Tahora Nazer – Marketing Intern in Seattle

Tahora Nazer – Marketing Intern in Seattle

TAHORA NAZER

Marketing Intern
Seattle, WA
Joined: 2018

Tahora, queen of gifs, talks about her experience optimizing Groupon’s landing pages during her internship in Seattle.

What team are you interning for?

Marketing – Search

What do your parents think you do?

They think I help Groupon become more popular!

What did you work on this summer?

My project was about finding optimization opportunities in our landing pages. The goal of these optimizations was to provide a better experience to customers who are visiting our website.

What’s the coolest thing you accomplished this summer?

All the major findings of my project turned into action items. We realized what could be improved on Groupon pages to increase customer satisfaction, the engineering team put that into action, and we have already witnessed the results. It’s exciting to see how impactful a well-defined internship project can be when combined with effort and collaboration.

What’s been most surprising so far about interning at Groupon?

How much the effort of interns is valued. It was surprising to see how intern projects turn into action items and make impact while the interns are still at Groupon.

What’s the most innovative technology you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

Virtual Reality for social good! VR has been used for helping people during physiotherapy sessions for regaining their ability to walk by simulating walking on the beach instead of in a normal room.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

The Tripods novel series by John Christopher. I entered the wonderland of books when my father started reading these novels to me and my sister when we were little girls.

My Instagram is mainly photos of ____________.

Me traveling across the US.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve experienced in the city you’re interning in?

Seeing the Seattle skyline from a cruise boat.

What was your favorite memory from this summer? 

The cooking class we went to with all interns and managers in the Seattle office. I learned to cook Indian food and make spices from scratch. it was interesting to see how such events can change the dynamics of the teams and make work more fun.

 

Rachel Mahnke – Affiliate Marketing Manager in Seattle

Rachel Mahnke – Affiliate Marketing Manager in Seattle

RACHEL MAHNKE

Affiliate Marketing Manager
Seattle, WA
Joined: 2017

We’re not sure how Rachel has the time (or energy!) for everything she does in Seattle: morning meetings with EMEA, planning events for the Culture Club, helping lead Women@Groupon in Seattle, the list goes on…

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? 

Our Seattle office is relatively small compared to the offices in Chicago and Palo Alto, and a group of us wanted to do something to improve the community and friendships in the Seattle office. We heard that Palo Alto had success launching a Culture Club that would host non-work related events throughout the year and we thought that would be a perfect idea. So, we started planning, working on proposals for budgets and formed a committee. Now we meet twice a month to work on special events and more programming. Our organization is growing and it’s so exciting to see more people getting involved.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it? What does a typical day look like?

I manage the affiliate marketing channel for North America. For me, every day is different depending on the campaigns that I’m working on. The Groupon Partner Network has 1,000 active partnerships. After I arrive at work in the morning, I usually have some sort of meeting with my colleagues in EMEA. Throughout the day I’ll usually have a few meetings with different partners to discuss current performance, new marketing promotions or opportunities. When I canI spend time reviewing how my channel is pacing throughout the day, how our partners are pacing for the week and month, and what marketing campaigns are shaping up to be. I am also usually meeting with other internal teams throughout the day, such as merchandising or finance. Every few days, there will be a Women@Groupon or Culture Club meeting, I’m involved in both organizations so I’ll help out with those efforts as well.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

Q4 has definitely been a challenging experience. We have a lot of ambitious goals, and I was definitely feeling the pressure to perform better than our Y/Y standards. It was a very exciting and stressful few months but now I feel so much more prepared for all of the future Q4s.

The most challenging part about my work is definitely the number of people and teams involved with completing new campaigns or on-boarding new partners. Since our channel works with external publishers, we have to work with all of their teams and our teams. There can be a lot of people helping to find the solution, so this can take time and a lot of coordination. It’s always very rewarding to see new integrations go live with our partners, and since I’m involved in the entire process I get to monitor the results.

Who or what inspires you?

I enjoy reading books written by female business professionals; the stories they tell really inspire me to continue pursuing my goals no matter what my environment is like. Recently I read a book written by Debora L. Spar and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great pick-me-up!

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I was really impressed by how enthusiastic all of my interviewers were about the projects and opportunities that the employees have on the marketing team.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I work with lots of affiliate partners to help them promote Groupon deals. We get to find new ways to introduce and remind customers about special sales and offers. This helps to keep Groupon top-of-mind to our customers and drives sales.

Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.

Recently when we were working on a project with T-Mobile, I requested that we change the creative image to have a picture of women at a spa. When we reviewed the results of that campaign we noticed that the number of customers who purchased spa deals increased by 20%! I was very happy with those results because you don’t always see a big change like that when you are changing the creative.

Want to work with me?

How do you accomplish all the different things you need to to do your job?

I work with a lot of the teams at Groupon as well as external teams with some of our top partners. Internally, I work with the engineers who support the Groupon Partner Network, the engineers who manage the Getaways inventory systems which support our metasearch partners, and the engineers for incentive services. I also work with our media analytics teams to review audience segmentation reporting and evaluate the incentives used in the marketing campaigns. On the business side, I work with the merchandising teams to make sure that all of our partners are always promoting the right promo codes and deals, as well as our seasonal campaigns like for Mother’s Day. I also work with Finance; we work together to organize our goals and budgets.

