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"Talent is the future of digital media": The Drum Digital Advertising Awards APAC 2019


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

October 7, 2019 | 5 min read

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The future of digital media is the talent, says Tom Dover, senior account director, Xandr. A lot of attention is circulating technology in programmatic right now, but talent remains one of the biggest challenges.

"Talent is the future of digital media": The Drum Digital Advertising Awards APAC 2019

"Talent is the future of digital media": The Drum Digital Advertising Awards APAC 2019

Prior to The Drum Digital Advertising Awards APAC 2019, of which Xandr are a partner, we spoke to Dover about the talent trends and challenges and how programmatic TV is becoming much bigger.

What makes a great digital team?

We’re fortunate to work with some incredibly talented agency and trading teams and what is abundantly clear, is that curiosity is a key trait of these teams. In digital and particularly in APAC, there’s often no handbook for how to approach new inventory or new consumer behaviours. Teams have to drive through innovation quickly, working in rapidly changing environments with incomplete information meaning you have to fail fast and learn faster.

High performance digital teams also hire people with passion and desire, who are committed to solving big, systemic problems, with the resilience and tenacity to make a difference. They seek out differences in background and opinion, and create an environment that is inspiring and inclusive, that provides autonomy, ensures everyone has a clear purpose, and of course, makes sure to celebrate the wins.

How important is talent in the future of digital media?

Talent is the future of digital media. In an increasingly programmatic space where decisions are made by computers, the outcome is only as good as the human behind the screen who sets the rules. Better outcomes need more creative thinking, more testing, more risk taking – all of those are driven by the talent and human intuition. A key asset in all of this is empathy. The human touch is hugely important to ensure local cultures, audiences and sensitivities are reflected back into society via relevant and appropriate advertising.

What are the big trends that will shape digital media?

Programmatic advertising has already transformed online display, mobile and video advertising by allowing brands to target highly specific audiences. Now the Connected TV revolution is bringing this digital advertising to a new audience. While still in the early stages, programmatic TV that buys and delivers tailored ads to audiences automatically via technology will continue to mature globally and will drive the growth of ad-funded CTV in the future.

How is Xandr shaping up for these changes?

Our technology continues to power the most sophisticated buyers and sellers in the industry, and we continue to invest in an open platform on which our partners can build their own solutions. At the same time, we have the investment and resources of AT&T to fuel innovation in cross-screen advertising and growing formats like CTV. We recently launched our strategic buying and selling platforms, Xandr Invest and Xandr Monetize, which set the stage for future advancements in premium video and TV advertising. Our vision is to offer the scaled, streamlined buying and selling platform the industry needs and to shape media monetization in the future.

How can agencies prepare for these changes and stay effective?

As the worlds of TV and digital converge, agencies will need to reorient their capabilities and processes to plan, execute and optimize campaigns holistically and efficiently. The days of siloed planning and buying are coming to an end.

Finding and retaining the right talent will continue to remain a critical way for agencies to stay relevant in the future. By leveraging technology partners and industry bodies, your team will remain at the cutting edge of developments, ensuring you are seen as trusted advisors in the eyes of your clients.

Xandr is a partner of The Drum Digital Advertising Awards APAC 2019, celebrating the talented individuals, teams, products and services that are making the biggest difference in the digital advertising world. The awards show took place on 4 October, a full list of the winners can be found here.

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