Welcome to our Employee Spotlight series where we get to know Skimlinks employees from around the globe a bit better.
This time we feature Lilly Tanino our Executive Sales Director, Japan.
Let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself…
I am a business development professional with 15 years experience and a background in the advertising industry. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of being a founding member of several foreign companies in Japan, taking them from prospecting to significant results. My journey has been diverse, marked by strong partnerships with premium publishers and working closely with both international and local brands to drive impactful advertising campaigns.
What has been the highlight of your week so far?
The best part of my week has been seeing how supportive our team is. Yesterday I had a call scheduled for 30 minutes with one of our international account managers. She patiently answered my questions multiple times until I fully understood, and even though the meeting extended to an hour, she stayed with me until the end. And it’s not just her; everyone on Skimlinks is like this. I’m really proud to be a part of such an amazing team.
When and why did you join Skimlinks?
I joined Skimlinks over 1 month ago.To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with Skimlinks until I had a conversation with a recruiter because it was a service not yet available in Japan. Before that, my initial interest was out of curiosity. However, soon after I learned about Skimlinks, I instinctively felt from my many years of sales experience that, “Wow! This service will definitely sell in Japan!” So I immediately proceeded with the interview process. While the product itself was truly outstanding, the vital decision factor was the great personalities of the people I met during the interviews.
What will your role be in Japan?
My role in Japan primarily revolves around business development and expanding Skimlinks’ presence in the market. As an initial member of the Japan team, I have a variety of responsibilities. At times I am AM for publishers, and on other occasions I am BD on the merchant side…the diversity in roles keeps things dynamic, but I enjoy wearing different hats!
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the Japanese market right now?
The significant challenge confronting traditional media publishers is revenue diversification. With the emergence of social networks and the evolving digital landscape, many publishers are finding it difficult to sustain or increase their revenue. The shift towards a 3rd party cookie-less world has further complicated matters, making targeted advertising more challenging. I believe Skimlinks can play an important role as a new source of revenue for these publishers, offering them a viable solution to diversify and strengthen their revenue streams.
What do you believe is the biggest opportunity in the Japanese market now?
The rise of e-commerce and digital content consumption offers a massive opportunity. The size of Japan’s e-commerce market has grown significantly over the past two decades. According to the Japan Economy Ministry, in 2000 the market was valued at approximately 9.09 billion USD, and by 2020, it reached approximately 172.73 billion USD, marking a 19 times greater growth in 20 years.
Where do you want Skimlinks to be in Japan in a year’s time?
In a year’s time, I want us to be the preferred choice for brands and publishers looking for affiliate marketing solutions, and I hope to see us having strong collaborations with major affiliate platforms in the region.
What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
The most valuable career lesson I’ve learned is “Do the things that others are not willing to do”. In Japan, many people shy away from sales roles due to inherent cultural hesitations. Additionally, the limited opportunities to use English mean that many people choose not to improve their language skills. However, I’ve realised that the skills for both sales and English proficiency makes me stand out from the others. By taking on challenges that others might avoid, you can truly distinguish yourself in the professional world.
And let’s finish with your favorite idiom / joke…
One of my favorite idioms is “Fall seven times, get up eight” It reminds me of the “never give up” mindset even in challenging situations. As for a joke, this might only make sense to digital marketers but I like: “Why did the marketer get off the trampoline? He was worried about his bounce rate!”