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2015 40Under40 Winner: Yasmeen Coning

Yasmeen Coning, VP, Head of Marketing, Genesis Media
Coning is all over the place—literally. She grew up in Georgia, went to college in Boston, visits her family in Arizona, and tries as often as possible to make it out to Mammoth Mountain in California for a snowboarding fix. She was heading out the door for a friend’s wedding in St. Tropez when we spoke. Coning’s wildly active lifestyle includes ambitious goals at work, too. As a manager, she zealously assumes a role in her team’s career goals. “I sit down with every member of the staff and ask them ‘What do you want to achieve for the company and yourself?’” Coning says. “We look at the entire calendar year and map it all out, and then we revisit it every 30 days to see if the goals are realistic.”

Defining moment: Driving the rebrand of Demand Media’s flagship property, eHow.com, to position the company for its IPO. Managing numerous variables and stakeholders’ interests prepared me for the road ahead—particularly as I moved on to build other media start-ups.

Words to live by: Do a lot of listening. I need to become part of my company’s team before they can become part of mine.

Strategy shift:  The primary metric for assessing the value of content in the media industry has been traffic. It’s helpful, but it can be misleading. At Genesis, we developed Page Attention Rank, a data-driven KPI that helps advertisers and publishers understand what content actually drives the most engagement. 

Up next: Attention metrics. Using data to make more informed decisions about publisher content, user experience, and advertising across platforms from online to mobile.

Advice to young marketers: Marketing is the engine that drives the train for a business, not the caboose. So, it’s simple: Always be proactive. 

–Al Urbanski

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