Lead(H)er profile - Lauren Mead, Chief Marketing Officer at TimeTrade
“We’re an enterprise software company. We provide intelligent appointment scheduling for B2B and B2C brands,” she explains. Clients include Sprint, top 20 banks, and B2B tech companies, as well as major retailers like Best Buy, Lowe’s, The Container Store, and Crate and Barrel.
“For a place like Best Buy, a customer might be browsing the website and want to schedule an appointment with a sales associate to look at cameras or mobile phones,” says Lauren. “Or take Sephora, which is a standard transactional industry. They’re selling makeup, competing with Amazon. They use our software to schedule one-on-one appointments, events, or classes. Part of their strategy is to educate consumers about what products are best for them.”
To educate herself about Sephora, Lauren and her team booked an anti-aging skincare class, checked in through the in-store concierge app, then met with Sephora’s sales staff to learn about which skincare products worked best for them. “Personal interaction translates into sales,” says Lauren. “They’ve seen a significant uplift in purchases from customers who come in through an appointment or event, as opposed to just walking in off the street.” In this age of online shopping, TimeTrade’s technology facilitates human interaction and better customer experiences. “That results in growth for clients.”
As an undergraduate at Merrimack College, Lauren studied marketing, but never thought she would work in software. “Tech stuff felt really foreign to me.” She envisioned herself as an events planner, but after landing her first job at Saba, a talent-management software company, she found herself immersed in technology. Lauren transitioned to ClickSoftware, where she started out as part of the Americas marketing team, but quickly moved into a global role. “The company was growing quickly, they went from 40 to over 100 million in revenue.” Lauren saw all kinds of ways for the company to improve. “There were opportunities for process development, marketing automation was coming into play. I would say, ‘Hey, why don’t we do this?’ and they’d say, ‘Great!’ I learned to take initiative, which is so important. That’s how I expanded my role, and my career.”
At TimeTrade, Lauren manages seven traditional marketers and six members of the BDR team. She is proud of how they’ve banded together to work cross-functionally. “We did a pivot in terms of having a broader inbound marketing strategy, and shifting to an account based strategy. We saw huge efficiency improvements, more success in being able to penetrate target markets, and much better alignment between sales and marketing.”
Lauren thinks of marketing as a blend of creative and analytical. “It’s fun coming up with creative campaigns, seeing how that translates into revenue.” But there’s also a side of her that says, “if you can’t measure it, it didn’t happen!”
Her biggest challenge? “There’s always something you could do better. So you have to find a balance, figure out where to focus your time and apply limited resources. Sometimes you realize something isn’t perfect, but doing it perfectly also isn’t the best use of time.”
In her senior role, Lauren acknowledges that she does more managing than marketing these days. But she likes the people element, and making sure her team is aligned and executing strategy. “We’re a growing company, so there are still plenty of opportunities to roll up my sleeves.”
Outside of TimeTrade, Lauren is involved with Merrimack’s alumni program, where she provides career advice and occasionally is a guest speaker in business classes. She encourages young people to be flexible, and take initiative. Even though she didn’t originally plan to work in software, “I’ve been able to work in companies that offer business applications to help people grow their companies. I’ve learned so much about the technology behind that. I really enjoy it, I love this space.”
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have two young kids, they’re two and four, so I pretty much spend all my free time with them. But when I get a free minute, I like to go to the gym, spin classes, yoga. I try to get out at least once a week.
What are your strategies for managing stress?
Exercise definitely helps with stress. I also try to optimize my time. I like to read, so I’ll listen to an audiobook or a podcast while I’m doing stuff at home, and that’s like killing two birds with one stone. Multitasking is critical, because there’s never enough hours in the day. But I try to make sure to be really present wherever I’m at. At home, I focus on family, at work I focus on work. Sometimes what gets left aside is other relationships, spending time with friends or doing “me stuff”.
How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?
One really big one!
What's one of your favorite places in the Boston area?
Anything outdoors. I love to get outside and go for walks, spend time in my yard or I’ll try to get out to the nature reserves around my house. In the summer my family spends a lot of time in York Maine at the beach.
What do you consider one of your proudest accomplishments?
I’m definitely focused on my family right now, and I love seeing my kids grow. It’s amazing. The fact that I’ve been able to do that, as well as advance my career, I guess that’s something I’m proud of.
Is this where you thought you’d be 10 years ago?
In my mid-twenties I didn’t have any idea where I would be at this point. So far I’ve taken a pretty linear career path so it is was certainly something I hoped for. I have a better realization now that life and careers are not such a straight line, excited to see what the next 10 years hold.
What’s your advice for recent college graduates?
Be flexible. Take initiative. Really try and learn and don’t be afraid to network. People like to collaborate and help one another. Do your job, but look for what you can add on top of that. When you bring new ideas to the table, that’s what separates you from the pack.