Externally, I work with our top partners’ account management teams and a few of their product and analytics teams. We are usually discussing the short term and long term strategy for our partnership and brainstorming new ways to present relevant content to their users to encourage them to make purchases on Groupon. While we have our own affiliate network, we also work with an agency, Rakuten Linkshare, to provide these services to partners that are unable to support a direct integration. I work with their account management teams to execute marketing campaigns with those partners specifically.

What do your parents think you do?

Well since I work with lots of loyalty partners, my parents know exactly what I do because I sent them my referral links and made them create accounts so they could see it!

Where were you before you joined Groupon? How did you get here?

Previously I was working at a small agency as a paid search analyst. When I decided that wasn’t a career path that I was passionate about, I found the role on my team was in digital marketing and just applied! It really happened to be a perfect fit and I’m so happy to be here!

I am super passionate about supporting the women in our office. Since we have such a small group here, it’s really important that we support each other to make the environment welcoming to new women.

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? 

My husband and I really enjoy exploring all of the parks and beautiful walks in Seattle. We spend a lot of our time walking our dog throughout the area.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

My dream job is to be an economics professor.

We see you are a member of Women@Groupon.  Why did you join?

I am super passionate about supporting the women in our office. Since we have such a small group here, it’s really important that we support each other to make the environment welcoming to new women.

What’s your favorite local business?

Night Light Nail Salon is my favorite Groupon deal, its the only place I get my nails done!

Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique?

At other companies, an affiliate manager would be focused on retail or travel or local deals, but at Groupon, I have so many other options of deals to promote. It makes it easier for us to work with all types of affiliate partners and blogs because there’s something for everyone on Groupon.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I founded the Women in Business Club at my university and was recently asked to be a guest speaker at a meeting. It’s really amazing to see the women at CWU continue the program.

Joe Davis – Lifecycle Marketing Manager

Joe Davis – Lifecycle Marketing Manager

JOE DAVIS

Lifecycle Marketing Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

What’s your favorite view from the office?

What’s your favorite conference room in the office?

Creating online rabbit holes with Joe, a Groupon veteran who attributes his success here to the mantra “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness, not permission.”

There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What’s your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment was several years in the making. I like to think that I played a roll in a significant organizational change. As Groupon matured there was a tipping point where internal processes created merchant friction to get re-featured on the site. From this, the hunter-farmer model was created. I was on the NYC team that first piloted the model. From there, a sales and account management hybrid team was created called “Titanium.” When I became a manager for the US southeast, I convinced my manager to let me pilot the model with my team. My team didn’t make any commission on their sales so I used to pay them in Target gift cards out of my own pocket to keep them motivated.

Today much of the Sales org is structured with this model. Looking back, what makes me the proudest is seeing how successful all the people that were part of that process are today. Many are still here. They are site directors, product managers, divisional sales managers, head of operations, trainers, the list goes on. We were all it together. To help push such huge organizational change was really amazing.

Tell us about your job! What do you do?

I am a Marketing Manager on the Lifecycle Marketing team. We know what attributes make a consumer more valuable. My job is to develop and manage marketing programs that increase the lifetime value of our consumers. In my mind, I visualize a robotic assembly line plucking out the right consumer, giving them the right offer or message at the right time to drive a specific behavior. In the past year, our Product and Data Science teams have done an awesome job giving the marketing channels the tools and visibility we need. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. I’m extremely optimistic about Groupon’s future.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

I’m currently working on a Promotional Efficiency Experiment. The goal is to reduce inefficient promotional spend and then reinvest the savings on consumers to increase lifetime value. That seems straightforward, but executing it is extremely challenging. It is by far the most important thing I’ve ever worked on.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Most of the marketing programs I work on have a formula. A consumer does X with Y and triggers Z. Z can range from cross-selling to a new business vertical, driving purchase frequency, or mobile app downloads. All of these transitions ultimately make the consumer’s relationship with Groupon stickier and drive the daily habit.

Have you won any awards in your time here?

In mid-2013, my wife and I honeymooned in Punta Cana. A couple months after we got back, I found out I had won President’s Club, and the destination for winners was…Punta Cana. Had I known I was going to win I would have picked somewhere different to have my honeymoon!

What’s your favorite local business?

Michael’s Original Pizzeria & Tavern. It’s a great local pizza joint in my neighborhood. The ‘za is delicious and has a great vibe. It’s a great place to catch a game or just sit outside on the patio and drink local beer with my pug.

Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique?

