A Monday in the Life of… A Programmatic Display & Analytics Manager

By February 17, 2020 News, Opinion, Uncategorized

Having started at Medialab 4 months ago, Zaynab sits in the Digital enabler team as a Programmatic Display & Analytics Manager. As part of this team, Zaynab is responsible for supporting across all accounts, whilst also ensuring that Medialab are upholding best practice and on top of new and emerging technologies and trends in the industry.


I am a night owl and notoriously not a morning person – the polar opposite to Felicity! My journey starts in Barnet, which is basically as north as you can go while staying in the 4 walls of Greater London. I really like my journey to work because it gives me time to listen to music before the day kicks off – my favourite album right now is Doolittle by Pixies which has me toe tapping my way into the city.


Getting into the office normally means breakfast and for me that means coffee coffee coffee – preferably in an IV – as I settle down. We hot-desk at Medialab which I have come to love as it means you’re always sat next to someone different.


I’m still relatively new at Medialab (only 4 months in), and my role is one that spans across digital media and analytics. As a result, my days – like most people’s – are always varied; sometimes quieter, and sometimes more hectic.  I like staying close to the numbers as much as I can, so after catching up on emails, the first thing I tend to do is log into Apollo and check out campaign performance from the previous day.


As I’m part of the Digital team, we act as enablers, and very much an extension to the main account teams within the office. Our job is to provide support across the accounts, campaigns and projects where needed and help to provide best practices to help shape our agency standard. I’m currently working closely with Georgia (Senior Account Manager) for an insurance client, making sure that the account is moving in the right direction and that we can maintain efficiency as we gradually scale the activity. We have punchy targets, and the beginning of the calendar year is important for them, so spend is high. So far so good!


Mornings are typically for meetings. At the beginning of the week I’ll have a check in with Tony, my line manager, so that there’s visibility across the work I’m doing and so we can identify other areas I can help across. I’ll then catch up with Stephen, our Head of Performance, who works with me across the media part of my role, and we’ll brainstorm ideas on how we can better help across clients. At the moment, we are supporting with planning some brand activity for National Trust, which I really enjoy because it gives me a change from pure DR campaigns!


Lunch is the perfect way to break up the day – and by this point, the buzz from my morning coffee has pretty much worn off. Sadly, I am nowhere near as healthy as my colleagues, and being lucky enough to work around Oxford Street is both a blessing and a curse as I normally end up finding and falling in love with a new fast food joint every week! Once in a while though, I like to surprise people and get a salad.


We’ve just received a brief from a Charity Organisation, and part of my role involves responding to these briefs; considering how we can reach the target and achieve the objectives within the given budget. My work background is programmatic media, which means that I’m aware of the various things to consider when it comes to both planning and execution of display and video campaigns e.g. what publishers we should be looking at, what environment, the contextual strategy, the data strategy… In my role, I’m encouraging people to understand that every publisher or display media environment is different, because as the inventory changes, so does the available data. We need to work with these data providers/publishers, to understand what data they have and how it all gets collated. We almost need to treat every single part of display differently, which is why the planning can be daunting but if it all works out, you could have yourself a highly effective strategy.


Heading towards the evening and I’m often hungry again – snacks are a big part of my work day, and I’ll usually go out to get some Doritos and feed them to whoever is sitting next to me.. usually Dylan!


My role also involves helping the digital team look at attribution for the various campaigns they work on so that we can better understand the impact each channel or supplier has on the bottom line conversion metrics. Attribution approaches need to change campaign to campaign, as clients have different products and so user journeys are always very different, meaning we need to have a bottom up approach to attribution, not top down.


I’ll usually see my friends throughout the week, as weekends tend to be more family oriented. It’s all about the Fs; Film and Food – my dad used to tell me that if there’s one thing you shouldn’t hold back on in life, it’s food, and I’ve taken that straight to heart. I’m also a big Al Pacino fan so naturally the perfect evening for me is watching an old rerun of Donnie Brasco and getting a deep pan pizza!

And if you weren’t at Medialab, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be a back up vocalist for Eminem!