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Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?

Emily Buckman: As a Global Strategy Consultant at Urban Airship I manage strategic services in EMEA and work with our customers to create digital engagement strategies that help them to provide innovative, personalised experiences to their customers.

I’m noticing that a lot of brands are heavily focussed on acquisition and less on retaining and nurturing their existing customers so my role is key in helping CRM teams and digital leaders leverage mobile technology to do this.

I also run the team that builds and executes the strategy on behalf of our customers when they don’t have enough time, expertise or resources.

E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?

EB: I report to the Head of Strategic Consulting within the Customer Success team in the US, we are a small team spread out across the globe to enable flexible, local customer support.

E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

EB: My role is unique in that I need to be really flexible because my job is so varied. Not only do I need to be analytical, but creative. Most of the time my clients come to me wanting help improving how they engage with their customers, this is where my analytical skills come into play. I have to review and analyse their current processes and come up with a hypothesis that will deliver ROI. This is where creativity is key, I need to maximise the use of our Digital Growth Platform in order to deliver a great user experience, as well as meet the client’s objectives and turn results into meaningful and actionable insights.

My job also involves meeting with clients, hosting workshops and presenting at events, so it’s important that I feel confident when advising on best practices. It’s also crucial that I do my research around what’s going on in different sectors in the regions that Urban Airship is active in, so this includes EMEA, India and the US. I then need to take these learnings into account and adapt engagement strategies for the specific market and sector.

Confidence and clear communication are also key. My team works with a number of stakeholders within our clients’ businesses so it’s crucial we deliver an excellent service. We need to keep our clients updated on progress, results and ensure we’re advising effectively. To execute strategies my team also needs to work closely with other departments within Urban Airship, so it’s important we communicate what our clients’ goals are so they’re aligned with our plan.

emily beckman

E: Tell us about a typical working day…

EB: My days vary enormously, one day I’ll be delivering a full day strategy workshop to a global fashion retailer, the next I can be speaking at an event somewhere in Europe, then another day I can be in the office implementing an engagement strategy for a bank, airline or media brand. But every day starts the same – a strong cup of tea and some scrambled eggs!

E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?

EB: Well, first off, I love the variety that my job offers – no day is the same which keeps me on my toes and means I can never be bored. I also enjoy being part of my client’s journey – from counselling them on practices to executing a strategy and seeing the results follow. It’s a nice feeling knowing that I’ve helped a brand to transform how they engage with their customers and build relationships.

Outside of the day-to-day work, I get a real satisfaction knowing that I work for such an innovative digital company – as an organisation we’re good at knowing what’s going on in the market and providing services that brands need. Since the company opened its London office in 2012, we’ve not only seen our customer base grow but the team too. I work with such knowledgeable experts and I’m constantly learning from them too. You can’t help but feel like part of the company’s journey.

What sucks? That’s easy – jetlag!

E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?

EB: My goal is to grow and lead our service offering in EMEA and scale our delivery team. I measure our success by the success of our clients and by retention; if they are happy and achieving positive results they will continue to work with me and my team and more broadly with Urban Airship as a partner.

Whilst metrics such as open rates, click-throughs and app downloads are important I focus my energy on results, ROI and ensuring that we are meeting, if not exceeding the objectives we set out with. Often that’s sales or direct revenue generation, but sometimes frequency of app visits, video streams, digital self-service or reducing call centre volumes is more important to a brand.

E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?

EB: The two essentials of course: tea and chocolate 🙂

But when we’re trying to brainstorm new ideas I like to get the team involved, get the whiteboard and pen out, along with whitepapers and case studies, this help us to think of new plans and map them out. Urban Airship’s data tool, Insight is also really helpful because it enables us to understand our clients’ audience so we can cater our strategies accordingly.

I’m also a big fan of tools that enable easy collaboration. We use Slack which is great if I need to talk to multiple people internally, we also use Google Drive so my team can work on one document at the same time, this reduces the back and forth on a document, which ultimately saves us time.

E: How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?

I have worked in digital marketing and CRM roles at various blue-chip brands such as Sky, Samsung, and O2. In my most recent client-side role I was actually a customer of Urban Airship. I loved what they were doing, particularly around improving engagement strategies, and I wanted to help brands do the same too, so when the role came about it was a no-brainer. It helped that I was client-side because I knew the common pain points and was able to impart my knowledge to Urban Airship.

I’m really proud of how far my team has come, and I’m looking forward to scaling the team further.

E: Which are your favourite brands on mobile at the moment?

I’ve admired Dominos’ digital and mobile efforts for a while now, they have successfully transitioned their business to be completely focussed on the customer experience. Around half of their HQ staff work in software and analytics and it shows from the app experience, live order updates online, mobile wallet vouchers and their Alexa skill. They set a brilliant example of what it means to be both technology driven and customer first.

I’m also really impressed with the Costa Coffee’s mobile loyalty experience, it was the most seamless digital sign up process I’ve experienced with integrated Android Pay. Now when I go to the café, I only need to take my phone and I have everything I need.

E: Do you have advice for anybody developing their mobile strategy?

There are three things to focus on to deliver a successful mobile experience:

1. Ensure every aspect is frictionless. From registration to payments, deep linking messages to the correct pages and everything in between. If it is too much effort your customer will drop out and 70% of users who download an app will delete it within 30 days if they are not engaged with

2. Make sure your communication is contextual. Automate in-app and notification messaging based on real-time user behaviour, location or most commonly used platform

3. Lastly but equally as important, personalise the mobile experience to the user. This doesn’t always have to be complicated, you can use the most basic information and attributes to segment and make a really big difference to user experience and campaign performance.

If the multichannel customer experience is your thing, see the agenda at 2018’s Festival of Marketing, London, 10-11 October.