Politician Turned Partnerships Pro
This article is part of our Women in Partnerships series, highlighting female professionals in the partnerships space. To learn more about the series and the Women in Partnerships group, check out the series intro.
Margot Mazur leads marketing for HubSpot’s strategic partners as their Principal Marketing Manager, Strategic Partnerships. For anyone HubSpot classifies as “strategic” (such as Canva, LinkedIn, and Google), Margot is responsible for developing shared marketing opportunities.
When she isn’t supporting partner marketing efforts, Margot is a sommelier. She writes a weekly wine newsletter called The Fizz and is a wine consultant, hosting corporate and personal wine tastings for companies and groups. Today, Margot joins us to discuss her journey into partner marketing at HubSpot, the impact of female mentors, and advice for others in the industry.
Finding Her Calling in Partnerships
While there’s no clear-cut path into partnerships, Margot’s journey is rather unique. She shared, “I went to college for politics, wanting to be a politician. After graduating, I did a few different things. I worked in retail and in the medical marijuana industry in Oregon — mostly in the political sphere, trying to get legislation passed. I came home to New York from the West Coast and found my first tech job at CityMaps. After their marketer left, I started doing marketing tasks on the fly and it turned out I was pretty good at it.”
From there, Margot’s career was really driven by that experience. “I worked at CityMaps for about a year, supporting public relations efforts to drive awareness for the app. After a stint at an agency, managing paid ads and search efforts with some really interesting clients, I moved on to Codecademy. That was where my first partnership experience happened.”
After Codecademy, Margot moved to Boston to work at Wistia, which is where she really started to focus on partnerships. “I figured out I’m good at this and was learning where my strengths were. At Wistia, I started working on integration partnerships. How do I convince other larger companies to build integrations with my small company? I needed to get them to do all the work and spend the money. It was there that I honed my negotiation and relationship-building skills. An opportunity to do that at HubSpot surfaced, and I’ve been there since.”
Enjoying Partnerships at HubSpot
Margot spent time learning lots from many other organizations before she landed at HubSpot. Since beginning at the organization over three years ago, Margot advanced from a Sr. Marketing Manager to a Principal Marketing Manager and loves her company. “The thing I love most about working here is that there’s a lot of trust. Because it’s such a specific role, HubSpot is really flexible. I can work on things that are important and they trust that I know what I’m doing. I’m never micro-managed and the whole team is honest and open with one another. We’re all working toward the same goal and want to help each other, which means we almost never have friction.”
HubSpot provides lots of flexibility, including the freedom to work on value-added tasks and prioritizing work-life balance, having recently conducted an organization-wide Week of Rest. “HubSpot is great in the sense that as long as I get my work done and we’re growing and thriving, I’m doing my job. Coming from some of these smaller companies, it is so hard to convince larger companies to work with you when you don’t have as many resources or as high of a budget, large team,, or history in the market. At HubSpot, if I have a great idea, and I can prove it’s going to move the needle, we can make it happen.”
In her three years at HubSpot, forging relationships has been Margot’s proudest accomplishment. “It’s amazing and always a great feeling to create a brand new relationship and have it be strong, fulfilling, and successful. When I look back at all the new relationships last year, and all the campaigns I’ve grown, it’s definitely a proud moment.”
Overcoming Internal Obstacles
While Margot has achieved great success personally and for HubSpot, she has faced internal obstacles along the way. “Recently, a coworker congratulated me for my efforts on a campaign when she saw within the HubSpot wiki that I was mentioned like six times on the project. I know the work I do is valuable and I do a lot of work. But some days, I still wonder, ‘Am I doing a good job? Do people think I’m doing a good job?’. I know in my heart that I’m doing well, but it’s been an obstacle to know how people perceive me and I’ve worked to put that fear aside. One thing that’s helped is asking for direct feedback more. ‘Have I done everything you expected? What can I do to be better at my role?’.”
On internal obstacles, Margot continued, “We grow up in this capitalist society where work is everything. The more productive you are, the more successful you are supposed to be. We’re constantly chasing this non-existent level of prime productivity. I think that’s an obstacle that we all face — we’re chasing a ceiling that just keeps getting higher.”
How does Margot keep track of her achievements to motivate herself? “Work-wise, I like to do a 6-month and a 1-year look back. I review what happened, including new relationships, campaigns, MRR I participated in, how my efforts impacted our integration rate, retention, etc. On the personal accomplishments side, screenshot those wins! When you get great feedback, save that for rainy days or reviews.”
The Impact of Being a Woman
Margot shared that while being a woman hasn’t affected much, there are many observations she’s made about successful personalities in the industry. “Being a woman in this industry is interesting. I have learned what behaviors are deemed knowledgeable and trustworthy. For example, you’re in meetings and you see men who are really intense or loud and people respond positively to that. When you’re more quiet and reserved, people don’t see you as the thought leader. I’ve really noticed how I move through a space compared with how men move through the space.”
From those experiences, Margot has made small adjustments in the way she works. “I have learned to be more assertive and more present with my voice. There was an email thread a few weeks ago where someone was asking for feedback. I didn’t feel like it was my place to speak up. A coworker approached me and specifically asked to hear my thoughts, pointing out that was why I was on the thread in the first place. I’m working on being more comfortable speaking up around senior leadership.”
The Value of Female Mentors
Margot highlighted her experiences working with mentors. “I have had one female mentor — Kristen Craft — she has been amazing. When I came into this industry, I wasn’t a tech person. I didn’t go to school for it and just learned as I went. It was nice to be able to look up to someone who was a woman and wasn’t afraid to use her voice or make mistakes. I do have someone who I look up to at HS, also a queer person. It’s great to see someone in the senior position who is very assertive, clear, and isn’t afraid to ask questions.”
Advice for Others in the Industry
In closing, Margot shared valuable advice for other women in the industry. “If there’s one piece of advice I could give, it would be ‘Closed mouths don’t get fed.’ Which means you don’t get what you don’t ask for. Don’t expect to have things handed to you because you’re doing a good job. You have to ask for what you want, whether that’s resources and support or raises. When we talk about negotiation, we always talk about salary, promotions, and that’s important, but there’s so much more than that, like requesting to lead a project, move to another department, for recommendations or a connection — you have to ask for what you want every time.”