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The lion’s share: Phil Baxter (Product Manager)

This blog series gives insight into the day-to-day life of LoyaltyLion’s leaders. We’ll look at managers from all teams – diving into their careers, roles and daily lives – as well as their mantras and passions.

So let’s meet Phil Baxter, LoyaltyLion’s Product Manager.

What is your morning routine?

I like to get up and start my day early. Before I get into anything, I routinely complete a 10-minute mindfulness meditation. I’ll then go online around 6:30-7 am and try to spend an hour or two doing focus work, undistracted by the outside world.

At about 8:30 am, I’ll take a break to get my son, Joshua, up and dressed, before heading outside for some fresh air and exercise, usually in the form of a walk. I’m fortunate to live only 10 minutes from the open countryside. After that, it’s back home for the 10 am dev team stand-up.

What does a typical day look like?

After the stand-up, I keep myself free to deal with any dev-related issues, then if possible back to focus on the main project I’m working on, which at the moment is planning out LoyaltyLion’s 2021 roadmap.

One of the great things about LoyaltyLion for me is that my day-to-day diary isn’t too meeting-heavy! However, on a weekly basis, I do quite a lot of one-to-ones with members of the dev team and a weekly refinement session with the whole team.

Escaping the desk at lunchtime is important to me – I’ll take any excuse to walk into town and pick up some shopping! Then, I often leave late afternoons for the least taxing work – reporting, tidying up user stories, general admin, etc, before clocking off between 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm.

Tell us a brief history of your roles before LoyaltyLion.

In my early career, I was a Business Analyst (amongst other things) until I did a full-time MBA and moved into consulting. Back then, I don’t think I knew what a Product Manager was!

My product career started at Tesco, where I worked as a part of the Clubcard team, After that, I worked at Aimia (another loyalty company), followed by a small ecommerce startup focused on personalized recommendations.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been taking a break from the retail ecosystem and worked in fintech, before coming to LoyaltyLion. It’s good to be back in retail!

What made you choose LoyaltyLion?

I’d realized when I was working in fintech that my heart lies in retail and ecommerce. When I came across LoyaltyLion, I initially thought that loyalty was a niche field and I wasn’t sure about limiting myself in that way.

But, I did some research into the company’s performance and could see a lot of promising signs. Although I never put too much weight onto things like that, as when starting a job, it’s too hard to really tell from the outside. 

What made me choose LoyaltyLion were two things. Firstly, a fair interview process that was focused on understanding the candidate, rather than catching them out. And secondly, the friendly atmosphere in the office when I went to meet the team.

What’s your most memorable moment at LoyaltyLion or in another role?

An early highlight for me was getting a grip on the engineering processes here and deciding to set up 2-week sprints. This was an important step towards creating a more structured and accountable way of building LoyaltyLion features and projects. It was exciting to see it begin to make a difference.

A more recent highlight was seeing our beautiful new Loyalty Page come to life. We’d been working on this project for a while so it was a thrill to get it up and running, receiving immediate positive feedback from merchants.

How do you spend your evening?

Weekday evenings are spent playing with Joshua! On weekends when I have a bit more time, we try and get out into the countryside for walks as a family. Unless it’s terrible weather I can always find an excuse for gardening, and I’m lucky to have lots of help from Joshua. 

What’s your favorite mantra or piece of advice?

I always think that comparing yourself to others is the route to madness. Whether that’s in the workplace, amongst your friends, or online. And it’s extremely hard to avoid. 

And on a similar point, I think that a lot of people in their early career are too obsessed with climbing another rung up the ladder that they don’t allow themselves to enjoy their current role.

What does that mean for my day-to-day life? Well, I deleted my Facebook account years ago and I’ve never started an Instagram. And at work, I simply do my best to make tangible progress every day and accept that there will be setbacks.

What are you passionate about?

I like producing order out of chaos. In a perfect world, you’d have lots of data to make clear decisions about features but the real world is much messier than that! So, quite a lot of my job is persuading people that although we don’t know all the facts, let’s give something a go based on some reasonably sensible assumptions. And then, we can always change direction if new information comes to light. 

It’s really satisfying to move from those initial uncertain conversations to delivering something tangible and merchant-facing.

Phil is a Product Manager with eight years of experience in the ecommerce and fintech industries, with a particular focus on customer loyalty. He’s a proud gardener and dad. Weekly updates from his son, Joshua, are a highlight for the team at LoyaltyLion. 

Interested in joining LoyaltyLion? Take a look at our careers page for our current job opportunities.

About the author

Phil Baxter

Phil is a Product Manager with eight years of experience in the ecommerce and fintech industries, with a particular focus on customer loyalty. He’s a proud gardener and dad. Weekly updates from his son, Joshua, are a highlight for the team at LoyaltyLion.

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