Principal Product Manager

Meet Ines Raub

Ines is a Principal Product Manager at ZMS who’s been working with us since before we were even officially ZMS! Find out how she approaches leadership and how she’s helping drive Zalando’s transformation to be the Starting Point for Fashion.

What is your current role at ZMS? How long have you been working with ZMS?
I’m a Principal Product Manager and also a team lead for a product team. I was already working with ZMS before it was officially launched. At the time I tried to implement sponsored content into our Zalando customer newsletter – sold by a small unit that would become ZMS. Back then I was a Business Developer in customer relationships at Zalando. About five years ago I started to work for ZMS as a product manager for Collabary.

What were the main reasons for you to join ZMS? What team do you work on and how would you describe what you do and how you approach it?
At ZMS we’ve split product topics into growth, branding and social. My team and I own the social media related brand proposition at ZMS. In the big scheme of things we work on Zalando’s rapid transformation to be the Starting Point for Fashion. We contribute to this goal by developing tech products (SaaS) for our brand partners that allow them to explore and analyse their social media activities, as well as create individual influencer campaigns and source authentic influencer content at scale to grow their business. We’re also building a portal for talented creators to manage their Zalando partnerships and grow the impact of their influence. By those two means we strengthen and nurture beneficial partnerships between content creators and brand partners and simultaneously enable and inspire an enjoyable shopping experience for our Zalando customers.

How would you describe the working and team culture at ZMS? 
Since our work-related interaction is limited to the two-dimensions of our screens for over a year now, it’s difficult to say how the youthful, yet focused office energy evolved in that time. But maybe this is the new normal and in that case, I have to say I love the trust that we give each other and the undefeatable motivation of everyone in delivering great results.

Where do you feel you can have the most impact?
As a team lead I primarily strive to impact my team in a positive way. Apart from that, my work as a Principal Product Manager has a lot of impact on our partners. Partners, in my case, are both our brand partners and content creators who use Collabary. With the help of our products, both parties can come together in a mutually beneficial cooperation, eventually also benefiting Zalando customers via the great content visible onsite.

How do you think ZMS makes a difference? What was the most exciting challenge at ZMS that helped you grow?
ZMS has grown impressively. From the six people trying to conquer space for our partners in our Zalando customer newsletters we made it to an actual company with significant business and great propositions for our partners. I’m not sure if placements in the newsletters are still among them. The greatest challenge in my opinion is steering the transformation from a start-up to a solid company. Managing the growing pain, picking the right fights, scouting for more opportunities and building trusted partnerships.

How do you stay up-to-date with the technology you use?
As a Principal Product Manager for the social media related brand propositions at ZMS it is particularly important to me to stay informed about the various social media channels. How do they work? What’s fascinating about them? What isn’t? And how can our partners take advantage of them? Luckily I enjoy browsing TikTok, Instagram & Co so that staying informed comes naturally to me. In order to get inspired about new product methodologies and tools I enjoy the exchange with the Zalando product community very much, where trending literature or podcasts get discussed.

What causes do you care about or support, when it comes to D&I? 
All of them! But what I’m experiencing most in my daily business is a lack of female leadership in tech. Still. Since I stepped up into the team lead position I find myself often enough in bigger leadership meetings as the only female participant. Luckily all colleagues are really nice and capable, but I would still wish for more female power in the world of tech.

 

Adding up on this, a big part of Zalando’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy includes to increase the share of women in tech job families to 40-60% by 2023.

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