Inside Ople – Henry Lim
As more and more companies turn to AI solutions, the space is becoming increasingly crowded. That’s why a strong marketing team is necessary to educate consumers and showcase what Ople can do for businesses right now. Henry Lim is both Ople’s marketing manager and the go-to source for all questions and concerns. With three masters (so far), he seems to know everything ‒ a company-wide belief that has yet to be disproven.
Tell me a little about yourself.
I was originally born in Seoul, Korea and I came to the U.S. back in 1997 to attend high school. I went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for my undergraduate degree in economics, and went to Boston University to get my Masters in Economics. It was during that time that I took an advertising course and learned that companies use advertising to convince people to buy a product over competitors. I found it really interesting, so I ended up getting a Masters in Advertising at BU as well. After that, I started my career at a digital marketing agency as an account executive, managing marketing activities and also handling client relationships.
How did you get into the tech field, specifically data science?
My time as an account executive was fun, but it was also very limited because you don't have the freedom to try new stuff. At the time, there was this boom of big data, so Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were becoming big data sources, and there was a wave of social media data analytics services coming up. People were talking about how much you do with data and how you can learn from it, but it needed to be engineered in order for people like us to digest and understand.
I didn’t even know the term ‘data science’ at the time, but I came across the word bubbles associated with Twitter. There were quite a few companies that would analyze your Twitter handle, your competitors’ handles and then analyze the text and figure out whether followers positively reacted to the tweet using word bubbles. This would gauge the company’s social media presence and how the brand was changing. So that was my first exposure to a data science-like service.
I liked how marketing was becoming more data-driven, and I wanted to make sure I become a data-driven marketer. I was thinking that if I couldn’t pursue this at an agency, I could switch my career, so I got my MBA from the University of Virginia. I enjoyed all the marketing and analytics courses, including the data science course.
What are some of your responsibilities as a Marketing Manager?
Right now, my core tasks are doing both brand and product marketing, focused on sales enablement.
I have to come up with content that we can push out to the public and inform them on what Ople does and why companies should consider us. I can’t do this alone, so I bring everyone in. Often times, I bridge the gap between the engineers and sales; I meet with the engineers to make demo videos after going over the data sets and testing the product so that I can come up with a story and a pitch deck for the sales team to use. Along the journey, I will pick up new customer stories and product features, and personal stories, that would become content.
Educating prospect customers in what AI means and what it can do to help right now is an ongoing challenge. I really want them to understand that you don’t need to wait three months or a year from now to get a return on AI; they can experience the benefits right now.
In addition, a lot of people think of robots or something very fancy or complicated when they think of AI. The truth is it’s just computer language. You are controlling the computer and telling it what to do. It’s never going to become the Terminator.
What has been one of your favorite memories at Ople so far?
Attending VB Transform last year was very memorable for me since it was right before our Series A. It was fun to come back again this year and see how far we’ve come. The shows themselves are always enjoyable, but it is also great exposure for us.
What do you like to do for fun?
I really like playing video games, like Final Fantasy, and going to museums with my family. My favorite local one would probably be the California Academy of Sciences.
Favorite TV show?
Game of Thrones and Lost.
Probably Italian or Japanese.
"The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never forget the drops of oil in the spoon." -Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)