As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time. This week we highlight Mark Lim, Advertising Operations Manager, APAC at Essence.
Lim is constantly on the lookout to learn something new and enjoys the fact that the industry is constantly changing and evolving.
He’s been with Essence since graduating from college and still enjoys working with the very same people he interviewed with years ago.
Name: Mark Lim
Position: Advertising Operations Manager, APAC
Current Location: Singapore
Education: Bachelor of Social Science, Singapore Management University, 2016
How did you get your first break in the industry?
Immediately upon graduation from university, I applied to an Advertising Operations role at Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency that is part of GroupM. During the interview, I had a great conversation with the team lead, Shane Dewar.
We spoke about digital advertising, and later on, it somehow turned into a discussion about sports. Today, Shane is still my team lead and our catch-ups pretty frequently still veer towards sports. He took a chance on an eager fresh graduate and I have never looked back since.
What is your personal mantra?
For work, back when hashtags were cool, there was a hashtag #teamworkisbeautiful that one of my teammates used. It became something that has actually guided how I approach work. Besides that, in life, I try my best not to waste time worrying about things that I cannot immediately change or fix.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
I draw inspiration from my eldest sister who somehow finds a way to manage her job as a busy school teacher while having two young kids and a baby on the way. If I could draw an analogy to video games, it almost feels like she is going through life on ‘hard mode’, and I am truly amazed to witness her doing it so well.
What do you love about the job?
I love the fact that there is always something out there to learn within our industry. I also really like that within our department, we work very collaboratively both regionally and globally.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
Since the start of remote working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have become less crazy about having countless back-to-back virtual meetings. However, a quick coffee break in between does help quite a bit.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
That would be Essence’s new consulting service, Essence Data Health Check, developed to help brands achieve effective business outcomes from their digital marketing activities by advancing their audience data strategy.
This product was built to be a strategic and tactical aid for marketers to accelerate their digital marketing transformation and business growth. In addition to helping brands navigate shifts in data, identity, and privacy due to changes in user sentiment, regulations, and technology, the offering enables marketers to maximize value from their audience data and optimize consumer brand experience.
The features of this product are informed by Essence’s years of providing services to brands and industries across APAC. Our Advertising Operations team contributed to the development of this service product by designing exemplary work processes and checks to accurately collect and organize first-party data across multiple facets of brands’ advertising technology stack.
After spending years refining these tools, which I am really proud of, I am excited to apply them in the consulting service for clients and am looking forward to more opportunities to stress-test them in different scenarios.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
I was part of the basketball team in school and I have always dreamt about playing in the NBA but the odds were always against me. It recently crossed my mind that being a hiking guide in a bigger country like New Zealand or the United States would be interesting too.