Hiking to Success: Our Account Management, Team Lead Shares How to Use Travels to Develop Professionally
When she isn’t running up mountains during a CrossInstall team outing or drinking in the culture in Bali, Europe or Japan, Leilani (Lei, for short) leads the DSP Account Management team at CrossInstall. Not only does she manage accounts across the globe giving each client a personalized experience, but she also applies the same tenets of respect and curiosity (that she’s developed in her travels) in both her personal and professional life.
And her team members agree as fellow Team Lead, Annie Nguyen says “Lei is everyone’s best friend. You can come to her for account help, for personal guidance, or if you need a quick pick me up. She’s the most positive person I know.”
Rising from the ranks of an Account Manager to a Team Lead in under a year at CrossInstall, read on for Lei’s best advice on how to build strong relationships, use travel and diverse cultural experiences to develop one’s professional life and leadership skills, and ramp up quickly in roles to develop a stronger internal team and processes. Without further ado, meet Lei!
CI: Share a little about your entrance into ad tech. What piqued your interest about the industry and is so compelling that you chose to continue in it throughout your career?
Lei: I joined the industry about 3 years ago and have loved it ever since. When I ran my first advertising campaign, I was so intrigued by how such slight tweaks, whether it be targeting or an optimization, could make such a significant impact. It’s almost like a strategy game. You are presented with information to put together a sound plan, and then you work with your team and partners to push and pull the right levers to generate a successful campaign.
Another interesting aspect of ad tech is how quickly it evolves. There is always something new around the corner to keep the industry on its toes and consistently moving forward. This applies to both the industry as a whole, as well as CrossInstall specifically. CrossInstall has grown immensely since I have joined, and still has even more potential. One of the coolest aspects of my role is watching the company grow alongside the industry and seeing the development of new products, teams, and tools.
CI: How can marketers capitalize on new creative formats, programmatic inventory sources, and publishers and apps with more expansive Demand Side Platform (DSP) offerings?
Lei: DSPs are always evolving whether it is finding new ways to target users, updating bidding models, expanding offerings - you name it. In fact, many partners utilize our DSP to run campaigns solely with the interactive ad units that we create. Interactive ads are our bread and butter, but we are also experts in running strategic campaigns that expand further than interactive ads alone.
CrossInstall’s Account Management team is focused on helping our partners reach high quality users and exceeding their goals through strategic targeting, data driven optimizations, creative testing, and utilizing the CrossInstall full suite. Educating our partners about the full DSP suite is something that is top of mind for us to help them to reach their full potential.
The full DSP suite consists of running all creative formats which include interactive ads, videos, native, banner, and new formats as they arise. With access to over 2 billion device, we run this content on all programmatic inventory sources, for rewarded video and non-rewarded traffic and then optimize the campaigns for success based on our partners’ goals. Marketers should remain cognizant that they have the options of both click-through and view-through look back windows to see the full picture of their users.
Savvy marketers understand that banners build awareness, videos build attention, and playables build engagement.
CI: What’s your favorite aspect of working in a client facing role?
Lei: I enjoy working with campaigns that are running in real time. Different variables and their impacts can be unpredictable, and you need to continuously test new strategies. As an individual who is client facing, I frequently hear our partners’ concerns, needs, and success directly. No one day is the same. Each day offers a new challenge. Not every day is easy, but taking the time to listen to my partners and work with them to find solutions is one of the greatest parts of my job.
CI: You were recently promoted from an Account Manager to a Senior Account Manager and then a Team Lead in less than a year at CrossInstall, what wisdom can you provide on how you got up to speed so quickly here.
Lei: Everyone at CrossInstall wants everyone else at CrossInstall to succeed. The second I realized this, I almost instantly felt at home. When I began at CrossInstall, I already had campaign management experience, but there was still a lot for me to learn. Asking questions when you are curious or unsure of the answer goes a long way. But, don’t just ask a question and forget it. Take notes. When I begin a new role, I almost over document so that I can reference everything as I go. It is always better to ask someone a question to ensure you are providing the correct information, especially in a client facing role, rather than to guess and have to backtrack later.
Now that I am a manager, I try to instill this wisdom into my team and coworkers. As a new manager, I am still learning from my superiors and other leaders around me. It’s a long road and one that I intend to keep working at over time. No matter what, I will always treat my team with respect and give them full transparency because that’s how I want to be managed as well.
My best advice to others is to dive into your company first. Learn the ins and outs, take notes on everything (including potential improvements), ask questions, and become an expert at your job. Once you are a true expert, tackle projects and test out processes that may not necessarily be within the realm of your job description. It doesn’t have to be added work; it can be projects you are interested in or processes that will help workflow for you and the team. Make it fun and the rest will follow.
CI: What motivates you to get up every day and come to work?
Lei: Team CrossInstall definitely motivates me to get up and come into work everyday. There are so many passionate, fun-loving people here that make it easy to wake up to collaborate and work with them. From the Data Science team to the Engineering and Creative teams, everyone makes the office a little brighter.
CI: You are always traveling - from Bali, to Europe, and Asia. How do these trips shape your worldview?
Lei: Experiencing other cultures, meeting new people, and exploring unfamiliar places have changed me for the better. On each trip, I pick up new languages, celebrations, food and dress - all while meeting new people and hearing their stories. Traveling has made me a more curious and open-minded person. It sounds cliche, but visiting a third-world country truly does have a transformative effect on your worldview, that will help build your character. You will never take the modern luxuries for granted again. Traveling instills the value that you should respect others and treat others how you wish to be treated. This is a tenet that I apply everywhere, from my personal to my professional life.
CI: What is your must-have item at work?
Lei: Headphones. Our team is very collaborative, but there are a few times throughout the day I need time to throw on my headphones and knock out some tasks, emails, or reports while jamming out to my music or listening to a podcast.
CI: And your favorite office snack?
Lei: Chocolate Almonds. I eat 3-4 as an afternoon snack. Who doesn’t love a little chocolate in their day?
CI: CrossInstall in one word.
Want to work with Lei and the dream team? Check out our open roles to start your journey.