Q&A with Lindsay Hatton: GM of North America and Head of BD at Particular Audience

Published 17th Mar 2022 by Rochelle Ritchie
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Welcome to our blog series, people of PA. With each post, we’ll feature one-on-one interviews with the talented individuals on our global team. You’ll get to know the people inside the company, their story of hyper growth and what it’s really like working at Particular Audience.

First off, meet Lindsay Hatton, the General Manager of North America and Head of Business Development. Lindsay is an Australian born, country raised, New York based crypto enthusiast who just wants to leave the world a little bit better than he found it.

Over the past 4+ years, Lindsay Hatton has been an integral part of the PA team. From Sydney to Vancouver to New York, Lindsay has traveled the world as his remit has grown alongside PA.

This conversation with Lindsay Hatton focuses on the journey from seed to Series A, what he’s learnt along the way and fond memories he has of being an upstarter learning the ropes from CEO and Founder, James Taylor.

Q: Hi Lindsay. So, we hear you’re part of the furniture. Could you share a little on why you first joined PA?

A: Hi, sure thing. A few years ago now, I had a pretty serious accident. An accident that meant I couldn’t continue what I was currently doing. While I was in the hospital recovering, I was researching what I was going to do next.

For a little while, I focused on cryptocurrency with a few friends. We even started our own consulting service.

It was around this time that I started hearing about what James was doing at PA. Pretty soon after that I reached out to James to see if I could invest. With my background in crypto, I had a special interest in supporting a SaaS company which wanted to make a decentralized play - focusing on using item data, not customer data to provide optimized experiences for retailers.

From 2017, I was an early investor at the company. Soon after that, I started chatting with James more and more.

One day, I sent James a list of growth opportunities for the business. The response I got from James was - “These are great. Can you come in and implement them?”

This is when I started working for James, learning the ropes and shadowing him mainly, as my background wasn’t in business development.

It started with just us, we hustled to get what we wanted, then brought in a couple of others, friends Josh and Arbs (more on that in a future blog post). I have too many stories of what that first year entailed. It was scrappy. It allowed us to grow quickly after that.

Q: What was it like working in a company focused on hyper growth? Especially from seed to Series A.

A: You’ve got to be prepared to work hard. You’ll be rewarded for it.

At PA, you get out what you put in. Which makes it especially satisfying when things come to fruition.

So, if you’re looking for a challenge and want to see real ROI quickly - a high growth startup like PA is definitely for you.

One meeting booked by a BD can change the course of the product roadmap. One cold call can change the future of the business. I love that every call can make a difference and that the results are tangible.

Aside from the hard work, I would say that working at any company focused on hyper growth, including PA, is a lot of fun!

Q: What do you enjoy most about your role?

A: I love being able to train someone and see them grow. With a friend and colleague, Paul, for example, I was there when he made his first phone call, and now he’s one of the leading members of the sales team. Not to mention soon moving to Amsterdam to open his own office.

Being able to see him grow is really rewarding. Not that I can take any of the credit for that!

I love seeing people progress from BD2 to BD3. Helping people get to where they want to go makes my job really rewarding.

I’m also a big fan of being able to positively influence a company.

Q: What’s the hardest thing about your role?

A: Unsurprisingly, for any Series A startup, a common challenge is being able to manage priorities.

There will always be so many things to do, so the skill or challenge is in being able to prioritize based on what will deliver the most impact to the business.

For me, this is balancing building out a new market, North America, with helping people in the UK and Netherlands with sales pipeline development.

Q: What have you learnt over the years (at PA or otherwise)?

A: Over the years, I’ve learnt alot about the benefits of utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence to optimize the customer journey.

As we scale, I’m quickly learning about the importance of having a range of training material to pass on - especially as we scale in different markets.

Over the years, we’ve become way better at hiring, way better at integrating products for clients and we’ve become more upfront with staff about taking a break and managing their time accordingly.

Everyone here can feel the impact of what they’re doing, so a lesson for everyone is knowing when to take a break and when to push through.

Q: What has it been like working with Founder and CEO, James Taylor so closely over the years?

A: I’ve learnt most of what I know from James. He’s a wealth of knowledge to learn from and a great business leader.

James is decisive. He helped me realize that if you trust something, you should feel confident to make a decision. He’s very effective at driving the direction of the company and I really admire that.

He also sticks to his guns if he has empirical evidence to back it up. I remember when we first expanded to the UK, people told us not to. Now more than 50% of our revenue is from the UK and Europe.

James is also a great sounding board for new ideas and direction, as he often questions “why not?”It’s this same attitude we try to instill in PA, and it's the attitude we pass on to any new team members.

Analyze a situation. Then, give it a crack.

Q: What’s the culture at PA like? Who thrives at PA?

A: At PA, we focus on fun. For this reason, every day can be different.

We’re definitely hardworking, but that’s a result of people working towards the same mission. They want to help retailers provide better CX, and help customers find what they want faster, without the need for private customer data.

I’ve learnt first hand that bringing people along for the ride makes such a big difference. People want to know the trajectory of the company - and we’re still evolving. For this reason, we have the excitement you’d expect to have in an early stage startup. That’s who we are at our core, and that same feeling hasn’t really changed over the years.

Everyone is here for the same reason. So, because of that, we all get along really well. These are the type of people you can work through a problem with and then go out for a drink together afterwards.

Q: Most importantly, tell me about your trip to Tahoe with James. What was that band you listened to again?

A: Haha, during that trip we listened to a lot of the Bloodhound Gang and Blink182.

This trip started when I got invited to the biggest affiliate summit in Vegas. At the same time, James was invited to LA to go to another tech conference - so we could make it worthwhile.

The trip involved James driving, me making calls to set up meetings, and Arbs, who we also flew over, on directions taking us from one cold-call meeting to the next.

We went from LA to San Fransisco together, while James was meeting with Google's AI fund and the main internet VCs. We hired a car and spent our spare couple of days hustling for BD meetings.

One of the cold calls I made during the trip turned into a client. Who is still with us today!

Then, we went skiing on the weekend before we returned.

Q: What’s in store for the future of PA? 

A: Growth across North America and beyond! Cracking North America is top of my list. Back in Australia, people know who we are. When BDs call or reach out to new clients, people often know who we are or the search, merchandising or advertising products we have.

The APAC region is quite mature, while we’re almost there in the UK and developing in North America. So everything I focus on will be cracking that!

For more information on PA’s expansion, to discuss career opportunities or learn more about our search, merchandising or advertising services reach out to Lindsay directly.

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