Melissa Corless, Business Development Manager at MGECOM spent some time with us and shared some insights into what makes her a BD rock star!
How and when did you first get started in affiliate marketing?
I jumped into the industry in early 2012 when I took a Business Development role with a major publisher. The position was unique in the fact that not only did I work with merchants and agencies negotiating affiliate rates, but I had the ability to dig in and work with merchants to maximize the benefits of our traffic to their programs, work on their landing page optimization and a variance of other things. I fell in love with the industry immediately.
What do you most like about the industry?
That no two days are exactly the same. The affiliate industry changes daily just as the needs of merchants vary and evolve. This diversity and change provides the opportunity to solve problems and create unique programs to see merchants realize profits.
What improvements you would like to see in the industry?
Transparency! As the industry continues to grow at an alarming rate the more transparent agencies, networks and merchants are the better the industry will perform. With the presence of factual information, true solutions and honest partnerships the industry will grow with integrity and strength which is profitable for all sides.
Do you see affiliates embracing mobile and social?
Absolutely. The digital market is ever-evolving and keeps the affiliate industry on its toes. With the consumer trends shifting to mobile and social purchases affiliates will inevitably develop platforms to continue to provide a pleasurable buying experience for their consumers.
What other jobs have you had outside of affiliate marketing?
My first “real job” was teaching skiing at Sunday River Ski Resort in Bethel, Maine. I began working at the resort at age 13 with a special permit, allowing me to teach children and adults alike how to ski. In the early years I was a ski racer, and became certified through PSIA to be able to teach people of all ages how to enjoy the mountain. I loved the large industry and worked with multiple other departments at this resort and others throughout college and after, which fed my interest in large industry, business development and corporate sales.
Later, I stepped into the Business Development role with Gold’s Gym International and subsequently, many of its franchisees working as a Wellness Director. This role allowed me to continue to work with large and small merchants, providing solutions for their employee wellness needs. I worked with them to establish a healthy workforce while providing financial solutions and benefits through their insurance and other partnerships.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I would say, I am an outdoor enthusiast. My dog Shamus and I hit the hills hiking almost daily in the summer, exploring new trails and spending time in the fresh air. When winter arrives, you will find me on the ski slopes nearly every weekend. I chose to live in UT in part due to the fact that there are 9 prestigious resorts within an hour or less of my home. Skiers heaven!
Shamus and I also love to travel, hitting the road often, visiting old friends and seeing new places. There’s not many experiences for a travel lover that can surpass seeing something amazing and meeting friendly folks around the country.
When we’re here at home, we love to read, work on our blog and re-purpose old items. An odd mix I know, but there’s something peaceful about working with your hands, saving items from our past and giving them new life.
What activities/sports did you do in high school or college?
Surprise, I was a skier. I spent every weekend, vacation and snow day on the hill, racing, teaching or playing around. During the spring and fall you could find me playing field hockey and softball. I was not amazing at field hockey but loved it, there’s just something about getting a bunch of rugged ladies on the field with sticks that’s appealing. Softball, I still play today re-living glory days. I received first team all-star for the state in highschool but play a much less aggressive softball game these days.
What is your favorite vacation location?
Visiting with my folks. With how busy life becomes, it’s great to spend some time relaxing with family.
If you won a lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?
I would secretly pay off debt balances for my family and close friends. Then I would put them all on a salary. . . so they would have to come with me if I wanted to jet off somewhere to vacation. They would be getting paid, so they couldn’t say no!
Your favorite band to see live?
I couldn’t pick just one, and local bands are just as exciting to me as those that are famous.
What is your “must see” TV?
Mysteries at the Museum, boy do I love that show, so many neat things in history.
Coke or Pepsi?I
I don’t really drink it at all, but if it’s for a relaxing cocktail mixer, Diet Coke.