At startups, growth and change are the only two constants. This is true for AdRoll, a growth platform that helps e-commerce marketers grow their business through online advertising. Founded in 2007, AdRoll has grown from an idea to over 500 employees with eight offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Salt Lake City, London, Dublin, Sydney, and Tokyo.
For Kevin Garcia, AdRoll’s Head of Product Marketing, who has been working at AdRoll since 2016, constant growth and change mean that responsibilities can shift on a dime. Case in point: In 2017, he took on the work of six people and vastly expanded the scope of his work. He needed a tool to help him take on this additional work and stay accountable to his team—he chose Asana.
We talked to Kevin, who leads the product go-to-market, positioning, pricing, crisis communication, and corporate strategy for AdRoll, to learn more about how he tackled his new responsibilities with the help of Asana.
What do you use Asana for?
KG: I plan all our product launches and rely on it for general project management.
Why did your team decide to use Asana?
KG: We wanted to provide each team member with a tool that could improve their productivity by helping them stay organized. We have a lot of moving pieces at a company of our size, so it’s very important that nothing gets overlooked or put on the backburner.
What are some projects you manage with Asana? How has Asana helped you and your team?
- Managing marketing for launches: AdRoll has a huge R&D team that launches global products and capabilities every month. In order to create a cohesive narrative and make it come to life, I use Asana to build out the detailed plan so I can stay focused and accountable for every project.
- One-on-one meetings: For my weekly one-on-one meetings, I can instantly pull up the lists of the items that I’ve worked on in a given week to review with my manager and reports. It also helps me in quarterly reviews because I can see a snapshot of what’s been accomplished over that time.
- Reporting: Asana saves me 1-2 hours on reporting every single week. I report to the VP of Marketing on all go to market (GTM) initiatives on a weekly basis. I also have regular check-ins with executives and product leadership in person or over email. Asana helps me prepare for those check-ins by making it very simple to share progress on big initiatives. I spend a lot less time on reporting because all my items are already documented in Asana.
- Prioritizing: With Asana, I can focus on high priority items as well as any backlog of tasks without any work falling through the cracks. I do this using My Tasks: I create a list of top priorities for the day that include items that get me towards completing big milestones. As I find space in my calendar, I’m able to bring smaller projects up from the backlog and get them done without having to spend time collecting all the context about them—it’ all in the Asana tasks.
- Cross-functional coordination: I work very cross-functionally—with Product, Marketing, Sales, BI, and Engineering, to name a few. Most of the time the projects I’m working on spread across various business units and Asana helps me make sure I am doing regular check-ins and reporting on my progress to the right people.
How did Asana compare to other tools you considered?
KG: I’ve tried Trello and other similar tools. While they might work for other people, Asana is the closest match to how I project manage. I like tasks that are clearly defined and Asana forces you to define your tasks by virtue of how it’s built, which I didn’t feel was true of other project management tools like Trello.
What about Asana works so well for you?
KG: The interface is designed exactly the way I mentally organize projects and tasks. The flexibility in how I create projects and initiatives works for the endless variety of PMM projects I work on: brand, go-to-market strategy, crisis communications, recurring updates, and more. Also, Asana provides a great way to see the progress on big projects and also ensures that smaller projects move forward and aren’t forgotten.
What impact has Asana had on your work?
KG: Last year, I completed 752 tasks working across 7 teams and 5 regions!
Doing more, efficiently
On top of the hundreds of tasks on his plate, Kevin continued to take on more responsibilities at AdRoll. This included the company’s brand refresh, which launched in February of 2018. In recognition of his efforts and accomplishments, Kevin won “Roller of the Year,” one of AdRoll’s top honors.
While others might feel overwhelmed in a constantly changing environment and a growing workload, Kevin “handled everything calmly and moved forward smoothly,” said his teammates. The one constant throughout was having Asana at every step of the way.