Q&A with Liza Collin, Strategy & Commercialization Director - Custom Solutions Division at Visma

Media 7 | January 18, 2021

Liza Collin, Strategy & Commercialization Director - Custom Solutions Division at Visma, comes with an experience of 13 years in Product Management, Digital Transformation and Product Marketing. Her daily activities include aligning sales, product, marketing & customer success around our ideal customer, optimizing these strategies to reflect customer and market needs. She has ranked as one of the Top 100 Global Product Marketing Influencers 2020 and Top 50 most prominent tech women in Norway  2017.

Customers identify themselves with the products and services they select and want to know the purpose and “why” of that product. 


MEDIA 7: Congratulations on being listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Product Marketing Influencers 2020’! Please take us through your journey.
LIZA COLLIN
: I have acquired a mix of insight through my career, working in both Product Development, Sales, and Product Marketing. In the past years, I’ve merged these skills to a more holistic approach to aligning sales, product, marketing & customer success around our ideal customer, optimizing these strategies to reflect customer and market needs. My journey is based on my interest in working with “the next big thing” and products that have a positive impact; whether it is the perfect WiFi experience or a cloud reporting software to free up employees' time to accommodate more relevant work.

After law school (Intellectual Property) and studying at a start-up incubator (Chalmers University), I worked as a commercial product manager and sales manager in Schibsted Media Group for eight years. Later I moved to Telecom and four years ago I began in Visma, Europe's largest software provider. I built the Market Readiness department and together with my colleagues, we’ve created a unique GTM framework that has been rolled out in many of our Business Units. In January 2021 my responsibilities expanded further and I am now responsible for Strategy and Commercialization for the Custom Solutions Division in Visma.

M7: How has Visma helped you have such an outsized influence on product marketing?
LC:
Given the complexity of the Visma organization it requires one to develop excellent skills in communication, collaboration, and project management, etc. which greatly help me and my colleagues in future work. It gives me a deep sense of fulfillment when I’m able to coordinate initiatives effectively across the organization and see results.
Visma is performing many useful services for society through its software, and this is motivating, not to mention you get to work with so many great partners and customers who are also dedicated to the same causes!


As a customer, I am willing to lend my time to a brand only if the interaction experience is great enough and with a personal touch.

M7: What do you see as the most noticeable change right now happening in marketing trends, encouraged by the rise of digital technologies?
LC:
Our customers and ourselves are not merely expecting a digital solution anymore, but a great customer experience that is on the same level as our interaction with Netflix and Apple, for example. Customers identify themselves with the products and services they select and want to know the purpose and “why” of that product. Customers also expect a smooth customer journey with a great UX experience. Marketing activities must match these expectations and be customized as well. As a customer, I am willing to lend my time to a brand only if the interaction experience is great enough and with a personal touch.

M7: What are the challenges that you face regarding handling and maintaining a technologically advanced software like Visma?
LC:
I don’t really see challenges, but many possibilities! In Visma we have hundreds of different products and services that are all connected to the Visma brand. The fact that our cloud products are deploying new updates in a smart fashion makes the work with launches more agile and you have to have a good dialogue with colleagues in different parts of the organization in order to ensure that all is timed correctly. The culture in Visma is very entrepreneurial and flexible, which gives people the trust and autonomy to lead while depending on each other where relevant.

M7: What is your go-to resource – websites, newsletters, any other – that helps you stay updated with the revolutions happening in the industry?
LC:
I follow some specific thought leaders such as Andy Raskin, industry newsletters, and posts from e.g. Product Marketing Alliance and Zoura and I pick up quite a bit through LinkedIn where I am active.


Having a good mentor or getting allied within the company is a great way to learn more about how that specific organization works. And ask, the worst that can happen is that they say no!

M7: You have been a part of many podcasts and events where you have put forward valuable insights on Product Marketing. How do you manage to take out time for such productive commitments, other than your usual work?
LC:
Many of the subjects and presentations are re-used from internal presentations I have held as part of our GTM Academy. But there has definitely been some late evening work as well. But I believe I have gained knowledge from the input and feedback I’ve received which has benefited my regular work so it has been worth the time.

M7: What product marketing strategies are you looking forward to implementing in 2021 and why?
LC: 
Using good strategic narratives to ensure that our strategies are closely connected to our customers' current challenges and future dreams. An ever increased cooperation between all departments such as Product, Sales, Support, Customer Success, and Marketing to ensure successful launches.

M7: What is your advice for young women considering a career in high-tech?
LC:
I strongly recommend it, because you can be at the forefront of the new developments that will make the world a little bit better. Be curious, read up, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice and help from both men and women. If you don’t have a tech background, but work with developers I recommend taking a course in programming to understand it better. There are many online courses. Having a good mentor or getting allied within the company is a great way to learn more about how that specific organization works. And ask, the worst that can happen is that they say no!

ABOUT VISMA

Visma offers software and services that simplify and digitalise core business processes in the private and public sector. The Visma group operates across the entire Nordic region along with Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe. With more than 11,000 employees, over 1,000,000 customer contracts and net revenue of €1.5 billion in 2019, Visma is one of Europe’s leading software companies.