With Unruly, Grapeshot, Spotify, Tapad, and Mobilewalla as launch partners, demand-side platform (DSP) The Trade Desk is opening a Jakarta office to better serve the country's "explosive" digital-advertising growth.
The satellite office, reporting into Singapore, will open officially on Monday with two already-trained executives. It will be the company's sixth office in the region, joining Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney.
Indonesia came out as the fastest-growing market in a recent IAB/eMarketer forecast, with total ad spending set to rise 8.4 percent in 2017. The growth rate for digital advertising, meanwhile, will be 25 percent in 2017 and remain in double digits through 2020.
"Indonesia has been a market we considered a high priority since I came on two years ago," said Matt Harty, The Trade Desk’s regional vice president. "We have been servicing it from Singapore, and it's become a bigger and bigger part of the business." That's no surprise, he added, as Indonesia has the fourth-largest and fastest-growing middle class in the world—set to reach 140 million by 2020 and currently adding about 9 million people a year.
Having people on the ground will allow the company to get "deeper into local nuances", Harty said. For example, he related that the company was a bit surprised by the amount of Ramadan-related advertising it saw last year. Getting up and running in time to fully participate in planning for this year's campaigns surrounding the season, which starts in late May, became a priority.
Targeting available in the market hasn't been a lot more sophisticated than matching ads to websites or website sections, Harty said. So the team will be helping to spread new options, such as location targeting through Mobilewalla, contextual targeting with Grapeshot, and cross-device tactics such as 'household extension' (targeting multiple devices in a household once one target has been identified) via Tapad.
"The market's going to be getting very sophisticated very quickly," Harty said. "The spend will be led by FMCG, but I also think there will be large contributions from QSR [quick-serve restaurant] clients, and I think travel is going to be a much larger component as Indonesia becomes a much larger travel market."
Among Southeast Asia markets, Indonesia is and will remain The Trade Desk's "largest individual contributor, over the top of India, for some time to come, and will be very difficult to displace", he added.
Harty said he's confident that The Trade Desk now has an advantage over other DSPs because even "rushing headlong" into Indonesia can take a year or more due to regulatory requirements.