Meet Jim Rich, Vice President of Technology
Meet Jim Rich!
Vice President of Technology
Jim Rich serves as Isovera’s Vice President of Technology and oversees our development team & technology strategy. Recently, we sat down with Jim to learn more about his background and what fuels him – technologically and not!
What is your background in?
I began as a web/application developer during the dot com boom and have been involved in the evolution of the web and digital marketing ever since. I led the technology practice at BEAM Interactive for many years with a focus on building brand experiences for clients like MINI USA and ensuring that, while my team built great user experiences, we were also tracking every step of the user journey and offering personalization as often as possible. I left BEAM to dive a little deeper into customer marketing data with Epsilon where I focused on helping global healthcare clients such as Takeda to collect, manage and use their data to better market to their customers.
What are new technologies you’re excited about introducing clients to?
In the past five years there have been great improvements in marketing technology with several companies creating and integrating products into full digital experience platforms. I have a lot of experience with Adobe’s Experience Cloud and as an Acquia partner I’m excited to share what Acquia has been doing with their Marketing Cloud platform, especially around their Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Personalization. I’m also excited to help our clients with CRM and marketing automation integrations with systems such as Salesforce and Hubspot.
What fuels you?
I’m passionate about the convergence of great design and strong technology to support strategic marketing initiatives. Getting the right mix of creative experiences and rock-solid functionality is not easy, and I really enjoy building teams that collaborate to bring those experiences to life.
In your role as VP of Technology, what are some of your goals and expectations?
As I’ve begun the new role, I have four main goals:
- Create a strong technology team that has the skills and drive to do great work. The team should be passionate about the work we do and support each other in every project.
- Work with the Isovera leadership team to continue to build and grow a strong company with collaborative teams who are focused on working together and supporting our clients in everything we do.
- Ensure we maintain a culture of respect and collaboration that gives every member of the company a sense of pride and accomplishment in the work we do and makes Isovera a genuinely enjoyable place to work.
- Explore and implement new tools and technologies to help our clients improve their marketing programs and better support their customers.
How would you measure the success of work, or client projects?
Success is measured by client satisfaction which not only involves meeting or exceeding the marketing KPI goals set during project initiation but also ensuring that any implementation we perform simplifies the client’s ability to manage their site content. The client’s customers should enjoy interacting with the brand through an intuitive design and transparent technology that doesn’t get in the way and makes every interaction seamless and enjoyable.
What do you think is the next iteration of digital technology?
For many years the holy grail of digital marketing has been one-to-one personalization. The problem has been collecting, aligning and managing the data in ways that provide the insights needed and then delivering a personalized customer experience based on where they are in the customer journey. In the last few years the opportunity for true personalization has come into focus with the introduction of more comprehensive data aggregation and management systems such as CDPs along with robust machine learning. With these technologies, brands now need experts to implement these systems and provide strategic knowledge of how best to leverage the technology to solve their biggest marketing challenges.
What are you most excited to tackle first?
There are two things I’m most excited about! The first is building a strong collaborative technology team with a culture of dedication, learning and enjoyment who is always focused on building the best experiences for our clients. The second is working with the project management team to improve processes, especially around project estimation and development.
What resources do you find helpful for staying atop of all the new technologies and trends?
There are so many resources out there, podcasts, blogs, videos; I don’t think there’s “one single source of truth” for me. I feel strongly that sticking with a single perspective can sometimes lead to less optimal technology choices. I prefer to have members of the team research a topic and bring their perspective to the rest of the group so that we can have informed conversations, often with conflicting ideas, to arrive at the best solution.
What is the most important professional lesson you’ve learned?
Not any one capability can stand by itself. Designers and developers need to work closely together to create engaging experiences. Developers and QA analysts need to work together to iterate and ensure everything is rock solid. They all need Project Managers to stay on track. The more everyone understands and respects each other, the more successful the project will be.
I’d also add, though it’s not strictly a lesson, the concept of “good friction” between teams. We need designers to push for the best design, even if it is last minute ideas, developers to push for the highest quality, reliable code, and project managers to push to keep projects on time and in scope. Even though these are often conflicting goals and can create friction, that friction is needed so we can create the best results for the clients.