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"‘no’ is not a dead end- it actually just means there’s another way to go about it.", Danielle Chadha
Danielle Chadha, International Marketing Director at Squarespace.
As Squarespace’s first ever international marketing hire outside of the US, Danielle is driving culturally sound, community building activity across all markets to solidify Squarespace’s mission to support entrepreneurs in making any bold ideas they have a reality. Originally starting her career in New York, Danielle has spent an expansive career of 13 years in London, where she has previously led marketing for high growth, world renowned tech companies including Bumble and NET-A-PORTER, as well as spearheading the rebranding of London’s iconic Camden Market. Danielle is also a Grace Mentor, with a keen drive to support founders in all aspects of marketing and career growth.
Danielle, you are a Marketeer at heart. When and how did you discover your passion for marketing?
I studied Marketing at university but the passion was ignited at my first real job when I worked at NET-A-PORTER shortly after moving to London. I was there when Natalie Massanet was still running the ship and the brand was on their impressive initial growth trajectory. Working under her inspiring leadership and guidance, I got to learn from the best. Her enthusiasm for marketing, her focus on staying true to your brand no matter how fast you’re growing, and her ability to consistently drive marketing innovation through intelligent creativity is what got me hooked. I forever have her - and Alison Loehnis (current President of YOOX NET-A-PORTER) - to thank for my marketing career start.
How I’ve been able to maintain that passion has directly come from the brilliant women I’ve been lucky enough to work for since. Collette Lyons taught me how to be brave and bold in gut-driven decision making, Whitney Wolfe-Herd taught me how impactful marketing can be when you consistently stay relevant - but more importantly - authentic to your audience, and Jacqueline Gonzales has taught me to lead with patience and that receiving a ‘no’ is not a dead end - it actually just means there’s another way to go about it.
You’ve led marketing activities for high-growth companies. Which learnings have been important to you?
1. Take the time upfront to learn and listen - It can be difficult to maintain a broad perspective once you are in the detail of the day-to-day. That’s why I always take ample time at the beginning of any new job to learn as much as I can, and listen to those who came before me before I dive into the role. You’ll never be able to have that viewpoint again so don’t rush it.
2. Stay close to the customer - Consistently prioritize carving out opportunities where you can connect with your customers directly. They will always be brutally honest and provide you with weighted feedback. Plus, they never fail to provide you with invaluable insights and outlooks that can inevitably plant the seeds for future campaign ideas.
3. Don’t be afraid to test new things - It is our job as marketers to understand and predict consumer behavior, but Covid changed audience behavior significantly - the most change I’ve seen in my career to date. For the first time, we couldn’t predict what people were going to need or want. I found this exciting because it really has forced us marketers to think outside the box and with this, has opened up the opportunity to have a fresh perspective, new conversations and test out different things.
You also lead a team. How have you grown/developed as a leader?
I think being given the opportunity to lead - in any capacity - is one of the greatest responsibilities one can have and it’s not something I take lightly. I think it's important to be aware that no matter how senior you get, there’s always room for growth and improvement. I focus on being open to constantly evolving, changing tactics and taking the time to listen - no matter how busy it gets. Lastly, never get complacent. I always look for new opportunities where I can bring value and learn more - even if this means stepping outside my comfort zone or job description. If you’ve been given the opportunity to lead, it is then your responsibility to push yourself to be the best that you possibly can be.
What do you enjoy most in your daily work?
My team. They are my source of motivation, energy and joy. There’s nothing more gratifying than watching your team grow and excel, and it is with great pleasure and honor that I get to work with them and learn from them every day.]
What are your top tips for founders to kick-start their marketing?
Write down on paper or create a picture collage of exactly the way you want your brand to come across and how you want to make your consumer feel. Start there and as you grow, continue to go back to that so you never lose sight of the vision you had when your mind was clear at the start.
What are your top tips for founders to scale their marketing?
Let the data, insights and your gut inform your growth strategy - silencing all other noise around you. Don’t resist change or let your ego get in the way. Be open and lean into feedback - the good and the bad.
Is there any topic you would like to talk about that we have not yet covered?
Another thing I love about working in marketing is that no matter what business or sector you work for, there’s always an opportunity to make an impact on the world around you. To date, I have worked in various verticals - from fashion, F&B, lifestyle and tech - and I’ve always been able to find ways to utilize marketing investment to not only drive business performance, but also support positive change. For example, I fundamentally believe there is always an opportunity in any marketing activity to support diversity and inclusion. This is where my team starts - then we curate impactful ways to drive business impact around this.
Thank you Danielle for the Interview! We are happy to have you on Board as a Grace Mentor.