Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Claire Brown, VP of Marketing at Autopilot

Claire Brown is the VP of Marketing at Autopilot, a customer data and marketing automation platform designed for businesses that sell online.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I joined the team at Autopilot at the end of September as the VP of Marketing.

Autopilot is an Australian-founded global marketing platform, allowing businesses who sell online to understand their customers with a single customer view and create meaningful interactions across the entire customer journey. It’s an exciting time for the brand as they have recently launched their new product, and the team is growing rapidly.

I started my career as a fashion designer, working for international sports brands. As my career progressed, I moved more into brand management and launched an e-commerce store. From then on, I was hooked on all things digital.

After several years overseas working for a US technology-based education company and completing an MBA, I moved home to Australia, where I worked in digital financial services and SaaS. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I live in a beautiful city called Newcastle, which is just a few hours north of Sydney. In the morning, I like to do something active—go for a ride in the National Park, a run or walk past the beach.

I have two kids, so when I get home, I get them sorted for school, grab a coffee and then head to my home office to get started. First up, I clear my emails, check Slack, take a look at our Autopilot dashboards to check on performance.

Set my task list for the day. We have a daily stand up at 9.30 to keep across what’s happening in the business. No two days are the same.

At the moment, I’m recruiting, so a lot of my time is spent interviewing. I can also spend time working on things like feature launches, content or performance strategies, and working with developers to make website improvements, just to name a few.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

My role at Autopilot is remote. I like to head to the Sydney office for a couple of days each fortnight if possible. Most of the Autopilot team works in a hybrid way. I have been fortunate to always work with flexible companies, and I feel very comfortable working like this.

I believe good structure and routine are essential. I work in an agile way with daily stand up and quarterly targets—which I believe suits a remote team. Remote work is a good solution for me. I enjoy the flexibility, and I have a young family, so I value working in this way. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To me, work-life balance means the intersection between family, health, job satisfaction and business outcomes.

It’s important to be present in the moments that matter, being able to simply walk my daughter to school, or take time to exercise while also being passionate about what I do and producing an outcome that benefits the organisation.

I achieve this by making sure I book in time for a lunch break to go for a walk, ensuring I’m available for my kids’ key moments, I block my calendar for focused work hours, use a good task management tool and structure my day to work at alternate times if needed.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I started mountain biking about six months ago. I absolutely love it. It gives me a chance to switch my brain off and focus on what I’m doing at that moment. If I wake early and go for a ride, I know I’ll be twice as productive that day than any other.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

 I like How I Built This with Guy Raz and Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My apple watch. I use it all the time. I also love the dictation function on my iPhone. I had a hand injury a while ago, and my hand was in a splint for three months. I dictated every email, document, Slack message, and now I can’t go back. It’s a huge time saver.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

 Mike Cannon-Brookes. 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.