Could you tell us about your role and journey into Media and Marketing?
Technological advancements like the internet, smartphones, mobile applications, and streaming services transformed the media industry and influenced my own journey into Media and Marketing. I knew that digital would be at the forefront of progress, so I chose to start my career in Investment Banking in the digital media space. Through this experience, I was able to see the immense, global impact technology had and would continue to have on the Marketing industry. I moved on to work at GCA, Warner Bros., and Blue Bite, where I helped to promote growth within these media companies.
Immediately prior to founding H Code, I was the SVP at Demand Media, where I focused heavily on digital platforms and grew the company’s mobile ad revenue from zero to $30 million in three years, while also managing $100 million in ad revenue business. Throughout my career, I saw the impact and potential of digital media as well as the world of opportunity it opened for advertisers and how they could better connect with consumers.
You’ve had a long track record of successfully working in diverse Marketing Technology teams. How did you arrive at H Code and what attracted you to this fast-moving ecosystem?
My professional experience is where I gained insight into Marketing Technology and the power of digital. This combined with my personal experience is what inspired me to found H Code. My wife is Hispanic and often would get Spanish ads, despite not speaking the language. This sparked a realization in me: brands and advertisers lack an understanding of the diversity within the U.S. Hispanic community and have certain assumptions about the people who make up this audience.
U.S. Hispanics are digital-first and have substantial spending power (estimated at $2.3 trillion), but are largely ignored by advertisers—a fact that hasn’t changed much in recent years. I realized that a solution that combined data, scaled media, and impactful creative was needed, and I was determined to leverage my experience, knowledge, and network to create this digital solution to address the need in the industry and help connect brands with this audience in an authentic and effective way.
What is H Code? How does it benefit the tech marketplace?
H Code is the most innovative and comprehensive digital solution to reach and influence the rapidly-growing U.S. Hispanic population. We have the largest digital reach of any solution in Hispanic Marketing and are able to reach U.S. Hispanics at scale and spanning audiences across all countries of origin, levels of acculturation, or language preference. Our digital-first platform has the unique ability to garner insights directly from this engaged audience to deliver meaningful and effective strategies. H Code aims to educate the market on the influence of U.S. Hispanics, the need for diversity within media and tech, and on how to target, reach, and influence the most powerful consumer in America.
Who are your customers and which geographies/industries are you currently serving?
We serve brands across a variety of industries—including airlines, automotive, CPG, finance, food and beverage, and more—that want to target U.S. Hispanic audiences. Our clients include Disney Theatrical, Toyota, General Mills, Target, Walmart, Delta Air Lines, Chase, Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Sprint, and USPS to name a few.
Which Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support technologies do you leverage at H Code?
The U.S. Hispanic audience is tech-forward. In order to reach them expertly and at scale, we leverage premium Marketing Technology and ensure our network includes the channels and platforms accessed by U.S. Hispanics every day. Our product suite offers a full menu of integrated marketing and media solutions—content creation, creative services, display, influencer marketing, mobile/desktop video, programmatic, and more.
Could you tell us how you analyze the ‘technology gap and/or generation gap that publishers find most-challenging in their audience targeting campaigns? What message do you have for such publishers?
Marketing campaigns can target audiences more effectively and address differences between segments with the right tools and knowledge. At H Code, our direct and exclusive network of endemic publishers allows us to collect first-party data, lending insight into the U.S. Hispanic audience and their content consumption, tech usage, and so much more. We are also able to utilize our Intelligence Center to address gaps by surveying and hearing from U.S. Hispanics directly—in their own words— to learn about their digital behaviors and opinions. We then combine this data and related insights with exemplary custom creative executions to resonate with an advertiser’s intended audience, driving better performance than anyone else in the industry. Each of our solutions is fully backed by our proprietary data, allowing us to optimize every campaign we run, ensuring success for our partners and clients.
What Marketing-related challenges do you meet every day? How do technology and collaboration tools help you to overcome these?
