Travelzoo – San Jose, CA
The Sr. Product Manager, Content will drive efficiency, scalability and grow revenues through improved monetization of our deal content. The work… Travelzoo
Travelzoo – San Jose, CA
• Stakeholder-manage groups of 5-10 managers from across the business, understanding their key issues and needs. • Work with Executives and leaders… Travelzoo
- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Travelzoo full-time (More than 3 years)Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookNo opinion of CEODoesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookNo opinion of CEO
1. The travel stipend is the largest pro. You get a few extra vacation days to take a trip, for which the company reimburses you (up to a certain amount).
2. Many of the people I worked with became close friends of mine. The offices are in well-known, desired locations (San Francisco, Chicago, LA, NYC, Miami, Austin, London, etc.)
3. The training experience was unique and interesting. Travelzoo has existing employees train new employees. Once you've been there for six months or so, you also get to train new employees. It was nice to learn the ropes from people who had already been working at the company for a while. They also had a professor from Columbia give a writing training for new employees.
4. Great health benefits and a decent 401K.
1. Many managers are managing by default because they've been with the company for an extended period of time. Most of them have no business managing people, and are terrible at problem solving and making employees feel valued.
2. As a producer, you have to work closely with sales people. This is something they don't disclose to you during the interview process. Sales people only care about hitting their revenue goals. As a result, they become bullies, and often treat producers like admins and push any client responsibilities they don't want to handle off on the production team.
3. There is a witch hunt mentality. Other employees look for you to make a mistake so they can call you out and demean you. Whether it's with an editorial error or some other account management mistake, everyone is waiting for you to screw up so they can call you out on it.
4. Publishers decide whether or not deals will be promoted in emails or at all. Producers are then required to negotiate deals with vacation packagers, hotels, cruise lines, etc. based on the publisher's feedback. Publishers don't tend to care about changes in the market year-to-year or whether or not the client makes any money. They only care about running the least expensive deal. The haggling process surrounding this soured many client relationships I was developing. It's a horrible experience.
5. Sales people negotiate large contracts which cannot be delivered. It is the responsibility of the producer to deliver the clicks within the contracted time frame. I don't understand why Travelzoo is still trying to use the antiquated CPC (cost-per-click) model for some of their contracts. I had maybe one client who ever made a decent return on their investment. The rest were angry because they had paid for clicks which were delivered, but didn't appear to generate a return. If they aren't planning on getting rid of that model, they should. It's bad for business.
6. Travelzoo cares a lot more about Travelzoo than the industry does, yet they can't figure out why clients don't want to pay more to run in their email campaigns. Travelzoo also expects a lot more in regards to deals than other deal sites (see previous comment regarding publishers). I had a lot of difficulty getting clients to return phone calls or emails, even when they were contracted to work with us. It was difficult to get clients to care.
7. The environment is extremely fast paced with constant deadlines, yet each person is essentially doing the job of three people. They ALWAYS need more people, and turnover is high. Producers have to know how to: Manage accounts, negotiate deals, calculate returns, revise down contracts, deal with bossy sales people, write copy, create vouchers. It's an exhausting environment, even for someone who is highly organized and use to deadlines.
8. While you have ample vacation time, taking a vacation sucks. Reason being: you have to prep people (yes, multiple people) to cover accounts and you're required to leave them extreme details about each account. If you're out of the office for more than a day, you are completely buried when you come back. I often spent an entire day or more cleaning out my inbox when I returned from vacation. And while the stipend is a pro, you also have to pay out of pocket for the trip initially and then do a write-up and post images when you return in order to be reimbursed.
Advice to Management
There is a lot of talk about simplification, but everything still seems extremely difficult. Telling employees to send less emails and then emailing them and asking them to send an email to their manager regarding things they are going to stop doing is counter-productive. It seems like Travelzoo needs to decide if they are worried most about their bottom line or their client relationships. There is a lot of wanting to have the cake and eat it too. Producers should be compensated in the same way sales people are since producers are doing so much of the day-to-day slog. Sales people get credit and name dropped constantly, when it's producers who are negotiating deals and following-up to make sure things go smoothly.