I’ve been fortunate to have been given a lot of autonomy and trust which is a testament to the management here. When I was a manager in the Sales org I asked to run a pilot team. My manager believed in me and helped make it happen. When I worked in email marketing I figured out a way to automate a large portion of my job. My manager didn’t just delegate more work, he let me decide how I would use my time to drive more innovation. I was encouraging a team member of mine to “ask for forgiveness, not permission” on an idea he had. The very next day Rich (Groupon’s CEO) said that line verbatim in all-hands meeting in front of the entire company. That moment exemplified the culture and management that makes Groupon a great place to work.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Build Local Habit — Nothing is impossible — Roll up your shirt sleeves

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

There was one time that New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg came to speak at a Groupon town hall. When you hear most people tell this story they talk about the miniature horse hanging out in the elevator. While that’s certainly random, that wasn’t my favorite part of that day. Someone asked mayor Bloomberg what made him successful. He said that when he was first starting out he knew he wasn’t smarter than the person next to him or more talented, but he knew he could work harder than that person. He knew that he could come in earlier and stay later than that person. His value on work ethic really resonated with me.

Who or what inspires you?

My wife inspires me. While I was working at Groupon, I earned my MBA by taking night classes while my wife was also working on her Master’s degree. We both suffered through it together. For three years we spent almost every weekend at the Groupon office studying, which is a great place to study because of its huge conference rooms and fast internet. I couldn’t have gone through all of that without my wife.

Ready for your next challenge?

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I’d like do Merchant Marketing for a day. I’m at a point now where half my career at Groupon has been on the consumer marketing side and the other half has been on the sales and merchant side. Groupon is a two-sided marketplace, consumers, and merchants. I’m uniquely positioned where I have equal experience with both worlds. I’d like a day to merge everything I’ve learned into one Merchant Marketing culmination.

What do your parents think you do?

Not too long ago my dad forwarded me an article about tech companies having a “Bring Your Parents to Work Day.” Groupon doesn’t participate, but I told my parents to come anyway. I gave them a mini tour and treated them to lunch in the employee cafeteria. I started to explain what I do and how I do it and my mom said something like “you create the rabbit hole when I’m online shopping.” That’s actually pretty close.

Tell us about your involvement with Groupon Volunteers!

I do a lot of volunteering in my neighborhood. I set a goal for myself this year to do a better job tracking it all in VolunteerMatch. I just logged some work I did with Ginkgo Organic Gardens, a community garden that donates 100% of the food grown to Vital Bridges, a center that helps people with HIV/AIDS in Chicago. I also recently became a Block Captain for Buena Park Neighbors, a neighborhood association whose mission is to improve the quality of life for residents through business development, green projects and much more. I think it’s important to give back and serve the community.

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work?

I try to do at least two half marathons a year. When I race, I like to wear my Groupon running shirt from the Chase Corporate Challenge. I’m a marketer at heart, so I always try to calculate the number of free impressions I’m getting by wearing it. I’d like to think the person running behind me goes home and downloads the app. I also have a pug. Pug people are super into their pugs. I’m no exception.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

My first car was a monster truck. Specifically an 84 Blazer with a lift kit and 38-inch tires. A 16-year-old has no business driving that kind of a car. I loved it.

Meet Gabi, our Senior Director of International Marketing Ops

Meet Gabi, our Senior Director of International Marketing Ops

GABI STAFFORD

Senior Director International Marketing Ops
Dublin
Joined: 2014

Our Director of International Marketing Ops shares her love of Groupon’s open, diverse culture and how working here has lifted her game.

_____________________________

Tell us about your Groupon story so far.

I have been at Groupon for three and a half years and I’m on my 4th job and my 5th boss! One thing you can say about Groupon is that it is never, ever boring. I love the fast-paced, results-based environment. I have learned more than I could ever have imagined at my time here and working at Groupon has truly lifted my game. When I started in 2014 I was Head of International Email and now three and half years later I am Senior Director of International Marketing Operations, a role with responsibility for all online international marketing channels. It’s been an exciting and wild ride.

 

What’s the secret to succeeding at Groupon? What type of person tends to excel here?

Success at Groupon is based on results: you need to be passionate, results-focused and data-driven to excel here. Creativity and an entrepreneurial bent are also definitely beneficial. You should like being constantly challenged and thrive on problem solving. All of that being said, respect, integrity and inclusion are core Groupon values so you should also enjoy working with lots of truly individual and awesome people.

 

What is Groupon like as a workplace for women? Does it feel like a diverse, inclusive space?

My personal experience of Groupon is definitely that it is diverse and inclusive. As a mother, the flexibility and family first focus that Groupon offers is something that I haven’t experienced in other companies. My daughters are particularly fond of the soft drinks and chocolate on tap when they come in to play table tennis or foosball. We are very lucky, particularly in International to have a significant number of female leaders. Our International President, CMO and HR Leader are all women. At Groupon the sky is literally the limit!

 

“There is real power in coming together as a group not only to support one another but also to harness our skills and talent to positively impact the representation of women in STEM, particularly in Ireland.”

How significant is it that we are launching Women@Groupon?

Women@Groupon is very close to my heart. I work with a lot of incredibly talented, passionate women and Women@Groupon is one way to celebrate and nurture that talent here in Dublin while also having a few laughs: another important part of life here! There is real power in coming together as a group not only to support one another but also to harness our skills and talent to positively impact the representation of women in STEM, particularly in Ireland. Dublin Women@Groupon is all about having an eye on the future.

 

What does your mother think you do?

