I started working in digital marketing upwards of 10 years ago. It was a total fluke that I got into digital. My first job was at an agency where I had my hands in a little bit of everything in digital — search, email, website content management, eCommerce, analytics, all of that. Then I really focused on search marketing while I was at Yahoo, and then at MacLaren McCann for Microsoft.
I really went into eCommerce at Timex, where I managed the Timex website for Canada. I just loved it. I love all facets of eCommerce: marketing, sales, and operations.
Now that I’ve moved from retail to hospitality, what I love the most is that it’s about creating experiences. There’s been a shift with the whole Marie Kondo thing, where people are decluttering, and trying not to be materialistic or to buy stuff that they don’t necessarily need. A lot of people — especially Millennials — would rather spend on these beautiful vacations or weekends away than on material things.
That’s what keeps me motivated: I’m able to play in a space where we’re creating memories for people.
If you know what you like, whether it’s hospitality, retail, or travel, try to get into that industry right away. Get an internship, and start exploring to see where you really fit in. Agency experience is always a plus early on in your career. It’s hard work and provides a good foundation.
There’s artificial intelligence, which is the buzzword right now. The other main thing is voice recognition programs, like the Alexas and the Google Homes of the world, and how that’s entering into the hospitality space.
An obvious concern with these is security and personal space. Where do we draw the line, what data is being gathered, and how is that being used? How much data is too much?
One of the women that I really admire in the industry is Cécile Riby. She’s one of my mentors in Paris. She’s so smart and knowledgeable about the industry, and about eCommerce in general. She’s able to effectively share that information with everyone, and take us on the same path, and share our vision of eCommerce.
Cécile always makes times to touch base on a professional level, but also on a personal level. Her constant support allows us to share ideas and concerns from our region. I always appreciate her time when I’m in Paris, and enjoy working and catching up with her.