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New Digital Age: My Digital Hero: Sara Vincent, Index Exchange

IX Open. Rosewood. London. 10/6/19

Sara Vincent is Senior Director, Strategic Partner Development at Index Exchange. An industry veteran, Sara Vincent joined Index Exchange bringing with her nearly two decades of experience in the world of publishing.

Who is your digital hero?

It’s so challenging to just pick one — I’m very blessed to have worked with a variety of inspirational people throughout my career. But as I can only choose one, I’d say, Ian Hocking, the Vice President of Digital for South China Morning Post. He’s one of the most unassuming, yet remarkably knowledgeable digital gurus in the industry.

What has he done to win hero status in your opinion?

In addition to his unparalleled knowledge of the digital space, Ian has become one of the most south-after thought leaders in Southeast Asia. He’s been in Hong Kong for just under two years but has already proven himself to be a driving force in the digital evolution of South China Morning Post.

He, and South China Morning Post, are a brilliant, collective example of how publishers can take control, even in challenging times.

How has his heroism helped drive the industry?

At present, Ian and his team are leading the charge around harnessing the power of first-party data. The recent launch of South China Morning Post ‘Lighthouse’ allows marketers to connect with valuable, relevant audiences (while fully complying with tightening browser regulations).

The Lighthouse platform is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia — it’ll be exciting to watch its adoption continue to grow.

What are the biggest challenges in digital right now we need another hero to solve?

Transparency and accountability. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still room to grow. Digital advertising is a complicated space, and as we work to simplify and better educate our partners, we have to ensure we’re taking every step to be transparent as well.

Every player in the digital advertising ecosystem should be striving to provide greater clarity and a greater sense of accountability. We all need to be open books — inviting questions and giving clear answers about how, and where, we’re each adding value.

What is your most heroic achievement so far in your career?

Though I wouldn’t define myself as a ‘hero,’ I do have a few highlights from my career that I’m proud to share. They’re not solely my achievements, but a testament to the progressive, supportive teams with whom I’ve worked.

Most recently, I’ve helped build an entirely new team at Index Exchange that’s solely focused on publisher strategy and partnership growth. It was an exciting challenge — to create a valuable team from scratch is no easy feat, but I’m very proud of the team today (now stretched across France, Germany, Australia, and the U.K.) and all that we’ve achieved.

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