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Amy McDowell

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