This month's interview is with Chris Hogg, Lotame's European Managing Director. Chris joined the company…
This week’s Under the Hood is featuring Lotame’s Integration Manager for our Data Exchange, Henry Olawoye. When Henry isn’t focused on “all things data”, you’ll probably find him traveling the world and meeting new people.
What is your title? What do you do? Describe your day to day here at Lotame?
I’m the Integrations Manager, for the Data Team. I monitor & manage the vast majority of all data coming into and leaving Lotame, for Data Sales purposes. My day to day is always changing & really depends on the needs of our clients. I answer a ton of questions, mainly: What is the best way to receive and/or send data? How will we implement and integrate? What is our time frame for receiving/sending data? Additionally, I’m the first line of defense when it comes to getting technical questions answered; so as you can imagine I explain dozens of times a week how Lotame actually works.
Where were you prior to Lotame? How does working at Lotame compare?
Before Lotame I was contracted to Aegis Mobile who is actually now our neighbor right down the hall. I tested mobile apps for fraudulent activity; IE malicious data mining, malware, phishing, and security. Prior to that, I worked as an IT recruiter.
My time at Aegis was interesting, a good company with a solid plan. They were ahead of the industry in my opinion – they cared more about the digital safety of wireless users than the majority of the Wireless Service Providers. The work was much different than what I do now, but now that Lotame is heavily involved with mobile, and making a very strong Data Quality Initiative – I’m starting to see some similarities in regards to cleaning up the landscape.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is new to the Marketing Technology industry.
Don’t ever expect to learn everything there is to know; you can never know it all. Though the world has gotten smaller due to technology, the amount of information out there is immense. On top of that, different regions are in different places technologically, and concept wise. Things that are working in EMEA won’t always work in North America. So on that note, I think the most valuable bit of advice I can give someone – is please don’t be afraid to ask questions. If something doesn’t sound familiar to you – ask the person for an explanation. Regulation is just catching up in this industry, we don’t have uniform terms for everything: think to yourself, how many different definitions of Audience/Behavior/Segment have you heard?
This industry has a lot of knowledgeable people, but more importantly there are a lot of good people; I know this because I’ve worked with a lot of them. Build relationships, ask questions, share stories, connect. Data is wonderful, data is great – but just like a DMP, you yourself need to collect, analyze & activate data (your data is relationships, as opposed to numbers).
Our Data Exchange has proven very successful throughout the years; can you give us one reason why it has remained so consistently strong?
Flexibility & Brain power. I think Lotame does a great job of bringing in new brain power to support the strong base we already have with our tech team. I have conversations with engineers and tech teams from outside organizations all the time – I can’t think of a time where Lotame didn’t come across as more creative, harder working, & willing to try new ideas. Besides being amazing technical talents, our engineers and developers are amazing people too & I really think they’re the backbone to our success. Everyone has the ideas, everyone has access to the same internet & data – but the smart people we have sitting in Columbia, and on the West Coast (only Lotame has them!)
What do you like best about working at Lotame?
That I can be my unique self. I know that sounds super cliche – but, it’s honest. It doesn’t matter what preconceived thoughts a person might have about me at Lotame; I (you) will always be able to be yourself & either prove them right, or wrong. Being able to be true to yourself, while feeling safe in any environment outside your home is a blessing, especially in today’s climate. I get that here, and I appreciate; I appreciate everyone here.
Where do you see the industry headed in the next couple of years?
The internet of things – I don’t know how to articulate this; but there will be more data collection points. There will be more devices hooked up to the internet, collecting and sharing data. I don’t know if it’s good – I don’t know if it’s bad; I just know there is opportunity. Fridges, thermostats, stoves, cars are all connected to the internet.
Data Quality is a super important initiative that Lotame has been focusing on. Without giving too much away, can you let us know what clients can expect for our Data Exchange?
I can’t give too much away, but clients can fully expect Lotame to stay ahead of the competition. Data Quality is a new concept to some, but it’s something we’ve been monitoring for as long as I’ve been here. For more than 3 years we’ve been evangelizing the quality of data, and now our technology, ideas, and ways of implementation are catching up. There are some exciting products in the oven, and I think clients will be thrilled when they come to market.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you.
What do you do when you’re not working?
As interesting as I come across – I’m quite boring. I play soccer on Mondays, I watch a lot too. I just started playing basketball again, and riding my bicycle. I actually do a bit of writing as well; I try to spend 2 – 3 hours a week on a story I’m writing to one day pass down to my kids when I have them. I listen to many different podcasts, on a range of subjects. Additionally I try to go on at least one international trip a year.
Olawoye translates to ‘chieftancy’ in yoruba. If you ever feel compelled to bow when you pass me in the hall, it’s ok, LOL. that’s a joke.