A Chat with Supermom Dana Marineau, VP of Brand, Creative & Communications at Credit Karma

 

Dana Marineau recently headed up Credit Karma’s rebrand. We spoke with the mom of two about building a fabulous work culture, how motherhood influences her in the workplace and the weekend routine that keeps her connected to her husband.

Can you tell us a little about Credit Karma’s rebrand?

Our marketing team has been working to evolve the Credit Karma brand. We no longer want our members to think of us just as a place to check their credit scores. Instead, we want our members to come to us whenever they are thinking of making a financial decision of any kind – from needing a personal loan, to filing their taxes to getting a better credit card. Our goal is to give our members relevant, timely information that puts them on the path to financial success.

Has parenthood changed your creative process at all? If so, how?

I’m not sure parenthood has changed my process, but it has certainly changed my perspective.  Great marketing teams will focus on making sure the creative is both aspirational and relatable. Parenting is both incredibly rewarding and ridiculously hard. So when I am in a big creative review or looking at new ways to reach our members, I tap into all the emotion, all the humor, all the crazy I see in my own house. If those tiny moments are relatable to me as a parent, then they are probably true to our members.

You’re a big proponent of developing a great work culture. What are a few of your favorite ways to boost work culture?

I spend a lot of time thinking about team culture and team happiness. It keeps me up at night, and it’s the reason I come to work every morning. Leaders have a responsibility to keep their teams motivated, inspired and challenged. I also think it’s our responsibility to create an environment that feels joyful, fun and energized. When you find that balance, relationships form, partnerships develop and trust deepens. And that’s the best kind of culture we can create – one where teams can be creative, thoughtful, and know it’s safe to make mistakes.

A few ways we boost work culture at Credit Karma include larger team meetings where we celebrate each other’s successes, fun events where different teams can get to know one another better, birthday and work anniversary surprises, playing music in our area, and thoughtful perks that reward superstars.

 

 

If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?

Unloading the dishwasher. I can’t explain it—I just hate it.

What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?

Grabbing a glass of wine and catching up with a friend.

What is your best parenting hack?

Having a great, reliable roster of local sitters.  Ever since we had kids, my husband and I try to have a sitter come hang with our boys for a bit at least once a weekend. Whether it’s a Saturday night out with friends or a Sunday afternoon movie date for the two of us, we make it a priority to make time for each other. A few hours away while a sitter is at home can make a big difference.

What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?

When my kids fake being sick, I immediately threaten to take them to the doctor for a shot.  It’s amazing how quickly they seem to make a miraculous recovery!

If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?

Unpredictable!

 

 

What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?

Recently, my younger son lost a basketball game on a heartbreaking, last minute shot. He was crushed about the loss, but before I could get to him, my older son helped him up, gave him a fist bump, and made him laugh. It’s amazing to see resilience and empathy in our children –hopefully it means we are doing something right.

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?

Kindness and empathy matter.

What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?

Lean on other moms to help and guide you. I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that it takes a village. That village will pick up your kids when you’re stuck at work, host a sleepover when plans change for you last minute, or make you laugh when your kid cuts his own hair with dull scissors.

How do you tackle the work/life balance?

To be honest, I’m not sure I will ever fully tackle this. I do my best to be at work when I’m at work and at home when I’m at home, but it’s not always that simple. School will call with a sick kid just as I’m walking into a meeting, or one of our team members will send an urgent email just as I’m sitting down to do homework with the kids.  As moms, we do our best to juggle it all –it’s not easy and it’s never perfect, so don’t beat yourself up!

What was the last book you read?

On the personal side, I am loving Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

For work, our whole team is reading Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham.

 

Fun Facts

 

Favorite Beauty Product:

Lately, I’m loving anything by Charlotte Tilbury – tinted moisturizer, lip gloss, you name it. I love her products!

Favorite Form of Exercise:

Hiking with girlfriends

What is on your DVR?:

I’ve been binge watching a bunch of dramatic shows recently, including Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ozark, and Billions.  I am also known to watch old episodes of Friends over and over!

Favorite App:

Instacart and Postmates have been a lifesaver in our family. Being a working mom means it’s hard to get to the grocery store or make a full meal as often as I’d like. We’ll sometimes use Postmates to deliver meals from restaurants around San Francisco, and Instacart to have food delivered.

Favorite Kids Store:

The Lego Store