I think she pictures me on the starship Enterprise constantly talking on my state of the art video phone. She loves the fact that I work globally for a well-recognised brand, even if she’s a bit vague on the details!

Karolina Wojdecka, PR & Communications Manager in Warsaw

Karolina Wojdecka, PR & Communications Manager in Warsaw

KAROLINA WOJDECKA

PR & Communications Manager
Warsaw, Poland
Joined: 2016

Gjør noe hver dag som skremmer deg – Karolina’s motto (in Norwegian, which she speaks!)

What are you excited to see from Women@Groupon in 2018?

I’d love to see some insights on successful leadership communication from different gender perspectives.

Who is the most inspiring woman at Groupon?

For sure Estefania Lacarte responsible for SER Comms! She is full of energy and passion with great know-how and positive energy. I love to work with her!

Name a woman you look up to and why.

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. She helped lead the company out of the public relations crisis and established herself as the respected head of the global automaker. Two years later, she has been rewarded with another promotion: the combined role of Chairman and CEO. I follow her story and how she walks a politically delicate line between using her advantageous timing, talents, and uniqueness as a woman executive in a male-dominated industry to propel herself forward – while not pushing the gender stereotype envelope too far.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My EMEA Comms Team annual meetings! Always effective, interesting with high energy where team members work together to make decisions or solve problems. I feel we inspire performance among ourselves by connecting the dots of our efforts. There I feel our PR is fueled by positive energy only!

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Keep it honest and keep it simple. One of my mentors always signed off correspondence with ‘keep it simple.’ At the time, his message struck me as a little humorous, but as I’ve grown professionally and personally, I’ve come to realize that the simpler you keep things, the easier it is to execute flawlessly.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

“OMG! Do I really not have to follow a corporate dress code anymore?!” It was such a relief.

There are a lot of amazing people at Groupon. What’s your proudest accomplishment?

If you told me 5 years ago that I would be competing in Ironman events, I’d never have believed you! Training for a triathlon is not an easy thing. For my first one, I dedicated seven months of training. Insane, because I had only owned my road bike for around a month and could barely swim a front crawl.

But during this time, I did things that scared me, like swim in the ocean. I learned a lot about myself and what determination means. I learned to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, and that’s where the magic happens. Since 2016 I have completed numerous races, and something that surprises me is the lack of women participating. I think there are still a lot of women out there who think that they can’t do it, and that’s untrue. All it takes is a little grit and determination.

What’s your favorite local business?

AirBike! I’m a big road cycling lover and won’t pass by the local bike-shop without dropping in. Especially as these independently – owned bike shops really have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on. It’s also easier to get some really good advice about purchasing upgrades and keeping my bike going. Moreover, my local bike shop staff not only know my name, they also know how I take my coffee 🙂

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

In business, if customers are not knocking down your door, it may be because you need to build credibility first, and public relations can help. Here I am! Having a strong, well-known brand enhances your credibility with customers, your industry, and the marketplace as a whole. As you build your credibility, you also build recognition, loyalty, and competitiveness. Everything goes hand-in-hand and PR is in between.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I speak Norwegian and I’m a huge coffee lover. My travel paths usually follow local cafes representing coffee’s third-wave movement which I’m a fan of.

Marco Caspani – Senior Merchant Marketing Manager in Milan

Marco Caspani – Senior Merchant Marketing Manager in Milan

MARCO CASPANI

Senior Merchant Marketing Manager
Milan, Italy
Joined: 2012

Marco is sort of an adrenaline junkie…so it’s no surprise that he loves working at Groupon!

Take us back to 2012: what was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

I was both scared and excited by the speed of the job, but the energy and vibes you could breathe in the Milan office in March 2012 is something I will never forget!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

The first Groupon party because it happened just 12 days after I joined the company and I thought, “Wow, my new colleagues are so awesome!”

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on here?

Organizing 10 merchant events in 10 different cities in 5 days. That was a really crazy idea! We wanted to reach as many as possible merchants with a tour from north to south of Italy in the shortest time possible. So we planned two events per day: one at lunchtime and one at dinner in different cities, travelling like pinballs up and down the country. We succeeded in reaching hundreds of merchants in the most important Italian markets, bringing them the new features and tools we were launching for them, and generating a great exposure to Groupon brand in the local markets.

So how does the work you do impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Thanks to events and trade shows, we have the chance to meet hundreds of local business owners who want to attract new clients and increase their revenue and brand visibility. We help them reach their business goals and in turn grow their local communities.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m multitasking every day since I work on many projects for different European countries. I have to keep track of all the activities on every single project, working closely with my colleagues abroad. Then I spend some time on EMEA video conference calls for updates and project coordination. The most challenging part of my job is working simultaneously on several events and trade shows. For example, right now I’m working on two fairs: one in Germany and one in France and five events: one in Spain, two in Italy, one in the UK, and one in Germany…all happening between March and April! So you need to work fast and be able to switch even faster from a project plan to another one without missing any detail. But don’t worry, I always find time for a nice Italian lunch with my colleagues!

Do you have a favorite trade show you’ve attended?

