MarTech360 Interview With Thomas Park, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy At Adform

“While I do not believe that yesterday can tell you everything, it is certainly true that having a good historical understanding of your brand, including what has worked in the past, e.g. direct vs. potentially indirect success, and understanding the traditional target audience of who buys vs. who makes buying decisions, creates a very promising basis for future growth.”

How has your career journey, including your roles at Google and Dentsu, equipped you with the experiences and expertise necessary to steer Adform’s commercial products across Buy and Sell Side on a global scale?

There are multiple elements to this question.

The first one is about leadership. I believe that growing and diversifying functional expertise in earlier stages of your career helps you become a good leader later on. I know that some people see this differently, but from my point of view, it also helps a lot if your team and your peers in other departments know that you have the background to deep dive into a range of topics.

Secondly, seeing different “sides” of the industry is important. In my case, I have experience across agencies, then a mix of tech-publishing from my time at Google, and now pure adtech in Adform. This has helped me shape a 360-degree understanding of the different needs of players in the ecosystem, which clearly helps me as a product professional.

Lastly, the opportunity to have experiences in an international environment, through my time at Google, has helped me excel in my globally-facing, management role at Adform.

Thomas, can you tell us about your professional background and your current role at Adform?  Also tell us how does Adform differentiate itself from other companies in the same space?

Adform is a tech vendor for the advertising industry. Our platform Adform FLOW covers the full breadth of ad tech solutions, from buying media (both direct and programmatically) through measurement, creative management, and also selling media (again both direct and programmatically). In industry terms, we offer an ad server, a demand-side platform (DSP), a data management platform (DMP), a creative studio, a publisher ad server, and a supply-side platform (SSP).

Our key differentiation is the fact that we can support synergetic offerings through our DSP platform, without the need for partnering. This creates both cost and compliance advantages for our clients. We are also fully MRC and TAG-certified, which not many platforms can boast!

Lastly, we have invested heavily in an overarching identity management solution called ID Fusion, which puts us in the market-leading position regarding cookieless digital advertising.

So that’s Adform in a nutshell. My role is leading strategic product management globally. This means that my team and I oversee the full planning cycle of our product platform, including setting short- to mid-term priorities for development, to long-term strategic decisions such as overarching user experience and platform proposition targets. My team consists of Product People, UX Designers, Researchers and Data Scientists. My personal background is in Research / Data Science and I am an Empirical Social Scientist by education.

What technological advancements has Adform introduced that have revolutionized digital advertising, positioning them as a game changer in the industry?

Adform has been changing the game in digital advertising for over 20 years, especially with identity – that’s our sweet spot. We were ahead of the competition in creating a solution that solved the loss of third-party cookies in the form of ID Fusion (as mentioned above). This acts as a universal translator to provide advertisers with better reach and performance than they could achieve by relying on cookies. The results are impressive. Advertisers can benefit from uncovering up to 60% of their hidden audiences.

Having been independently tested and validated by PwC, ID Fusion is fully functional and futureproof and is used by major advertisers, publishers, and agencies in over 25 markets.

As a leading independent ad tech company we constantly strive to move our industry forward. Instead of waiting around for cookies to go, we acted.

What features and advantages does the Adform Demand Side Platform offer advertisers seeking to optimize their digital advertising campaigns across various channels, and how does it leverage advanced algorithms and proprietary data to achieve precision targeting and efficient media buying?

You name it, we’ve got it. Adform prides itself on offering advertisers a comprehensive suite of products to empower brands and agencies to get the best out of their digital advertising campaigns.

Omnichannel is among our top capabilities. Advertisers can efficiently manage campaigns across Connected TV, display, video, mobile, and social channels, all from one unified platform.

Our advanced algorithms and data help advertisers target specific audiences based on demographics, behavior, and interests. Real-time bidding (RTB) ensures efficient media buying, while cross-device targeting creates a seamless advertising experience.

We also offer dynamic creative optimization, data insights, and reporting tools so that advertisers can personalize ad creatives, monitor campaign performance, and make informed decisions for optimization. In addition, we prioritize brand safety and fraud prevention, ensuring ads are displayed in secure environments to reach authentic audiences.

