A day in the life of Square’s global head of marketing
- Lauren Weinberg is the global head of marketing at e-commerce ecosystem and merchant aggregator, Square.
- Her everyday routine equals back to back meetings, family time and interviews with small business owners for her upcoming book.
The pandemic has been especially harsh for SMBs, many of which have been operating under survival mode to stay afloat. About a third of SMBs were forced to temporarily close down, according to a report released in May last year.
Digital payments player Square, which has been successful among SMBs since its inception, has adapted to the pandemic by upping its business solutions for merchants, such as access to PPP loans, customer refunds on software fees and curbside pick up and delivery services.
“The response from our customers on social media and through emails was overwhelmingly positive and knowing that we were showing up for our customers when they needed us was an amazing experience that made the hard work worth it,” said Lauren Weinberg, the global head of marketing at Square.
Weinberg is responsible for overseeing the fintech’s global marketing strategies, analytics, marketing channels and customer acquisition efforts. As a representative of a major brand in a male-dominated industry, Weinberg shares her advice for women just starting out in marketing at financial services brands.
“Trust your instincts and be yourself. It’s not always easy to go against the grain or challenge conventional wisdom, but as you gain more experience, you also build your confidence,” said Weinberg. “Share your point of view and even if others don’t agree, you will learn something and have an interesting conversation. Don’t feel pressured to go along with the group decision if it doesn’t feel right to you.”
Here is a typical day in her life:
Mornings: meditation, breakfast with kids and back to back video calls
My alarm goes off and I usually snooze one time. I like to get up before everyone else in my house. I come downstairs, make a cup of coffee, grab my eye ice mask and get back into bed where I drink my coffee with my eye mask on in complete silence and peace. I consider this my meditation time. After my coffee, I head downstairs and I let my two dogs outside.
After that, I wake my kids up for school and take their breakfast orders. While I am making breakfast, I am usually perusing the New York Times on my phone. Before the pandemic, I left the house before my kids even had breakfast, so I am grateful for this time with them. They recently started going to school again in-person, so I try to drive them to school. During this time, I try to listen to The Daily podcast, but sometimes my kids have other ideas. When I get home, I work out. This usually includes something on the Peloton, but on Thursdays, I take tennis lessons. After my workout, I shower and get ready to start my day. One of the silver linings of the pandemic is having more time to be with my family and take better care of myself.
Most of my team is in San Francisco. I recently relocated to New York. One of the benefits is that I get work time in the morning. I have a system for reviewing deliverables with my team. Essentially, I have a spreadsheet that keeps track of everything that needs to be reviewed with the due date. In the morning, I try to get through as many of these as I can. I also prepare my lunch in the morning. I typically start with video calls around 11 AM and most days my schedule is back to back through the end of the day.
Afternoons: meetings, talking strategy and campaign planning
My afternoons are fairly jam packed with a lot of meetings. These meetings include one on one time with my direct reports and my manager. I also have a lot of meetings with my peers, which include our product leaders, and the sales and customer success leads. As the marketing lead, it’s important to align with stakeholders often since marketing intersects with every part of our business. I also meet a few times a week with my leadership team.
These meetings serve different purposes, but essentially we connect every week to check in on metrics and how we’re pacing against our goals. We also review briefs, creative assets, campaign plans and results once a week. Additionally, we meet weekly to talk about strategic priorities, roadblocks and how we can best work together as a team to move the business forward. At Square, we also do a lot of reviews with our stakeholders. The culture at Square is extremely transparent. During these reviews, various functional leaders share progress of their teams, key priorities and goals.
Outside of Square, I am also on the board of the Modern Marketing Association. We meet to talk about the ever changing landscape for marketers and what work the organization can do to help companies navigate. I’m also a mentor for the Ad Week Executive Mentor program and I usually have one to two mentees that I work with for 6 months.
Finally, I am working on a book with one of my colleagues that is intended to be a guide and resource for small business owners by encapsulating the advice of hundreds of small business owners, so I spend time interviewing business owners and working on the book.
Evenings: Family dinner, carpooling to soccer practice with the kids and night time reading
I usually have my last meeting around 6:30 PM. Luckily, my commute to the kitchen is only 5 seconds. The best part about working remotely is that I now have dinner with my family every night. After dinner, I clean up the kitchen and then help my kids with homework.
In New Jersey, they have been allowing some sports practices, so some days I drive the carpool to soccer, basketball or football practice. We recently moved across the country, so driving a carpool is a good way to meet some of the new kids. Also, when I used to commute to San Francisco every day, I never had time to drive my kids to school or sports practice, so I am taking advantage of this while I can. Most moms probably hate driving a carpool, but I love it. It also gives me a reason to get out of the house.
Once we’re all home, showered and finished with homework, we try to watch a show together -- if time permits. If not, my husband and I take turns reading with our boys and putting them to sleep. Once they are asleep, I like to take a bubble bath and read a book. I’m an avid reader. I like to mix it up with fiction and non-fiction, books on marketing, self help, etc. I have a stack of books on my nightstand and go through a few per month.
Before I go to bed, I usually let my dogs out one more time and then bribe them to come upstairs with me with treats so they don’t end up going through the garbage. I usually check email and Slack when I get in bed, as well as my schedule for the next day. I like to know what’s coming and make sure I am prepared. If I’m being completely honest, I usually peruse Instagram for a bit, but I have a time limit so I don’t waste too much time on a screen before bed. From there, I read until I fall asleep -- which doesn't usually take long.