Inaugural Professional Conversion Programme for Programmatic Advertising Professionals Sees First Batch of Graduates

The Joint Programme Between the IAB SEA+India, WSG and EDB Aims to Bridge Talent Gaps in Programmatic Advertising Industry

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Southeast Asia & India (IAB SEA+India) announced the graduation of the first intake of the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Programmatic Advertising Professionals. The programme aims to support the upskilling and reskilling of Singapore’s workforce by equipping them with robust digital capabilities, and is in line with both Workforce Singapore’s (WSG) Adapt and Grow Initiative and the Singapore Economic Development Board’s (EDB) Professional Services Industry Transformation Map.

Programmatic marketing is the automated purchase and sale of advertising inventory in real time. This fast-growing industry within the region requires a workforce with adaptable and emerging skill sets to drive business growth in this area. In an industry-wide survey of CEOs conducted by IAB SEA+India, 53% of organisations cited programmatic as the biggest area of transformation for their business. Comparatively, sourcing talent (63%) and training and development (34%) were cited as the biggest challenges in growing a team.

The PCP for Programmatic Advertising Professionals was developed through thorough research and industry validation. Interviews with industry stakeholders, ranging from business leaders to graduates from other commercial programmes were conducted to ensure the relevance of the programme.

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The PCP for Programmatic Advertising Professionals curriculum stands out from other programmes through its strong emphasis on real-life hands-on experience through field trips to reputable companies such as Google, Facebook and Agency Networks. As a supplement to the industry-accredited classroom-based sessions, candidates are provided the opportunity to experience different aspects of the programmatic landscape with on-the-job training, team briefs and presentations. The experience comes through exposure to a portfolio of speakers comprising senior experts in the field from the likes of Google, GroupM, Dentsu Aegis Network, comScore and MediaCorp.

Outside of their in-company mentoring, these candidates also receive training sessions from senior mentors under the IAB SEA+India Regional Board, who are from a number of renowned adtech firms, such as Essence, TrafficGuard, Wavemaker, RTB House, DataXu, IPG MediaBrands and Ablelabs.

“The PCP for Programmatic Advertising Professionals run by IAB has helped our team grow, develop and further hone their skills in the field. As a data and measurement-driven agency, that uses programmatic as a key component, we know that as the industry evolves, there will be a growing need for programmatic specialists who can take their knowledge and apply it to achieve the business goals of our clients. The support from IAB towards our team and our mission to make advertising more valuable to the world has helped to make this a success for Essence as we continue to grow, develop and nurture our talent. The IAB definitely has our support for future intakes of the programme,” said Kunal Guha, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Essence.

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“The PCP programme really helped with onboarding our new sales hire quickly. With a large, diverse region and set of clients to support, the programme has been invaluable in helping our team scale quickly,” said James Sampson, dataxu.

“The PCP for Programmatic Advertising Professionals was launched in collaboration with EDB and WSG with the aim of elevating Singapore’s digital capabilities by bridging talent and training gaps in programmatic advertising. In addition to the continuous consultation from many industry stakeholders, there are also plenty of key learnings that we can pick up from the success of the pioneer intake in further refining our approach and improving the employability of future cohorts – we are committed to developing tomorrow’s rock stars” said Miranda Dimopoulos, Regional CEO, IAB SEA+India.

“Like many industries, the Professional Services sector is experiencing rapid change. We are pleased that the first batch of graduates of this PCP are now ready for their new careers with their respective employers, and to meet the demands of the programmatic marketing industry with their newly acquired digital capabilities. We will continue to work with partners to build a Singaporean workforce equipped with the relevant skill-sets for these high growth areas,” said Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of WSG.

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“For Singapore to maintain its competitiveness as a digital marketing hub, we must invest in the right talent to build world-class capabilities in high growth areas. It is exciting that today’s pioneer batch and other like-minded professionals are taking part in the transformation of the industry by accelerating the pace of implementing and innovating advanced digital marketing solutions,” said Clarence Chua, Director, Hub Services, EDB.

With the resounding success of the programme’s first intake and increasing demand from the industry, the next two intakes will be scaled up to accommodate more participants on the programme. The next intake of the programme starts in February 2019.

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