TechBytes with Mark Connon, Chief Operating Officer, Tapad

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Mark Connon

Mark Connon
Chief Operating Officer, Tapad

In 2018, US advertisers could be spending $46 billion on programmatic digital display advertising (that’s $10 billion more compared to 2017!). How will this spending on Programmatic Advertising stand up to the European market, especially in a heavily disrupted digital ecosystem? Mark Connon, COO, Tapad, spoke to us about the most impactful disruptions in marketing operations around programmatic technologies for 2018-2020.

Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What galvanized you to join Tapad?

I’ve worked in the adtech, martech and digital media industries for over two decades. This includes roles at Nexage, Millennial Media, and most recently AOL/Verizon, where I led the company’s mobile and data strategy as well as data commercialization. What I found unique about Tapad, and one of the primary reasons I joined the company, was their innovation in the identity space. In the realm of identity solutions, there is currently a lot of complexity and even more opportunity. That’s an environment where I want to work and one where I think I can help Tapad take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

How do you prepare for the highly disruptive mobile advertising ecosystem?

I’ve been working with pioneering technologies in the mobile advertising ecosystem for many years. Having been an exec at Nexage, the first Mobile Real-Time Advertising exchange, we lead the initial efforts to standardize around a common protocol —Open-RTB Mobile — in an effort to drive the growth of programmatic in advertising. That standard remains foundational to and has been credited with the massive growth in mobile advertising. But as large as the ecosystem has become — without a bridge to desktop, other devices, connected TV, OTT, etc., we’ll continue to think of the world in vertical messaging ecosystems versus a true cross-device/platform opportunity to connect with consumers. This is where Tapad can be a truly disruptive and drive the growth of mobile as well as all other digital channels.

How do you see the American Programmatic industry growing compared to European and ANZ markets?

The markets are at similar levels of maturity in what programmatic brings to the growth of digital advertising. The primary difference is that of scale. The opportunities to innovate exist in Europe and ANZ as they do in the US.

What are your predictions about the most impactful disruptions in marketing operations for 2018-2020?

The growth and investment in identity solutions by marketers, brands, etc. is — not surprisingly — something which I have and will continue to watch closely. As the environment continues to become more complex, there will be an increased demand on marketers to bring to their brands advanced identity solutions that enable customer communications across channels. This demand in the identity space will drive the market size to almost $3B in the US in just a few years, and I personally think that is a conservative number. Being at the epicenter of that growth and the opportunity to help brands communicate more effectively with their consumer is exciting for all of us here at Tapad.

Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign?

One example that comes to mind is with an APAC subsidiary of our parent company and customer, Telenor. Based on phone model and pricing, Telenor personalized content and creative for a variety of audience types depending on whether they were Samsung versus iPhone users. As a result, Telenor achieved seven times higher ROI than previous, non-personalized campaigning efforts.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

Lead by example.

Thanks for chatting with us, Mark.

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