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Get to Know the Harte Hanks Team

Matt Schneider, Technology Manager

18115e8Matt has been with Harte Hanks for 16 years this December. He’s what you might call a Jack-of-all-trades in the digital world, managing everything from web and mobile offshore product development, HTML development, to Interactive Systems Development and QA teams. In fact, he’s the lead developer of this blog! Matthew lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and two children and has an MBA from Marist College in Marketing.

Let’s learn a little bit more about Matt:

Q: Tell us what a typical day at Harte Hanks looks like from your perspective.

I am a technology manager and front-end developer focused on web and mobile related technologies.

I work remotely out of Upstate New York, in a role as a Technology Manager in the Technology COE. I am the lead developer of our corporate website and blog along with leading other web and email development projects. My days are a mix of calls, email, Skype messaging, screen shares, trying to stay current on the latest tech news/ trends and as much coding as possible.

Q: What is your role in making customer interactions smarter and how did you get there?

I started off as an HTML developer in a converted red barn in Woodstock, NY for a company called Spectral Resources that had just been acquired by Harte Hanks. Over the years I have continued to focus on creating and managing teams that create new and innovative web and email solutions for our clients.

Q: What is your favorite part of working for Harte Hanks?

Two things. One: working with a team of really highly skilled individuals. Two: working on projects for some of the most well-known and prestigious companies in the world. We are always learning and pushing forward to find the most current, leading-edge technology solutions for our clients.

Q: What about the future of marketing are you most excited about? Trends? Tools? Platforms?

As a web developer, I am particularly excited that the Internet Explorer web browser has been put out to pasture. Coding for modern browsers is such a pleasure without having to support old versions of IE.

As an email developer, I am excited about the interactive (kinetic) email features that we have been integrating into our email campaigns. These new features include interactive carousels and animation effects.

In terms of trends, the Internet of Things (IoT) – coming up with solutions to help users control and communicate with products such as their cars, washer, refrigerator, and door locks is an exciting and challenging trend. I cannot wait to test a web application on a fridge.

Q: If you could have the skills to do any other job at Harte Hanks not in your current department, what would you like to do?

Logistics. I have always wanted to drive a tractor trailer.

Q: What’s on your bucket list?

  • Drive a tractor trailer
  • Drive a Tesla
  • Play with my kids
  • Find good homes for all of our shelter kitties (My wife and I run a 501c3 non-profit cat shelter – www.cataquarium.com)

Get to Know the Harte Hanks Team

Belinda Casper, Group Account Director

Casper.headshotBelinda is a leader in the direct marketing industry. She’s been with Harte Hanks for more than 25 years, and has 30+ years of experience in leading operation, strategic and account management teams, primarily supporting financial clients. Belinda’s proven leadership in managing cross-functional teams within our organization insures seamless integration with the data, analytics, strategy and execution teams. She’s the real deal. I think we need to know more about this Harte Hanks rock star, don’t you?

Q: Tell us what a typical day at Harte Hanks looks like from your perspective.

There really isn’t such a thing as a typical day for me, and this is why I’ve loved my job all of these years! Each day and each client brings a new challenge and an opportunity to learn, grow and help our clients continue to evolve and succeed. The only thing that might be typical about my day is the fact I’m on a lot of calls. But each day, these calls are different based on the subject, and who’s on the calls.

Q: What is your role in making customer interactions smarter and how did you get there?

I lead the account team who supports our financial clients. In doing so, we are leading multi-functional teams, which provide strategic, creative, analytics, and database services for our financial clients.

Q: What is your favorite part of working for Harte Hanks?

I love working with many people from different disciplines and backgrounds internally and with many different clients. The evolution of marketing and financial services ensures the opportunity for continuous learning and growth. But, what I love most is the ability to work directly with our clients to solve their marketing and business problems and opportunities.

Q: What about the future of marketing are you most excited about? Trends? Tools? Platforms?

The ability to tie segmentation and personalized messages to create a consistent customer experience in all channels continues to mean different things in each of the industries we support and in each year we evolve to deliver this in different and impactful ways. Knowing that we haven’t yet seen what the impact of wearables will have on marketing is exciting too.

Q: If you could have the skills to do any other job at Harte Hanks not in your current department, what would you like to do?

I would like to be in the creative group. They always have so much fun together and they’re just so . . . creative!

Q: What’s on your bucket list?

