Right Side Up Talent Spotlight: Caroline Culbertson
October 24, 2022
October 24, 2022
The Right Side Up Talent Spotlight series profiles some of our full-time employees and growth marketing consultants. We chatted with them to learn about their incredible professional experiences, expert marketing insights, and how they’re balancing work and life.
Caroline Culbertson | Offline
Caroline Culbertson is a data-driven marketer with experience applying creative solutions to amplify brand positioning while driving growth. She’s worked in-house and at agencies on brands like JetBlue and L.L.Bean.
Where is home these days?
I live in Medford, MA, a suburb just outside of Boston. I have a very cute coworker (my dog, Snax) who hangs out in my office every day. My husband and I recently bought a house, so it's nice to have some space to spread out throughout the day. I grew up outside of Boston and returned to the area after spending time living in Rhode Island and San Francisco. We live near a big nature preserve where Snax and I go on walks during the day. Right now it’s beautiful with all the fall foliage.
What’s your title, how would you describe your current role at RSU, and how long have you been with us?
My title is offline marketing manager and my day-to-day work consists of planning, executing, reporting on, and optimizing podcast and YouTube influencer campaigns across an array of clients.
I've been full-time with RSU since September, but I was a freelance consultant here for about 18 months before that. It was nice to start as a freelancer because it gave me a lot of flexibility to see if I liked the job, the people here, and the culture. I was at a place in life where I wanted to be really picky about my next full-time job. The work here is certainly interesting, but it’s definitely the people and the culture that made me want to take on a full-time role again. When I was brand-side I was running a decent size team and always had trouble finding good people. Now I know why—they all work at RSU!
Tell me about your professional background and area(s) of expertise. Any achievements you’re proud of or notable brands you’ve worked with?
I started my career in media, first working in sales at a local radio station here in Boston when I graduated college. I also spent time working in the linear TV world before going agency-side where I cut my teeth doing media planning for some awesome brands like JetBlue and L.L.Bean at an award-winning advertising agency. When my husband and I moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 2015, I jumped to an ecommerce clothing company where I climbed the ranks and eventually became director of marketing, overseeing all growth and retention efforts and building/managing a team of 10.
I'm super proud of some of the innovative media awards I won in my earlier career, but I think I'm most proud of the time I've spent coaching younger coworkers who've worked for me. I love seeing people come in kind of green and then become rockstar marketers.
How is Right Side Up different from other companies you’ve worked with?
When I was an in-house director of marketing, I was responsible for strategy, overseeing a team, and so much more. It was incredibly high pressure. Here, I’m responsible for important things, but everything isn't riding on me alone. We always have a point of escalation on every team and there’s always someone you can turn to. Compared to agency jobs, the biggest difference is the lack of politics and nonsense. I used to sit through so many unnecessary meetings and felt so much pressure to do things just for the sake of getting an award. At RSU, all we care about is doing great work for our clients and feeling good about that.
What excites you about growth marketing?
It's exciting to unlock new channels that can help drive growth, and to execute tests that impact the business.
Has your work changed since you first started?
It's been really cool seeing my career go full-circle: starting in audio, immersing myself in the digital landscape, becoming a full-funnel marketer, and now applying all of the processes and knowledge I've acquired to more emerging media.
What do you see for the future of growth marketing?
As consumers become more segmented, advertisers can't just rely on traditional search and social anymore. We're at an especially interesting time now as traditional "offline" channels like TV and audio are becoming more digital. But there's still a lot of growing up to do in the industry with things like measurement, so it's exciting to help define what that looks like.
What has the structure/flexibility of Right Side Up’s model allowed you to do outside of work?
I love being able to work from anywhere. I've enjoyed mid-week jaunts to New York to see the ballet, cozy ski weeks up in Maine, and terrific lady trips to Nantucket while taking my work with me. While I was freelancing with RSU I also had more time to dive deeper into passion projects. I took art classes for the first time since high school and finished over 30 original watercolor paintings. I channeled my love of food and eating into learning food photography, which connected me with some interesting chefs and restaurant owners in Boston.
What is your favorite or most helpful thing you've learned while working at RSU?
Although I learned about the Eisenhower Matrix (a method for categorizing tasks based on urgency and importance in a 2x2 matrix) before coming to RSU, I think Krystina, who leads my team, will be happy to hear me say I love how much this is emphasized in regard to our workloads.
And now, let’s get to the fun stuff…
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian, because I love animals.
What do you like to do for fun in your geographic area?
A weekend in New England for me usually involves hiking with my dog, snowboarding at my family's vacation home in Maine, eating seaside lobster rolls and oysters, or seeing some live music at a local concert venue.
What’s a TV show, podcast, book, video game, recipe, etc. that you’re loving right now?
It's spooky season so I'm currently binging The Watcher on Netflix and reading All Good People Here by Crime Junkies podcaster Ashley Flowers. I'm also a blue-ribbon chili cook-off champion so I've been busting out that recipe for the fall.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Recently, I've been loving this quote my dad shared with me: "Throw your hands in the air and toss up your fears to your higher power—then take a step forward so they don't land back on you!"
Who would play you in a movie? Why?
Jennifer Lawrence! She's a free spirit, funny, and has a deep empathetic side while also keeping it light. And she's hot and this is my movie.
What was your first concert?
Dave Matthews Band. My best friend and I went with our parents when we were 12.
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to? Why?
Japan, because I love the culture and especially the food.
What’s a fun fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I'm the proud owner of a rare photography book called The Decisive Moment.