"5 Minutes With" Rent the Runway's Amy McDowell
Published: July 23, 2012
Author: Molly Shotwell
Our interview series with some of the top in-house folks in marketing continues with Amy McDowell, VP of Consumer Marketing for NYC fashion-rental innovator Rent the Runway. Amy leads the company’s paid member acquisition strategy and execution (SEM, Display, Paid Social, and Affiliate marketing) as well as email and member remarketing campaigns. She has 12 years of marketing and digital acquisition experience and has both a BS and MBA from Columbia.
Name: Amy McDowell
Company: Rent the Runway
Position: VP of Consumer Marketing
If you could invent something, what would it be? A time machine so I
could crank out more hours in a day.
What’s the best part of working for your company? I never buy dresses…
my (virtual) closet is always full of something new from Rent The
What’s the first metric you check when you start work for the day?
Monthly member run-rate – we have very specific objectives for
acquisition. However, the metric I look at the millisecond right after that
is the paid conversion rate of this cohort.
What’s one metric you never bother to look at? Time on site… our
members spend an inordinate amount of time browsing dresses on our
site, in search for “the perfect one.”
If you had 10 million dollars to invest and you could invest in Google
or Facebook, which would you pick, and why? Google. I’m not sure
Facebook has quite figured out what it wants to be when it grows up.
What do you think will be the most important marketing platform in 10
years? I don’t know, but if I had that aforementioned time machine, I’d
use it to find out what it will be and then invest that $10 million into it when it’s just a start-up.
What’s your favorite advertising campaign (e.g. Betty White Super
Bowl ad, Got Milk billboard, etc.)? The Apple vs. PC commercials of
yesteryear. As a note, I identified more with the chubby, bumbling PC
guy than the cool Apple hipster.
What are your “must read” books (or book) on advertising? I’m a new
mom, so I haven’t read any books at all lately… mainly online blogs and
articles. Does TechCrunch count?
“The long tail is dying.” Agree or disagree? Disagree. The tail is
getting longer and longer as access to choice increases. So many
innovative companies are disrupting the traditional marketplace and
giving more and more options to consumers. Instead of battling the red
bloody seas at the head, more start-ups should consider going
after the tail if ROI is a focus.
How has PPC Associates helped your company’s growth? The team has been
a major partner in helping scale our acquisition programs quickly and
efficiently. They truly care about building long-term relationships
and making their clients happy.
– Hillary Read, Marketing Manager