It’s an exciting time to be part of the Innovid team — not only did we just open our newest office in Singapore, but we’re also lucky enough to have Henry Schenker at the helm of our entire Asia-Pacific region. Henry joins us from Tapad, where he led a team focused on bringing cross-device data to Asia. Prior to Tapad, he served as the director of professional services at Wyng.
Henry was kind enough to let us pick his brain about the tech space, cross-device video, what brands can do to stay relevant across the globe, and more in the following Q&A!
Why do you love working in technology?
Technology, particularly in start-ups, has always been the biggest source of passion in my career. It started with learning how to code years ago, but I’ve also become enamored with the most innovative companies and valuable technologies. I think it’s this potential for innovation and impacting entire markets that keeps me excited.
What advice do you have for navigating the changes in the tech industry?
It's pretty simple, but I like to ask people in meetings about trends they are seeing in each region, as I find it to be a really good way to get diverse and consistent updates on what’s changing. There are also more options than ever for getting industry intel right to your inbox via newsletters — subscribe to them all and read when you have time or need a break from the usual work tasks.
You’re pioneering our new office in Singapore! What is unique about this market that global brands should know?
Yes, this opportunity is very exciting for me and Innovid! In short, APAC isn’t only a vastly different region from NA, EU, etc. — every country is different from one another as well. There are of course cultural differences, but also massively different consumer trends that need to be taken into consideration by marketers. There is a huge opportunity in Asia, but it’s also complex to navigate, so it’s super important not to make assumptions, and to do the planning and research needed to be successful.
How can global brands use video marketing to stay relevant with their customers?
The research is pretty clear that consumers will engage with brands if the marketing is relevant and interactive. This is easier said than done, but there are amazing products out there that can help. Innovid’s platform is built to go way beyond standard video advertising, and help marketers actually create experiences for consumers. Especially in APAC, our data-driven video solutions on Facebook and YouTube will be game changers, as they give the ability to personalize messages across the various countries and audiences on these hugely popular platforms. In a region where users expect (and want) more relevant messaging from brands, it’s extremely important to focus on innovative and engaging executions for video.
You come from Tapad—what do you think is a major must-know for marketers looking to excel in cross-device video?
It’s no secret that consumers are using more and more devices, and switching screens more than ever before. Thus, it’s essential for marketers to try and deliver the right messages to the right people, at the right time, regardless of the screen/device. For video, which is perhaps the best way for a brand to engage users, I think it’s most vital to tell a consistent story on mobile, desktop, TV, etc. Cross-device has become an oft used buzz word, but it’s important to dig into how a vendor is claiming to solve for it. To my knowledge, there are only a handful of companies that can do it well — and with user privacy top of mind, so do your due diligence!
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work and why?
Playing beach volleyball – I’ve been playing most of my adult life and in university, so it’s truly amazing to be able to continue the passion in Singapore! Also listening to music…although I can get a bit obsessed with my favorites.
For all the aspiring techies out there—what advice do you have for folks who are trying to break into the industry?
Probably not to overthink things. I notice that a lot of younger professionals are going for secondary education, code school, etc. While that’s certainly useful, I don’t think anything can replace the experience of learning on the job, smashing client expectations, and building a network. For someone trying to break into this industry I would strongly suggest focusing less on landing the “ideal” job, and instead, look for a solid company with committed leadership that builds world-class products, and then work really, REALLY hard. The majority of those I’ve seen take this approach end up becoming rock star employees, and building a career path that rewards and challenges them.