Learning to Adapt

In accomplishing an objective of maintaining a strong level of usefulness within our client base, the tracking of behavior and user feedback is crucial to closing the loop between the customer experience and the ongoing product development process. Much of this responsibility rests with Planned’s Key Account Manager, David Cottingham. Now celebrating his second anniversary today, David has become pivotally important in ‘taking the temperature’ of our event planner users to measure how they rate their overall experience.

Joining the company prior to coronavirus upending the industry, David’s professionalism has been a calming influence throughout the pandemic.

The importance of client feedback and client usability testing cannot be understated, especially within a company that has developed a product to revolutionize an entire industry. Planned is thrilled to be in such a collaborative industry with hardworking and dedicated clients. We take pleasure in continuing to create tools to make their lives easier, and our Account Managers are key players in maintaining those relationships.

David’s drive to succeed can be seen in many milestones and successes within his life. He graduated from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia with a degree in Finance and accepted an offer to join the Finance team at the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. As well, with his entrepreneurial mindset he noticed an untapped market and founded a barbeque ‘tune-up’ service company during the summer months, cleaning backyard grills for those in his local area.

Fortunately for Planned, David’s curiosity for the tech industry drew him to seek opportunities outside of banking. On March 31, 2019, Planned, at the time known as Entr, onboarded David to the team and has greatly appreciated the time and effort he puts into any task at hand since.

Throughout his journey at Planned, David has witnessed shifts in the company and the product, sharing that “we’re more big picture — we focus on how to get user adoption across an organization and ultimately aim to sell our product to an enterprise. Enterprise sales wasn’t even a thought when I first started. It was a team effort to get to where we are…“

A mission of Planned is to include our clients in the product development process, and at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak, David headed the Discovery Program. The goal of the Discovery Program was to allow our clients to help us continue to improve our product as the solution to all of their event planning needs. With the goal of channeling client feedback to the Product Development team, the initiative was designed as an exercise in continuous user services improvement. Planned wants our clients to know that this product is for them and many event planners face similar challenges or stresses so to be able to solve those has given us great pride.

David’s approachable and calm demeanor makes him a natural leader and a talented Account Manager. A client he recently worked with for a virtual event at the end of 2020 shared, “If I had to rate how much he helped me and eased the stress of planning my latest event, I would say he’s a six out of five stars!”

As a team player David shared, “typically speaking, no weeks are ever the same [at Planned] and that’s part of working at a startup.” He added, “learning to adapt accordingly is key to the success of any employee.”

His admiration for innovation and adaptability comes, in part, from his interest in the leaps and bounds in tech that Elon Musk, founder, CEO, CTO and Chief Designer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), early investor, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc. has achieved. As well as Andrew Left, the Founder and Executive Editor of the online investment newsletter Citron Research, who has 18 years of trading experience and holds a reputation as an outspoken activist.

David has contributed to the growth of Planned, and from the onset his approach to “soak in as much information as quickly as possible” has made him a key asset. He’s seen as a veteran of the team and is the go-to for many of his colleagues. He says that “working with Marc and Emeric [Co-founders of Planned] has been great — they take care of their employees.”

David has the ability to approach challenges and tasks in an efficient way, and is always speaking his mind to improve Planned. We look forward with anticipation to the next chapter of David’s continued contributions at Planned!

A group of boundary-pushers revolutionizing the event planning process.

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