My favorite trade shows are definitely the travel ones, the ITB in Berlin and the TTG in Italy, probably because I love travelling and I feel part of the environment at those fairs. Last April, we organized an event inside the Tower Bridge in London for a selection of our top merchants and it was something magical! Merchants who attended the event are still talking about it 😉

Have you won any awards in your time here?

I won a Green Award in Q4 of 2017 for the results I accomplished that year!

So what keeps you excited to come to work every day? (Aside from the awards!)

At Groupon, you have to chance to switch between sales verticals, so it’s like working for multiple companies, meeting completely different merchants and business owners. There’s always something more to learn and discover; you never get bored of it. And the energy that the Grouponers have it’s something unique. There’s a lot of green blood running through our veins!

We know you love Groupon…but you probably have a life outside of these four walls. What keeps you busy outside of work?

I love snowboarding in the Alps and riding my motorbike during summer time. I love TV series and movies and I’m quite addicted to new technologies and digital world. And I travel…I travel a lot 😀

Tell us about what you do here! What do you love about it?

I’m responsible for all the Merchant Events and Trade Shows at the EMEA level. It’s the coolest job in the world ’cause it allows me to travel, work with colleagues from all around Europe, meet hundreds of our awesome merchants, and spread around the brand and positive vibes of Groupon. It’s inspiring to see how many clients and merchants love working with us and how we are changing the daily habit in local commerce.

So before you were in Marketing, you were on the Comms team. Can you talk about how you went about making that move?

When I joined Groupon there was no Merchant Marketing team. After a few months, Groupon decided to increase the efforts on activities for our merchants so I started working at 50% on it. After a while, I made the decision to move from Comms to the Merchant Marketing department fulltime. It’s been a great opportunity for my career at Groupon. At the beginning I was responsible for the Italian market, then I started working for Southern Europe, and today I’m responsible for all of EMEA, managing the activities for all top European countries.

OK, but what do you parents think you do?

They think I organize parties all around Europe, which is fine with me!  😀

Tell us about your involvement with Groupon Volunteers.

I’ve been volunteering for half of my life, so I was excited about Groupon’s volunteer program and decided to join it immediately. We’ve ran a lot of marathons since I joined and raised bucks for many ONGs!

Take us back to your life before joining Groupon. What were you up to then?

I worked for an American PR agency managing the press office and communications for big brands like Visa, Activision, and Bang&Olufsen. It has been an amazing journey since I first got a call from Groupon—the new start up that was on everyone’s mind in 2012—and I decided to start this exciting new endeavor on the Comms team.

If you could have any other job for one day…what would it be and why?

I think I would be a motorbike rider, racing in the MotoGP championship ’cause I like the speed and the thrill of a nice turn.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I pushed my motorbike at 250 Km/h (155 mph) once and it was an injection of pure adrenaline!

What’s your favorite local business?

Ah, I could pick one for every European country I’m travelling all year long, but let’s say that Terme di Sirmione in Italy on Lake of Garda is something truly unique. A spa resort where you can regenerate your body and mind, pampering yourself with an unbelievable view of the lake. Watch it yourself if you don’t believe me!

Who or what inspires you?

I can say that working with hundreds of colleagues and merchants all around Europe is very inspiring! We are changing how people live their daily life—discovering local businesses, trying new experiences they have never even thought about. And supporting the local businesses bringing new curious clients to them, getting extra exposure to their brands in their cities and beyond. When I talk with our merchants it’s really inspiring to see what we are doing for them. We are making a difference!

Daniela Incerti – Communications Specialist in Milan

Daniela Incerti – Communications Specialist in Milan

DANIELA INCERTI

Communications Specialist
Milan, Italy
Joined: 2011

Party planner, crisis manager, aspiring dog breeder, and one-day owl owner Daniela clearly has a blast working for Groupon Italy.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? Why do you love it?

I joined Groupon in 2011 as a Social Media Specialist and in 2017, Groupon gave me the opportunity to grow and I became a Communications Specialist. What I can say about my job is that it’s impossible to get bored. I’m involved in many exciting things: internal comms, B2B and B2C campaigns, PR, events, social media…every day there’s a new challenge. Thanks to this role, I have the ability to meet many different people, organizations, and companies. I also get the chance to work and interface with many different teams in Groupon. And last but not least: I get to organize parties for Groupon! Let’s rock!

Who inspires you?

First on the list is my father. He was a tireless worker and the kindest person in the world to me. He taught me to never give up or get discouraged and that life is a beautiful thing. Second, my colleagues inspire me every day. I have the pleasure of working in a very nice environment. We help each other tackle new challenges every day.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

Yes, I won a Green Award last year. I still remember how joyful I was! It was so unexpected…I tried not to cry tears of joy because of the fantastic words my colleague wrote about me.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

Not so long ago I had to handle my first PR crisis. It was all new for me; I was afraid and the pressure was high. But thanks to my boss and my colleague, I was able to handle the issue very quickly and effectively. This is why Groupon’s value of “community” resonates so much with me. We can obtain the best results if we work and help each other. Together we are strong; together we can create not only solutions but inspire each other, too.

Where were you before Groupon?

