Get to know the people and the passion behind Tivian
Our special guest for this edition is Ludger Kesting, Vice President of Product Management at Tivian’s Cologne office. Join us as we explore his personal and professional journey, areas of expertise, and the motivating factors behind his transition into the field of Product Management.
Hi Ludger. Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to speak with us. We’re excited to learn more about you, but before we get into your career detail, could you share some personal thoughts, including who you would invite to dinner and why…
What or who has inspired you most in your life, and why?
No specific person, a mix of family background stories rebuilding life and a positive approach to everything new, the big brains in science like Stephen Hawking who can think about theories about the whole universe.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d tell my younger self not to be afraid of taking risks. Venture out of your comfort zone. Don’t take life too seriously, learn to laugh at your mistakes, and remember that it’s okay not to have all the answers because no one has all the answers.
What is/are the values you hold most dear to you?
Honesty and openness to other opinions. Trying to understand at least the other person is my go-to approach in business and private life.
If you could be anyone else, who would you be and why?
An astronaut exploring space and the unknown. But I would wait for the chance to travel to Mars as this person.
You can invite 1-4 people to dinner (dead or alive). Who would they be, and why?
- Stephen Hawking: I read “The Universe in a Nutshell” when I was 16 or so and have a lot of questions. I would like to get a basic understanding of how he was able to even come to some of his theories and invite Albert Einstein to a quick video chat if we have questions.
- Michelle Obama: She does important work in helping kids with different backgrounds to be curious and open; I would like to learn more about her ideas.
- Hella von Sinnen & Dirk Bach: As a native of Cologne and an introvert, I was deeply impressed by her expressive humor even as a child.
What is your go-to song when you want to feel happy, special?
I don’t really have a go-to song. In daily life, I go with the flow to relax. I listen to classical music or, at work, chill-out jazz. In reality, I mostly listen to kids’ songs when my three daughters are around. [For the summer, I can recommend: https://youtu.be/eW4FJI4ZlRo]
Tell us about your background before joining Tivian.
My educational background is in empirical social science and statistics as part of my sociology, computer science and ethnology studies. My focus and interest were always a data-driven understanding of connections between people, social groups and cultures, now breaking this down to employee and customer experience. Before joining Tivian, I worked with Questback and Globalpark. My roles span from support to project management and pre-sales, focusing on solution-based sales, SaaS solutions, and technology-based sales. I always had a special interest in data analytics, business intelligence and ETL because I am curious about what impact the collected data can have, what expected or unexpected patterns can be found in the feedback data and what the addition of other data sources might reveal.
What does your role entail?
In Tivian, your role is multifaceted. I support the product team in executing company strategy and introducing market input into product design. I help enable Go-to-Market (GTM) product demos and facilitate cooperation with other companies focusing on the value proposition.
What prompted you to move into Product Management?
My experience in market research, experience management, analytics, and solution-based sales of this offering mainly guided my transition into product management. In such a role, it’s crucial to understand the customers’ needs and utilize technology efficiently to meet them. Therefore, I felt my expertise could be beneficial for the next steps on Tivian’s journey, and that’s what drove me towards product management.
What does an average day in Product Management & UX look like?
An average product management & UX day often involves coordinating with multiple stakeholders, including product managers, designers, and marketing professionals, to guide products from conception to launch. Tasks include conducting market research, defining the product vision, creating a roadmap, prioritizing features, overseeing development stages, and obtaining feedback to ensure a positive user experience.
What are the challenges you see for EX/CX in 2023?
Maintaining high-quality customer experiences and employee experiences remains a challenge. Again, no big surprise, but in my opinion, we are facing a demand from customers and employees for great service and the ideal workplace.
Technology-wise, we will see wonders with AI-driven offerings that were limited to a few companies and were expensive, now coming to everyone. In EX and CX analytics, finding data patterns will become easier, and motivating customers and employees to feel part of their brand, company, and experience will become more challenging. This will include issues like adapting to changing customer expectations, personalizing experiences, integrating technology seamlessly into the customer and employee journey, and ensuring employee well-being and engagement in an evolving workplace.
How has the role of technology in EX changed in the last five years?
Technology has become a key driver of employee experiences in the past five years. With the rise of remote work, digital communication, collaboration tools, and employee experience platforms have become more essential. Technology is also being used to track and improve the employee experience through feedback tools, engagement metrics, and predictive analytics.
What trends can you see happening in the industry this year?
We will see a big wave of new AI-focused companies hitting the market with very specialized offerings. In contrast, the more established companies will try to catch up and integrate AI into existing workflows and analytic tools to make their offering smarter. It could become a good year for smart, innovative companies, whereas a challenging one for the established companies who are faced now with more restricted budgets for their customers due to slower economic development.
How does Tivian help businesses?
In short, Tivian helps businesses by providing solutions that improve customer and employee experiences and allows companies to create complex or simple research or feedback survey.
The help for businesses is essential to provide the tools to get high-quality data for their analytics, save time, and focus on the results to take better decisions.
Thanks so much for your time Ludger and for sharing your thoughts, insights, and story with us.
Before you go, please share one interesting fact about you (outside of work).
It’s just as likely that you will meet me at a conference as outside exploring and enjoying nature. I was a scout in my younger years, and I always be at heart.
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