We recently spoke with Liz Tibbetts to get the ins and outs of everything operations-related here at Foursquare.
Can you tell us a little about your role and team at Foursquare?
Yes! I’m the Head of Product Operations, which is a post-sales team made up of four distinct areas. The first area is the Client Solutions Targeting team – they are a client-facing CS team who service clients on Foursquare’s Targeting and Visit feed capabilities. This team is the backbone of maintaining and growing our existing client base. There are also three technically-focused operations teams in my organization: the first is the Ad Operations team, who is in charge of all impression ingestion for Foursquare Attribution. Second is the Data Operations team, who manages building, deploying and troubleshooting all Targeting segments and Visit Feeds for marketers. Lastly, there is the Data Operations team for our enterprise solutions, which is heavily centered on making sure our clients have the data they need, delivered on time and without error.
Working on a post-sales team is all about ensuring that we are servicing our clients the best way we can! We want to be sure that our clients are utilizing Foursquare’s products to their maximum capacity so we focus on methodology, how our products work together, troubleshooting technical needs, and providing proactive recommendations for future campaigns.
How did you end up at Foursquare? What does your career journey look like?
After spending 10+ years in the agency world and mainly focusing on data integrations and analytics, I shifted gears and joined a startup called Placed. At Placed, I co-led the Agency Client Solutions team which centered on educating agency teams on location attribution and the benefits of measurement. Ultimately, Placed was purchased by Foursquare to combine forces and become the number one location solution in the market. With this acquisition, I was able to expand my role across the company’s Attribution, Targeting and Visit Feed products.
Since starting at Foursquare, how has your career grown or changed?
My career has evolved over time, especially during the past seven years given that I was involved in three mergers/acquisitions! I realized through these changes that my passion is in Operations – finding organization within chaos, developing processes and growing teams. At each company, there was no concept of Operations under the Marketers organization, which meant I was doing a lot of ad-hoc projects here and there but I had no official Operations role or job description. Therefore, I spent several years “moonlighting” until I decided this is what I wanted to do. I am fortunate that I have had great managers who supported my desire to carve out roles that did not exist at the time!
It has not been a traditional path to get to where I am today, but I’m also someone who’s very comfortable living in the gray of a job. I like the challenge of taking something undefined and murky, analyzing it to determine what roles or steps are missing, and implementing those changes into a defined process.
What sets Foursquare apart as an employer?
Foursquare has always excelled at hiring smart people who work hard. Employees here believe in Foursquare and in the success of our products. This fosters an environment of innovation and creativity, which leads to a highly motivated and happy workforce!
At Foursquare, I am the leader of the Squarents ERG, a group created specifically as a resource for Foursquare parents and potential parents. When COVID-19 was at its peak, our ERG had a big hand in shaping Foursquare’s return-to-office (RTO) policy. As parents, we were juggling working from home, remote learning, and safety concerns as our children eventually went back to school. Within the ERG, we had a safe and honest place to voice our concerns about RTO and it was wonderful to see how the company listened to our feedback and the impact we had on the decision-making behind that.
Why is diversity, inclusion and equity (DE&I) important to you, and how do you think Foursquare’s culture embodies these values?
Prior to coming to Foursquare, I remember feeling nervous about my career when I was newly pregnant and working. I was doing very well, but like many soon-to-be parents, I was unsure how taking leave would change my career trajectory. I was fortunate enough to have a substantial leave at a different company, and through the work of the parents ERG, I saw that Foursquare was committed to enhancing support and leave policies for both mothers and fathers. I can happily say that taking leave only had positive effects on my career. It directed me to focus on what I love at work, to embrace work-life balance, and overall be a more empathetic leader for my team. At Foursquare, I have now seen a lot of my colleagues take long, happy and successful parental leaves and while I know that all companies – including Foursquare – should continue their focus on supporting their employees, I am proud of what we have done so far.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always ask for more money and have a therapist.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
With a four-year-old daughter and thirteen year-old stepdaughter, a dog, and a husband, our house is a busy one! We are lucky to have a pool and live near the ocean, so it’s easiest to find us in some body of water.
What local hidden gem would you recommend to people?
There is an amazing sushi place called Kotobuki in Babylon, New York. Pre-COVID, I never dared to eat sushi, but now it’s one of my favorite meals.