I worked at Wind Tre as a mobile operator. When I saw the Social Media Manager job posting in 2011, I decided to apply due to the fact that I was coupon dependent at the time.  🙂  I was also fascinated by the business itself. After interviewing, they hired me and it was the beginning of one of the best professional experiences of my life.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

Wow – they are crazy…but in a positive way! When I joined Groupon, I still remember the energy I felt when I first stepped into the office. I had never found a place like this before!

Your role probably exists at other companies…so why Groupon? What keeps you excited to come here every day?

Groupon as a workplace is simply unique. I’ve met the best people and colleagues here, who have also ended up becoming great friends. Every day is a new challenge and opportunity to grow. No two days are the same at Groupon.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

My favorite memory is when Andrew Mason visited in 2012. He was doing a European tour of our offices and stopped by ours. I remember the energy and passion in his eyes.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

As I wrote before, my favourite Groupon value is “inclusion” and “solving problems the right way, together”. We are strong, but we are stronger if we work together. I try to connect Groupon to customers, merchants, and charities every day. I love to find new possibilities and angles to spread the Groupon word through both the media and online channels. We do a fantastic job, so we should be proud of our company!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I like to practice yoga, and I enjoy running and climbing. Yoga helps me to relax and free my brain, whilst running and climbing help me to fix goals and achieve them.

If you could have any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

Dog breeder! I’m in love with dogs and animals in general.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I’m addicted to TV series, I love to bake cookies, and I have seen the entire Harry Potter saga at least 100 times. Also, my dream is to have an owl (like Edvige) at home.

Estefanía Lacarte – Head of Communications for Southern Europe in Madrid

Estefanía Lacarte – Head of Communications for Southern Europe in Madrid

ESTEFANIA LACARTE

Head of Communications, Southern Europe
Madrid, Spain
Joined: 2012

Former professional swimmer and national finalist Estefania is now Groupon’s Communications guru for Southern Europe, handling all of the PR and comms for multiple countries swimmingly.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

When we gave Groupon founder Andrew Mason a bullfighter’s cloak during his first time in Spain! It was sharing our traditions in a fun and weird way. We Spaniards are always looking ways to project how modern, creative, and funny we are as a country and gifting this was a perfect way to show that. Anyway, it was funny seeing his face like, “What is this?”  

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?

After almost 6 years at Groupon, I am a truly Grouponer!  🙂 So many things have changed in Groupon Spain since the beginning when I joined and being part of all that has been an incredible challenge and opportunity! My job now is managing PR & Communications for Southern Europe…the good stuff!!

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

Creating the quirky deals. This was something the Head of Editorial at that time and myself started as a joke, trying to make the life of our users less boring! It started in 2012 and then we exported it and became an international initiative that made our activations and reactivations increase with zero cost! All PR, all Spain. I am very, very proud of it. We even named it in an offsite in 2013!

Who or what inspires you?

The people at Groupon. The energy, the initiative, the willingness to do things and improve every day. They—we—make the difference.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

The first time I set foot in Madrid’s office (early 2012) the energy, the noise, the “fast walking” of the employees in that moment shocked me. I thought, “I want to be here. Now!”

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

PR is the best tool to build strong credibility across our community. Media is still an incredible platform for our brand, and if a journalist does it for free..it’s amazing!

What’s your favorite conference room?

What’s your favorite local business?

A place called Ronda14. It is a very well-known restaurant in Madrid. I hope we can feature them on Groupon soon!

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

I swam professionally until I was 16. I even got the chance to get into a National final!

Have you won any awards here?

I was a runner-up in the local Green Awards and a runner in the EMEA ones. I read the nomination that my boss wrote me…it moved me!

What do your parents think you do?

My mom thinks that doing PR means spending all day in events with journalists and fancy food…which is not true! But I love her very much for thinking that. I seem very glamorous to her!

Where were you before joining Groupon?

I worked in PR agencies such as the US-based Burson-Marsteller and another more local one called Globally. I was lucky enough to manage accounts like Loewe perfumes, Samsonite, and Disney. It was the best PR school I could get.

You obviously have a life outside of Groupon; what are your hobbies outside of work?

My family! My husband and my 2-year-old kid take up all of my free time. Them…and Netflix!

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would be a journalist again. Sometimes I miss the rush of that job, but only sometimes. Groupon has its own rush!

Carolyn Dorant – Email Marketing Manager

Carolyn Dorant – Email Marketing Manager

CAROLYN DORANT

Email Marketing Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

What was Groupon like in 2010? What does an email marketer on the Coupons team do? Does Groupon Goods sell rockets? Carolyn answers all of the tough questions today on the blog.

What was your first impression of Groupon in 2010?

When I came in for my interview, there was a good-but-hectic energy in the air. The team was outgrowing the office on the 6th floor and the recruiters I talked to were picking up the pace of hiring––the editorial department was hiring a handful of people each week. It was clear from the beginning that I was about to become a part of a special, energetic community of talented people who were very dedicated to this weird new idea.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

A few years ago a group of us stayed in the office well past midnight building a toy rocket we bought on Groupon Goods. We took a video of the launch a few days later and I still have a printed gif of it on my desk.

