Lauren Licata is our first woman in our series of #womenintech to be highlighted. I am going to start highlighting women in tech so that we can together expose women not in tech to all the different kinds of roles that you can have working in tech or at startups.
For some reason the world thinks that you have to be a developer to work in tech and that is not true. Let's highlight all kinds of women in many differnet roles so that we can help women not in tech know that these types of roles exist and that they might be a good fit for them.
If you want to be highlighted or you know someone in tech or in startups who would be a good fight to highlight please share this with them so I can highlight them.
What do you enjoy about working in tech or at a startup?
I’ve worked at startups since graduating college in 2009 and I think I’ve been able to grow in my career (and my salary) much faster than if I would have gone the traditional corporate route. For example, I started out working customer service for an ecommerce startup in Buffalo, NY while I was still in college. Because startup culture often requires an “all hands on deck” mentality, I soon started hiring for customer service, processing payroll and eventually, relocating with the company to San Diego, CA and inventing the Director of Communications role. Not your typical path, right? Less than one year out of college, I was thrown into Director role where I was responsible for growing our revenue through both the email channel and social channels, managing all external PR and running all on-campus event marketing initiatives. I think I learned more in my 3 years at ValoreBooks.com than I would have in 10 at a traditional marketing agency. At Base, I love the pace and I believe strongly in the product we’re building. We’re heavily invested on the product side and our marketing team is small. For me, it’s not a 9-5 job. I’m passionate about the product and the marketing strategy, so I’m constantly on, regardless if I’m at my desk or not. I have flexibility that isn’t typically offered in corporate environments like unlimited vacation, remote work options and professional development. I’m judged on my results, not the time spent sitting at my desk (though my role does require a lot of that too!) If you’re entrepreneurial and want to be part of a vibrant community, I would recommend looking into a career in startup tech marketing.
What do you think women should know about your role in tech?
Since “growth hacking”, a marketing technique that uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure, became popular in tech startups, the marketing role has become more technical. Think, more science and less art, though my role in content marketing still requires both. Marketers and the C-suite reject “feel-good” metrics like “social shares” and “visits” and are focused on conversions, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and churn – the things that really matter in growing a business. If I can get 100,000 people to read a blog post or download an ebook, that’s great, but are those people potential customers? Are they signing up for a free trial or are they bouncing away from the page? These are the things that we measure and optimize. When people hear content marketing, they think about brand journalism – but it’s more than that. It’s the entire process of creating and publishing content, coming up with the right distribution strategy, acquiring new customers, keeping current customers happy and then optimizing and scaling that process. Our marketing team works closely with the growth automation (dev) team, to optimize our processes. We work with marketing automation software like Hubspot and advanced analytics tools like RJ Metrics to measure and optimize the work we’re doing on a daily basis.
Why do you think we need #morewomenintech?
I was reading a study by Deloitte that said “Research shows that [women’s] choices impact up to 85 percent of purchasing decisions. By some analyses, they account for $4.3 trillion of total U.S. consumer spending of $5.9 trillion, making women the largest single economic force not just in the United States, but in the world.” If that’s true, having women in leadership, marketing and development roles at technology companies is crucial. Since half of the users of technology products are women, it’s a no brainer to ensure women also have a seat at the table. It’s like with anything – bringing diverse opinions and perspectives to the table is beneficial. While I think tech companies could put more effort into recruiting women, I think women also need to step up. We need to do a better job of exposing women to tech-related jobs. We need to not be afraid of startup culture and the fast-paced lifestyle it brings. Gayle Laakmann wrote a good article on Forbes last year about why we need more women in tech.
You can follow Lauren Licata on Twitter.
You can view her profile on LinkedIn to know more about her past.