Career at GSG
August 2023
by GSG

Victoria Raby answers questions on everything you wanted to know about Key Account Management & Commercial but were too afraid to ask.

Vicky Raby joined Global Savings Group in 2018 having previously worked in the industry for over 8 years, 6 years being on the network side at Awin. Shortly after joining GSG, she took over the role of Commercial Director for the UK. At the time the UK was a relatively new market for GSG and she was challenged with various responsibilities such as building up the team, creating a structure with verticals, adding an SME/longtail team, realigning a lot of the day-to-day processes & creating a brand new Sales operations team to support the Key Account Management (KAM) team operationally. Her key focus was on relationship-building with the networks, brands, and new partners, improving monetization by introducing the GSG offering to the market and pushing to get taken seriously amongst all the existing big players.

This group spirit, GSG ingenuity, and passion for business was soon rewarded as the team won ‘Industry Disruptor’ for ‘causing chaos in the voucher code space’ at the 2019 PMA Industry Awards. Triumph followed again in 2020, when they grabbed the hugely acclaimed ‘Industry choice of publisher‘ Award.

Following this success, she moved on to lead the European commercial team across 12 markets including the UK, Germany, Netherlands, and France for our Connect (coupons) tribe.

This year she has expanded her role to take on two other business entities, Rewards (our cashback sites) and Communities (our deal sites), and is now in charge of around 100 employees across 13 markets.

Today she answers a series of questions that provide greater insight into the role of a Key Account Manager and what it’s like to work in the Commercial team at GSG.

Can you provide us with a detailed explanation of KAM and Commercial’s role?

In a nutshell, a KAM is a key account manager sitting within the Commercial function at GSG across our 3 business areas (coupons, cashback, and deals). Within each local market, we have a dedicated commercial team focusing on building and maintaining strong relationships with our key partners. They attend industry events, meet brands and networks, develop detailed strategic plans, present quarterly reviews, and provide post-campaign analysis. On a daily basis, their job is never the same, from booking in exposure, explaining the added value of our full range of GSG products, attending a client lunch, presenting our sustainability offering, discussing Black Friday strategies (in June!) and discussing key industry topics such as tracking and the potential impact of browser changes to our business.

One thing that has been central to a KAMs role is our development of a more comprehensive approach across the purchase funnel. This is very important and something that most of our competitors can’t offer. It gives us a strategic edge as we work with our brand partners to create 3-6 month plans that start at the inspiration stage, to evaluation, and finally sales. Conversion here is key, and our performance-based approach across the consumer decision journey helps us deliver the scale and impact brands are looking for today both on a local and on a global level.

Based on the broad scope of Commercial you must have different teams with their own focus areas: 

Yes, within commercial we have various teams:

Local KAM teams: On a local level we have a dedicated KAM team per market that provide best-in-class commercial services such as those already mentioned by working closely with our brands and networks to secure market-leading savings opportunities for our users.

Central commercial, led by Laura Meunier, which consists of global business excellence and global KAM. 

  • Global Business Excellence:This team coordinates across all of the commercial teams and is responsible for raising the GSG profile within the industry, providing the right tools, setup, training, and best practices across all regions for our KAMs internally.
  • Global KAM: On a global level, a separate team manages our top 20-30 players including H&M, Adidas, Nike, and TUI to ensure they have one point of contact and a strategy tailored to the markets they operate in.

New Sales: Led by Lorenzo Secco, this team is designed to approach brands that either don’t have a relationship with us. It is the New Sales team’s job to help potential new partners see what we can provide in terms of solutions and help them realize how they can connect with our large and growing shopping community.

We also work very closely with other teams at GSG including our Commercial Business Operations team who is responsible for enabling Commercial visibility by setting up live exposure, coordinating social media and newsletter solutions, and planning; creating Seasonal and Black Friday campaigns. Our content writing team (known as BCO) produces our dedicated content articles for our key brands. Our Editorial team plays a vital role, working closely with KAM to ensure our retailers’ voucher pages are kept up-to-date with the best and most relevant content for our users at all times.

So there must be a lot of opportunities for different types of talent. Can you give us a brief overview of the skills and abilities you are always looking for?  

Within Commercial as a whole, we have a huge variety of roles and responsibilities both locally and globally. Roles that focus on building new relationships, managing global brands, leading a vertical team, analyzing data, or providing the best tools and solutions to achieve success. One fundamental skill set is the ability and eagerness to communicate because whatever area you go into you’ll be working with different people with different strengths. There is ample opportunity for people to not only move up the career ladder but also take a more diagonal approach and experience new challenges in different areas (and different markets) at GSG. What makes a job with us so great is that you can continually develop your knowledge and plot your career path as you go.

So beyond the ability to communicate well, what would you say are three other main strengths that anyone wanting to join the Commercial team must have? And why must they have them?

Passion – At GSG we are constantly evolving. Team changes happen, account management portfolios change & new processes are required to be implemented on a regular basis. We need individuals that are passionate, not only about their role but about the company, the brands they manage, the relationships they have both internally and externally, and how we are striving to work together to achieve our goals and constantly do better.

Ability to multi-task – No day is the same, especially not at GSG. The market is always changing; In the last 3 years, we’ve had to adapt our strategy due to flailing economic situations, a global pandemic, and an energy crisis! Our solutions are continuously expanding so you need to be able to work on different things in parallel. There is no set script on what your day will look like when you start work in the morning – and that’s the exciting part!

