Jervis Koo, Digital Marketing Manager at Parkable
From aspiring professional footballer to catching the startup bug, Jervis shoots down some common misconceptions about marketing as well as shares insight into the energy he has harvested from working with a diverse team and as well as the importance of being able to roll up your sleeves. Enjoy.
Firstly, how would you explain to a five year old what it is you do?
I get as many people as possible to drink lemonade at lemonade stalls.
And for the adults, what does that translate to in regards to your day-to-day?
I take people on a journey by the way of storytelling across multi digital mediums over a period of time.
What are some of the common misconceptions about working in marketing?
- Good marketing equals fast results. Marketing requires some patience. The results will begin to trickle in over time, and once you get the ball rolling, the dividends are endless!
- Great products or services do not need to be marketed. What good is the highest-quality product in the world if nobody knows about it?
- Bad publicity is good publicity. Bad publicity is BAD publicity and it can easily turn into the kiss of death if it is not dealt with swiftly and properly.
“Bad publicity is BAD publicity and it can easily turn into the kiss of death if it is not dealt with swiftly and properly. ”
Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?
For as long as I could remember, all I ever wanted was to be a professional football player. I’ve been playing since I was seven, played for a few academies and was fortunate enough to have a number of trials in the UK and Europe but ultimately things didn’t pan out. I guess I wasn't as good as I thought I was...
I then went to study Psychology at Auckland University but dropped out after a year to pursue music. I did a degree in Recording Arts, tried my hand in producing for a couple of years but eventually went back to uni to complete my Masters in International Business.
As part of my Masters, I got an internship at Parkable when it was just starting off. 5 years on and I'm still smashing goals for Parkable!
Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at Parkable?
Parkable was my first job out of uni! In classic start up fashion, a small team of us was operating out of one of our co-founder’s kitchen bench for a good part of 6months. We eventually moved to a shared office down at Britomart with some amazing businesses such as The Spin Off and New Zealand Geographic.
The early years were about getting stuck in and doing everything and anything to move the needle, as the team grew, I gradually moved into a more conventional marketing role over 5 years, tackling challenges as the marketing manager and eventually, digital marketing manager.
I’ve also had amazing opportunities to develop professionally over the years by collaborating on projects with New Zealand Geographic and agencies and those opportunities have led to me being their Digital Editor and more recently, have landed a dream position at a Silicon Valley startup!
Can you share some more insight into what that transition was like?
Parkable was my first “real” job so I didn’t have any real expectations - it was quite easy to adjust. I’m also driven by nature so I felt comfortable being thrown into the deep end and enjoy having the freedom to find creative ways to solve complex problems.
What is it specifically that you like about working Parkable relative to your past jobs?
The people. Working with amazing people from different backgrounds, different cultures, and different nationalities adds so much to the workplace culture.
“There is always room to grow. Read, talk to people. You’d be surprised by how many doors open just by having friendly conversations with people.”
Do you have any advice for people considering tech as a career path and how they might get there quicker?
- Be comfortable with stepping out of your comfort zone.
- There is always room to grow. Read, talk to people. You’d be surprised by how many doors open just by having friendly conversations with people.
- Don’t worry too much about not having the right experience. If you have the right attitude, some perseverance and hard work will get you there!
Lastly, Parkable continues to evolve. What kind of candidates do you think Parkable is looking for in terms of experience, attitude and character?
- Someone who is comfortable with rolling up their sleeves and enjoys solving problems.
- Someone who isn’t afraid to dream big and is not afraid to make mistakes.