If you’re not quite sure what a vp of digital strategy and content does, you’re not alone. The position—which, at Clique Media Group, is held by Alex Taylor—is hard to define. And it’s entails a lot.
For Taylor, 29, it involves overseeing CMG’s editorial, audience development, social and brand marketing teams. She also develops and implements strategies across CMG’s brands: WhoWhatWear, Byrdie, MyDomaine, CollegeFashionista and Obsessee. Taylor joined the company three-and-a-half years ago from Google to launch new sites (like Obsessee, which launched in March this year), implement new strategies and help CMG expand into overseas markets. It expanded to the U.K last year.
“I am the master of lists,” laughed Taylor, when asked how she juggles all the different elements of her job across brands. “I live and die by lists.”
Taylor, who made the Forbes 30 under 30 list this year, said her role involves “dipping across all facets of the business”—which isn’t something that necessarily happens at traditional media companies.
“It’s hard for people to wrap their head around my role. Typically, in a traditional company, you’ve got heads of creative, an editor-in-chief, then strategy, then sales. I function like the glue between all these people,” she said, adding that her job is both creative and business-minded.
To get a better idea of what Taylor does, we asked her diarize a recent, typical day, which has been edited slightly for clarity.
5:30 a.m.: I know it’s early, but I like early. Nothing beats the quiet hours of the day before the world wakes up. I get ready for spin and catch up on a few emails before heading out the door.
5:50 a.m.: Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook. Check, check, check.
6:00 a.m.: SoulCycle.
7:00 a.m.: Now I am home, and it’s time to get ready. I listen to my favorite podcast du jour, NPR’s “How I Built This,” while I do my hair and makeup. I then make myself a smoothie while I check our websites (Who What Wear, Byrdie and MyDomaine). All about multitasking.
8:00 a.m.: I drive to our offices in West Hollywood. I hate wasting time, so I try to be as efficient as possible with my 30-45-minute commute. Today, I do a call with our executive creative director, Lola Gonzalez, regarding an upcoming project involving our beauty site, Byrdie.
9:00 a.m.: Finally! I’m at work—an hour later. The joys of L.A. traffic! The first thing I do is dive straight into my to-do list and review my calendar for the day. It’s a “marathon day,” aka back-to-back meetings, which is very typical. I check a few emails, and when 10 a.m. rolls around, my assistant stops in to let me know I have a meeting.
10:00 a.m.: I meet with our creative and editorial leads to review previous and upcoming projects, like this Mandy Moore exclusive for Byrdie. We share feedback on lighting, styling, and overall direction in order to improve on the next set of shoots.
11:00 a.m.: Next stop: The boardroom for our Obsessee editorial meeting. I love these meetings, because I get to spend time with each brand’s editorial team. We do a retrospective analysis of content performance, brainstorm for the weeks ahead and troubleshoot pain points together. We have an incredibly creative and collaborative group, and I always leave these meetings feeling energized.
12:00 p.m.: My next meeting is to review profits and losses for our U.K. business. We strategize goals, talk budgets, and finalize numbers. We also strategize our audience acquisition goals and look at how those will align with sales and overall budget.
12:30 p.m.: My first “email break” of the day! My assistant brings me a cup of soup, and I retreat to my office to catch up on emails for thirty minutes.
1:00 p.m.: Now it’s time for our Q4 All Hands Meeting led by my boss, our CEO and co-founder Katherine Power. She reflects back on some of our most exciting accomplishments of 2016: the launch of our Who What Wear Collection at Target, the debut of our social media–only Gen Z girl publication Obsessee and the acquisition of CollegeFashionista. She also calls out the incredible growth we’ve seen in both audience reach and total revenue. As soon as the meeting wraps, the room is abuzz with excitement. I look around the room and pinch myself because I feel fortunate to work with all of these inspiring people every day.
2:00 p.m.: And the meeting marathon continues. I meet with our head of brand marketing, Sarah Hudson, to go over org structure for 2017, finalize goals and discuss the roadmap. We also discuss the limited-edition holiday beauty box we released via Byrdie called The Review.
3:00 p.m.: I call Who What Wear’s editorial director, Kat Collings, into my office for our weekly 1:1—but there’s a twist today, because it’s her birthday. As she walks into my office, the Who What Wear editors (along with our CEO) parade into the room, holding a beautiful Momofuku Cake covered in glowing candles. Cue the impromptu birthday celebration!
3:30 p.m.: I begrudgingly pull myself away from the cake. No gluten for this girl today! I rush down the hall for a sync with our audience development director, Sofia Booth, and head of data consumer insights, Jessica Blumenthal, to align on the data initiatives in the pipeline. We share feedback on a recently developed Slackbot that plugs into our content analytics and identifies stories that are over- or under-indexing to prompt optimization. We also talk about a market study we’re finalizing, which is focused on video consumption habits. Data is the lifeblood of CMG, and we have invested in this area aggressively over the years.
4:00 p.m.: Back to my office for a brief call with our CEO, Katherine Power. Once I’m off the phone, I knock out a few items on my to-do list. I then meet with our creative strategy director, Michelle Plantan, to go over our Q1 goals and tee up an Instagram Stories Case Study report, which she will be spearheading after the holidays. We constantly test new ways to express our content across platforms through new formats and varied types of creative. Once our testing period concludes, I’ll work with Michelle to map out the strategy, and she’ll help facilitate execution.
6:00 p.m.: I retreat to my office and close the door. It’s usually open, but I desperately need at least an hour to get through emails undisturbed. A variety of timely emails awaits my attention: audience development goals to approve, social video pitches to green light, brand guides to give feedback on, budgets to adjust…
7:00 p.m.: Party time. Tonight is our CMG holiday party! I wore my velvet wide-leg pants especially for tonight. I am completely exhausted, but if there’s anything that can re-energize me, it’s my team and a great cocktail to celebrate the holidays!
8:30 p.m.: My husband meets me at the party, and after spending some time mingling, we decide to head home. He works in film and has an early call time tomorrow, and I have a hard rule on getting to bed by or before 10:30pm during the week.
9:00 p.m.: Home at last! I change into sweats and grab a warm cup of lemon water in the kitchen. My husband and I catch up on each other’s days, and he heads off to bed.
10:00 p.m.: Wash my face. Brush my teeth. Quick face mask. It’s time for bed. Goodnight!