On Oct, 12 2021
An advertising technology company is only as good as its products. Behind each product is a team of designers and product managers constantly iterating and balancing user requirements, stakeholder value, and technical opportunities.
Frequence product manager Kim Walker shares how the product team serves as the three-legged stool of a company, working to carefully balance the needs of the technology, users, and business.
Kim, how do you contribute to Frequence?
I spend time understanding our end users’ problems and how we can solve them and support the business vision using technology. We must always balance those three aspects (technology, users, and business) build the right thing for the right people at the right time.
So, why do we need a product team?
Product is the hub. We’re the voice of the user, the engineer, and the business. Our internal stakeholders – business operations, creative, data science – have needs and a vision for the company. The product team specs and works with our global engineering team to build technology that supports those needs and vision. We also validate that their vision is on target based on the market, competitors, and what our clients want. There’s no point in building something amazing that no one wants or needs.
We work very closely with the user experience (UX) team to understand and gain deep empathy for what the user goes through and the problems they’re trying to solve to best support them. We also work hand in hand with various clients to learn about their day-to-day needs to find solutions that help make them successful. Our client’s success is Frequence’s success.
What’s different about Frequence in the product space?
The Frequence platform product as a whole is a powerful consolidation of a very fragmented advertising technology market. Our clients work with local advertisers in local markets who don’t have big marketing departments and budgets. Historically, local businesses haven’t had access to the same complex and varied digital advertising vendors and technology as large advertisers. Frequence’s platform brings it all to an easy-to-use place that is accessible and affordable to local advertisers. It’s a game-changer in ad tech.
How do you know if a product is working as it should?
We use qualitative and quantitative metrics. First, we track the numbers of users interacting with the platform and whether they are converting from proposal to selling to their advertiser – and then if they can do it again. That activity shows us that our solution is helping our clients do their job well. We also love when our clients confirm those metrics by sharing how our powerful technology helped them achieve something great. When we see and hear this feedback, we know it’s a successful product.
What’s a valuable skill needed to be a successful product team member?
It’s crucial to be a big-picture thinker. You need to see where you are going, but you can’t get there in one giant leap. It takes tiny little steps. When you work like that, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s right in front of you and lose sight of the destination. You have to be able to pull your head up to ask the question, “Is this going to help us get to where we want to go?” If yes, you keep going. If not, then you have to decide to deprioritize or eliminate that step – even if you’ve been working on that step for months. Big picture thinking helps us question ourselves, the business, and if what we are doing is the right thing for our clients.
What’s next for the product team?
We’re always thinking bigger and better, and we’ve been building something exciting that I can finally share: Frequence’s next-gen product, Framework. It’s an ultra-configurable workflow that allows us to onboard clients quickly and supports their very specific and individual needs around workflow, product selection, and selling. Our clients know what success looks like for them, and Framework will support them in that so they can continue what they are doing, just on a single platform.
What do you like best about the work you do?
Working in product legitimizes my nosiness (she laughs). But it’s rebranded in the product team as Curiosity because we’re always asking “Why?” and “What is the real problem?”. There is a can-do attitude at Frequence, where everyone pitches in to make things the best they can be. We are creative problem-solvers. We aren’t just going to move a button to the left; we will dig deep together to understand why the button is there and what the user is trying to accomplish. I love the challenge and the teamwork.
I also love the direct correlation between our success and our client’s success. As soon as they recognize the value of our product, the value comes right back to us. That’s rewarding, especially when you’ve worked for months to get something just right.
Lastly, I love the diversity of the product team. Our knowledge and background spans very different industries and specialties, from creative to data-driven. And we are from all over the world. I think we have someone from every continent on our team – except Antarctica!
What do you do when you aren’t juggling users, tech, and business requirements?
I really enjoy traveling, which pairs well with my diverse team. They are always teaching me about someplace new I want to visit. I live in Northern California, so I get to enjoy exploring the mountains, National Parks, and city life – sometimes all on the same weekend!