Tencil Talks: Christopher Ho

Christopher Ho is an Award-winning Innovation professional with extensive experience in Data, Innovation management, and media working as Innovation Director at Posterscope.

Posterscope is the world’s leading out-of-home and location marketing specialist with billings in excess of $3 billion.  It knows more about what people think, feel, and do out of the home and translates this understanding into compelling, creative, and quantifiable solutions that make a meaningful difference to clients’ businesses.  Posterscope has over 1,000 people in 61 offices located in 35 countries worldwide.

Today we caught up with Chris on all things digital. 

Q. How did your time at the University of Southampton prepare you for your current role? 

I read English Literature at University of Southampton, it was an incredible experience.
If I had to boil it down to a couple of key ways that Southampton prepared me for my role I would say:

a) soft skills like communication, critical analysis and story-telling are the unsung heroes of this industry; the ability to appraise information across multiple sources and communicate it compellingly is massively undervalued.

b) Southampton is a hot-bed of innovation with some of the best departments across Humanities, Engineering, Computer Science and Biological Sciences in the country. I spent my time in Southampton surrounded by some incredible levels of expertise. Being able to take knowledge from across a broad range of disciplines and connect the dots to solve problems is a serious advantage that I carry through into my current role.

Q. Do you think there are enough materials out there for young adults to learn about digital marketing?

There’s lots more out there now than there was when I left university.

The challenge really is distilling everything into a usable state.
What you really need is a trusted channel to receive all that information without being paralysed with choice.
Frankly adherence in any course is going to be the biggest determinant of success – so having all the materials in a singular resource is going to be the best chance of making the right calls.

From then on you need to learn by doing…

Q. What advice would you offer a young adult interested in digital marketing?

Be Humble:

I think it’s really important to know that it’s not a race and there’s plenty of time.

It’ll take away a lot of stress and it will mean you’re more attentive in the moment rather than getting frustrated by the future.

Don’t be afraid of sounding stupid when asking questions:

If you know something after asking a question that you didn’t before then you’ve succeeded.

Keep it simple:.
you can be the smartest person in the room but if you’re using jargon that no-one understands then you’re doing yourself a disservice in getting to your end goal.

Q. What is your proudest professional achievement to date? 

Launching ECOS Now – one of the first ever Digital Out-Of-Home programmatic offerings for GSK – is definitely up there.
Letting GSK purchase DOOH inventory live against a data feed.
To get the campaign across the line we had to shift the pillars of how Media Owners had traded with us for maybe 50 years? So it was a mammoth undertaking working with C-suite execs across some huge companies.
It means a new angle for brands to enter the OOH space, a big step forwards for OOH and nabbed a fair few awards in the process including a Drum Digital Advertising award – which is always nice.

Beyond that it’s the growing amounts of Location Intelligence work we’ve done.

From major banks to footwear apparel brands, Confectionery and investment – we’re finding more and more clients coming to us for location consultancy that isn’t necessarily built just around media.
Being a trusted advisor for things like stock levels, store closures, investment opportunities etc. is something that I’m really proud of.

Q. What changes do you think will come to the industry over the next 5 years? 

In terms of the overall industry there’s a delicate balance between Targeting/attribution and Ethics/Data Privacy and it’s one that I don’t feel anyone has really got right yet.

As a general rule: data and technology move fast and regulation moves slow, so it’s going to require some pretty big moves for us to reach an acceptable equilibrium.

Thankfully for OOH we’ve largely avoided most of these complications.
Being a part of the physical landscape and speaking to crowds rather than individuals means that OOH maintains a sure-footing in these ever-changing times.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not evolving.
Being a part of the physical landscape means that we have a responsibility in sustaining the environment we live in.
50% of OOH media owners’ revenues already go towards building bus shelters, public infrastructure maintenance, and supporting public transport.

I think we’re likely to see a huge focus in embedding this relationship even further fuelled by advances such as 5G and improved location data to build greener cities, enabling the Internet of Things to streamline our cities and ultimately making the outdoors a better place to be.

Q. What is your favourite restaurant and why?

Peckham – the begging bowl – honestly it’s hard to go wrong with ordering anything there but in particular, they do a fried sea bass there that is so good it actually makes me a little bit angry.
If you like a good bit of steak then Zelman’s meats in Soho is a great shout as well – they do a steak cooked directly on the coals which is an absolute winner.

Finally, we would like to thank Chris for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us today. If you would like to hear more on opportunities that exist within digital marketing – feel free to reach out to Joel.Williams@Tencil.co.uk

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