Two Minutes With Olivia McNaughten of Rho

Olivia McNaughten is in the business of knowing what makes people tick. In a recent interview, the New York-based director of product marketing at Rho, an end-to-end finance platform for businesses and Block Club client, opened up to us about her own motivations, organization hacks, and what empowers her.

  1. What’s your favorite way to start the day?

    Pilates, coffee, smoothie, and a podcast on my way to work

  2. What does a typical day look like for you?

    As a product marketer at a fast-scaling startup, there really is no such thing as a typical day. I love it because each day is so unique—you really can’t ever get bored!

  3. Do you have any tricks for organizing your time?

    I am an avid calendar user. I have one for work and one for my personal life. I especially love adding to my personal calendar because a) work-life balance is critical, and b) it makes me excited to see what fun things are coming up. 

  4. You’ve been in the marketing field since 2014. What’s one characteristic of good marketing that doesn’t change even when your responsibilities do?

    Whether you are crafting an email or billboard, presenting a proposal, or undergoing a rebrand, you need to know exactly who your audience is and what makes them tick. Outside of the obvious audience—customers—your audience might actually be internal stakeholders, such as the sales team or executive leadership.  Understanding their interests and goals is what can really set a good marketer apart.

  5. Speaking of responsibilities, you’re now the director of product marketing at Rho. How would you describe your role?

    My role is to help drive the go-to-market strategy for Rho—in other words, establishing how we launch Rho’s products into the world and how we make them successful. Product marketing allows you to work with every department within a company, from sales to product to partners, and so you can build a really intricate understanding of the runnings of a business. 

  6. What would you say is the skill you’ve acquired over the course of your career that has helped you most?

    Curiosity. An innate curiosity has helped me better understand everything from the product, to the business, to customer pain points, and more. Sometimes asking a simple “why?” can go a long way. 

  7. What’s something most people overlook when launching a new product or developing a new product strategy?

    Do we have the data infrastructure built to capture and measure the success of this product launch? Can we track how many people turned on this feature or which channel drove the biggest boost in adoption? Capturing this data is so valuable in helping to influence and inform not only this release but also future releases. 

  8. What empowers you?

    People! I am energized and empowered by being around and learning from people. 

  9. What’s your greatest weakness? How do you face it?

    I am ambitious to a fault. I need to remind myself to stop and recognize that where I am today is amazing. 

  10. If your life was a book, what would the title be?

    Kiwi-Brit Takes New York

  11. Rho has disrupted the traditional banking industry in a big way. What disruption have you benefited from in your own life?

    Podcasts have completely changed the way in which I consume the news and stories and even educate myself. For anyone looking for a truly uplifting podcast, Happier by Gretchen Rubin is an absolute gem. 

  12. In your opinion, what is an element all successful businesses share?

    A brilliant team. A great idea can only get you so far; you need great people behind that idea to really bring it to life and sustain it.

  13. What’s the best advice you ever received?

    “Big loud voice, big bright face, and lots of information.” From as young as I can remember, my mum would chant this to me—before my first day at school all the way to my first job interview. I repeat it in my head to this day! 

  14. Professionally or personally, what does success look like for you?

    It sounds utterly cheesy, but both professionally and personally success stems from being happy. Am I happy in my job? Happy with the work I am putting in? Happy with my relationships? Happy with where I am? To me, happiness equates to a sense of success—well, that and a Birkin handbag (sigh, one day). 

  15. Finally, there’s a quote that goes “everyone wants to live on top of the mountain. But happiness and growth only occur while climbing it.” What’s the next mountain you’d like to climb?

    I just ordered a graphics drawing tablet! I used to love painting and drawing when I was younger, but that was on paper. I am sure there is going to be a steep learning curve, but I am excited to get back into an old hobby but in a new digital way. 

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