Jun 26, 2017

Position Spotlight - Product Manager, Performance Marketing

Careers Team

Product Manager Michael Silley spoke to us about company growth, career development and his tips for joining GetYourGuide!


Can you give us a brief summary of what your job entails?

As a Product Manager in Performance Marketing, my main focus is to ensure people can seamlessly find tours and attractions they might be interested in participating in. With tens of thousands of products in over a dozen languages, mapping out this space so we can connect customers to our product is an exciting challenge.

The main medium I work with is ads. Ads can be annoying for almost anybody; I’m charged with finding and prioritizing the initiatives that make these ads less annoying and more relevant to our customer. I do this by working with a group of incredibly talented engineers, content editors, and analysts.

Why did you choose to work with GetYourGuide?

Before working at GetYourGuide, I was working as a Business Strategy Consultant in Canada. Working as a consultant exposed me to a number of different types of businesses, and it was there that I learned of my passion for data.  

I am also a big fan of new and exciting experiences. Having the opportunity to move to Berlin, Europe’s tech startup capital, and work for a forward thinking company actively shaping the online travel space excited me deeply. After some careful thought, I made the decision to work for GetYourGuide as an Analyst, so I could expose myself to large amounts of data in a high growth environment.

After 1.5 years of working at GetYourGuide, I can confidently say that choosing to work for this company was the best decision I could have made. One of my personal motivators is to put myself in environments where I can learn as much as possible; learning is one of GetYourGuide’s values, and I have not been disappointed by the way GetYourGuide lives each of its values: Passion, Positivity, Learning, Clarity and Commitment.

Since joining the company, how has your role or position changed?

A lot has changed for me at GetYourGuide. I started working at GetYourGuide as an Analyst, specializing in Performance Marketing. During that time, I learned how to use many different types of technologies and analytics methods; Writing in R to identify levenshtein distances, Querying big data using Spark SQL, writing NGram analyses, and gaining a deep understanding of SEM automation mechanics are some of the many things I learned during my time as an Analyst.

After about a year, I moved into my current role of Product Manager. My main focus now is identifying, prioritizing and aligning opportunities for my team to capitalize on, so we can help customers find our product. Another focus is marketing automation, and the primary side-skill I am actively developing is how to hack around with Scala.

In an environment that actively promotes learning such as GetYourGuide, I expect my role and focus to continue to change as we continue to grow our business.

What are the biggest changes you have seen within GetYourGuide since starting?

The three biggest changes I have experienced while working at GYG have been:

  1. Company scale
  2. The company headcount has grown tremendously during my time at GetYourGuide. I’ve made so many great friends as the company has grown. Every week, I meet someone new and interesting. With 50+ nationalities, such growth is nothing but exciting!
  3. Adoption of technology
  4. The people I work with are very passionate about technology, and we are not afraid to explore new approaches in order to innovate. As a result, I have seen the sophistication of our processes and systems increase incredibly rapidly.
  5. Ever Increasing focus by learning from our mistakes
  6. The one drawback with moving forward quickly is that mistakes at times can be made. That said, it is only a mistake if you can’t learn from your actions. With this in mind, we have fostered a very open culture that accepts mistakes so long as we can meaningfully derive learnings from them. In this sense, one of the biggest changes I’ve seen at GYG is our ability to grow and iterate faster and faster, all the while confidently learning from the (many) mistakes we make.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

It’s better to be busy than bored, and there’s no shortage of busyness in my team. However, no matter how busy we are, there always seems to be opportunities we find that we don’t have the capacity to capture. This creates a salient dilemma around prioritization and focus - what should we tackle now and what should we agree not to tackle until later. This is definitely the most challenging part of my job. That said, it’s always good to have more choice compared to less.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to work as part of your team?

Be motivated, eager to learn, and leave your ego at the door. We have an great open feedback culture, which allows us to improve day in and day out. Be prepared to be challenged, challenge others, move quickly, make mistakes, and then learn from them.  Understand that the company is growing quickly, so embrace change, and challenge the status quo. Most of all, enjoy the ride!

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