What was your first ever job?
I worked at Toys R Us as a Sales Floor Assistant. I spent my time restocking hundreds of Star Wars figures and lightsabres, Baby Born dolls and Lego sets whilst dodging kids tearing up and down the aisles on bikes, and trying to drown out the infamous jingle playing over the speakers, on repeat. I’m sad that Geoffrey has such financial troubles now, when he once had so many toys all under one roof.
Why did you get into the world of media?
Because I can wear trainers as a professional! I sort of fell into B2B publishing and realised I enjoyed working on a product that people relied on in order to do their jobs. It’s rewarding to represent something that people trust and come to you for advice as an expert. It’s an industry which is constantly evolving and facing challenges alongside consumer trends and behaviours, so I’ve had to learn to be comfortable with change. And you can be fairly creative, which is important to me.
What does your current role entail?
Product management is also people management, especially at Incisive where I have 11 brands to manage, and each of those brands has an editorial, a sales and a marketing team, all with different priorities and plans for the product. I spend a lot of time looking at our analytics and customer data, and communicating the need to use this data to fuel business decisions. As a digital department, we’re focusing on delivering a more premium product to our customers in 2018, and so I am working on developing subscription and engagement features that support this.
What’s the favourite part of your current role?
Working with different teams, because you have no idea what is going on in other departments unless you ask! I also love seeing ideas materialise from concept and design through to launch – it’s incredibly satisfying to see customers actually use something you thought would be useful.
If you could go to one industry event this year, which would you choose?
London-based, it would be the Mind the Product Conference; a one-day event of talks, workshops and networking with other product people. But, who doesn’t want to go to SXSW for a week of “learning” in Texas?!
If you could ban one buzzword or piece of jargon what would it be?
“Millennial” because, hey we’re humans too! Force fed kale and avocados and then told to stop it if we ever want to make serious property investments.
What is the most exciting thing about your job?
I get to experiment with different technologies and platforms to see what works best for our audiences; being involved in that process and learning from it is exciting. The booze trolley on Fridays is also up there!
What’s the best book you have ever read?
The Hobbit, and on a professional level, Getting to Yes is a short read on how to improve sales techniques (from when I worked in sales), although I still use things I learned from it in everyday life.
And favourite film?
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
I don’t have any mottos to live by, but I did read a great piece of advice from Barack Obama on a WIRED interview, he said: now is the best time to be alive. Which I do remind myself of every now and then when the news gets a little bit bleak!