The Trade Desk’s Clients Chief on What the Company’s IPO Means for Business

Brian Stempeck says goals haven’t changed

The Trade Desk became a publicly traded company on Nasdaq today, with its shares rising to $28.75, easily beating the $18 price target the street expected.

Brian Stempeck

The Los Angeles-based company is a demand-side platform (DSP) that enables ad agencies to purchase digital ads via automated systems. It competes with MediaMath, Turn and TubeMogul. 

Earlier today, we caught up with Brian Stempeck, chief client officer at The Trade Desk, to gain insights what the IPO means for his business. 

Adweek: Does the IPO affect your job?
Brian Stempeck: Our goals haven't changed. The IPO furthers our independence. My team and I remain focused around supporting our clients and innovating through our technology.

You are going to be pressured to drive revenues now more than ever. If a client is a little worried that your team will be spread thin trying to land new accounts rather than tending to old ones, what's your response?
[Their] goals continue to be front and center in everything we do. 

Are clients spending more via Trade Desk compared to last year? If so, by what percentage roughly?
Last year we grew at 156 percent, and 88 percent of our revenue came from existing clients.

Are you going to grow your accounts team?
We plan to continue to grow our team, especially outside the U.S. We are just at the beginning of the move to programmatic, and two-thirds of the $640 billion global advertising spend comes from outside North America. In addition to our current global footprint, we plan to open four more offices around the world by the end of Q1 2017—Madrid and Paris in the European Union, and Jakarta and Shanghai in APAC.

What's going to impact Trade Desk's programmatic offering most going forward? Machine learning? Better APIs?
As a product-driven company, we are always focused on innovating in ways that meet the needs of our customers. We'll continue to invest in our TV and mobile offerings, as well as expand our APIs. Nearly 50 percent of our clients have built on top of our APIs, which signals they are confident enough in our business to build their businesses on top of ours.

Will being on the stock market make it easier for you to explain to friends and family what the heck you do for a living?
The term programmatic can be a bit buzzy to those outside out the ad tech space. But it's actually pretty straightforward to explain what we do, because everyone has experienced the challenge we are committed to help solving: The Trade Desk's real-time technology helps clients use data to create ad campaigns that avoid pitfalls we're all familiar with: viewing the same ad too many times, seeing irrelevant ads, or worse, getting hit with ads for products and services we've already bought.