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A Day in the Life of... Maressa Mills, Customer Success Manager at Poppulo

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 17 October 2017

maressa mills poppulo

The Marketing Institute: What does a Customer Success Manager at Poppulo do? 

Supporting our customers in realising their success is key to the role of a Customer Success Manager at Poppulo.  Our customers journey in achieving success is a core component of the role and ensures we are the trusted advisors for our customers within the Internal Communications Industry 

A key part of my role is building a solid partnership with my clients, understanding their challenges and objectives to ensure they achieve their goals through Poppulo. Also mapping out a Customer Success plan for customers from on-board, throughout their partnership with Poppulo. Ultimately it’s being the voice of the customer in Poppulo.


MII:  What were your key career moves to get to your current role?

M.M: Graduate of CIT, Honours Degree in Business & Marketing, and Higher Diploma in Public Relations. The good thing about completing a Business & Marketing degree is that it offers great flexibility in what career path you can follow. At the time when I was finishing up my degree there were really good graduate programmes out there. I was lucky enough to get shortlisted on IBEC's Export Orientation Programme, and worked in Waterford Crystal UK for a year on the Corporate Sales team. The qualifications I feel really helped to beef up the CV. I would recommend it to other graduates out there to help make your job application stand out from the crowd!


Following that, I worked in Catalyst Marketing Communications in Dublin for 5 years as an Account Manager on the mystery shopping team. I came across the role as I was already signed up as a mystery shopper with the company, completing undercover audits in retail stores in Cork! Very interesting role, which provided me with strong account management skills. It was always the plan to move back home to Cork, hence my reason for leaving. (They always come back!)


When the recession kicked in - and marketing & research positions were scarce and on a contract basis I was lucky enough to secure a contract position in Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, on the Consumer Insights team for 18 months working on well-known Irish brands SuperValu and Centra. To further my skills, and also out of my personal interest in media and events, I went back to college in the evenings to complete a Higher Diploma in Public Relations in CIT and delighted to have secured an honours diploma to add to my qualifications.


During this time, I joined the Marketing Institute of Ireland and volunteered for the Cork committee - and my career highlights to follow were all gained from the strong connections made at our monthly events. One which brought me back agency side, working with H & A Marketing & PR as Account Manager across a range of blue chip organisations.

...and last but not least my current role as Customer Success Manager at Poppulo for the past three years. This came through an opportunity shared through CIT. My skillset up to then was quite varied but customer relationship management was at the heart of all of my roles leading up to it. Poppulo is genuinely a great place to work with a great team and strong culture, listed as one of Irelands Top 10 Great Places to Work 2017.


MII:  What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

M.M: Fitting everything into 1 day! We have so many great initiatives at Poppulo, outside of the day job. I had the opportunity of being part of an internal team focused on Great Places to Work Ireland for 2 years, and so proud to see Poppulo ranked in the Top 10 Places to Work in Ireland 2017. I'm also part of our Sports & Social team and really enjoy planning our monthly employee events, from monthly Pizza & Beer nights, Baking Bad, Summer BBQ’s, Christmas parties, sporting events..and bringing new ideas to the team.

I’m also proud to be Chair of The Marketing Institute of Ireland's local committee in Cork and recently began my tenure for the new season ahead. As a member of the committee for the past 6 years, I am always trying to master the art of finding more hours in the day! I’m very lucky to have a brilliant committee behind me however who each have amazing and varied skills to support the planning of our events for the year.


MII:  What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

M.M: A relevant degree, IT/Business, Communications, Marketing, 5+ years experience in a customer facing role. Experience in employee engagement, internal communications or corporate communications is a big advantage. Experience delivering solution and service recommendations to meet client business objectives. Technical aptitude and a good understanding of web technologies. Project Management skills and experience of working in a SaaS, B2B environment.

Outside of that, At Poppulo, I know our People Operations team focus strongly on finding the right culture fit, and a person who will naturally fit well within the team. If you are applying for a role here and feel you are right for the position this will naturally come across.


MII:  Describe a typical working day.

M.M: My days vary, I am never really dealing with the same thing every day which I enjoy. As the main point of contact for our clients and the organisation my day could comprise of anything from kicking off the onboarding of a new organisiation, from speaking with many of our existing international internal communications organisations, to coordinating Design and Technical services.

As an internal communications software company, there are many facets to the organisation. I collaborate cross functionally, with our Design, Support and Technical Services teams to bring customers on a journey with us and help them on communications projects that they are working on. I love seeing a project through from outset to completion and taking the customer on the journey of success that sets them up and gives them the autonomy to use the tool that best suits their communications needs.


MII:  What do you love most about your role?

M.M: Genuinely, it’s the people. Everyone gets on so well together, not only within our individual teams but cross functionally working with Design, Support, Technical Services, Engineering, IT and Finance. Because our People Operations team focus strongly on finding the right fit for the team culturally, I think this can be seen across the company.


MII:  Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?

M.M: I feel as if I am in the next stage of my career journey at the moment. Although a voluntary position, I am honoured to have taken up the position as Chair of the Cork branch of the Marketing Institute.

Aside from my day job at Poppulo, as the main point of contact for our MII Cork committee my day could comprise of anything from holding committee meetings to brainstorm our next events, booking venues, catering and AV, securing sponsors and speakers. Communicating with our PR and social partners (Hopkins Communications and Zone Digital) on our campaigns and with our printing partners (B2B Print and B2B Signs) on signage, name badges etc. I would liaise with our print and radio sponsors (The Evening Echo and Cork’s 96FM and C103) on the advertising or with our hotel partner (Clayton Hotel Cork City) on booking in our speakers for overnights. It’s such a fun role and I’m grateful to have it in order to raise MII Cork’s profile as well as my own and Poppulo’s profile.      

With that, our next Marketing Institute event in Cork on 14th November, “What’s in a name”, will feature Poppulo’s Vice President of Marketing, Mairead Maher, who will outline the strategic thinking that led to the decision to rebrand from Newsweaver to Poppulo earlier this year, and how it was so much more than a name change. Booking will be open soon at and early registration advised as it’s sure to be another sell out event.


MII:  To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

M.M: It may sound cliché but our CEO Andrew O’ Shaughnessy. Poppulo has gone through major growth over recent years with large expansion both in our Cork and Boston offices, with many new hires. It’s true that a company’s culture comes from the top down. Even with an employee number of over 160 now, Andrew has always taken time to organise individual meetings with each new hire to welcome to the company. As a speaker, at our annual client conferences and our monthly company presentations I take great inspiration from Andrew’s passionate presentations looking at the growth and future of the company and employee recognition. Andrew has been very supportive of my involvement with the Marketing Institute also and has passed on some really great advice for my year ahead.

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