The latest programmatic advertising team in the Asia-Pacific region for The Trade Desk, the global omnichannel demand-side platform (DSP), is located in the bustling Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong and is led by Alex Lo, who has worked in programmatic advertising since 2012.
The Hong Kong office opened in November last year, and joins a regional operation for The Trade Desk that also includes offices in Singapore, Sydney, Seoul and Tokyo.
Senior vice-president, Asia-Pacific, Matt Harty said the new office has quickly made its presence felt. “We’re very proud of our team. They have surpassed not only our revenue expectations but have also forged important agency relationships in a short period of time,” Harty said. “The Hong Kong team has enabled us to create real partnerships with agencies seeking to engage in strong brand messaging. They are helping our Hong Kong clients deliver on actionable omnichannel KPIs for their advertisers across multiple devices and touchpoints in the local market and Asia.”
“We see our mission in helping agencies and their advertisers grow from their adoption and investment in programmatic buys”
—Alex Lo, The Trade Desk
Lo said the digital advertising market was growing fast in the region and the key to success was to create a culture of rapid learning and enabling a true buying power by tapping into The Trade Desk’s bid factor technology that allows campaigns to run five times more expressively than any other DSPs with standard line item architecture, resulting in smarter buying at scale.
“A key part of our success in the Hong Kong market has been our focus on cementing close alliances with the major agency groups in the region,” Lo said. “We see our mission in helping agencies and their advertisers grow from their adoption and investment in programmatic buys.”
The Trade Desk’s Southeast Asia client services director, Katie Pointer, said the company believed the best model for working with agencies is to always provide strategic client servicing, collaboration, and trading expertise to campaigns. “There are many components that make up a robust audience-first strategy and we believe The Trade Desk has got the client servicing and support model right,” she said. “The market is changing rapidly and our aim is to ensure that daily operations run smoothly, and that the right decision-makers are empowered with the best trading practices.”
DK Tan, senior director of trading, APAC:
There is a huge opportunity for brands in the region to move to a true omnichannel programmatic advertising world, where they can run video, display, mobile, social, native and audio on a single platform. We are only at the start of that opportunity and media spend efficiency will be realised when the right platform model is executed.
By integrating their total media buy into a single platform, brands will be able to enter the world of programmatic storytelling and deliver their advertising messages to the right audiences in the proper manner.
We are also seeing an immense growth in data sets that are providing insights drawn from the campaigns to allow for better decisions. We are bringing new programmatic channels and ad formats to the region quickly, and plan to continue our focused education programme with the Trading Academy, which assists agencies to transfer knowledge and experience to their brand clients.
Doireann Ó Brádaigh, commercial director, AU/NZ:
The Australian programmatic advertising market is sophisticated and continues to move at break-neck speed. There is incredible demand for premium video supply and we have moved to ensure that brands can access the best inventory and reach their desired audiences by working with key partners and by creating private marketplaces. We are focusing on providing effective strategies for premium video advertising placements and enabling our agency partners to deliver on that strategy.
The next development in Australia will see the uptake from brands and agencies on native advertising a recently launched offering from The Trade Desk. Native video will enable brands to place their own stories and creative messages on publisher destinations and drive engagement.
Finally, the data opportunity has become a reality as brands get more active in taking control and become more savvy in understanding the importance of owning their first-party data.
Tetsuya Shintani, country manager, Japan:
We are building an experienced and astute team in Tokyo to meet the demands of advertisers and agencies. The Trade Desk team is now 12 people strong and still growing, as we aim to equip our agency partners with the strategic insight to successfully execute their programmatic media buys. We invested early to integrate with key Japanese partners, ensuring full localisation and reach of campaigns. We have also been focused on helping our clients build on strategies for long-term focus brand build and performance for their advertisers.
Often campaigns in the Japan market are planned for short-term performance, and bypass the benefits of creating a longer-term programme that can be optimised to deliver true brand stories for loyalty and growth.
The Japanese market is seen as complex and hard to serve. However, in our experience, a strong team dynamic and cultural understanding is a long-term path to success.
Hyunjin Park, general manager, Korea:
The Korean market has its own unique characteristics and our strategy has been tailored to meet their particular needs.
Large brands formed their own advertising agencies to service and support their product portfolio, so a close relationship with both parties is vital.
Programmatic is still a new arena for many players, so we have focused on education and knowledge transfer. However, we are seeing advanced trading strategies emerge, and we believe Korea will grow faster than expectations.
We are working closely with local agency partners across a diverse range of industries to help reach audiences outside of the domestic market.
Korean advertising agencies are scaling out their programmatic trading practices and we are working to bring our global knowledge, insights and skills to help in that growth.