Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Emily Barfuss, Chief Marketing Officer, Tremor International

Emily Barfuss is Chief Marketing Officer of Tremor International. Before Tremor International, she held marketing and communications roles at Index Exchange, CBS, and CBS Sports Network.

Who is your digital hero?

My digital hero is one of my mentors: Amy Young, Founder & CEO of Redefine Possibility.

What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?

Amy has done so much to win ‘hero status’ from my vantage point. She and I worked together at CBS where she started out in traditional cable distribution and later helped clients navigate the virtual MVPD world when that first started to emerge. She transitioned from distribution to ad sales during her tenure at CBS and left broadcast distribution for Google.

Along the way, she’s led and mentored many of us – she’s a phenomenal leader. 

Ultimately, Amy left Google to launch her own career coaching company called Redefine Possibility, helping professionals avoid burnout and drive career results by focusing on their strengths and aspirations.

Not only has she built her brand from the ground up (despite having come from the sales side, not from brand marketing), but she’s actively helping others become more engaged and happy in their careers, which is why she’s a digital hero in my eyes. 

Amy created and grew this brand 100 percent digitally – utilizing social, web, etc. Everything she does – all of the impact she has – comes through a digital medium, which is really remarkable. 

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

The core foundation of her company’s mission proves that we are investing in ourselves and our people in ways we have never done before. We don’t work in a world anymore where companies can get away with treating people as numbers on a spreadsheet: we’re collectively investing more and more in our people, and coaching – which Amy’s doing – feeds into that in a major way, especially in the digital space.

The more weight we put behind our people, the more likely we are to create solutions that are going to drive digital forward. The Amys of the world are pushing people to achieve the most they can – personally and professionally – and pushing our industries forward as a result. 

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

While companies are taking steps to ensure they’re utilizing employee-first strategies and not viewing each of us as a number on a spreadsheet, our industry tends to still focus on consumers as simply their IP addresses, compromising consumer privacy.

As an industry, we need to remember that there are actual people attached to those strings of digits – people who deserve to have their data treated carefully and with respect, and who are eager for a positive consumer experience. 

With that in mind, I’d say consumer privacy is the next big challenge we need a hero (or a group of heroes) to solve, and although I think we’re making progress, we still have a long way to go. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a digital hero, but I do have a passion for connecting people, digitally or otherwise, and helping them find new professional and personal opportunities to explore as a result.

I’m constantly thinking about how to recruit new talent into our organization and having conversations with friends about our professional goals and how we can achieve them. LinkedIn is such a strong platform for this – it allows me to utilize my network to help others advance in their careers.

It’s a skill I think Amy certainly helped me cultivate early in my career, which I’m so grateful for.