Inside Brandwatch: Staff Spotlight on Vizia’s VP of Product
By Jessie Twersky on February 24th 2016Read this article on our full site
We sat down with Mike Brackpool, VP of Product for Vizia, to discuss his past, his present and how he sees the future of technology in this new Staff Spotlight series
Brandwatch is many things. At the core, we are a social intelligence platform with some of the best-in-class tools in the industry.
At the heart of the company, we are a group of diverse, eclectic, talented individuals who all know that what truly makes Brandwatch is the people.
With staff joining us from world-leading tech companies like Google and Twitter, to former actors, to New York City Ballet dancers and professional cake decorators, to say our staff is unique is an understatement.
In this Staff Spotlight series, you’ll get to know the people behind the product.
Our first Staff Spotlight is on Mike Brackpool, VP Product, Vizia.
- Spotify or Pandora? Spotify.
- Top item on your bucket list? Skydiving. One day I’ll manage to get it done.
- Coffee or tea? Coffee (from Bond Street Coffee here in Brighton).
- Favorite holiday destination? Barcelona, but I really like visiting European cities.
- If you could invite three people to a dinner party who would they be? Well, I’d invite Conor McGregor. It would be pointless inviting anyone else, they wouldn’t get a word in.
Past, present and future
Mike, you’ve had a few different roles at Brandwatch. What is your current title and what do you do?
Currently I’m the VP responsible for the overall strategy and direction of Vizia.
It’s the most interesting role that I’ve had at Brandwatch, I get to work on a product I love, with super smart, driven people.
Previously I was responsible for our ecosystem relationships in EMEA working with our partners to create compelling joint solutions that we could take to market.
Before that I was a member of the Enterprise sales team, working with a bunch of big brands like BA and Sky.
Brandwatch is such a great environment for anybody that wants to stretch themselves in new roles, opportunities or challenges.
Can you talk a little about your background pre-Brandwatch?
Prior to Brandwatch I worked at a specialist headhunting firm called IMR Executive. The founders there taught me a lot about the mechanics of doing business, how to deal with people and that ultimately it’s always about the service you deliver. Reputation is everything.
Before that, I worked at a high growth tech company in London. It was great to be a part of somewhere with such great ambition so early in my career.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
I’m in a new role so I’ve got a lot to learn.
There are new processes, new ways of working, new teams that I haven’t worked as closely with before. There aren’t enough hours in the day, but it’s exciting stuff and really rewarding.
The Vizia product itself is great to work on – it’s beautiful. But the most rewarding part is working with the teams involved, the guys are smart, focused and quality driven. I’m regularly surprised by the progress that they are making and how creatively they think.
We have an ambitious plan for Vizia in 2016 and all of my focus is on delivering it. I can’t say much now but there will be more to come shortly, stay tuned.
What developments in tech are you most excited about right now?
Given my previous role it’s probably not surprising that I’m excited about the growth in platform driven ecosystems.
These platforms give app developers the tools they need to build, promote and sell. By opening the doors to a bright and motivated community it’s amazing to see the results of that collective intellect and its ingenuity.
Do you have a favorite brand in terms of marketing strategy?
It’s an obvious example but I really like how Slack approach the relationship with their customers.
It’s obvious that they believe the sum of every experience a customer has with your product, team or company equals the strength of the brand. It’s embedded in the culture of their business.
Over time a brand created with that type of authenticity will always generate value, and obviously a delightful customer experience. Which is what it’s all about.
What soft-skills have you found to be most important in developing professionally?
Have fun, and be good to people.
And finally, what’s your favorite Brandwatch tradition?
Pastry Fridays and a massive cake on your birthday! Did I mention cake?
Thanks, Mike! Check back for more Staff Spotlight interviews coming soon.