Marion has joined the marketing team only a few weeks ago but her name is already on everyone’s lips. She has quickly found her place and gives her insights on every road-map, strategy or product development meetings.
What does it mean to be Product Marketing officer at EASI? How do you become the n°1 UX specialist in a company with more than 600 customers and thousands of users?
Let’s have a look at her story, shall we?
How did you become an UX expert? What is your background?
As so many of us, I was completely lost when the time to select my studies arrived. I was interested in everything! Medicine, polytechnic, law school, management…
Finally, I chose a bachelor in Communication & Information. It was the perfect mix. I am a literature / creative enthusiast, but analytic skills matter to me as well. I went for the Marketing orientation, the right combination for people who feel comfortable with both worlds.
In my fifth year, I spent 5 months in Canada (Montreal). It was a magical time, all about travelling, learning a new culture, creating strong friendships and taking some personal time to think about my future. I came back from this Erasmus with a strong taste for travelling, and I lived one year in Australia after my studies.
Kicker & UX
Back in Belgium, I had the opportunity to enter my first professional experience as an intern for Louvain Cooperation, UCL’s NGO.
I had to develop the “solidarity card”: a membership / fidelity card created for UCL students. That is where I started to enjoy analyzing digital solutions. This internship made me discover my taste for user experience analysis … As well as my kicker “skills” (still relevant now that I work for EASI!).
Let’s work work work work work
At the beginning of my career, I felt like I needed some coaching and challenge. This is why I chose to apply for the 18 months Ormit traineeship. They coached me to develop my "soft skills", while broadening my knowledge in marketing. I worked as a trainee/consultant for a bank for 18 months in various departments.
My last and longest mission was for the Product Management team and I loved it. It was exactly what I wanted to do. I worked hand in hand with the IT & Sales teams to define our digital product development strategy.
At the end of the traineeship, I was hired by the bank. In total, I worked there for more than 2 years. I loved my job and working in a big company, as it helps you growing and learning very fast. However, it is way more difficult to have a real impact on big decisions. After this time, I realized I wanted to go back to a smaller structure, where I could feel I had more direct influence. This was not an easy decision to leave, but it is important to take time to analyze what you are doing and make sure this is what you enjoy to do.
Best Workplace material
I already knew EASI for a few years, mainly from the “Best Workplace” title. When I was applying for my first job, they were only looking for IT profiles so I let it go. EASI never really left my mind, though.
When I started to look for a new professional challenge, I looked for any interesting position at EASI. You know... You never know.
That is where I saw that EASI was looking for a UX expert! I couldn’t believe it. I read the job description and realized that I was made for this job. I followed the classical recruitment process: HR, Marketing Supervisor, and Managing Partner. After each interview, I was more and more convinced that I belonged to EASI.
I was hired end of February as Product Marketing officer (UX Analyst for the closed ones). This job was “created” for me. EASI was searching for a MKT point of view on our products development. My mission? To improve every user’s experience from start to finish when he or she uses EASI’s application. I started with SmartSales.
How do you analyze this experience?
User experience starts when your user sees your logo. It ends when he/she has finished doing what he/she wanted to by using your product and that it worked. It represents every prospect, customers, user who is, at the specific moment in his/her life, in interaction with an EASI solution.
Repeat after me: Usability is the Key
Our apps’ usability is clearly my focus.
You find it in every step of a product’s development. It follows a simple logic:
- Is it clear for my customer?
- How can I improve it? By adding some new features, delete others?
My job consists in reinventing our products every day. Question it. It never stops evolving. Our users are in the center of this strategy.
To make sure of that, I have many tools: MixPanel, Google Analytics, User Tests, ... Articles will follow, stay tuned!
My challenge? Find the right balance between these tests & tools conclusions, my own recommendations and our developers’ reaction. You gotta love a good old Belgian compromise. AD team technical possibilities, Sales wishes, the designer’s imagination and my intent: quite a diplomatic job some might say! Finding this balance is one of my favorite part of this job. Find the balance between the “perfect” product and the human touch.
OK now we all want your job. What’s your advice if we plan to become a UX talent?
Ask questions, read articles, watch tuto's, communicate with experts, ... In two words : Stay curious! Most of the knowledge you need is all around you. You have to be proactive and always on the hunt for the nicest / most powerful tools.
Another (obvious) advice would be to listen very carefully to your customers. They're the key and will always have the last word.
Finally, don't be afraid of the IT language (even though I acknowledge it can sometimes be scary :) ) : communicate with your IT-colleagues. They will (almost) always be glad to answer your (many) questions and see that you are interested in their part of the job. It is important to understand their point of view to collaborate efficiently and respectfully. Please, do not build a wall between marketing & development. This relation is essential and complementary. My colleague Jeremy wrote this nice article about this crucial relation; read it !