Who inspires you?

People who solve complex problems with creativity and empathy.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I write and produce an email that reaches customers six times a week; we’re helping communicate that Groupon is so much more than just a “daily deal”–my team, Groupon Coupons, helps connect customers with discounts to major online retailers they’re already shopping. Think Amazon, Kohl’s, Home Depot, and basically any brick-and-mortar retail chain you’ve ever set foot in.

So what’d you do before Groupon and how’d you get here?

When I interviewed, I was fresh out of grad school and juggling a few freelance writing gigs. It suited my schedule when I was in school, but I really wanted to be part of a bigger team. When the opportunity to work in Groupon’s editorial department presented itself, I jumped at it. I accepted the job on a Friday morning and started the following Monday.

What’s your biggest Groupon accomplishment?

I tend to be really efficiency-focused, so I’m really proud of scaling our email cadence from once per week to six times per week without having to hire any new people. I do it all myself with the help of a tool I created with a product manager (and his engineering team.)

I also feel really good about the work I did for Women@Groupon; I served two terms as the Communications Chair and was able to formalize a bimonthly newsletter. W@G does a lot of work at Groupon to provide networking and philanthropic events for all employees, but people have to know it’s happening!

If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?

It would be so fun to do Will Shortz’s job editing crosswords for the New York Times.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve eaten exactly 1 peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich in my life and it was in 2016 on top of a mountain.

What does your dad think you do?

It’s actually pretty accurate, sadly, but my dad does think it’s necessary to tell me about every single thing he buys on Groupon. He’s a loyal customer!

Why do you participate in Women@Groupon?

Joining Women@Groupon helped me feel like a more engaged member of the community–it’s easy to forget that there are so many amazing people working here when you keep yourself confined to your team or department.

What’s your favorite local business?

Unabridged Bookstore in Lakeview. I’ve been buying books there since I was a little kid, and I am so relieved and happy that independent bookstores can still thrive in a community the way that Unabridged does.

Jeremy Stephison – Content & Community Manager, Coupons

Jeremy Stephison – Content & Community Manager, Coupons

JEREMY STEPHISON

Content & Community Manager – Groupon Coupons
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011

Jeremy takes us on his unique Groupon journey, from his early days as a writer sitting next to the founder of Cards Against Humanity to today where he’s maximizing revenue on the Coupons team.

What’s your biggest Groupon accomplishment?

I manage the Target coupons page. Through a mix of unorthodox content strategies, DIY market research, and navigation of an arcane commission rate structure, I was able to boost Click Through Rate and Commission leading up to Black Friday. I’m super proud of the results: year-over-year CTR jumped to 84% (a 6.71% increase) and commission jumped by 101% on Black Friday.

This one’s a little less data driven but…you know those wacky signs in the engineering department? They say, like, “Warning: Doppelgängers Active In This Area” or “Cloning In Progress.” I wrote those!

I also worked on the Mother’s Day deal for a 3D Printed You and wrote up the Groupon Cat Reader deal. Some of my jokes were actually quoted in USA Today and The New York Times!

Where were you before Groupon?

I taught rhetoric at a few community colleges and a university before I got the job at Groupon. Teaching rhetorical strategies was a pretty great training for actually using those tricks and techniques here at Groupon.

Where can we find you outside of work? What keeps you busy?

So, there’s this guy named Edward Bernays who’s basically the most influential person of the 20th Century that nobody’s ever heard of. He was Freud’s nephew and he studied psychology and sociology to invent PR (he actually coined the phrase “Public Relations”). He’s also the reason Americans eat bacon for breakfast, use disposable cups, or think of Calvin Coolidge as a fun-loving fan of Vaudeville (that last one didn’t really stick). I love reading his books along with consuming as much information on buying habits and consumer behavior as possible. It helps with my job, but it also really paints a picture of who we are as people and why we do what we do. … That’s a hobby, right?

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

This makes me sound like an 8-year-old, but that’s o.k. I’d love to be a stunt pilot. I’ve never flown a plane before, so it’d be a literal disaster, but what a job that’d be!

What’s your favorite local business?

Milton & Margie’s Soy Wax Candles. They’re made in Chicago out of hand-painted tin cans and vintage glassware. Also, they smell amazing. But what I love is that the company creates literally zero waste. The wax is sustainable soy, the wicks are sustainable cotton, and the containers are used soup cans. It’s ingenious and original, and I just really love the brand.

“[In 2011] There were a lot of spirited debates and questions like, “Is it funnier if the orangutan is riding a Harley or piloting a hot air balloon?” I even shared a cubicle with one of the founders of Cards Against Humanity.”

Tell us about what you do all day. What do you love about your job?

I manage about 30 Groupon Coupon pages. Basically, the job requires me to think on my feet, try out new content strategies, and use every marketing trick I can think of to engage customers to help them feel comfortable shopping with Groupon. I honestly love the job: there are new challenges every day and I work with an amazing team that’s eager to share their knowledge and resources. And thanks to incredible data-tracking tools, I’m able to react on-the-fly to any issues that might come up before they turn into raging dumpster fires. It’s deeply satisfying!

