Charlie Johnson is VP International at global geo-location data and services company, Digital Element. I recently chatted with Charlie to find out more about her role and expertise, as well as her thoughts on how privacy regulations are impacting the digital ad industry.
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Talk me through your role… What does a typical day look like for you?
I begin my working day focusing on China, looking at international business on the commercial side of things. I’m often multitasking while I do this – walking the dog, or dropping the children at nursery.
Then, my focus shifts to calls with customers, the European-based team, and other prospects. At the moment I am speaking with clients and prospects about how Digital Element can help tackle fraud-based businesses and improve security, which is keeping me busy. When the team in the US begins their day, I’m usually then on internal meetings until the evening, finishing at around 8pm.
What’s been your biggest challenge at Digital Element so far and how did you overcome it?
While this was achieved by the entire team, it’s something that clearly stands out to me. In response to a rapidly developing situation, we made the important decision to pivot our business.
The BBC, a client of ours, was earning press around people circumventing IPs and VPN – a challenge to their business model. To solve this – and this needed to be dealt with quickly and successfully – our team of engineers switched focus to how we can help our clients discover where these issues were taking place. A huge number of our clients now use our data to address this, and the decision to change our thinking and plan of action was absolutely necessary.
You’ve been named as one of the ‘Top 50 Women in Ad Tech’ – what advice would you give to other women starting out in the industry?
There is no ceiling other than the one you create yourself, and this is so important to remember. I would encourage other women to keep punching and to continue pushing, because a lot can be earned when you fight for yourself. In this industry, where technology moves on so quickly and the landscape regularly shifts, it is also vital to never stop learning. Every day brings new opportunities to learn, to develop, and to grow, so always remain open and ready for this.