TechBytes with Thomas Høgebøl, the CEO and co-founder of NoA

TechBytes with Thomas Høgebøl, the CEO and co-founder of NoA

Hi, please tell us how you manage to stay on top of your Martech and Adtech business in 2020?

2021 will be vital for NoA’s global acquisitions and expansion, following a sharp increase in martech revenue. 

Growth for NoA in 2021 will be both organic and inorganic as we eye up further expansion through global acquisitions. At present, around 40% of NoA’s work is with global brands outside of Scandinavia and this is growing fast.

This year, unlike many of our competitors across the advertising industry, we maintained similar numbers to 2019. We managed to turn a profit of 70% growth within data-driven marketing, further demonstrating a trend of continuous growth towards tech-oriented advertising techniques, and we expect to see double-digit growth next year through our martech, e-commerce and campaign metric offerings.

Numbers aside, I think one of the key things that came out of the pandemic is that it has brought with it a renewed sense of globalization – everything is just a video conference call away, which has only helped when casting a wider net for new business across previously untouched regions.

International brands need no longer limit themselves to local talent alone, and we have found that many are looking to adopt the wholesale application of Nordic strategic thinking and creativity provided by the NoA network.

What are your predictions on the significant shift of brand experiences from physical stores to online e-commerce sites?

The enhanced online shopping experience will be the step-up that is needed for businesses to increase sales revenue.

“With e-commerce already having grown by 40% this year as a result of ongoing coronavirus restrictions placed on brick-and-mortar stores, there is no time like the present for brands to focus on their online offering. There are already a number of tools that help with this, for example useful bots used by merchants for upselling or following up with customers if an item is left in the basket and offering free delivery on the order when completed.

This level of automation is only going to grow, as technology gets smarter and is incorporated into the many aspects of the consumer journey.

What about data privacy and control?

In the future, having full control of one’s data will make or break a business.

In the last 5 years, data has been surrounded by scandals leading to a growing number of consumers losing trust as they gain a better awareness of the risks.

For a brand to be able to reach their desired audience in the right way at the right time, they need to be in control of their own offering – having direct access to their consumers’ data in order to build lasting relationships and maintain trust. This doesn’t mean you sacrifice profit at the expense of data, but rather the focus will be on using the first party data in a business smart, profitable, legally fair and moral way.

How do you see the global adtech and martech businesses coming out of the pandemic crisis?

This year has proven that both versatility and investment in new spaces for advertising will be the defining factors to success when coming out of the pandemic.

Versatility is important, and working with clients across all manner of industries to devise innovative strategic paths to growth in order to turn the ‘new normal’ into the new remarkable, we have been able to see firsthand those for whom this comes more easily. For example, those in the travel space have hit hard (for obvious reasons), while others in the gaming and eCommerce space have thrived.

Tell us about one adtech market that you are keenly following and most excited about in 2021.

Gaming advertising, definitely!

Gaming reaches a very wide and engaged audience which is attractive for advertisers. For some time now we have seen that artists on game soundtracks or playable characters within the game very often see massive increases in their listeners when showcased on platforms which are able to tap into the much-valued young and loyal audience. I believe that we will see even more brands and artists willing to pay upwards of 6-figure sums to be subtly tied into a story arc of a game in increasingly innovative ways as we recently saw with Dua Lipa and FIFA. The important factors for advertisers will be considering ways to stay ahead of the curve in order to keep up with the wider technological advances.

This trend reflects a wider emphasis on the ‘platform economy’ in which economic and social activity facilitated by digital platforms. In advertising, such platforms can create value by facilitating higher levels of exchange between parties through the reduction of transaction costs such as information and search costs. Traditionally the focus has been on the likes of Amazon, Facebook, and Google, but the likes of video games and newer platforms such as TikTok – where content can be presented in a way that feels authentic and genuine to the overall platform experience – are quickly becoming the new space to invest in and we will see an even greater shift towards them in 2021.

One can draw parallels between this new use of advertising within gaming and the merging of skateboarding and advertising in the 80s, and in doing so we can take learnings from this to ensure that careful consideration is taken to approach and enter a new space in a meaningful way that doesn’t upset the core supporters of the culture.

Thank you for answering all our questions!

Thomas is an experienced executive and communications strategist. Over the last 20 years, he has held various management positions in digital, marketing, design, tech and media on a national and international level. He has vast experience in company building and growing businesses organically as well as thru mergers and acquisitions locally and abroad.

During his career, Thomas has served as Executive Chairman for McCann Worldgroup in Northern-Europe and as a member of McCann EMEA Management Group and the Global Leadership Team.

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NoA creates new paths to growth. Whether through data-driven marketing, advertising, design, service development or even business innovation, NoA provides the best talent in the industry to help you identify and act on new opportunities, and build more profitable customer relationships in the future.