I’ve already started checking things off my bucket list the past few years. I jumped out of a plane, went to Italy, and got my 500RYT therapeutic yoga instructor certification all within the last four years. My youngest son went to college four years ago, and I did not miss a beat to make my list of things I wanted to do, and start doing them. Most remaining bucket list items include new and unique places to travel. I hope to travel to Australia, Asia and return to Europe in the next 10 years.

Get to Know the Harte Hanks Team

Barry Winn, Senior Strategist

BarryWinnBarry Winn has spent more than 15 years working in the digital, multi-channel agency business. His diverse background comes from having worked in several of the key roles across the global agency landscape.

Prior to joining Harte Hanks, Barry served as Director of Strategy and Business Development for Realtime Media, a technology-driven consumer engagement agency. Not only is Barry a pro in our digital marketing world, he’s also an avid musician – writing, producing and performing in his spare time. He even has a national commercial jingle or two under his belt. A left and right brainer – sounds like the kind of guy you need to know, right? We think so too.

Let’s learn a little bit more about Barry:

Q: Tell us what a typical day at Harte Hanks looks like from your perspective.
A typical day involves a nice mix of collaborating with the teams (Creative, User Experience, Account, etc.) and working alone to create solutions and meet deadlines for our clients. During the last year, my primary client has been a national insurance company. Recently, I’ve participated in several new business pitches as well as taken on additional client work for a variety of healthcare clients. Daily interactions include both internal team members and clients.

Q: What is your role in making customer interactions smarter and how did you get there?

I provide omnichannel strategic planning services; working with our clients to create meaningful experiences for their customers and prospects. My background is a bit of a winding road in the agency world, as I’ve worked across Business Development, Strategy, Client Services and Tech. However, this background has given me a great perspective on many of the roles across a typical agency team. Smarter customer interactions start with smart team interactions within the walls of Harte Hanks. Understanding and respecting all of the stakeholders in the room – and what they’re trying to accomplish – makes us more powerful and effective for our clients.

Q: What is your favorite part of working for Harte Hanks?

Harte Hanks offers a great combination of autonomy and a collaborative environment. It allows me to surround myself with great people who have great ideas (and those who can execute the ideas as well) – but also lets me spend the necessary quiet time on research, trends, case studies, and what’s next for my clients. Also, the client portfolio at Harte Hanks allows me to work across B2B and B2C as well as verticals that I’m passionate about such as healthcare, financial services and retail.

Q: What about the future of marketing are you most excited about? Trends? Tools? Platforms?

I’m excited about the opportunity to be more relevant to the audiences we’re communicating to. Relevance is the key to building relationships in an age where it’s all about the customer. Content, channels, devices, timing, personalization; it’s all about customer choices. Marketing automation and data visualization are two things I’ve been working with for years. It’s been a great experience seeing these disciplines evolve and become such an integral part of what we do. We’re seeing and addressing customer behaviors in an individualized way – and have a great set of tools at our disposal – which are only going to get better!

Q: What is something about you that very few people know?

I am a devoted dog rescuer of the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed, working as a foster, volunteer and adopter. Our organization (RRCUS) has rescued hundreds of abandoned and abused dogs from all over the country; placing them in the loving homes they deserve.

Get to Know the Harte Hanks Team

Laura Watson, Strategist

Laura Watson Cropped PicHarte Hanks is excited to welcome Laura Watson to our Strategy team! Laura brings 20 years of multi-channel marketing experience, mostly in the banking industry, and a whole lot of energy to the organization. Prior to joining us, she was a VP in direct and digital marketing at PNC Financial Services and earned an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. True to her professional background, Laura has a passion for relationship building, digital trends, and the future of omnichannel marketing. Want to learn a little more about Laura? We thought so. Read on.

Q: Welcome to Harte Hanks! Tell us about your new role at Harte Hanks – how do you spend a typical day, what is your favorite aspect of working at Harte Hanks, etc.

When I was interviewing for the strategy position, a member of the team said, “Have you seen the Lego movie? We’re like the master architects.” Ultimately we’re not thwarting Kragle to save the realm, but we do take a similar approach. We look at all of the business elements around us, apply our understanding of the market environment and vertical context (my vertical specialty is banking), and then help clients understand and apply new marketing techniques driven by data intelligence. The optimal outcome is a brand that consumers love, that’s helpful and relevant, while providing positive incremental return on investment for the brand and value for the consumer.

A typical day…what’s that?

