“Marketers require a strong understanding of traditional and non-traditional provider priorities, focus, goals and perceived threats and opportunities to remain relevant. They must approach partnerships from a nimble, consultative and global perspective,” says Symmes of her trade. At UP, Aspire and UP Faith & Family she oversees account management, manages national marketing initiatives and has significantly increased brand awareness of the networks. She also worked in affiliate marketing at Turner Broadcasting and GMC. Symmes tells us she’s proud of the mentoring a young team member who is now an emerging leader and respected client within her department and industry-wide.
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of from the past 12 months?
Being nominated for and participating in the 2017-2018 Betsy Magness Leadership Institute program, current Class 36. Mentoring/coaching a young team member (new to the industry) to becoming an emerging leader, highly trusted, competent and respected colleague within our department, company and among our clients.
With all the disruption in the marketplace, how has the role of an affiliate marketer changed?
Affiliate marketers must possess incredible flexibility and creative capacity, insight and deep knowledge of technology shifts, video platforms and consumer viewing habits (both linear/non-linear) outside of their own network environment. The lines between sales, marketing, advertising, social/digital, new technologies & platforms, consumer behavior, data analytics, and revenue generators/drivers is increasingly blurred. Marketers require a strong understanding of traditional and non-traditional provider priorities, focus, goals and perceived threats and opportunities to remain relevant. They must approach partnerships from a nimble, consultative and global perspective. Various platforms and opportunities have to be considered and connected, outside (or in addition to) traditional media when developing marketing strategies. While strong relationships remain key, the approach to enhancing unique or differentiated brand value while aligning with providers’ priorities, and innovative ways to break through clutter and disruption is essential—especially when competing with providers’ laser focus on maintaining and growing their business in a rapidly changing industry.
What’s the fate of the bundle in three years?
I believe this question remains to be seen in how bundles may change or are leveraged in different ways over the next few years. However, the “carrot” in the typical bundle seems to be transitioning toward high speed data vs. video entertainment in terms of level of importance both to providers who view this as a growing part of their business, and to consumers who expect access to the best high-speed experience possible.
As more content goes direct to consumers, to what degree does affiliate marketing overlap consumer marketing in your company?
Consumer and affiliate marketing do overlap in terms of key priorities/programming focus for our UP & Aspire linear networks, even in a growing direct to consumer environment. As part of a smaller organization, consumer and affiliate marketing are integral to each other’s success. Our content distribution & marketing team (inclusive of affiliate marketing) also manages and oversees a streaming service, UP Faith & Family in partnership with MVPD’s, OTT partners and direct to consumer app. We work closely with consumer marketing and digital/consumer engagement to align priorities and marketing resources to ensure the success and growth of the service.
What do you do for fun out of work?
Mixed media artwork, travel, hiking/camping, cooking, theater, decorating, reading and spending every moment of free time possible with my family. I am never bored!