We are over the moon excited to welcome Jen Whelan into the Innovid family as SVP of Marketing—overseeing Innovid’s global integrated marketing and communications efforts. Jen brings over 20 years of marketing experience to the team, most recently having served as the Senior Director of Marketing at Qualcomm, as well as previously holding positions at Microsoft, T-Mobile, and Intel.
Jen has been busy to say the least—completing a cross-country move from San Diego to NYC while simultaneously learning the Innovid ropes and leading the marketing team’s strategy. That’s why we were especially lucky to sit down with her for a Q&A to find out more about her career, advice to up-and-coming marketers, what it takes to be a leader, and much more!
1. What inspired you to become a marketer?
My original inspiration came from one of my marketing professors at the University of Oregon, Mike Dore. He was a fabulous storyteller, so his lectures never felt like traditional classes.
2. What are you most excited to do at Innovid?
Innovid is a company of authentic inventors, leading an industry into areas we only dreamed of just a few years ago. The entire team is extremely hands-on and passionate about what they do, so I’m excited to learn from them, be inspired by them, and contribute to the amazing growth ahead of us.
3. What has been your proudest accomplishment to date?
Wow—that’s a big one! Not to be too sappy, but my son becoming an amazing adult human being has to be my greatest accomplishment.
4. Of all the cities you’ve lived in, which one is your favorite and why?
This is an extremely tough one, so I’m going to have to cheat. I grew up in Juneau, Alaska, so it will always be my “home.” Seattle and Portland have character and charm—and the people there will end up saving the world. Living in San Diego with the sun on my face and the ocean in the air made me smile and sing in my car every day—it was the closest I’ll ever get to a permanent vacation. But, I fell in love with New York City when I was 14 years old and I’m thrilled to be living in THE CITY of my dreams.
5. What are your hobbies?
Traveling to beautiful places, hiking until my legs hate me, running with buddies, drinking wine (is that a hobby?), and having dinner parties with my amazing friends (the ones who cook).
6. In your opinion, which brands are excelling in video marketing?
It used to be about the what—the most compelling piece of creative content. Now, it’s about the where—how far that awesome creative can reach and how many relevant formats and platforms it can be executed against. The brands who integrate video across all platforms at the planning stage are the ones who are most efficient and ultimately win my heart. In my humble opinion, I like how Dove’s video marketing has evolved over the past few years.
7. What advice would you give to marketers who are just starting out?
Figure out who you’re trying to reach and never stop learning about them: where they are, what pains them, how they consume information, and what they love. That knowledge will serve you well.
8. What do you think is the most important aspect of being a leader?
I think John Quincy Adams summed it up nicely when he said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more—you are a leader.”
To find out more Jen’s experience and her new position at Innovid, read the full press here.