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Cover image for Calendar Heroes: Connor MacDonald, CMO at The Ridge - Q&A on Time Management

Calendar Heroes: Connor MacDonald, CMO at The Ridge - Q&A on Time Management

b.j.
・4 min read

In this edition of Calendar Heroes, we talk to Connor MacDonald, CMO at The Ridge, to learn about his style, tools, and methodologies for balancing priorities while leading the marketing vision for the brand that brought the world the first RFID-blocking wallet. Follow Connor at @couuor on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Calendar Heroes are real stories from very busy professionals across all types of roles and industries to learn more about how they manage to make time where there is none. We're highlighting these stories to help share tips and ideas for working effectively, improving your time management skills, and boosting your productivity.

If you know a Calendar Hero who has awesome productivity hacks that you'd like to recommend we interview or want to be interviewed yourself, let us know! You don't have to be a Reclaim user to be featured as a Calendar hero: these stories are about anyone with an interesting approach to managing a complex schedule.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do

I'm Connor, UCSC alum, French bulldog(s) owner, CMO at The Ridge and building Ally on the weekends. The Ridge is a largely DTC ecommerce brand selling men's accessories. Our flagship product, The Ridge Wallet, sits in the pockets of over 2 million people.

What does a typical workweek look like for you?

The team I manage is fully remote and spread across the country --- Oregon, California, Texas, Georgia, Delaware --- so most internal work gets done over video calls or asynchronously with a mix of Loom recordings and Slack chats.

The first half of the week is dedicated to 1:1s and smaller team meetings. On a biweekly basis, we meet with the full marketing team to go over 2 week goals.

The rest of the time is dedicated to running the performance marketing stack: paid media, email marketing calendars, and website conversion rate optimization (CRO). We do this with the internal team alongside a mix of agency partners, freelancers, and contractors.

What techniques do you use to manage your time?

Managing my time efficiently is very much a work-in-progress, but one technique I've been using is to better group my meetings around a couple days and make sure I have time blocked for uninterrupted solo work

I've moved all scheduled internal meetings to Mondays and Tuesdays, and I use Reclaim to block out 2 and 3 hour work 'Deep Work' blocks on the other days. My biggest pet peeve is having disparate meetings scattered throughout the day, and this helps me avoid that problem while remaining flexible for any external meetings or impromptu internal meetings.

What tools do you use to make you more productive?

I've got a few that I love:

  • Supermetrics powers 90% of our reporting, with automated report building so we can monitor our ad performance.

  • Loom has been a game changer as a stand-in for otherwise lengthy Slack messages.

  • Calendly has made coordinating meetings w/ coworkers or agency partners much easier (and I can count on Reclaim to defend my calendar from getting too chaotic).

  • Twitter, forums, and newsletters like 2pm are where I get content and knowledge that makes me far more productive and efficient in my role.

  • For team management, I finally got good at monday.com this year. I found it to be an initially unintuitive tool for detailed project management, but after a lot of TLC we've built our workspace out in a way that makes asynchronous collaboration and management a lot easier.

  • Dual monitors, Gmail shortcuts, and pinned tabs. I imagine if someone is reading the Reclaim blog then they've already covered these sorts of basics, but these things were game changers when I finally started caring about them years ago.

At Ridge, our "creative replenishment stack" looks like:

- performance marketer
- part time video editor
- full time designer
- a bunch of freelancer photographers/videographers

and we only create 5-6 video variations/week.

— Connor MacDonald (@couuor) February 26, 2021

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

I should really have a better answer to this, but I had a basketball coach tell me at a very young age that "luck is when preparation meets opportunity" and I think it's 100% true. Just showing up everyday and ensuring I'm prepared for any and all opportunities that come my way.

Less general advice that I recently heard is from Andrew Carnegie: "Put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket." A personal goal of mine is here to have more conviction in more concentrated bets --- and I think that's perfectly articulated here.

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