Living in a digital word can be difficult. It’s confusing to some when there is always something new on the horizon. Infinity’s used to this. We’re always learning about each day’s big change, and we couldn’t do it without our trusted partners. The Trade Desk is one that assists our team with buys in the ever-changing digital media environment. We took some time to talk to two team members from The Trade Desk to learn more about their company and what their day-to-day is like. Meet Director of Business Development, Nin Tam, and Trading Specialist, Francisco Navarrete.
IM: Could you tell us a brief history of your company?
TD: The Trade Desk was founded by the pioneers of real-time bidding, Jeff Green (CEO) and Dave Pickles (CTO), back in 2009. We sought to solve one of programmatic’s glaring problems; price discovery. Back in 2009, auction dynamics and bidding behavior was very predictable: the same bid price for any impression, whether it was the homepage of the New York Times, an impression at 4am, or below the fold. Prices for inventory did not reflect the true value of that particular impression. Today, The Trade Desk powers the most sophisticated buyers in media. Our DSP is independent, agnostic, and serves as an example of a true open technology platform, allowing buyers and sellers to transact in real-time with great efficiency.
IM: In what way(s) is your company different now?
TD: Our tenants on which we were founded haven’t changed. Our long terms goals haven’t changed. Our commitment to the buy-side, openness, transparency, and omni-channel will always be a part of our mission and commitment to our clients. The only major change has been the scale of our operations, really.
IM: Tell us about your typical day.
NT: Each of our days is different. It’s a team effort from the client side to the trader side, but we always dedicate time to chat. My day starts with catching up on emails. I look at the industry through websites like Ad Exchange, MediaPost, Ad Age, and try to read between the lines on what’s to come. This helps me give perspective to my clients. Recently, Google’s removal of the double click idea is something that my team made sure we discussed to make sure everyone knows how it affects the team. I’m very connected with my team. The last thing I do each day is aggregate information to ensure that the broader sales group knows what works well so that we can roll it out to the team. We have a lot of fun events like Guacamole Fest and a company trip to California.
FN: My end-game is to exceed my performance expectations. I come in, keep an eye on the campaigns I’m managing, my clients’ campaigns for performance to ensure expectations are met or exceeded. I look to where I can optimize for improved performance and will put together recommendations and consult with my clients. If there are any further questions, I’ll start an open dialogue to discuss further. For clients that are in the general area, we have office hours where we go in person to learn how things are performing and see how we can make our clients happier. We help them plan future campaigns and look at the learnings to ensure that they are transferred to new campaigns. Another big portion of my day is testing new features to ensure that I understand them and leverage them well. I make sure I can explain anything I need to for clients.
IM: What’s your favorite part of your job?
NT: I love the people, internally and my clients. I spend most of my time with the people I work with, so I prioritize conversations and debate among my peers. Everyone is bright, eager, and it challenges me. If I ever feel complacent, there’s always a colleague who will stimulate me to do more.
FN: My coworkers and clients are extremely intelligent. We all enjoy pushing the boundaries of what programmatic is and what it’s going to be. It’s a very early stage for this industry when comparing to where we want to be. Pushing the frontier is motivating. When my clients transition from only using display to including data-targeted audio ads, it’s extremely rewarding getting them there. The biggest challenge is that it’s continuously changing and there are always new twists in the road. We must learn new things and how it affects trading.
IM: What is the most difficult part of your job?
NT: Sometimes, when conversations move up the chain in client organizations, it can be a game of telephone, and the message gets lost in translation. It gets diluted when it reaches its destination. Communication with clients can sometimes be education, but there’s a lot for some people to learn. It’s unfair to ask for some people to understand everything completely since there is so much, but that’s part of the challenge. It’s almost one of my favorite parts of my job because I want to help agencies and partners establish a solid revenue stream. I need to understand my clients and how I can get them from A to B.
IM: Tell us something most people don’t know about what you do.
NT: I’d say that a lot of us care a lot for our clients because we care about the long-term implications. Will our strategy be sustainable long-term? We want to ensure that as many people as possible are trained in a company to ensure the burden isn’t just on one person. We’re always looking to the future for how we can help our client in the future. We look at the long game. We aren’t focused on getting more business, but we are happy with what we have. We want to maximize our current partnerships to ensure that our clients get the most out of our services.
IM: Tell us something that The Trade Desk does extremely well.
TD: Take care of each other and our clients. Stay focused on the long term. Execute.
IM: What does the future of your industry look like?
TD: Programmatic as an industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. At end state, we see any digital media that can be transacted programmatically will be. The next monumental frontier for the industry will be television/connected TV. Secondly, emerging markets in Asia, South America, and Africa will naturally adopt programmatic, as it’s a more efficient and deliberate way to transact media. For programmatic buying to prosper, leverage needs to lean on the buy-side, which allows advertisers and agencies who hold the dollars to command even greater transparency and decisioning.