The biggest challenge we see every day in the media industry when reaching the U.S. Hispanic audience begins with education, or lack thereof. Brands that don’t understand the nuances of this demographic often struggle with finding the right Marketing approach to successfully engage with them. To combat this, we created an Intelligence Center that allows brands to hear directly from consumers that make up this audience. Brands using this tool can receive targeted insights and data to help overcome Marketing-related challenges and create the most compelling, impactful campaigns.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
As a business leader and because of my experience, I know that technology, digital, and media influence each other. I am determined to prepare for an AI-centric world by understanding how advancements in technology and platforms will affect not only the media industry but also H Code itself. From the way we operate to how it influences the audience we serve, we can continue to educate our partners and clients accordingly. Digital media is an evolving landscape, and since our Marketing strategies are data-driven, I know that as technology advances, so will H Code.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
At H Code, we combine technology, creative, and media. My people are passionate about what we do, and we are always looking to apply learnings and new technology. As CEO, I strive to inspire my team by leading by example, encouraging progress and technology adoption and being an active listener and participator. This ensures success for all.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I try to strategically organize which apps I keep on my phone, but I can say with certainty that my team and I wouldn’t function without Slack. As a business leader, I am in many different conversations throughout the day and even across locations, and Slack allows me to stay engaged with my people when it matters most.
Which superhero character/movie do you most profoundly relate to?
The DC comics are a personal favorite, their stories—both together and apart—have always resonated with me. I’ve enjoyed watching the more recent interpretations of the DC Comics like HBO’s Watchmen and seeing the surge in popularity of superhero movies unfold.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
My smartest work-related hack is to approach situations—whether positive or challenging—with “yes, and.” For example, let’s say another person communicates that there is a problem, I respond with “yes” (accepting the situation as reality) “and” adding to it with my thinking and, most importantly in a professional context, without extreme emotion. This allows me to respond with more thought and foster collaboration and openness, where the person (or group) can then respond accordingly. I find this boosts productivity, drives teamwork, and reduces misunderstandings.
What are you currently reading?
I am a firm believer that “knowledge is power,” and I learn as much as I can. Right now, I am reading Scott Galloway’s The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning. The book is great at speaking to both aspects of life—professional and personal—and outlining the key to happiness and importance of worthwhile investments, whether that be financially or spiritually.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received is, “Do not wait for things to just happen.” It’s a call to action that I strive to apply to many facets of my life. There is always room for improvement and more often than not, the first step toward change and progress is an action or decision that you can take.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I do things with great passion; I think there is a great strength in having a genuine interest in whatever you do because that excitement will drive imagination and motivation, which in turn will influence success.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
I would enjoy reading the answers of Alex Zhu, who heads TikTok, and see his unique perspective on the above and learn more about the creative, innovative ways they are leveraging video content and engaging young audiences.
Thank you, Parker! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Parker is the founder and CEO of H Code, the country’s largest U.S. Hispanic digital revenue business. Parker has more than 10 years of experience leading product development and revenue growth. Before H Code, he served as the SVP of Platform Revenue at Demand Media (now known as Leaf Group, where he led a team responsible for over $100M in media ad revenue. Previously, he also worked at Rubicon Project, Warner Bros., GCA (fka GCA Savvian), and Blue Bite. Coupled with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Parker has an extensive and insightful understanding about media, tech, and marketing.
He innovatively applied best practices to the burgeoning Hispanic market, underserved across media. Since founding H Code in 2015, he has led the company to profitability and achieved year over year growth, becoming the leading digital partner for brands wishing to connect authentically with U.S. Hispanics.
H Code is the #1 most authentic US Hispanic comScore entity. Our goal is to be the leader in the highly lucrative, but underserved US Hispanic advertising digital market. We reach US Hispanics by bringing together targetable data, the right inventory, and optimized impactful creative assets. Through our platform, we can reach US Hispanics more effectively than anyone else in the industry.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.