Meet Elizabeth Buchanan, chief commercial officer at Rokt, an e-commerce marketing platform that helps personalize the transaction moment (and one of Women in Retail Leadership Circle’s amazing partners). In this exclusive interview, Buchanan shares details about her role at Rokt, work-life balance tips, her leadership style, and more.
Inner Circle: What types of services does Rokt offer?
Elizabeth Buchanan: Rokt’s technology lives within e-commerce transactions. Our primary purpose is to unlock additional revenue for e-commerce businesses during the transaction moment, when shoppers’ engagement, interest and buying intention are at their highest. During the transaction moment, the customer inputs [their] credit card information and all first-party data (e.g., name, address, etc.), which allows our artificial intelligence-based solution to immediately present personalized, relevant offers to the shopper. We’ve found that a company can double its profitability in that moment if a shopper is presented with the right message.
IC: Can you discuss your role at Rokt? What are you tasked with?
EB: As chief commercial officer, I look after the company’s go-to-market (GTM) functions. At Rokt, that includes our business development team, customer success team, marketing team, and the support teams across those functions. I love connecting with our clients’ senior leaders and learning about their businesses, and I’m proud of the team we’ve built at Rokt to support those companies. We’re growing at 120 percent-plus a year, which means that we’re hiring great talent at great speed. Ensuring that we’re continuing to grow with the same quality talent that our customers are used to is something that keeps me up at night. We recently received a Net Promoter Score of 67, which is incredibly high for a business-to-business technology company. This is something we’re very proud of as customer service is paramount to our success.
IC: What do you look for when hiring team members? Any tips you can offer?
EB: I believe people who have had service-oriented jobs such as waitressing, gardening or delivering newspapers when they were kids usually understand the value of work and teamwork, and are also usually very humble. These are the types of people I want on my team. In fact, early on in my career at Rokt I removed the need for an undergraduate degree for a position on my team, and this practice is now the standard for any entry-level position at the company. Instead, we ask prospective employees for a brief statement as to why we should consider hiring them. I also hire with Rokt’s culture in mind — you must understand your own company’s culture and hire talent that fits within it.
IC: Along the same lines, I would love to hear more about your leadership style. How would you describe it?
EB: The first word that comes to mind is empathetic. Whether I’m having a one-on-one meeting with a team member, presenting great news about our growth to the team, or sharing challenging news, I always have empathy in mind. I also like to lead by example. I will roll up my sleeves and work side-by-side with the team on projects like building a sales deck for a client, for example. We’re a team. I want everyone who has worked on a project in the room with me when we’re presenting it to a client so that it can serve as a learning moment for them as well.
IC: You have a big family, five kids! As such, can you offer some work-life balance tips or tricks?
EB: This is an important one for me. I juggle many tasks at once and inevitably some things may fall through the cracks. So, on a daily basis, I’ll prioritize both the tasks at work and at home that can’t be missed. What must I get done? What events must I show up to? I involve my kids in this process so that they have input. I think of it like diversifying my financial portfolio — I decide how much time I have to commit to each aspect of my life, and then plan around that.
IC: What are you most looking forward to, personally and professionally, as we round out 2021 and enter 2022?
EB: I’m most looking forward to visiting family in Australia and being back in the office with my team. There’s nothing more effective and enjoyable for our company than when we’re all in a room together with a whiteboard, solving complex problems. Our team has been incredibly productive working remotely, but it will be exciting to bring that in-person energy back.