Capping off our “Day in the Life of a Yelp Employee” series is Marnie O. from the Yelp sales team. Based in Yelp’s New York office, Marnie talks about how she helps business owners increase their word of mouth online, the Cal Bears and why a Yelp Account Executive is pretty much just like Madonna.
What did you do before coming to Yelp?
Prior to Yelp, I came from a very different world: I worked in health care in Berkeley, California at Alta Bates Hospital. I read EKG’s of cardiac patients, called code blues and took orders from doctors.
How did you first hear about Yelp and the job opening?
I grew up in the Bay Area and I used Yelp all the time to find places to go out in San Francisco. I’ve always loved the site and when I was looking for a career change, I heard Yelp was hiring through a friend. At the time, Yelp had just opened a satellite office in New York. I was excited about the prospect of working for Yelp and being in a new city, so I interviewed, was made an offer and moved two weeks later!
What’s your title at Yelp and how long have you been with the company?
I am an Account Executive. I sell online local ad space to business owners in New York and Philadelphia. I am coming up on my one year anniversary this month.
What comprises a typical day for you?
After settling into my pod in the morning with a cup of coffee from the Yelp kitchen, I spend a good amount of time exploring Yelp and Salesforce to research potential leads. After that, it’s off to the races with my Madonna mic head set on! I make calls to business owners educating them on Yelp and setting up appointments to talk about our advertising program. Once I have an appointment with a business owner, I spend time walking them through our targeted advertising program and figure out a strategy to help increase their exposure on Yelp to draw in new business and spread their word of mouth.
What’s the BEST part of working for Yelp?
It’s no secret that most of the world has been going through some hard times and as cheesy as it sounds, it’s been very fulfilling to work for a company whose mission is to help the underdog. Though my job is to sell sponsorship listings on Yelp, occasionally businesses simply can’t afford an advertising budget no matter how small. In one such instance, I worked with New York restaurant Cafeteria by introducing them to our free suite of tools, Yelp for Business Owners, as well as our New York Community Manager. Through that introduction, Cafeteria participated in Yelp’s Passport to Chelsea: a week-long event celebrating businesses in that neighborhood. It proved so successful that it’s now taking place in other cities that Yelp is available. It was an amazing feeling not only to help a business figure out a unique way to market themselves, but to work with the greater Yelp team to pioneer something truly special.
What is your favorite perk at Yelp?
Hands down, the best perk of working here is the Yelp culture and the people. The atmosphere and attitude is work hard/play hard and in addition to the office being outfitted with dart boards, unlimited Kettle Chips and Rock Band, Yelp also provides you with the professional tools to be successful and grow your career.
What has been your favorite memory at Yelp?
I have had so many great experiences with business owners, but the one that stands out the most is working with Nick at Richard Nicholas Salon in Philadelphia. His salon has a great reputation on Yelp, so he was already getting quite a bit of traffic from us, but was unsure whether buying advertising would be of any help. After he did decide to sign up as a sponsor, he called me exactly one week later to tell me that because of Yelp, they had booked so many appointments they actually had to turn people away! Since getting involved, he has recommended Yelp to other business owners and is also participating in Hawt on Yelp in Philadelphia. I love that I was able to have an indirect hand in his success as well as further connect consumers to a very deserving business.
What separates Yelp from other places you’ve worked?
I’ve worked in several different office environments, but none of them have come close to matching Yelp. I have amazing managers and colleagues that contribute to an atmosphere that allows me to thrive. Company-wide, we also have open lines of communication whether it’s all-hands meetings, regular email updates or 1:1 discussions, so we’re always in the loop about the direction that Yelp is moving.
Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for someone interested in your role?
In the New York office, our motto is “winning decisively” and given my background of playing water polo for Cal Berkeley, I often think of my job as a sports competition. Show up everyday, work hard, grow your knowledge and you will very likely be successful! If you are someone that loves working with a team, and has the drive to give your best everyday, then I would say Yelp might just be a great fit.