In this exclusive “Masters of Media” series, Integral Ad Science (IAS) speaks to the Movers and Shakers of the Southeast Asia advertising industry, on all matters digital.
Amy Ho is the Senior Director for North Asia Data Partnerships at The Trade Desk. She is a digital expert with experience in business development and product strategy. Prior to joining The Trade Desk, Amy had previously worked in top tech companies like Microsoft and Facebook.
Integral Ad Science (IAS): Please tell us about your digital advertising journey and your current role at the Trade Desk (TTD)?
I stumbled upon my first job in digital advertising at an ad network during the dot com booming era. After a year I joined Microsoft and spent over 10 years in their advertising business unit and held different roles, from ad operations, product management, yield management, and finally oversaw business strategy and operations across different regions. Thereafter, I relocated to Singapore and worked at Facebook, helping the company managed some of its biggest accounts across the Asia Pacific region. Having spent a few years in Singapore I realized I missed Hong Kong and my family too much, so I moved back home, took some time off, acquired some new qualifications (became a Hong Kong Tour Guide and Tour Escort), helped my friend with her tour business and then spent almost 5 years working at Integral Ad Science (IAS) to build a better and safer digital ad ecosystem. After graduating from IAS, I joined The Trade Desk in late 2020 to oversee Data Partnerships for North Asia, with the mission of building a data marketplace that ad buyers can use to create, manage and optimize data-driven digital ad campaigns across formats and channels.
IAS: Would you please elaborate on the role of UID’s in the face of the deprecation of third-party cookies?
Relevant advertising enables content providers to produce the content we’ve all come to enjoy, whether it’s mobile apps, streaming TV, or web experiences. And consumers see relevant advertising in exchange for free content. This value exchange has never been well understood or communicated. Much of the relevant advertising delivered today relies on cookies and device IDs. But as the industry moves away from reliance on cookies, we see this inflection point as an opportunity to move the industry toward a new, and better, approach to identity for the open internet.
With initial development led by The Trade Desk, Unified ID 2.0 (UID2) is a new industry-wide approach to internet identity that preserves the value of relevant advertising, while putting user control and privacy at the forefront. The ID is an upgrade and an alternative to third-party cookies. UID2 is powered by a secured technology that encrypts and hashes a consumer’s email address for their protection, allowing the solution to be open source and interoperable. It will be governed independently to preserve neutrality, while consumers will benefit from simple and transparent controls that will allow them to easily view and manage their preferences and opt-out at any time. Participating publishers will use a consistent and simplified consent framework to better explain the value exchange of relevant advertising to consumers.
There are already a number of companies from across the ad ecosystem that have already committed to supporting the initiative, and we will be offering scaled beta opportunities in APAC soon. While The Trade Desk is building the initial codebase, operational responsibility will be migrated to an independent organization in mid-2021 and the relevant code will be open-sourced.
IAS: TTD talks about building a better future for digital advertising, what are its key initiatives supporting this goal?
In 2020 we’ve seen a rapid change to the world that has massively shifted consumer behaviors and with that advertisers need to have more flexibility, efficiency, and control on how they plan and secure media. For 2021 we will remain focused and provide clients with greater efficiency and flexibility with media buying by offering solutions that will help onramp data easier, with an identical strategy to reduce the friction of onboarding data and improve speed to activation. We will continue to work with advertisers and partners to solve for extending reach and measurement in an ID-less environment. It’s important for marketers to have a cross-channel media plan, guided by a buying platform, along with a suite of measurement tools, that truly integrates data activation with business goals and campaign effectiveness in real-time.
As eyeballs and time spent continue to grow in the CTV space, we will also help marketers continue to navigate the shift to CTV with fully integrated planning and buying experience, and measurement tools to understand incremental reach across digital and linear TV to prove the impact of their CTV spend.
Ultimately, we want to have a better, open internet that’s a more transparent and measurable alternative to Walled Gardens – and that helps drive relevance in advertising, enables publishers to monetize content effectively, and creates better ad experiences for consumers. That’s part of the reason why The Trade Desk decided to develop the industry-wide Unified ID 2.0 initiative. It’s something that benefits the entire advertising ecosystem, not just The Trade Desk.
IAS: You’ve worked with technology companies for the most part of your career, how has your experience been? Is adtech still perceived as a boys club?
I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have worked with many strong women leaders in the adtech space. For example, during my time at Microsoft, many leadership positions (Directors or GM level) were held by women. Many of them I consider as role models and have taught me to become who I am today.
IAS: In support of the IWD theme #ChoosetoChallenge, what stereotypes do you plan to challenge this year?
I choose to challenge gender inequality, where there will no longer be toys specifically made for boys and girls, school subjects, or jobs more suitable for one gender over the other. I look forward to the day where there won’t be any “International Women’s Day” because all gender and race will be celebrated every day and equality will be accepted for all.
IAS: What’s the best advice you got when you started your career?
Don’t let your inner voice scare or discourage you, be present at all meetings and if you have a point to make don’t be afraid to speak up.
IAS: Are there any books/movies/podcasts you’d like to recommend for the readers?
Recently I am hooked on watching “Nailed It” and “The Good Place” from Netflix because both are super entertaining and fun to watch!
IAS: What’s your advice to the fresh talent entering the industry?
There’s a quote I believe in very much which is “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Work in an industry or job you feel truly passionate about, because when your heart and mind is in it then you will be happier and more productive.