First Movers: Liza Maschi

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LIZA MASCHI is Danone Waters of America’s Head of eCommerce. Liza is responsible for strategy, sales, and marketing for all eCommerce platforms within Danone Waters of America, a subsidiary of Danone North America.

Since joining Danone Waters of America three years ago, she implemented an actionable eCommerce US Strategy Plan leading the flawless execution of online content, efficient route to market solutions for eCommerce, “smart” search strategy implementation across all brands with an increase ROI year over year, and channel segmentation where eCommerce is a core channel strategy for the company, leading to triple digit growth for the brand. Liza is also leading Business Development within Danone Waters, driving growth for evian and volvic waters. 

Prior to joining Danone Waters of America, Liza spent 11 years at The Coca-Cola Company in which she held a variety of roles in sales and marketing leadership.  

Liza lives in New York with her family and is an MBA graduate from University of Connecticut. 

Why did you choose to pursue eCommerce in your career? It all started about 7 years ago with my obsession with Amazon. I couldn’t believe I didn’t create this magical company that I knew would take over. I knew I had to get in on eComm. I am incredibly passionate about all things eComm and learn something knew everyday. I just knew it would be a space I not only loved but can also learn each day. 

What is your biggest strength, and how have you used it for your success in eCommerce? People. I know it sounds off but I love working with people. And in eComm, you might usually expect to hear folks say data and logistics, but for me, it is people and I find it works in eCommerce because it puts the human back in this digital/tech-connected space. 

What is the weirdest skill or talent to come in handy in your eCommerce experience? My research skills. I am a nerd for digging so deep and finding out all the “why’s” about anything. This helped immensely in eComm from digging deep into why pricing is coming up at a certain price to finding unflattering images for my products. 

How have you most successfully influenced change within your organization (or with your clients)? Mostly the way we think about the channel. I would say at first eComm was a sales channel. But now, it is thought of as a marketing platform as well. The channel is all this and more encompassing of sales, branding, targeting, trial and beyond. 

What was your most “valuable” career failure, and why? Moving from teaching to sales. I gave up on teaching for my first job at Coca-Cola. Although I loved teaching, I realized I was better at sales, and it’s been the best thing as I love what I do. However, my teaching experiences have carried through in my leadership and cross-collaboration. I still love to teach but now it is just in a different setting. 

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life? AMAZON and Instacart…Couldn’t survive without the two. 

What are you learning right now? Logistics of packaging …. What works and why. Different machines, different brands of tape matter… Literally how to make a package that can sustain the different layers getting a product from a warehouse to someone’s home in 2 days. 

What are the 1-3 songs that would make up your career soundtrack today?

  • I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor: There are so many times I have felt defeated and powered through and felt like a winner, no matter the hardship, I will (and have) survived.
  • Started from the Bottom by Drake. Literally started at the bottom and have worked really hard to get where I am with so much more to go. Couldn’t be luckier as I have a job I love each and every day. 

What are the 1-3 books you’ve gifted the most or that have greatly influenced your life, and why?

  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom: Simple and easy read, but opens up your thinking on the impact of the people we come across in life.
  • Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon: I usually gift in hardcover for the coffee table and I find not only is she so inspirational, but it is a conversation starter. I like it in my living room because my company often quickly gets what I stand for by looking at my book collection, and I hope it does the same for those I gift it to. 

If you could have a gigantic billboard for the world to see with anything on it, what would it say, and why? Will whatever you are stressing about matter in five years?

What are the worst recommendations or advice you have heard related to eCommerce? Don’t sell it on eCommerce or else it will upset another customer. 

What advice would you give to a future leader of change about to enter business, or specifically the eCommerce field? Everything changes everyday and so will your thinking. You will have to move very quickly to keep up and stay ahead. Be ready and be excited. What happens today will not be the same in a year from now. 

What specific, industry-related change do you believe will happen that few others seem to see? A full 360-solution for cardboard boxes. This is coming soon. On cardboard recycle day, I see all different types of households with the same issues: BOXES, BOXES , BOXES. I think something innovative is coming soon here and in a few years, we won’t believe we disposed of so much cardboard once upon a time. 

What is the last thing you bought online, and why? Crocs for my son and Plastic Easter Eggs for an egg hunt. 

First Movers is a change leader interview series featuring select industry pioneers who are boldly driving the evolution of digital commerce, the consumer and everything in between.

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