Showing Value Creation: Interview with Yu Shimura

What has been your career path?

My previous job was at a B2B SaaS marketing support company. There, I had a total of three different roles: inside sales, field sales, and marketing. During that time, I learned how difficult it can be to think about the kind of message to deliver to our customers, how to express it, and in what ways to approach those questions.

The role I had as inside sales gave me the ability to execute plans while coordinating with others, field sales taught me how to to grasp different situations from limited customer feedback and the ability to keep track of numbers, and my marketing position taught me the importance of being goal-oriented. I came to EAGLYS bringing that skillset along with my communication skills and strong willpower.

What made you decide to work for EAGLYS?

I was originally interested in venture companies, AI and security fields. So I was naturally excited when I heard the story of Mr. Imabayashi (CEO) at the interview. More specifically, it was the CEO’s message on the recruitment page that was a major influential factor.

In addition, I felt that I would enjoy working in a not well organized startup environment. So I could have the chance develop and create my own environment. I thought that I was suited to cultivate a path for myself. Those were the main reasons I decided to join EAGLYS.

What is your role at EAGLYS?

It’s been 3 months since I joined the company with a marketing role. As my first mission, I took on the role of project leader for the complete renewal of the company’s website.

In detail, I decided on the structure of each page for the new site, created the content text explaining our products and services, consulted with the designer of the partner company to decide on the photos and images to be included, and so on. There were too many things to do for one person, but I didn’t want to cut corners, so I spent my days learning as much as I could, and the time actually flew by!

For this project, the most challenging part was not the volume of tasks, but the writing of the text for the website, which required a high level of writing. Since I lacked experience in this industry, it was very challenging for me.

In my previous position, our target customers were mainly marketing professionals (regardless of company size). Therefore, it was easy to use similar frameworks every time, however the scale and complexity of the environment and issues of EAGLYS’ target customers are very different from those of the past.

EAGLYS’ data utilization cutting-edge technology has the potential to be at the core of DX (Digital Transformation) and data governance that every company is trying to tackle nowadays. I was expected to have insight into structural issues of the industry and problems that will become apparent in the future. So just reading business publications from the Nikkei Shimbun was not enough to understand the crucial issues of the market.

When creating the descriptions of the use cases, I had to focus on how to effectively convey the features and benefits in an easy-to-understand manner. This way potential customers would understand it and be able to relate to it on a personal level, since our offerings present a solution to a problem that they themselves haven’t tackled yet.

This is difficult because we are dealing with the world’s most advanced encryption technology. So if even a few technical terms are used, it may give the impression of being too difficult to grasp, and the message we want to convey may not be delivered at all. It was a very tough task to be able to communicate this, especially by someone who lacks previous knowledge and experience in this industry¬†[laughing].

There were days when my stomach screamed in front of the looming deadlines due to the daily storm of proofreading and draft rejections [laughing]. But when I finished, it felt like it was a like a good muscle training, starting from researching trade and business journals to the polishing phase of the final text. It was fun because I think I learned a lot from just the thinking process itself and course correcting by the text fixing it again and again.

Marketing activities carried out at EAGLYS and their insights

The industry, the market, and what we focus on when dealing with customers are completely different from my previous job, so everything is new to me.

Moreover, our main products and services are still under development, so we haven’t fully settled on what kind of company we will be and what kind of position our clients might be in. I think it is a valuable experience to be involved in marketing at this stage. It’s fun to work with both the business strategy side and the R&D side, and to see the direction gradually being set through trial and error.

First, I have to start by finding the right people to deliver the message to. My previous concepts of how in-depth I should talk about the technology and how to explain it to the people who can make decisions on the business side have been challenged. On the other hand, it is the first time that I can approach such tasks and plans from an much earlier stage. Also, since we still have a long way to go in terms of marketing within the company, we are undergoing a daily trial and error process in terms of how to deliver a clear message and gain everyone’s understanding.

When do you feel fulfilled in your work?

There are three kinds of things that I think can be interesting, fun and fulfilling.

The first one might be my personal way to view work. I think it’s the sense of “you can only move forward” that only a startup can provide. There are always many things that need to be done, and I get entrusted with them, and even if I feel overwhelmed, I have to proceed and move forward with the tasks. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done, so I do it. I especially like the feeling of being constantly pushed, as if there’s a fire is coming behind me every day, which is not often experienced depending on the type of job or the size of the company.

The second is that the opportunities for challenges is vast. This has two implications. One of the best parts of being in a startup is the close proximity to the management team. This allows you to propose your own ideas to improve the conventional way of doing things. Furthermore, since we are dealing with cutting-edge technology and the market is still growing, there are many marketing strategies that have not implemented yet, and the range of possibilities is huge (although we have to keep our budget in mind).

The third aspect I found fulfilling at my job is that it is full of learning opportunities. For me, the industry itself is a new concept, so I am still learning the basics. In adition, there are many multilingual people in the company, and I am especially exposed to English. It is very stimulating for me because I always have to use English for internal communication before proceed with anything. The culture of the organization seems to prioritize your ability to communicate well rather than whether you are good or not at speaking English, so I am doing my best. Personally, I’d like to put in practice my Korean, which I’ve been passionate about for a long time, so I’d like to casually ask around the office to see if anyone wants to speak it with me [laughing].

What do you want to achieve at EAGLYS?

As part of the marketing staff, I really haven’t done anything yet (except for the site renewal), so everything is still yet to come.

After the renewal website renewal project is done, I will start working on creating new content for the website like blog articles, marketing materials for events, etc. which is my original strength. Once we have a certain amount content, we will start advertising operations and considering new communication channels. Personally, I feel fortunate to have an overseas marketing team member working alongside me, so I’d like to gradually integrate both sides instead of working separately to create a consistent brand message for both Japan and overseas.

As a newcomer, I would like to create a breakthrough. As EAGLYS is still a young venture organization there are usually things that aren’t being done yet. So we can take in the essence of outside trends and change them much as we want, and in some cases creating something from the ground up. I want to be part of the process of shaping the company.

I feel that we still have a long way to go in terms of internal marketing awareness, so I would like to gradually improve that. I think it would be wonderful if we could take advantage of being a small company and enhance our mutual understanding so that we can feed on each other’s good energy constantly.

I want to continue to grow together with EAGLYS. And even though the speed at which we can quickly perfect what we do is far from ideal, we need to continously go thorugh a trial and error process even if we get bad results; that is how we will ultimately learn and grow as a company.