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10 minute read | February 1, 2023

Partner Spotlight: The Trade Desk

Written By: Emma Motha


In this month’s partner spotlight, we caught up with Joel Livesey, Lead Senior Director of Inventory Partnerships, EMEA at The Trade Desk. In the below interview, you'll be able to find out about their latest AI-driven technology capabilities and how spending in DOOH is expected to overtake pre-pandemic level.


1. Tell us about The Trade Desk and your role there?Screenshot 2023-01-25 at 13.49.28

The Trade Desk is an independent media buying platform designed for the open internet. Our platform allows marketers to reach more customers in more places with trust, transparency and choice built in at every stage – from planning and pricing to performance. Journalism, television, and music all rely on advertising to fund their content, making it free or subsidising the cost for consumers. The monetization of that content is best fueled on the open internet, where advertisers can make deliberate decisions about which content to support, and where they can measure campaign performance effectively. 

Within the business, I lead the inventory partnerships team, overseeing the supply-side strategy and activation which effectively means I work with both local and global partners, like VIOOH, to develop innovative strategies for our clients.

2. Can you tell us about your platform and how brands can benefit from it?

The Trade Desk was designed to help advertisers achieve growth, reach new audiences and prove their impact. As we only operate on the buy-side, we can be truly neutral in the recommendations about which media to buy and the insights we share with brands and agencies about their target audiences and campaign performance. Focusing on just one aspect of the ecosystem has enabled us to remain objective in everything we do, and our clients always know we work for their interests alone. We win when they win. And this also enables us to build effective partnerships with other industry parties, such as inventory providers, publishers, media-owners and data companies, all in service of delivering impactful campaigns for our clients.

We’ve developed AI-driven technology capabilities to extract millions of data points from every ad impression. This helps drive significant value and precision for every advertiser – helping them optimise and refine campaigns in ways that are simply not possible in the traditional guessing-game of marketing. Our platform helps brands get relevant ads in front of relevant audiences, improving their relationship with customers and boosting the overall consumer experience. 

3. How does including programmatic DOOH in a cross-channel campaign help brands? 

Programmatic DOOH is a key part of any omnichannel campaign. Picture commuters on a morning train heading into the office. They’re sat scrolling through news outlets or listening to their favourite podcasts. At the same time, they’re being served coffee shop ads with exclusive deals. 

Now imagine that same train pulling into a central city station full of commuters looking for a cup of coffee to kick start their day. As the train doors open and commuters make their way into their respective offices, their eyes meet boards above and point them to coffee houses around the corner from the station. The mobile ads set them off on the journey and the DOOH board sealed the deal. 

The combination of mobile and channels such as CTV, gives brands the data to understand where, when and how consumers are engaging with content, and programmatic DOOH allows brands to flex and pivot their ads based on how consumers interact with said content. It means brands can reach a wider audience while maintaining a targeted and flexible approach.

4. How much of a priority is programmatic DOOH for The Trade Desk over the next year?

We’ve long recognised the power of programmatic DOOH so we’ve invested in relevant partnerships and the right technology to showcase its true potential and help advertisers see the return of their investments. 

Spending in DOOH is expected to overtake pre-pandemic levels, mostly thanks to programmatic DOOH. Without a DSP, programmatic DOOH simply wouldn’t exist. The ability to target relevant audiences and measure impressions, awareness, and footfall, amongst other things, makes programmatic DOOH a no-brainer for advertisers as it allows them to get the most value out of their investments and understand what’s working, what isn’t and adjust accordingly in real-time. It’s starting to be a real game changer for advertisers.

5. Can you tell us more about how DOOH benefits location-based and multi-market activity, and what it can do for brands?

Traditionally, once a billboard goes up it must stay as it is for the remainder of the contracted agreement. Significant changes could be very expensive and time consuming for brands. Plus, it’s not a good look to have a peeling poster advertising a film out months ago. DOOH allows brands to change their ads more frequently than traditional paper-and-paste OOH. Programmatic DOOH takes this to the next level, and allows brands to make changes to their ads in real-time. This is vital given external factors are constantly shifting from one market to the next which can really impact how an ad lands with a certain audience. Incorporating real-time information like weather or results of sports events instantly maximises the relevance and impact of an OOH ad. 

With programmatic DOOH, brands can run slightly different ads in different locations - even billboards along the same street or route - based on what consumers are engaging with. Programmatic DOOH is all informed by mobile data, which goes back to the importance of omnichannel. Where previously brands would have run similar billboard ads across different markets, they can now understand whether this is the kind of content their target audience wants to see. DOOH means brands can use their budgets effectively and see the biggest return on their investments. 

6. What projects are you most excited about working with VIOOH on?

VIOOH recently announced the launch of its new Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) Solution that allows advertisers to adapt elements of their ads without manual intervention, in real-time. It’s imperative to enable advertisers to deliver personalised messages to target audiences and create more valuable and engaging experiences. It also works to boost omnichannel strategies and help advertisers connect with every consumer across every channel.


You can learn more about The Trade Desk by visiting their website here.

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