ANALYSIS: HOW TO SELL TO ... Walton and McNally - ZnSpace’s duo aren’t birds of a feather but they stick together

’Before we start, I want to make it clear that we’re married with children,’ jokes Caroline Walton, lest readers suspect that her close relationship with Julia McNally is anything other than platonic. It’s a fair comment, as these two are definitely joined at the hip.

’Before we start, I want to make it clear that we’re married with

children,’ jokes Caroline Walton, lest readers suspect that her close

relationship with Julia McNally is anything other than platonic. It’s a

fair comment, as these two are definitely joined at the hip.



The pair formed their online planning and buying outfit ZnSpace last

September, but have worked together since 1996, when Walton was sales

development manager and McNally was head of sales at VNU New Media.



However, they bonded even before that - when McNally worked at Executive

Recruitment Services, Walton met her to flog VNU’s jobs site. ’Sparks

flew over a curry in Hemel Hempstead,’ Walton recalls.



Their experience at VNU convinced them to start their own business.

McNally comments: ’We were dealing with so many crap agencies that we

became convinced we could do it better. We even decided to become

pregnant at the same time so we could get it out of the way before

setting up the company,’ she adds, with a twinkle in her eye.



In the end, Walton took maternity leave first, followed by McNally, so

it was almost two years before they could put their plan into

action.



Now they handle around pounds 2 million of online business from clients

such as Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Records, Sharwoods and Avis Europe.



Like all great double acts, they have distinct personalities. McNally,

who bears a passing resemblance to Geri Halliwell, is your funky,

creative, party-all-night type, while Walton’s sensible fringe marks her

out as the straight woman.



’Julia is very ideas-driven,’ confesses Walton. ’She likes to get out of

the office and network. I have more attention to detail and won’t go

ahead with the big idea unless I am confident we can deliver on it.’



Now they’ve crossed over from sales to buying, have they become

bolshy?



’We can see why sales people perceive some media buyers as arrogant,’

McNally admits. ’But that’s because we ignore those who don’t think

things through. There’s no point just sending us a list of your sites

and clickthrough rates. We don’t have a reach mentality. We want you to

work with us to come up with original, relevant ideas.’



The ZnSpace team consists of five women - ’We are thinking of forming a

girl band,’ cracks McNally - but they are keen to recruit a male media

executive, ’as long as he’s gorgeous and switched-on’.





LIKES



Snowboarding (McNally)



Scuba diving (Walton)



Each other





DISLIKES



Mayonnaise (Walton)



Sleep (McNally)



Boring lists of sites.



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).