We understand the challenges marketers face today and Adform has always aimed to solve them. Be it transparency, compliance, privacy, or control; we do things differently to help make the industry a better place. Our partnership with Utiq, a leading consent service, is an example of our dedication to privacy standards. This collaboration promotes an ID-centric approach in Europe, benefitting digital ad buyers. As the exclusive launch partner of Utiq in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain, we look forward to the positive impact this will have on our current and future stakeholders.

Also Read: MarTech360 Interview With Hikari Senju, Founder & CEO At Omneky

Thomas, how do you envision leveraging Artificial Intelligence across your suite of services to enhance media planning, personalized targeting, and overall campaign performance in an increasingly dynamic digital advertising landscape?

AI has very clearly been the talk of the town these past months, and rightly so. Our industry has plenty of up and coming applications, from generating best practice campaign management advice for users through interactive and automated creative production to sophisticated targeting set-ups made easy thanks to Generative AI (Gen AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

AI evolves, as technology always does, and gets better every day. But the main use cases of AI in our industry are already established. The interactive dimension that NLP adds on top in Gen AI solutions creates a new interface layer where users can significantly gain efficiency in interacting with technology platforms.

For Adform, we are currently trialing plenty of ideas that will gradually make their way into the platform, including live advice using Gen AI chatbots, creative production and interactive campaign set-up experience.

What key strategies and methodologies do you employ in overseeing the global product management and strategy for Adform’s comprehensive suite of solutions, to ensure they remain competitive and aligned with market needs and technological advancements?

As much as a stereotype as it may sound, data is key to successful strategy planning. And when I say data, I mean the full picture. From forecasts of development capacity on individual team level to persistent tracking of execution and sophisticated measurement of success (on multiple dimensions from revenue through usage data to user feedback).

Adform has invested a lot into ensuring internal data availability and transparency on the development side of things. We have also grown our external data sourcing for the impact measurement, from previously being revenue focused, to a more sophisticated approach where we look at feature adoption numbers and interaction patterns.

We use product metadata to measure impact (e.g. we create statistics on the impact of our recommendations depending on the underlying algorithm for the campaign) to generate best practice advice for our clients. We also run regular user feedback surveys, participate as a Product Team in key client meetings,  observe the market, read industry studies, and follow the press. This is a very dynamic industry, but we are hustling to stay on top as the talk of town.

What advice do you have for other leaders who are looking to drive growth for their brand?

There is a quote from ancient Egypt, I believe associated with the discovery of the grave of Tut-Anch-Amun, which runs “I have seen yesterday, I know tomorrow.”

While I do not believe that yesterday can tell you everything, it is certainly true that having a good historical understanding of your brand, including what has worked in the past, e.g. direct vs. potentially indirect success, and understanding the traditional target audience of who buys vs. who makes buying decisions, creates a very promising basis for future growth. Add to this a good market and trend observation, having regular strategy meetings to discuss recent developments and build scenarios on how to react (or sometimes not react), and you should be in good shape!

What is the biggest problem you or your team is solving this year?

It’s Q2, and as usual, we are kicking off the strategy planning process for next year. However, planning always means some compromises will have to be made, and some difficult negotiations lie ahead. This is just a regular part of working in the product team: you need to learn how to make everyone equally unhappy.

Is there anything that you’re currently reading, or any favorite books, that you’d Recommend?

In my spare time, I enjoy reading fiction books. I’m currently working my way through the Red Rising Series by Pierce Brown. Definitely worth a read if you are into Sci-Fi.

Apart from that, I also listen a lot to various podcasts. My favourite one is a history podcast called “Behind the Bastards”, which provides some context to some of the worst people in history. This creates a shockingly good mix of entertainment, education and a reassuring reminder, that there have been way worse leaders in history than yourself.

Thanks, Thomas!

Thomas Park is the Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Adform. In this role, he is responsible for setting the global strategic direction of Adform’s commercial products across both the Buy and Sell Side. Before joining Adform, Thomas spent eight years at Google in various roles, where he conceptualized cross-channel measurement products, advised clients on data-driven strategies, and launched advertising products in the EMEA market.

Adform is a digital advertising technology company that offers a range of solutions for advertisers, agencies, and publishers. Their platform provides tools for planning, executing, and analyzing digital advertising campaigns across various channels such as display, video, mobile, and social media. Some key features and services offered by Adform include Analytics and Reporting, Creative Tools, Programmatic Advertising, Data Management, Ad Optimization and Ad Serving.

Comments are closed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More