Hi, Could you introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Camille Ricketts and I am Head of Marketing at Notion, the productivity and collaboration toolmaker. I oversee brand, product, community, and content marketing and am very excited to tell this company's story.
What are you working on?
Right now, I'm working on vastly expanding the content we product to attract new users to try the product and existing users to grow their proficiency with the product. We're interested in building a big enterprise business here at Notion, and continue to nurture our massive B2C user base, so we're designing marketing initiatives to make both possible at the same time.
What are the challenges and successes you’ve faced at Notion?
I joined as employee #11 at Notion last year, so our biggest challenges are largely related to our size and scale. We've had to accomplish a lot with very few people. It's taken a lot of dedication and resourcefulness. We've had to build on systems to increase our leverage and make sure our impact scaled. In terms of successes, we've had a number of them. We've launched 50+ templates to help people build what they need in Notion. We made Notion free for all students and teachers. Earlier this year, we made Notion free for all personal plan users, and just recently we launched Notion successfully in South Korea. We're really proud of what we've done to reach more new users and engage existing users.
What are your goals?
I have a lot of goals for our team. But to narrow it down, we have incredibly big plans for our community around the world. Already we have an ambassador program that operates in 21+ countries helping introduce Notion to new users and increase the engagement of existing users. These ambassadors have held meetups of up to 200 other people, published books, translated our help documentation, launched courses, and so much more. We want to 3x the size and impact of this community. At the same time, we want to launch content destinations on our website for both user education and thought leadership so we can help people learn more about how they can use Notion, and understand how Notion can solve their big, painful problems to begin with. Looking forward to seeing both of these comes to fruition in the next quarter.
Do you have a mentor?
I am really lucky to have an extraordinary coach named Megan Karsh who helps me grow through each phase of development as a leader. I also have a number of extraordinary women who have influenced my thinking and supported my success - including Molly Graham, COO at Lambda School, and Caryn Marooney, General Partner at Coatue Management. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention Phin Barnes, Rob Hayes, Bill Trenchard, and Josh Kopelman at First Round Capital who gave me my big break and accelerated my career unimaginably.
Do you mentor anyone?
I try to! I have a lot of unofficial mentees. I have had a couple truly remarkable interns in the last few years and we stay in close touch about their career choices and development. I also really love to connect with all content marketers in particular who are up and coming in the tech industry. I constantly maintain a list of jobs looking for great people and great people looking for jobs. It brings me great joy to draw these connections.
What could society do to better foster female talent?
Wow, great question. I think more women in senior leadership positions should set aside time to mentor and boost the women they know who are earlier in their careers. This is something men have been doing for generations and it'd led to well established routes to the top of industries. Women need these same pipelines and sponsorship. It's up to women who reach the pinnacles of their fields to take the time to get to know women at other stages of their careers and proactively help them make the connections and gain the experience they need.
What advice would you give to people getting into your field?
Marketing is an odd discipline because it's so broad. You can be a quantitative marketer on the performance or lifecycle side - which is truly more of a science. You can be a brand designer or editorial leader on the art side. My recommendation would be to not get pigeonholed. Yes, it makes sense to "major" in something - whether it's brand or content or performance or growth. But it always pays off to make sure you're learning about the other dimensions of the field. Proactively take classes, do the reading, and learn from your colleagues so you have a solid understanding of what they are working on at all times.
What’s the best and worst advice you have received?
The best advice I received was to take all feedback with the context that the giver just wants to help me get better. It can be hard for people to take feedback early in their careers. Especially perfectionist high achievers. It can really stymie you to not take feedback well and to not smartly integrate it into your behavior or approach. It's so important that you start to see feedback as an advantage and gift.
The worst advice I got was to change my affect at work. I am someone who has a pretty soft, empathetic touch. I care deeply about the people around me and can get hung up on the emotional responses of others. Some people in the past have told me this is a liability, but it is not. Understanding and caring for the people around you is always a strength.
Who do you follow? What blogs do you read?
I couldn't live and learn without Stratechery, a16z podcast, Femstreet newsletter, Term Sheet newsletter from Fortune Magazine, Product Habits, Wellness Wisdom, and Superorganizers (also a newsletter to be found on Substack).
What’s the best way to keep up to date with what you’re doing?
I'm a pretty avid Twitter user. Folks can find me and see what I am up to at @camillericketts - and can follow Notion and our goings on at @notionhq.