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Q&A: Tradedoubler’s James Milne on the Company's Expansion into SE Asia

Q&A: Tradedoubler’s James Milne on the Company's Expansion into SE Asia

With e-commerce in Asia open to international brands, Tradedoubler has recently made a move to tap into this potential, launching a new office in Singapore.

This is the first time the Swedish performance marketing group has marked its presence in the region and it will be based in the same office as its largest stakeholder, Reworld Media. The companies will work together to maximise their results.

We caught up with James Milne, VP business development at Tradedoubler, to find out more about the recent expansion and what Tradedoubler is hoping to get out of it.

What potential does the local market hold for European brands like Tradedoubler?

James Milne: Asia makes up 45.7% of the world’s internet users, many of whom are interested in European brands, which presents huge potential for European businesses. In terms of the sheer volume of internet usage, penetration in the APAC region is absolutely colossal and tapping into this traffic source will open up vast revenue streams to our existing clients, as well as strengthen Tradedoubler’s position as global performance marketing partner.

Our goal is to enable clients to work in the markets of their choice, providing them with the tools and expertise they need to succeed. The e-commerce market in APAC is nascent, this presents an opportunity for digital marketing companies, like Tradedoubler, to shape this emerging sector and capitalise on the traffic and revenue opportunities it offers.

Is this a first for the company in terms of its relationship with South East Asia? Also, why now?

JM: Tradedoubler has a global offering and works with many of its clients on a multi-national scale. It offers solutions, such as TD Connect, its white label global partner management platform, and global tracking, to brands in markets where it doesn’t have a physical presence.

In fact, a number of clients are already using Tradedoubler technology to track digital marketing activities in APAC and we are already running a number of public affiliate programmes for our international clients. Historically Tradedoubler has focused on European markets; this move signifies the importance of Asia-Pacific markets for the e-commerce sector in the coming years.

Opening an office in Singapore allows us to develop a better understanding of the region and run campaigns for our clients to the same high standards we deliver in Europe. The timing of this expansion is down to the huge rates of growth in APAC and requests from our clients for digital marketing support in this region.

Despite high levels of internet penetration, e-commerce purchases are still made infrequently and establishing a presence in this young and growing market offers substantial financial revenue and market share potential for Tradedoubler and its clients.

What are you hoping to get out of this move?

JM: Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world are yet to establish strong digital connections that allow them to internationalise their businesses. By establishing an office in Singapore we hope to build a bridge between APAC and Europe, with the benefits felt by both regions.

For our clients that means moving into APAC to complement their currents offerings and open up new traffic and revenue streams. We also expect to attract new Asian clients that are looking to enter European markets.

How much will it mean to have the support of Tradedoubler shareholder Reworld Media during the early transition phase, considering their knowledge of the market? 

JM: Reworld Media is Tradedoubler’s largest shareholder and its local expertise in Asian markets will be hugely beneficial in helping Tradedoubler establish its foothold. Our local team is based in the same office as Reworld Media and will benefit from knowledge sharing, based on its successful launch of a number of new publisher websites in the region.

Bearing in mind the Asian market is very different to the European, what are the challenges Tradedoubler has had to prepare for?

JM: There are a number of challenges that we have had to address, but early indications are good; consumers have been receptive to our clients’ campaigns.

Most importantly, the way in which consumers in APAC interact with brands differs to the way in which European consumers behave online. For this reason, it’s not feasible for brands to roll out the same strategy blueprint that they have operating in European markets – local expertise is key and one of the reasons why we have decided on a physical presence in Singapore.

In this nascent market inherent problems are low sales volumes and the lack of metric standardisation among publishers, but we expect these issues to resolve quickly as the market matures. The infancy of the market does offer day to day efficiency benefits: the mobile first approach can help guide clients’ European mobile implementations, and the less established marketing structure of companies in the APAC region means internal teams are easy to work with and open to new ideas.

Multiple currencies in the region presents a payment issue, but our recently introduced global payments solution allows us to pay our clients and publishers in 90 currencies in more than 200 countries globally.

From a technology point of view, Asia has some of the highest consumer usage of ad and tracker blockers. Our marketing-leading technologies, like cookieless tracking and our ability to track cross-channel, mean we are able to tackle the challenges that companies attempting to enter these markets have come up against.

Many of the countries in the APAC region have high levels of mobile use compared to Europe, device and channel tracking capabilities are therefore key to tackling these markets to make sure sales are correctly attributed.

Overall, Tradedoubler’s existing global capabilities mean that this expansion has been very straightforward.

 Are there any specific Tradedoubler offerings you feel will do well in the market?

JM: Tradedoubler’s digital marketing solutions are designed to operate globally on a single platform, which makes the offering extremely scalable - the full product offering is available to clients in the APAC region.

Of specific interest to advertisers and publishers are our video and mobile offerings. We also have the ability to work with different metrics across a range of digital marketing activities, which means we can offer tailored solutions based on client and local market requirements.

 Does the company have any other expansion plans coming up?

JM: Tradedoubler operates as a global partner, but Asian markets are the main focus at this time.

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Monika Komar

Monika Komar

A News and Features Reporter at PerformanceIN, Monika covers stories and developments in the fast-evolving world of performance marketing.

Monika studied Modern Languages at the University of Southampton and worked in marketing and communications before making her way over to PerformanceIN.   

Read more from Monika

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