Senior Marketing Product Manager, Groupon+
It’s only been a few years, and Ron has already moved up from Financial Analyst to the Go-To-Market Lead for Groupon’s hottest new product launch: Groupon+. On the side, he’s imagining himself as the GM of the Detroit Pistons.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
With Groupon+ we are redefining the way users redeem discounts: completely voucher-less. If we are successful in our ability to scale, users will be able to find local restaurants on our platform easily and be able to get discounted food at all of their favorite places. Meanwhile, merchants will gain new customers and improve the frequency of current customers, with no more printouts and no more handing over your phone to the waiter!
Where were you before Groupon?
Before Groupon, I worked in Finance at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati. My last role involved cost analysis for hair care and color…not exactly my niche area. When Brent from Groupon Recruiting reached out to me, I was ready to make a move and I always knew I’d end up in Chicago (and in Tech) at some point.
What do your parents think you do?
My parents still think I work in Finance “with money” even though I’ve told them I’ve taken on a new role. In fairness to them, Groupon+ isn’t in Detroit yet.
What’s your favorite spot in the Chicago office?
What’s your biggest accomplishment here (so far)?
I am most proud of the early success I have had in taking Groupon+ to market (and ultimately doing that while transitioning out of Finance to Marketing during a 2 month period). We’ve added a ton of new enrollees to the program and have launched multiple large-scale brands on to the Groupon+ platform (e.g. Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts).
Have you won any awards while you’ve been here?
Last Place, 2016 Groupon Finance Fantasy Football League
What’s your favorite conference room?
Tell us something about you that’d surprise us!
A few months ago I transitioned from Finance to Marketing as the Groupon+ Go-To-Market Lead. I had been working on Marketing Finance for over a year and a half and I was ready for a new challenge. I heard about the Go-To-Market position from a few people on the team and so I met with some Marketing folks to talk about the role and eventually applied. Working in Marketing Finance meant that I knew everyone in the Marketing organization already and I had built up a really great relationship with those teams, so I knew everyone who was in my interview loop. It was just a great fit and on a product (Groupon+) that I am still extremely excited about.
Transitioning to the Marketing organization has allowed me to develop more Marketing skills, including project management. I’ve also had the benefit of working with a ton of people in different areas of the company (Sales, Merchandising, Product, Marketing, Finance, Legal, Operations, etc). That’s another thing that’s so great about Groupon: you can really create your own career path and gather skills along the way.
“I am just four and a half years out of college and my early successes at Groupon now have me taking a brand new product (Groupon+) to market as the Marketing lead. You don’t get that kind of opportunity elsewhere.”
What makes Groupon different from other companies you’ve worked at?
Working in Tech (and specifically at Groupon) is such a tremendously different atmosphere than more corporate jobs. Since Groupon has not been around for that long, there is: a) a ton opportunity to make an impact in every area, and b) almost no bureaucracy or hoops you have to jump through to get things done.
If you’re hardworking and committed to the company you’re working for, there’s really no better place with more opportunities than Groupon. And I’m not just trying to sell you! Take my story: I am just four and a half years out of college and my early successes at Groupon now have me taking a brand new product (Groupon+) to market as the Marketing lead. You don’t get that kind of opportunity elsewhere.
Who or what inspires you?
Working on a project or team that has a ton of growth potential and opportunity is what really inspires me. It’s what drew me to Groupon+. The product is on a complete upscale. We’ve gone from 2,000 merchants to almost 3,000 in just a month. We’re doing more and more transactions every month and our Tipster technology is the perfect way to let more and more people know about the product. It’s exciting to get behind a product that all consumers should inherently want: cash back at restaurants they are already going to.
What’s your favorite local business?
Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co. PIZZA. POT. PIE.
What was your first impression of Groupon?
When I visited for my interview, I was probably more blown away by the culture than anything else. The 4th floor of Groupon is honestly just a fun space to walk through with products everywhere and the culture of the the sales staff spread all around. It was fun, quirky, and clearly a place I wanted to work.
If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?
I would take Stan Van Gundy’s job as General Manager of the Detroit Pistons. I’d proceed to trade Reggie Jackson and build a dynasty in just under 24 hours.
Can you write a Groupon haiku?
Great deals are needed –
for a discount company –
that wants to succeed