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What does a country manager actually do?

In this feature, we take a look inside the working lives of people whose job titles often warrant the question: 'but what do you actually do?' This week, we speak to Yun Yip, country manager ANZ at MediaMath.

What do you actually do?

My role is to lead and support the operations of the MediaMath ANZ team – from a business, revenue, team and client perspective. I’m here to ensure our clients and our team successfully grow and thrive.

I know it sounds cliché, but it just depends. My day is dictated by our client’s needs and our organisational rhythms. That said, everything I do revolves around creating happiness, success and value for our clients, my team and the wider organisation.

This usually means a mix of in person and video meetings with clients (current and potential), the dreaded early morning and late-night revenue and planning calls that come with working for a global company and one to ones with my team and the occasional outing – anything from mini golf to discussions over fried chicken and tequila.

I also try to find time to take a step back and reflect on where the team has been, where we are going and how to do things better. This balcony time is essential to ensuring that the normal day-to-day is adding as much value as possible.

And all this takes place in different locations. I travel most weeks for work and I love the energy and ideas different people and cities bring; over the last year I’ve worked in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Singapore and New York.

With each of these different locations, the highlight is definitely the opportunity to learn and collaborate with people from different industries and backgrounds. It’s one of the many reason why I love my job – no client, colleague, day, task or discussion is ever the same.

What does a good working day look like?

Just as my working days are all different, so is what makes a good day. But they usually involve making a tangible, positive impact for my clients or my team (ideally both!). I love getting my hands dirty and getting rid of barriers and challenges – it what keeps me coming back to work each day.

A good day also usually involves the will power to get up at 5.30 to do a cardio workout and yoga before work. It would then involve a great team WIP with all revenue and client targets on track, a successful new business meeting, productive publisher lunch and then a client roadmap planning session that produces fabulous actionable insights.

An exceptional day will also mean ducking out slightly early so I can get home before the weekly revenue call with London and then to walk out of my home office and find my husband has a porchetta fresh out of the oven and a glass of wine on the side.

What does a bad working day look like?

I’ve been in my role for just over a year, and hand on heart I can’t ever recall labelling a working day as “bad”. But I’ve certainly had my share of frustrating ones, that usually involve travel and scheduling issues (anyone who does the regular Sydney to Melbourne shuttle will be familiar with how many times the cautious buffer of extra time in case of delays runs over and you run late to a meeting).

With a complex diary of meetings with people who have similarly complex diaries, it’s inevitable that there will be days when last minute cancellations throw the best laid plans into disarray, but these unexpected windows of time can also turn out to be an opportunity.

This happened to me last week when someone had to cancel last minute for a mandatory board meeting. I happened to be in Melbourne (I’m Sydney-based), so I used the opportunity for an impromptu catch up with an ex-colleague. This segued into an eye-opening conversation covering what some of the tech companies are doing on the AR and VR front, which provided insight inspiration.

What are your KPIs?

I’m employed to make sure that my clients, my team and my organisation are growing and thriving – so that is what I’m judged on.

This means ensuring our current clients are getting the business outcomes they need, that we bring new clients on board and that my team are empowered and supported for success.

Naturally, as country manager, revenue is also the big goal, but I’ve found that if the clients and team are firing on all cylinders, the revenue comes as a natural by-product!

What’s the most stressful part of your job?

Spoiler alert:

“Err… Powerpoint just shut itself off…. Damn… it didn’t save”; “Wifi is down?” “Is anyone else’s revenue dashboard today SO different from yesterday’s?!”

Yup, it’s IT issues. The bane of my life.

Yun Yip is country manager ANZ, MediaMath.

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