues than with your family, and friends, it’s important that you all share a positive attitude and can laugh with each other in the stressful times.”
If you were interviewing someone for your team, what would you look for?
Ambition is a very important quality for me in a prospective team member – I look for individuals who are ready to take on a new challenge and learn and grow through the process. In the commercial team at Genba it is also important to be very personable as we are client facing. An understanding of the digital sector and industry is also important. We’re also a small team, so finding someone with the right personality fit is important – we have ambitious plans and when you’re spending more time with your colleagues than with your family, and friends, it’s important that you all share a positive attitude and can laugh with each other in the stressful times. We also share a passion for constant improvement – whether that’s in the technology we’re delivering to our customers or the efficiencies we’re providing them in their business. Liking dogs and enjoying a competitive game of Overcooked also helps!
What opportunities are there for career progression?
That’s one of the great parts of working for a start-up – in a new company in a developing market the opportunities are yours to mould and seize. We’re constantly evolving and re-shaping our support. I joined in September 2016 as a senior sales manager and was promoted to head of commercial in July 2018. In a larger company people tend to get pigeonholed in terms of their input and career path but at Genba you’ll gain so much more experience working closely alongside colleagues from different backgrounds that it greatly enhances your own attitude and approach. We all share a genuine passion for making the company successful and sometimes these conversations get heated, but it’s all in good spirits and driven by a desire to be the best at what we do. In doing so, we recognise and reward talent and encourage staff to push boundaries constantly.
Moving to Genba was a scary career move for me at the time, but it was definitely one of the wisest decisions I have made and has provided me with an excellent opportunity and invaluable experience.
Want to talk about your career and inspire people to follow the same path? Contact Marie Dealessandri at firstname.lastname@example.org