Meet Maze's Senior Product Marketing Manager: Naomi Francis
What started as an approach for freelance work has become a dream job for Naomi Francis at user testing platform Maze. Naomi is Maze’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, where she works on messaging, product launches and persona development.
After working for a mix of early stage to large scale startups in the tech industry, Naomi was fulfilling freelance roles to buy her time finding the right position at the right company.
“I was looking for a pre-series A startup with a standout product, where I felt I could really help build something from scratch, alongside a fantastic team,” she says.
Naomi had crossed paths with Maze some years before when working in the design industry and had followed their journey since.
“I’d met Jo (co-founder and CEO) and Bozena (Director of Marketing) and I knew they were good people. Having worked in the design industry, I knew the space pretty well, the problem they were solving, and the audience they were targeting. When I heard they had a role in product marketing opening, I knew I had to get on board.”
Naomi has a rounded experience in many different elements of marketing, from content to product marketing. Her career began in communications, where she fell in love with all elements of storytelling.
“I love growing our understanding of our customers, getting to know their wants and needs, and using that knowledge to develop engaging and relevant stories. That’s why I love product marketing, working on the core message of Maze and applying that to our different personas.
“This all goes hand in hand with working closely with the Product team, which is exciting as we can share insights on customers as we go and build something great together.”
Working with startups has helped her bring storytelling to many different projects; both the familiar and the unknown. That’s one of the things Naomi loves about startup culture; the versatility of every day and the fast moving learning culture that’s always changing.
Since joining Maze, the remote set up alongside changing covid restrictions meant Naomi didn’t meet any of her colleagues in person until 10 months into the job. Despite this, she says it didn’t affect her ability to build relationships across all levels and teams, and attributes this to Maze’s thoughtfully curated and inclusive onboarding.
“Our documentation is just incredible. It’s something I haven't experienced at any other company. We use Notion to document strategy, create communication threads, project manage and the like, so it’s very easy to jump in and to see what teams across the company are working on or find helpful information.
“This type of structure in documentation comes from our goal to prioritize asynchronous work. Hiring across the world means the team is in different time zones. I’m excited for these steps as it makes you feel trusted, autonomous, and it helps you curate an amazing work-life balance.”
Working remotely has given Naomi the opportunity to design her own day. Whilst working from home can make it easy to work longer hours, having a good morning and end of work day routine helps her define her personal time and bring balance.
“I find that prioritizing self-care and exercise in the mornings and at the end of the work day helps me switch in and out of work mode. My go-to’s are yoga, pilates or even just a walk helps with my mindset and creativity. Sometimes even just a change in environment can bring new productivity and bursts of energy, so I’ll often head to a coworking space or quiet cafe close by.”
When she’s not being active, Naomi is into interior design, as well as reading, writing and poetry. She hopes one day to write something of her own.