Team spirit – A commercial team is client-facing and there is massive comradery within the teams to ensure we can all work together to hit our goals. Having the right mentality is extremely important. That doesn’t mean that everyone is the same or needs the exact same skillset, in fact, there can be huge benefits from new views and styles, but we always perform best when we combine the skills of the whole group and work together. With our quarterly team socials, KAMs can get to know one another through events such as team sports days, lunches, football matches, or after-work drinks.

What are the main products areas and solutions that the Commercial team is in charge of bringing to brands and consumers?

Coupons: This is where it all began and first developed for GSG, with discount vouchers and particularly our pioneering of publishing partnerships with the world’s top newspapers & our own brands such as in Germany, in the UK, Kortingscode in the Netherlands, and in France.

Reward and Loyalty Products: Our first real expansion across the consumer journey, via our Cashback solutions with iGraal in France, Germany, and Spain and Shoop in Germany.

Branded Content: We provide inspirational and informational content about products, offers, and brands that capture the consumer’s attention and help them make the right shopping decision, ultimately leading to an expedited purchase journey. This is very useful for brands to put storytelling at the center of their sales strategy, helping them to connect, engage, build, and retain relationships with consumers. Our recent launch of Smart Shopper by in the US as well as FOCUS Produktvergleich in Germany and Daily Mail Best Buys in the UK have enabled brands that partner with us to provide inspirational content at the start of the purchase journey for our users.

Campaigns: These form a fundamental part of our offerings to brands. We create seasonal retail campaigns such as Summer Sales, Halloween, Christmas, and of course Black Friday as well as gift guides that inspire consumer purchases with ideas to get the most out of life. It is an excellent opportunity for brands to convert their consumers’ attention into sales volume across both our coupons and cashback platforms.

Deals: Thanks to our recent merger with Pepper we are now able to help our deals communities get even better deals by connecting them with relevant brands. We have also recently launched white-label voucher sites on some Pepper communities, including hotukdeals in the UK and mydealz in Germany. We now have a fantastic offering for our brands to target new customers.

We also provide conversion and engagement tools such as gift cards, where we guarantee a brand a second sale when they offer their own gift card as a reward for a purchase. In addition, we offer in-app campaigns and targeted newsletters enabling us to segment and target audiences. These add to the consumer’s shopping experience, increase AOV, shift old stock, and help brands adjust their branding and promotional strategy accordingly.

 What are some of the key success stories from the commercial teams over the past year?

Black Friday 2022 – Black Friday is well renowned as one of the biggest annual events in online shopping which takes place in November each year just before the Christmas period. From a commercial team’s perspective, we are fully prepared for this, with internal communication starting in January! Our Media Decks are ready by June and are then shared with brands & networks so that KAM can book exposure packages across all of our platforms. Last year we:

  • Created 300+ landing pages for our brands with dedicated content for Black Friday
  • Had close to 2,000 unique merchants partner with us globally
  • Had 3,000+ exclusive vouchers for our users running during November with over 2,000 in BF week alone

Sustainability project with Wilderness International – We are really proud and determined to continue empowering this project together with Wilderness International to make e-commerce greener. The reason we launched this project is because we had a huge amount of interest from our partners and consumers wanting to find ways to contribute to a better world. 2023 has given us the chance to deepen our relationship with the team at WI, by bringing our sustainability project to new markets where we partner with like-minded brands. We have started small, but our commitment is great because we know that every square meter protected isn’t just about saving the area’s natural habitat, it’s about helping to protect our whole world from the ever-increasing effects of climate change.

iGraal Days –  this is now the #1 EU cashback event, with high cashback offers during a 4-day period on all verticals. All members can enjoy cashback offers of up to 50% on their online purchases. Earlier this year during the 5th iGraal Days event in Spain (our newest cashback market), more than 400k savvy shoppers enjoyed special cashback rates with 60+ retailers involved resulting in a 240% average growth in sales for these brands. On top of that, more than 40m impressions were generated across TV & social media. On top of that, a couple of months ago iGraal France hit a remarkable milestone: 10 million members!

Campaign pages via our Pepper domains: Through our community-based offering we have launched the first seasonal campaign event pages for Summer Sales in the UK, France, and Germany. This has been a hit with clients and customers alike. Across the markets we had 30+ brands participate, securing placements via fixed fees. It generated approximately 3.5m impressions during the period it was live and was viewed as a great success. It’s something we’ll continue to do more of moving forwards enabling us to provide our brands with massive reach through a content approach via these campaigns on our coupons, cashback, and deals sites.

Coming back to yourself, what do you like most about your role?

What I like most is that the company is constantly evolving, expanding, and changing. From starting out as a white-label voucher provider to adding cashback, deals, and our content opportunities all within the past 5 years clearly testifies to this.

All of my markets operate differently and new challenges pop up each day. The management at GSG empowers me with the space, data, and flexibility to make strong decisions, plus I have a great team of very talented leaders that manage the local markets. Within commercial itself, the global reach we have through our central commercial team and the tools & support they provide us really do enable KAMs to be better and more efficient in their jobs. Our new sales team is bringing on board more brands than ever and we want to start working more closely with brands that typically operate outside of the affiliate space as we truly believe there is so much we can offer.

GSG is an amazing place to work, I have been here for 5 years and a lot of colleagues have been here even longer and I think that’s testament to the way the company is run and the happiness of its employees both personally and in terms of growing and evolving in their careers.

Let’s see what the next 5 years brings….

If you are interested in finding out more about a career in GSG please visit the careers section on our website.

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