April 26, 2023

Navigating the complexities of DTC and marketplaces with Jamie Roller from Dr. Squatch

Jamie Roller started her career as a strategy consultant and has worked in eCommerce for the last 8 years. She’s managed various departments and brands in the industry, including working as a category manager (books and beauty) for a leading online retailer, and a brand manager for an Amazon aggregator. She is currently leading the Marketplaces team at Dr. Squatch, a DTC-first men’s personal care brand. 

We chatted with Jamie about her career path, her tips and tricks for personal development, DTC challenges and the importance of leveraging marketplaces, and more.

Tell us a little bit about your career path so far to the Associate Director of Growth at Dr. Squatch…

Jamie Roller: I started my career as a strategy consultant in Johannesburg, South Africa, working in the mining and financial industries. After a couple of years, I wanted to manage my own piece of a business (instead of just telling clients how to manage theirs). So, I started a job at South Africa’s largest online retailer,, to run their print books department. This was an incredible role for me because I am a MASSIVE bookworm and have spent far too much time shopping for books on Amazon. It was the perfect opportunity to take what I know as a customer to help an online business grow. I realized that eCommerce, tech, and consumer goods are 1000% more exciting to me than mining! 

Since then, I’ve worked in a bunch of different roles and companies in eCommerce - mostly running online retail and marketplace strategy operations in lifestyle and consumables categories. I started working for Dr. Squatch at the end of 2021, and it’s been a fantastic ride! 

At Dr. Squatch, I head up our marketplace team -,, and the like - and my job is to build out a strategy to help us succeed in this channel alongside our DTC and retail channels. 

What are critical hard & soft skills that have been important to your professional growth?

JR: The analytical capabilities I picked up as a management consultant have really served me well. Knowing how to think critically about a problem, analyze it, and form an approach to reach a desired outcome is a skill I use every day to tackle both strategic and operational issues. 

Soft skills like managing a team (and managing upwards), negotiation, prioritization, and effective collaboration have become more and more important to me as my career has progressed and as I’ve run more and more complex operations - especially in a startup. I have many wonderful managers, mentors, and coaches to thank for helping me develop these skills, and I do think honest self-reflection and feedback are really important here. There’s no college course to learn how to lead a team - you have to figure it out as you go! Lastly, communication skills are something I continue to work actively on - I believe that these are the lynchpin to being truly effective in your role as a leader and someone who has to drive change and growth. I’m working on writing, presenting, and getting into as many speaking engagements as I can to develop these skills. 

How does your passion for personal development apply to your work style?

JR: I look at every project or task as an opportunity to improve. For example, if I’m working on an annual strategy to present to leadership, it’s a great chance for me to practice thinking critically and effective communication. If I’m doing small tasks like managing merchandising, it lets me think about how to be more efficient. I also really thrive on feedback. I put myself around people who both trust and believe in me, but are also going to push me to succeed. The combination of taking the “1% better every day” approach, as well as feedback and guidance from people I respect, has made a world of difference in feeling like I’m succeeding and growing. 

From your perspective, what are the greatest challenges direct-to-consumer marketers face now? And how would you advise people to equip themselves for success?

JR: We’re in a period of heavy competition, rising acquisition costs, and decreased interest from customers in going to a brand’s site to purchase when they can purchase in retail stores or on Amazon. There are two things I always come back to: 

  1. Think like a consumer. What would make you come to a brand’s site? Is it a great merchandising experience, unique products, or occasional deals? 
  2. Analyze and test to find out what’s driving your most important metrics - lifetime value, revenue, and profit. Focus on the initiatives and customers who are driving the business’ metrics forward the most, and deprioritize anything that’s not contributing to that. 

What’s one thing a DTC marketer should know about leveraging marketplaces as a profitable channel? 

JR: A lot of customers will see an ad for your brand and go straight to Amazon for it - they’ll never purchase from your DTC store. Because of this, it’s critical to be set up for success on this channel so that you’re maximizing your global ad spend. Amazon charges hefty fees, but you can price them into your selling costs if you have the right merchandising structure. Don’t be scared of this channel! 

What are some trends that excite you about the DTC/e-commerce space right now?

JR: With rising advertising costs, it’s more important than ever for brands to build a strong and memorable experience that drives high value, repeat customers - and speak to them in a memorable way. Ultimately, that’s the value that DTC delivers that other channels can’t, and smart brands are leaning toward that. 

Two things I think successful brands are doing well right now - and will continue to lean into this year - are first-party data and personalization. As a customer, a personalized shopping experience and highly targeted emails and SMSes have really kept me purchasing, and I think we’re still going to see a lot of fun (and effective) stuff come from brands leveraging these tools. 

What are the channels - podcasts, newsletters, communities, etc - where you get inspiration and stay up-to-date with industry trends?

JR: I love the Disco Slack community! Aside from that, 2PM ecommerce is my favorite eCommerce-focused newsletter. Marketing Brew is also great for staying up to date with what’s going on in the broader marketing industry. 

How do you leverage Disco Network’s collective reach, community, and insights to shape your growth and marketing?  

JR: We’re early on in our journey with Disco, but the preliminary insights are super interesting. 

We can see that a lot of customers cross-purchase our products with apparel, for instance. This is an interesting insight for us, especially as we develop our broader partnership strategy. 

What are the Disco brands that inspire you right now?

JR: I have a massive sweet tooth but consider myself a health geek, so naturally, Deux is right up there. Every purchasing decision is really a reflection of your identity, so if you’re going to buy something you want to make sure it makes you feel excited, you know? I love brands that have a strong and playful voice because these are the brands that, as a customer, I keep coming back to. Also, I just think Deux just delivers a great merchandising experience and it’s a smart business to be getting into - a niche you can really grow out and make profitable. Love seeing examples like this. 

Join Jamie Roller and many more DTC leaders and operators in our Disco Slack community. Want to start cross-selling with Dr. Squatch and 1,000+ brands on the Disco Network? Book a demo today.

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