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5 Minutes With... Jacob Teo

6th Jun 2018 Diane Dizon

5 Minutes With... Jacob Teo, Head of Digital, Singapore at IPG Mediabrands
Not to be pigeonholed as a tech geek was Jacob’s excuse of entering the presumably glamorous world of advertising. Little did he knew it became a growing addiction of what includes numerous sleepless nights of staring in to the computer screen come every campaign launches. Insomnia aside, he brings with him over 14 years of experience spanning across industries that include FMCG/CPG, Banking/Finance, Travel/Tourism, and Government.  He is also currently the Chairperson for the Audit Bureau of Media Consumption (Singapore).
What does an average day look like for you?
Day starts off with a good cuppa and the rest would truly depend on the agenda of the day. Other than checking my emails (almost) 24/7, staying connected with the wellbeing of my 
team and our set of clients would be what keeps me busy throughout.
In your opinion, which brands or businesses are using digital / technology to its full potential and how? 
The luxury business. It is noteworthy to observe some of the top players moving aggressively into digital in recent years. To stay ahead of competition, they recognize the need to create content designed for the digital space. It’s never just a statement tote bag or a pair of beautifully embroidered canvas slides. Instead, how these items can be intricately woven either in social media memes or Instagram filter allows them to effectively connect with context.
What’s the best piece of innovation you have seen in recent time and why?
Digitization via AI. It is causing a digital revolution in almost all industries and breaking the age old rules of how corporations should be engaging with their consumers. The democratization of data will also benefit both consumers and advertisers to better foster a unique one-to-one experience that allows the former to have a voice in the decision-making process of the latter. 
How has employee engagement changed in recent times and how do you ensure that you have the highest levels among your employees? 
It’s no longer the employer dictating what’s best for their people but creating an open platform that allows for continual conversations where everyone that’s involved is guaranteed a voice and a listening ear, whenever, wherever. It is when a team member is assured that his or her voice matters, would they truly feel empowered to contribute and ultimately, strive.
Where is your favourite place to travel?
It’s a tie between New York and Tokyo. Being reliable faves amongst insomniacs aside, it is New York for its diversity, and Tokyo for its eccentricity.