What does being an Exotic Animal Trainer and a Sales Director have in common? Not much, but Tim O’Keeffe has held both job titles in his professional career. Tim has indeed had an interesting career path, which is fitting because he’s one of the most interesting people in our NY office. Tim can usually be found making deals, making people laugh or making some form of baked goods. In this Meet a LiveIntenter, we introduce you to Tim, office clown and llama whisperer.
1. What led you to LiveIntent?
I found LiveIntent through a recruiter of mine who suggested a few different companies. When I came into the original office everyone was super friendly and the space was vibrant with neon colors everywhere. After going through the interview process, I knew that this was the place for me.
2. Has your perception about email changed since working for LiveIntent?
Yes! Before I thought about email as the place I go to find all the chain mail that distant relatives forward me and if I don’t forward the same message to 10 other people I will have bad luck for 7 years. To me, email was dead, even while working at a giant publisher we always sold email as an added bonus to our clients.
Now, my perspective has pulled a Tony Hawk pro skater and did a 180. I have realized the great 1 to 1 connection you can get to better reach your customers. Also, the scalability is insane for brands looking for a new outlet to reach more people beyond Search and Social. Someone’s email address is their passport to the internet by becoming their identity beyond a cookie.
3. How did you get into this industry/business?
I always loved the glamorous allure of advertising and how different businesses would strategize on acquiring new customers. I find it fascinating the differences and commonalities that companies use to attract or retain customers. The thing that really hooked me into the advertising business was being able to hear many different problems facing the industry as a whole and acting in a consultative manner to help clients achieve their goals. It is also a rapidly changing industry, which always keeps me on my toes.
4. What is your favorite thing about LiveIntent?
The people here really are the fabric that holds the company together. It is typical to see people from various departments intermingle and collaborate on how to best solve clients’ needs. I have also made some of my best friends working here and there always seems to be something to do from happy hours to dinners to multiple company sports teams you can join. The office is setup to allow people to work in many different locations from comfy couches to bean bag chairs, which also further encourages you to get out and meet new people who you normally wouldn’t interact with.
5. You used to be an Exotic Animal Trainer… are there any skills you used in that job that correlate into your role now?
Yes, I use to train and work with over 100 different species including sloths, llamas, camels, anteaters, lemurs, monkeys, snakes, parrots, and porcupines to name a few. When you are working with such an array of animals you need to realize what motivates them and how to best go about working with them to get to your end goal. It requires a lot of attention to detail and patience. I have brought these talents over to my role as a Sales Director at LiveIntent by realizing what my clients need varies based off their industry and what they are trying to accomplish. This allows me to cater a specific plan to execute and help my clients obtain their goals. Also, if I can handle a macaw on one arm, bottle feed a wallaby in the other all while riding a camel, I think I can make sure campaigns get launched on time and think of various ways to optimize campaigns.
6. What’s your most embarrassing office story?
I am known around the office to joke around and be more of a light hearted funny employee. This one time I was joking around the kitchen with a co-worker and she tried to joke back while making cereal. Thinking she secured the cap on a gallon of milk she shook it on me and to both our shock the cap came off. Needless to say, spilt milk in the workplace is not a good aroma and I would not recommend it to anyone.
7. What’s the best advice someone has given you?
“It’s not where you are, but rather who you’re with.”