Meet Concep’s Email Product Manager...Jeremy Hutchinson
Jeremy is part of the Product Team at Concep with specific responsibility for Concep’s flagship product: the email engagement platform Concep Send. One of the most comprehensive email campaign management solutions on the market, Send incorporates data management, surveys, email and workflows designed specifically for legal and professional services marketing. Jeremy’s role is aimed at ensuring the platform and its features are easy-to-use, provide clients with a good experience - and drive good campaign performance. He believes this wouldn’t be possible without first having a deep understanding of what clients are trying to achieve.
Finding the Why
A history degree and a stint in customer experience in hospitality led Jeremy to a graduate role in Customer Support at Concep where he worked directly with clients to resolving their technology problems. One of the great things about working in a support role for Jeremy was the proximity to clients. Having daily access to the way people are using the technology, being able to get up close with what they are trying to do, understanding their needs and how they were using the product itself was invaluable experience.
Jeremy explains: “You see so many different examples of how people are using technology. It’s a good way to learn fast and get to grips with what they want. You have to be able to get into their heads regardless of their level of technical ability, understand what is challenging for them, making it as easy as possible”.
Moving into a product management role felt like a natural progression. It gave Jeremy the opportunity to use the experience gained in his support role to continue helping clients to get the most out of the system. Much of Jeremy’s work today is about analysing and understanding different sides of the same situation.
He explains: “It’s about closing the gap between what a client wants to achieve and how Concep’s technology can make it happen. You have to dig under the surface and understand why they need to use Concep Send and why is it a valuable tool for them. You then need to make decisions for the product itself and make sure you have an answer to those questions.”
Reducing frustration, creating value
As Email Product Manager much of Jeremy’s work is centred about problem-solving. Everyone approaches the way they use technology differently and wants slightly different things from the system. Every client has a different requirement. It’s about figuring out how Concep’s solution fits with their requirements, how to maximise their usage of the system and how to help them get the most out of their investment.
In his view, his role comes down to making sure that his clients see the value. “Clients want to manage their data, send out their communication campaigns successfully, get the metrics and understand the data they receive back in the reporting. Ideally I want them to see the value in Send and get the value from it”.
Jeremy has been spending time over the last few months talking to clients to understand their challenges and what they struggle with. Often the conversation is about where they are spending too much time. He works with them to pinpoint the inefficiencies and look at how the product features can help. Communication and education are key. “Often there is an existing solution that can save the clients time and help them be more efficient, but it starts by communicating more effectively to them and educating them on how to use it.” Client conversations also help Concep to innovate. For example, they learned that clients were finding writing their own reports with the metrics they needed took too much time and energy. Jeremy has responded by creating ‘Reporting Bundles’ that marketing teams can subscribe to and which focus on different aspects of campaign performance.
It’s not just user features that change the day-to-day of the platform experience. There is a emphasis too on what goes into the back end that a client may not be aware of. A good example of this is email security and what Concep are doing to ensure data is protected – not just for email but also for surveys and across the platform. This is an aspect of the role that has become increasingly important particularly as marketing professionals are becoming savvier about what happens to their contact’s data and the need to respect - and protect it. “The Product Team work hard to implement infrastructure improvements so that Concep Send continues to be reliable and secure. It’s the expectation that you can go in and everything works. It’s the kind of thing clients may take for granted but much goes on in the background to make it work.”
Strong client relationships
Jeremy is convinced that the key to managing a product like Concep Send successfully lies in the strength of our client relationships. Listening to clients is paramount in this role. He works closely with other teams in Concep like the account advisory team and with the client support team to get client feedback and is always eager to analyse the Customer Experience Surveys that Concep have been rolling out to clients this year. “I am always hugely appreciative of the time our clients are willing to spend with us talking about their needs but also their openness and honesty about what is working well and what is not and how we can fix that. By building strong, trusting relationships we can truly understand clients’ requirements and brief our developers to build a solution that will work for them.” That could be a workflow, a change to templates or a new guide. It varies constantly and that is what he finds so enjoyable.
Working with people and technology ensures the job is always interesting. Jeremy’s working week involves a plenty of variety. ‘If we are getting close to a new version release, it is about organising teams ensuring everyone knows what is coming in the new version and what is going to excite them and how it will benefit clients, so everyone is ready and prepared. We have to test everything to ensure the release happens as smoothly as possible – that happens around four times a year. The next release is scheduled for June. Jeremy has been working with the developers and clients to introduce a new payment feature within Concep Send that will allow clients to charge for events and content.
Jeremy’s role is about finding solutions but also innovating on how to improve processes and systems. “When I look at the roadmap for the current year, it’s exciting. We are trying to solve problems but in ways that innovate and help clients work smarter and more intelligently.”
Driven by Progress
Jeremy is driven by seeing progress. Over the last year and a half, he has seen the Concep team push to make the platform better, more efficient, more secure and easier to use. He knows they are committed to excellence and on making the platform easy and enjoyable to use. In his view, Concep has become more responsive to changes in the market and better at making decisions that create a great user experience. When the team gets positive feedback from clients, it spurs them on to keep finding new ways of continually improving.
“Everyone at Concep is hugely driven and wants success for our clients. They are the best bunch of people you can work with. They want to succeed and do a good job. But we are also a group of people that genuinely likes working with each other. I know the team has my back and I have theirs. It’s what helps us be successful.”
It is easy to see that Jeremy is excited about the future. “Our roadmap for integrations is changing. We are talking to clients and they are excited too about what we have got planned.” That aside, he will continue to work to find ways to help clients save more time and be better at what they do. From an email performance perspective, we will continue to work to ensure our platform is best in class and has the highest possible reputation in regard to deliverability, reliability and security.”
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