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

As content managers, we always want to balance our methods and strategies with the brand identity of high-profile merchants (such as Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Microsoft, etc). Sometimes those conflict with each other and there’s no easy solution. In those cases, I feel lucky that I’m empowered to collect performance data and jump on a call with the marketing managers of these companies. It’s not always smooth sailing, but at the end of the day, we always work it out in a way that benefits everyone. Finding a compromise that makes the merchant happy while prioritizing customer experience can definitely be a challenge, but the results are always worth it.

Who or what inspires you?

This is going to sound pretty corny I guess, but my manager and team inspire me. I’ve never been part of a group that cares so much about their work. A big part of what we do requires constant innovation, and everyone’s eager to share what they’ve learned. Individual successes feel like team successes, and vice-versa, and that’s inspiring to me.

What’s your favorite space in the office?

Ready for your next challenge?

What was your first impression of Groupon as a workplace?

The whole thing felt pretty surreal, like somebody threw Saved By The Bell and The Onion into a blender, and then built an office out of it. I started as a writer back when publications like The New York Times and 60 Minutes were talking about our wacky brand voice. We’d all put in 10 hour days, and our biggest challenge back then was figuring out the best version of a joke for a nail salon or barbecue restaurant. There were a lot of spirited debates and questions like, “Is it funnier if the orangutan is riding a Harley or piloting a hot air balloon?” I even shared a cubicle with one of the founders of Cards Against Humanity. It was a goofy blast!

 

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Traditional Groupons let people save money on the things they do every day. Groupon Coupons gives them a way to save money on the things they buy every day. Our inventory of promo codes and exclusive deals for major brands fits seamlessly into online buying habits. My job is to make sure that when customers arrive at a coupons page, they’re having the best / most frictionless experience possible, and that they want to keep coming back.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

There is a weird cat / sitting in a green spaceship / Please, Check Groupon First.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Oh, man… I’m not even sure where to begin. One time, a silver-haired fella came into the office and gave us fatherly advice while pretending to be our high-school football coach (it probably makes as much sense to you reading this as it did to us experiencing it).

A few weeks ago, a guy dressed up as that giant Abominable Snowman from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and gave everyone around the office hugs.

The time Salesforce gave us a bunch of giant stability balls, and someone turned one of the narrow hallways into an enormous ball pit and we got this email: “Hey everyone, If you have a Salesforce ball sitting in Knockturn Alley, please remove it. Right now that hallway is a horrific (albeit comical) fire hazard. thanks.”

 

Ron Klein – Senior Product Marketing Manager, Groupon+

Ron Klein – Senior Product Marketing Manager, Groupon+

RON KLEIN

Senior Marketing Product Manager, Groupon+
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

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

Think you're better at Fantasy Football than Ron?

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.

What’s your favorite conference room?

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 CoPIZZA. 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

Leadership Habits

Leadership Habits

About the Leader Habits

These seven Leader Habits were finalized in 2017 by combining the data we collected from ~600 managers (representing a true sample of our global and cross-functional leadership population) and defining what we see as priorities based on Groupon’s long-term strategy.

Remove roadblocks and make connections for others; know when to roll up your sleeves and be a doer
At Groupon, we have a laser focus on execution. Great leaders not only supervise from above but also roll up their sleeves and tackle the work head on. As a leader, your job is to clear out distractions and provide the right resources so your team can hyper-focus on reaching goals.

Build a strategy and vision by getting the team to debate and commit; influence the right people to bring others with you
A culture of high performance starts with setting an effective strategy and vision. We expect our leaders to challenge themselves and their teams to figure out what really matters, make tough choices about priorities, and deliver on a strategy that inspires their team to row together in the same direction.

Be positive, calm, and flex with change; learn as you go and evolve with the business to make things better
Change is a constant reality and we need to continuously evolve to do what is best for our customers and business. It’s not enough to simply adjust to change – leaders must model resilience and continuous learning so that Groupon can strive above and beyond the competition.

Prioritize goals for impact; distill complex issues into crisp messages; take a practical approach to messy problems
This Habit is all about bringing focus and practicality to what we do and how we do it and getting rid of unnecessary complexity. As a leader, you should be identifying things that drag down our ability to move fast and proactively work to improve them.

Drop the ego; be open to feedback and willing to change your direction; let the best idea win
A “my way or the highway” approach won’t get you far. Instead, being authentic and real is what earns trust and helps build relationships with others. Be open about your strengths and own your weaknesses.

Trust your gut but know the facts and figures cold; be more than two questions deep; test smartly, learn quickly
We expect our leaders to understand the nitty-gritty of what their employees are doing on an operational level. If not, we create the risk of getting off track and moving in the wrong direction. Leaders have to make tough decisions on a regular basis. And, to make good decisions, it is essential to have the right data, details, and numbers at your fingertips.

Lead by example; listen, encourage, and deliver the tough messages; give direct, frequent feedback and develop others
Coaching is one of the most critical skills for a manager at any level. A great leader will increase not only quantity but also quality of conversations with peers and direct reports. This will build trust and increase productivity and retention of the employees on your team.