Women of Affiliate Marketing: Tovah Simon

Well, it’s that time – for my next piece on Women of Affiliate Marketing and I must admit this was a truly enjoyable one for me. I have had the pleasure of meeting Tovah over the past few shows and we just seemed to click. Maybe it is my charm, good looks or just the fact that they need good lead providers – who knows :-).  So without further adieu, I bring to you Tovah.

1)  Hey Tovah, if you would be so kind, please tell us about yourself and what you are currently doing.

I am a Midwesterner at heart but feeling more like an official Angeleno each passing year (almost 6 and counting). I’m a big fan of photography, movies and games; funny people and serving up healthy doses of sarcasm. I’m currently the Vice President of Marketing at Walla Media. I have my hands in a lot of things, but primarily oversee the daily operations of our agency and boutique network; managing a fabulous team, and our intimate list of publishers and advertisers. Basically I eat, sleep and dream DISH Network and other high converting offers.

2)    How did you find yourself working in the Affiliate Marketing industry?

After selling my set design/construction company in 2008, I wanted to move back into the direction of my educational roots in Advertising (and let’s be honest, the other degree in Psychology hasn’t hurt either ;). Seeing print as a dying medium, I sought positions that were more relevant to building a career –online marketing made perfect sense. I happened across an ESP/email software licensing company and broke into my first gig in the biz – haven’t looked back since.

3)    How have you found this industry to be? Was it what you thought it to be?

It took a long time to figure out what this industry even was! I’m still learning every day and that is exactly what I love most about it. There are a lot of elements I was not necessarily expecting but hoping for – a lot of energy, fast paced, thinking/solving on the fly, and centered completely around relationships. But just like anything in life, could also always be improved upon and I certainly see areas that could afford some hard looks, especially in regards to business ethics and simple etiquette (you know who you are!). Overall, I would say I’ve settled in and at this point, it really just feels like home now.

4)    There are more and more women playing a significant role in this industry, what do you attribute that to and more importantly – do you think that to be the case going forward?

Women and men are created equal, but remember – women created men. Seriously, I attribute this to a lot of factors. First and foremost, I give a ton of credit to the women who have blazed the trails for those of us who have come after and would like to believe that each and every one of us in this industry today has the opportunity to keep the wheel spinning in forward motion for the future of this industry, and more importantly, I know we will. Simply put – we belong here.

5) Who was or is a major influencer for you?

I find that many of my biggest influencers are my peers and colleagues but no one more so than mama-Tov who dedicated her entire professional life to helping others and instilled in me deep core values about hard work and standing up for what is right personally and professionally. I have most respect for determination, honesty, savvy business sense and those who say what they will do and actually deliver results – extra bonus points for those who drop the B.S. and operate transparently. These are the people that influence me most (and again, you know who you are!).

6) What are your favorite must read industry blogs or websites (brownie points if you mention RickyAhuja.com)?

I try to keep things fresh and diversified on this front, but let’s be honest, there’s only so much time in the day, so if it comes down to my favorites:

affbuzz.comoffervault.comadhustler.com, TechCrunch.com is a must. I check out Fast Company fairly religiously,wickedfire.com, and obviously rickahuja.com.

7) Where do you see the affiliate marketing industry heading with social media in the next year? Do you think that micro blogging platforms like Twitter, Four Square and FB have the potential to change the entire landscape of presenting information to the public?

I think they absolutely already HAVE started to change the entire landscape of presenting information to the public, not only helping build communities but also providing affiliates more targeting power than ever on a more intimate and local level. I’ve heard a lot of discussion and agree that the most successful affiliates of the future will be amazing content providers who more creatively “sell” through social media and who will be compensated for actions they are driving via affiliate programs just like all the other performance marketing channels we have grown to love. In watching the vast changes that have taken place over the last couple of years, logic seems to dictate that this will continue to sculpt affiliate marketing as these forums continue to scale – there’s no slowing down now – adapting is the name of this game.

Now for a few FUN questions:

8) You are given a free pass to Affiliate Summit, Ad Tech or Leads Con – where do you go and why?

Paris! For some reason, my heart has always belonged to Paris – and the most embarrassing part is that I’ve never been, so it’s about damn time. Of course, I’m sure the show would be great too and it’s never too soon to start the Walla Media European division.

9) If you could pick the brains of anyone – dead or alive, who would it be and why?

This is by far the toughest question, Rick. I’m fortunate to get to pick a lot of the best minds of the industry already, so I am torn between musical legend John Lennon, foodie Anthony Bourdain, both sets of grandparents (one set that I never got to know) and a dance with John Travolta (pre-Scientology).

10) What advice do you have for my female readers who are looking to get into affiliate or online marketing?

Definitely get into this industry – it’s a smart move. Protect your reputation above all else and make a good name for yourself. Be heard. Make sure you have good things to say. Self-motivation is key. Learn quickly and never stop learning and growing. Be open to advice but always stay true to who you are. When you find people you trust – hold on tight. Never take these relationships for granted, and make a lot of money with them!

THANK YOU!

 

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About the Author

Ricky

Ricky Ahuja is the serving as the VP of Marketing for ClickSyndicate.com and provides strategic corporate and functional marketing consulting services to early stage companies.

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