My favorite aspect of working on the business so far has been the opportunity to learn more about cool stuff and trends in the digital and email marketing space. For example, there’s a Bank in Russia that synchs their customers’ wearable devices (e.g. Fitbit, Jawbone) to their savings account – incentivizing them to earn a higher interest rate when their device shows they’ve been exercising. How cool is that?

Q: How did you spend your days prior to joining Harte Hanks?

On the client side with the bank, I managed agency partnerships and a team of 15 direct reports doing one-to-one marketing across multiple channels and lines of business. It was an incredibly dynamic environment working more in the business, and in support of the same ideals…with a lot more regulatory and governmental “influence.” I find that relationship-building there, and in every role I’ve held, is a critical component of my learning and success.

 Q: What attracted you to work at Harte Hanks?

The people. Without a doubt, that was the #1 reason I joined Harte Hanks. I’ve worked with a number of really smart, collaborative, authentic, driven professionals throughout the years as a client of Harte Hanks, most of whom are still with the organization to this day, by the way. The level of stand-out talent, tenure and genuinely good people at the organization, and the opportunity to grow professionally in a supportive environment – I couldn’t resist going to the “dark side” of agency life!

 Q: What about the future of marketing are you most excited about? Trends? Tools? Platforms?

Yikes! How much time do you have? In no particular order – customer-centricity, tailored, real-time, automated marketing (nearly a requirement for any business that wants to stay on top), Agile Email, Email period. (Email drives interactions that we can measure in all channels…Search, Social, Display, Digital, Mobile, Direct and even Mass), content marketing, omnichannel marketing, micro-marketing, mobile, video, the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, connecting online and offline data through data management platforms to drive a conversation and value exchange between brands and their stakeholders, big data, the power of all channels working together in an optimized, efficient and orchestrated manner (powered by data, models, etc.)…ultimately it’s caring about what consumers need and want, and finding a profitable way to go to market to deliver it.

Q: What is something about you that very few people know?

I skied with the US Olympic Ski team in Killington, VT. (It’s not as awesome as it sounds…I just happened to be there at the same time, on the same slopes and got to meet, interact with some of them. VERY fun!)

 

Get to Know the Harte Hanks Team

Michel-1Michel Reid, Strategist

We sat down with Michel Reid, Strategist, who brings more than 15 years of human-centered solution design and client services experience to Harte Hanks, with a focus on communications strategy in both B2B and B2C across all mediums. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Design from Carnegie Mellon University, he knows how to create the most effective strategies using design and engineering principles. Prior to joining Harte Hanks, Michel was a strategist for Electronic Ink and Blue Diesel, working with some seriously impressive companies (name a high-end car company – I bet it’s on his list). Did we mention he’s also a Six Sigma Green Belt? Read on.

 

Q: Tell us what a typical day at Harte Hanks looks like from your perspective.

A: My day is spent developing new methodologies and strategic offerings; providing competitive analysis, multichannel strategic plans across multiple channels, including website strategic planning and customer relationships programs. I also spend time in consultation with our account management teams.

 

Q: What is your role in making customer interactions smarter and how did you get there?

A: I advise clients on omnichannel strategy and planning in both business and consumer verticals, including CRM, relationship marketing programs, websites, mobile, social media and e-mail relationship programs. I spend a lot of time reading research and analyses (both primary Harte Hanks and secondary) from a wide variety of sources in order to offer both a wide landscape view of the world and also enable Harte Hanks to provide a POV on how each client might move forward uniquely and successfully.

 

Q: What is your favorite part of working for Harte Hanks?

A: This is an easy one! My favorite part of working for Harte Hanks is absolutely the people. Working with very smart people who are just as passionate as I am to do great work for our clients is what keeps me going.

 

Q: What about the future of marketing are you most excited about? Trends? Tools? Platforms?

A: I am most excited about the trend toward truly relevant trigger-based conversation with customers. It brings marketing as close as I can imagine to having a real, human, one-to-one conversation with each and every customer. Maybe what attracts me is the inherent yin-yang of simplicity and complexity that such an endeavor implies….

 

Q: What is something about you that very few people know?

A: Not all of this is “secret” by any means, but still…I love cars and everything about them. I also love helping people fix their cars, even if they’re not broken, per se. I’ve been to Africa, Europe and Asia, but not yet to South America, Australia or Antarctica. My father is a world-class Jazz bassist, Rufus Reid.

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