In the latest profile we talk to Zoe O’Neil about her new role as Operations Director, process change delivery and why she loves Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Who are you? – Zoe O’Neil, ClickThrough’s Operations Director

When did you start at ClickThrough? – I joined the Paid Search team in Nov 2010 and now have responsibility for operations across all our offerings: organic, paid, affiliate, analytics and social.

What will you be doing at ClickThrough? – I am responsible for the management of the Client Services team across PPC and SEO, overseeing the daily operations and day-to-day activities; with a focus on staff, processes systems and procedures required to accomplish the company’s mission and goals in the marketplace.

What were you doing before you arrived at ClickThrough? Where did you work? – In my previous role I was a Client Services Manager at DPM Systems, a software and systems integrators company.  This was a varied role, geared up to deliver 100% customer satisfaction. I worked with customers to define their requirements and create software that transformed their business, processes and profitability. Work included writing user cases and testing, as well as implementation and training. I had to work closely with the sales and development teams to ensure that projects were delivered on time and met KPI’s and needs over the lifetime of the software.

Previous to this I spent 2 years as a Product Manager for TD SearchWare at TradeDoubler (previously called BidBuddy and owned by The Technology Works).  I was responsible for the management of the product development process. Projects included the launch a Data Centre in Asia. As Client Services Manager for the same company I oversaw the client services team; managing day-to-day activities & workload, ensuring client growth and satisfaction.

What are you most proud of in your career to date? – Whilst working at The Technology Works as Client Services Manager I helped to grow the use of the BidBuddy in the UK by over 700% in the first year through demoing, training and supporting clients and agencies in using the bid management technology.  Following the success of this I was responsible for supporting the roll out of the software across Europe and Asia Pacific.

What do you love about your job? – I love helping to drive change, improving process, managing people and delivering results to our staff and clients.

What do you think is the number one thing for online marketers to watch out for in the next year? – Looking at the trends and 2010, 2011 and the years to follow, social media marketing will play a prominent role in every marketers online strategy.  Depending on how quickly some companies have already taken up social media, this year it will be about; 1) Those who are already using it 2) Those who are planning to use it and 3) Those who are now integrating it into their strategy.

Who do you most admire and why? – Richard Branson. He is one of the wealthiest persons in the world and not afraid of taking anything on. I spent 5yrs working at Virgin Airship and Balloon Company (VABC) and was part of he attempted round the world hot air balloon trips.  Richard has proven that he can win, he can fail, and whatever happens he doesn’t take life too seriously.

He is also a people’s person.  Whilst working at Virgin I was invited, along with all Virgin staff, to a summer party at his house in the middle of the World Cup.  He greeted every single member of staff off the coaches and then spent the day mingling with everyone at his house, with his family in tow.  When the large screen that he had booked failed to turn up he threw open his house so we could watch the World Cup on his own TV – now not many people would do that!

From a business perspective, he is uncomplicated and his people-centered approach to business (and the ability to spot gaps in markets) are extremely admirable … and he certainly knows how to build a brand!

What is your favourite book?

OUT (the first novel from Natsuo Kirino to be translated from Japanese into English) is a story of four women who work the night shift at a factory making boxed lunches. When the youngest and prettiest of them strangles her husband to death in a fit of rage, the women all rally around their friend. They decide to cut up the pieces of the dead body and dispose it off in bags around Tokyo. This sets up the scenes for a grisly and deeply disturbing tale that reveals the underbelly of Tokyo.

This is a great book and I still haven’t managed to find anything else to match it. I chose this book in Birmingham Airport whilst waiting to catch our flight to the Maldives for our honeymoon.  Once I started reading it I just could not put it down, each page kept me engaged.  I was actually quite sad when it ended. Natsuo Kirino’s imagery pulls you into becoming a part of every character and setting. OUT certainly walked me through areas that I never thought I could or would go, and for that I love it!

What is your favourite film? – “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is a very funny movie with some of the funniest scenes of all time – unfortunately inbetween there is a lot of “filler” that is either too long or downright predictable. That said, certain comic segments are inspired. One of my favourite scenes sees Caine (posing as a doctor), whipping a “paralyzed romantic veteran” (a perfectly able-bodied Martin) on his legs. The line, “Oh look, he’s so happy he’s crying” is one of the best one-liners of all time, and Martin’s face is a great example of classic slapstick.  My second favourite scene is the whole thing with Martin’s wacky character “Ruprecht” –  “Can I go to the bathroom?” “Of course.” “Thanks.” Martin’s face cracks me up every time. If you haven’t watch it – please watch it, it’s hilarious.

Name your top three songs? – 1) Al Green – “Let’s Stay Together” (first dance at wedding) 2) Lionel Richie – “Once, Twice Three Time a Lady” –  (memory from childhood) 3) Massive Attack – “Unfinished Sympathy” (Younger Years fondest memories).

What do you like doing in your spare time? – More than anything in my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, they are the most important thing in my life.  I also love to canvas paint and I am not that bad.  I have done several for my house and also one for my neighbour! One of my biggest passions recently though is watching films; Romance, Action, Thrillers and Horror. Whether at home or in the cinema, I enjoy losing myself in the storyline and the characters.

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About the author:

John Newton has 14 years of strategic marketing experience across Online Display, Search Marketing and TV and Outdoor Advertising, in companies which include Yahoo!, ITV and TNS Global. John has written on blog monetisation for Web Designer magazine and was the editor of ClickThrough’s two books. John is a CIM Chartered Marketer.