Programmatic Summit
Q&A with Tae Kyu(TeQ) Kim

All things programmatic, ad tech & digital with Tae Kyu(TeQ) Kim, Senior Regional Director – Xandr

With global experience over a fifteen-year span including a twelve-year tenure at Microsoft, Tae Kyu (TeQ) Kim’s command of programmatic sales and deep understanding of ad exchange & audience-based selling is unparalleled. Today, the Senior Regional Director at Xandr, TeQ leads his team through emerging video tech and the burgeoning OTT channel.

The Microsoft days

Back in 2004, TeQ cut his teeth selling display ads, Hotmail and one of the original live chat platforms, MSN Messenger, to agencies and advertisers. In a world before Snapchat and WhatsApp, MSN Messenger was the hottest product among advertisers.

“Those were the good old days,” says Kim. “At that time, all ads were sold on an IO basis.”

Over the following six years, TeQ would flourish in his role, building strong relationships with agencies and advertisers until being promoted to Program Manager where he first entered the programmatic tent.

“Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Advertising Exchange (MAX) in partnership with the programmatic technology company AppNexus, now Xandr,” TeQ recalls. “I was responsible for launching this across APAC and ended up spending half my career at Microsoft as a programmatic salesperson.

“In many ways, Microsoft were trailblazers in this space as they were aware that programmatic could help future-proof their display business by making it more accessible to buyers and by also increasing yield through efficiency gains. They saw major success with their ‘100% Programmatic pilots’, and in 2015 Microsoft decided to take their advertising business 100% programmatic.”

In the ad tech world, launching a network for one of the biggest trailblazers in technological history is no small feat, and TeQ continued his tenancy at Microsoft for a further six years growing audience targeting and performance business across ten separate Asian markets. In his final role with Microsoft as Senior Partner Sales Executive, Kim championed all things relating to MAX, Automated Guaranteed, AppNexus, programmatic buying and the evolution of Microsoft’s business in that direction. Quite impressive for a man who started out as an Account Executive, but then Kim, with his tenacity for excellence, is quite an impressive man.

The TeQ evolution continues

As the years have accrued, so has Kim’s knowledge in the adtech space. Presently holding the title of Director, Global Supply Evangelism Team at Xandr, he heads up a team that works across all aspects of programmatic.

“I want to be clear that Programmatic does not just mean automation. It definitely brings high efficiency, but you still need the right people to drive sales, optimize monetization and marketing support.

“The Global Supply Evangelism Team is a team of programmatic experts at Xandr, enabling the three pillars of sales, monetization and marketing for strategic publisher partners,” he says. “I believe it’s this approach that differentiates us from our competitors. My role is to provide strategic guidance to key regional partners such as Microsoft and iflix on how their offerings should best be represented in market while also ensuring that buyers are able to transact seamlessly.”

Such guidance resulting from the partnership with iflix has improved iflix’s in-stream display solutions, allowing advertisers to utilise native pause ads and leaderboard overlay ads on iflix’s inventory, increasing their brand awareness.

To this effect, Xandr has redoubled its advertising business by making premium programmatic video inventory more accessible to marketers through innovative video technology and strategic support.

Says TeQ, “As the number of platforms and devices for content consumption increase and new providers continue to enter the space, consumers are adapting by changing where and how they consume content and even what convinces them to check out shows .

“Viewers plan opportunities to maximize their time and content experiences, averaging about 5.5 hours per session. As a result, the timeframe in which they actively watch and finish shows is more sporadic. As they look for convenient, one-stop shops to view content on their own schedule, Connected TV devices have become an obvious choice.”

Will the ad world ever go 100% programmatic?

Given his work with Microsoft and their proclivity to go 100% programmatic, we had to ask TeQ his view on an advertising world dominated by programmatic.

“I very much believe that a ‘holy trinity’ of advertiser, agency and technology platforms can co-exist and drive mutually beneficial outcomes for all involved,” he says. “Technology has had quite an astounding and disruptive effect on many things in our lives, from Uber to Mobile Banking to OTT. That said, there is still a need for taxis, bricks and mortar banks and Cable TV companies.

“Agencies have always played a pivotal role in helping clients navigate their way around a complex and ever-changing media landscape, understanding audiences in great detail and seamlessly translating briefs into strategies and plans that deliver outsized impact. I don’t see this changing anytime soon, because there is real value in this.

“Even in a 100% programmatic world, there would still be a critical need for strategic thinking and creativity in order to create sustainable differentiation. I think this has always been at the heart of most agencies. Although programmatic is no longer in its infancy, there is no shortage of topics for the industry to coalesce around, and this is what excites me about the future of programmatic.”

More hot topics in programmatic will be discussed at the Programmatic Summit on Tuesday March 3rd in Melbourne and Thursday March 5th in Sydney.

Check out the agenda here and buy your tickets here.

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