In today's Career Over Coffee, we sat down with Elizabeth Shobert, the VP of Marketing and Digital Strategy at StyleSage, an AI-powered solution that helps retailers power their speed-to-market.
Get insights from the AI expert
Elizabeth has worked with retail brands, both in-house and on the agency side, for over 10 years, with projects covering customer experience, strategy, market research, product development and marketing for brands spanning the Fashion, CPG, Technology and Service sectors. This interview dives into her digital marketing experience, and her perspective on AI today and the landscape for the future.
Briefly describe your background and what you do.
I'm the head of marketing at StyleSage and I'm responsible for building awareness of our solutions. It means everything from blogging, doing in-depth reporting using our e-commerce data, managing paid social campaigns, building client use cases, and generally working closely with the sales team to educate and nurture leads at the beginning of the sales process. However, my background covers retail more generally than marketing specifically. I have worked in retail areas including market research, consulting, supply chain - and now tech.
Was there anything that surprised you about your career journey? Did you always want to work in AI?
The best part about my career journey has been its variety. While retail is an easy industry to grasp from the consumer point-of-view, there's a lot of complexity between conceptualizing the product, making it, and delivering it the shopper - whether that's online or in a store. The best part of working in the retail industry is that while technology is an incredibly important part of retail, it's also very much driven by the human touch and tons of creativity. So for me, there's probably been less surprises along my journey and more a process of learning about the different aspects of the business over time, and I've loved getting to be right in the middle of all that.I never sought out working in tech specifically but truthfully tech and retail are increasingly inseparable. In fact, I can't think of any area of retail that hasn't been transformed by technology. I think you just need to be willing to learn new tools - even when it changes how you did things previously. A curiosity and willingness to learn will take you the distance in this - and any - industry.
What’s one of your favorite things about working as the VP of Marketing at StyleSage?
The best thing about working for an earlier-stage company is the impact you get to have. Lots of people say that about startups and that's because it's the truth! You can have an idea, test it, and get feedback quickly and the results have your fingerprints all over it. Knowing you have ownership and direct impact really adds so much quality to your work life. What I also love is that I get to work side-by-side with some of the smartest folks out there - in a space that is being disrupted but in good ways - becoming faster, better, and more inclusive over time.
How has the AI landscape changed your career and how do you see it impacting other careers in the future?
I can say that I'm so much better versed in the different technologies retailers use. Of course, we cover some key technologies here at StyleSage but in the course of working with our clients, we learn about lots of their other needs and solutions they utilize. I think for anyone in tech you need to be able to step back and understand the bigger picture of where the industry is heading and how specific companies are prioritizing their resources. When you understand the bigger picture, it helps you to tell better stories and have higher quality conversations with prospects and clients over time.
What’s your advice for candidates looking to grow their careers in AI?
In AI specifically and tech generally, there's lots of great ways to upskill that don't have to cost a lot of money. Join a class, a shared interest group, etc. And for those working in a company where they are investing in different tech and AI initiatives - get yourself educated and involved in the process - whether that's researching solutions, testing out options, or providing feedback on different alternatives. It also has the added bonus of helping you network within your organization to understand different types of roles and opportunities.Interested in what other professionals have to say about their industries? Check out our other Career Over Coffee interviews here.