Employee Spotlight: 12 Questions with Ellie Newby, Marketing Manager | Verikai

Employee Spotlight: 12 Questions with Ellie Newby, Marketing Manager

For today’s employee spotlight we sat down with Ellie, our one and only Marketing Manager! Ellie has been a one-woman show up until very recently, running all of our marketing efforts and looking good doing it! Let’s learn a little bit about Ellie and what Marketing looks like at a startup.

How long have you worked at Verikai?

I started in December 2020.

Where did you grow up and where are you based now?

I grew up in Seattle, and moved to Denver about 3 months ago! Shout out to WFH life!

What brought you to the company?

I was ready for a new challenge, and Verikai checked all my boxes. Through my interview process I knew I would be valued and given enough freedom to showcase my abilities as a marketer and make an immediate impact. There’s also a strong team-first attitude here, and I had never experienced that before in my professional life. I worked at a couple startups prior to joining Verikai, and both were generally nice places to work, but I was very siloed… and as a textbook extrovert that was not ideal. I knew I wanted to work in a collaborative setting, and even as the only incoming marketing employee I could see Verikai had teamwork in spades.

I also had a pretty unique interview process but it represents what I truly love about working at startups. Verikai was building out the Marketing team and looking to hire both my role and a senior marketing leader role. They ended up finding me first. Throughout my process I was told we would probably end up hiring my next boss in the coming months, but I would get the opportunity to vet who I reported to. I thought okay, that could work, but what if I come out swingin’ and operate as if I were that seasoned, senior marketing leader? I floated the idea to my boss who pretty much said “okay, let’s see what you got”… And here I am today building out a team.

Please tell us what you do and what a day in the life looks like?

I manage all of our company endeavors that fall under the umbrella of “marketing”. That includes digital marketing, email marketing, branding, advertising, social media, public relations/communications, and events.

Another thing I love about working in marketing at startups is no two days are the same. For example, we are currently preparing for our upcoming tradeshows, so my recent days have revolved around those events, and I get the pleasure of working with our Ops Director, Alyssa Shane (also known as the events master). In a slightly more “typical” season my day-to-day would be strategizing, planning, and executing on whatever upcoming campaigns or launches we have on the horizon. I work closely with Sales, Customer Success, and Product!

Can you tell us what you appreciate most about your job as a Marketing Manager at Verikai?

It’s so hard to pick one thing… I feel like I won the lottery with this role.

It’s a comination of the team’s culture and having a true mentor in Jeff Chen, our current CEO, who hired me into Verikai. Jeff is the first boss I’ve had that took a real interest in my development, valuing my opinions and trusting my decision-making. It’s crazy how much having that support has allowed me to grow to be the absolute best marketer I can be. Now that I am building out my team, his example of great coaching and mentorship  is how I plan to model myself after as a people manager. On top of that, I truly enjoy the people I work with, and we’re all so passionate about our jobs and this company that I find myself leaving most meetings with a fresh jolt of motivation.

There’s a bit of a stereotype in B2B sales/marketing that the two groups don’t work well together… and that couldn’t be further from the truth at Verikai. Our two teams are like a well oiled machine, and that’s definitely not because we have clearly defined processes (cause hello, startup life). It’s because we appreciate each other, want the other to succeed, and realize that when one of us wins, we all win!

What is the most challenging aspect of working at a startup?

It can be a lot of work and we’re a small team. We want to be known as the premier applied data and predictive risk platform in insurance, and to prove that to our customers and prospects as a startup is tough, but that’s also what makes it so rewarding. The stakes are higher. I work harder in this role than I have in any other job, but I treat myself a little more like a sales rep. If my efforts increase overall revenue, that’s a win for me and everyone else.

For instance, we had an email advertisement go out as part of our Marketplace launch back in June, and it had the highest ROI I’ve ever seen in a single marketing campaign. I thought there was a glitch in our system at first, the numbers were that high. I was on cloud 9 for over a week. When you work so hard to make something a reality and then it hits just right… there’s nothing quite like it. It’s euphoria.

What is your ultimate goal for Verikai from a marketing perspecitve?

For the outside world to know what we at Verikai already believe, that we are the industry standard when it comes to predicting risk. Our product and models are truly differentiating, which allows us to provide tremendous value to our customers. As a marketer, I want Verikai to be a household name in the industry. When someone hears Verikai I want them to equate us to being the best in the business. So just wait… we’re workin’ on it 😉

Now a few fun ones…

What do you like to do in your free time during Covid, and non-Covid?  

Covid really got me to LOVE walks around the neighborhood, something I didn’t do enough of before the pandemic. Since moving to Denver and restrictions lightening up I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the city and the mountains, I joined a rec volleyball team that’s been surprisingly awesome (surprising because I’m not very good at volleyball), and for the first time in my life I’m STOKED for winter so I can get out to snowboard on all the mountains around me!

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?

Well, on a fall theme… In the past few years I’ve gotten really into fantasy football. I live for the competition!

The desert island question – if you were stuck on a desert island without electricity and you could bring three things, what would they be?

I’d bring some kind of knife capable of opening coconuts (or just a really expansive tool kit), my guitar, and a surfboard!

What is your favorite childhood memory?

My childhood best friend’s family loved to travel, and throughout grade school they’d spend about half the year on a catamaran sailing up and down the Baja in Mexico. When I was in 3rd grade they somehow convinced my parents to let me homeschool for 6 weeks and live with them on their boat! So those 6 weeks were definitely some of the best in my childhood. Sometimes we’d anchor at resorts and live like we were on vacation, other times we were in tiny coastal towns experiencing local Mexican culture. It was awesome.

Outside of the most recent, which decade would you have liked to live in?

70s for fashion, 80s for music!

To learn more about Ellie, check her out on LinkedIn!

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