Programmatic Advertising is Booming in Turkey | Q&A with Cem Eroglu
In April this year Adform announced the opening of a new commercial office in Istanbul. Adform's expansion into the region was to meet a change in demand in the Turkish market with programmatic spending increasing 82%. We caught up with Cem Eroglu, Adform’s new commercial director for Instanbul, to find out more about programmatic opportunities and challenges in Turkey.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey so far
Hey! I’m Cem, commercial director for Adform Turkey. I started in the industry in 2007 where the only technology available was private exchanges, I worked for Right Media where I worked primarily in the DACH market before bringing RTB technology to Turkey. The market had just started so my role involved advising agencies on technological adaption and integration and on how advertisers and publishers on both sides can engage with programmatic.
What are the greatest opportunities for programmatic within the Turkish market?
The biggest opportunities in Turkey are based on the fact that clients are all eager for feature solutions. Publishers, Advertisers and Agencies are all looking to optimise and automate their digital marketing activity and are also looking for the right education on how to do this. There is also fast adoption in the Turkish market as it is still young and growing at around 20% month on month.
What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge in programmatic advertising is the lack of professionals as there aren’t tonnes of experts working for big companies at a high level. This has always been a human business, more than adaptation or more than technology we will need to train more specialists. I’m really happy that we are hiring more members and bringing some new experts to the market.
How mature is the programmatic marketplace?
At present, programmatic is mostly used for audience retargeting and for buying cheap inventory. It is not mature yet as advertisers are not yet aware of the additional features that they can benefit from and are not fully utilising the different control mechanisms that give them the best results. At the moment, the market is at about 25% of where it could be.
What do you predict for the future of digital advertising?
From Billboards to television and touch screen mirrors, everything will be digitised and customised. Engagement with advertisements will improve as users are shown adverts that relate to their behaviour and interests.
What do you feel differentiates Adform from other full-stack ad tech providers?
What I see as a difference in Adform’s services from other full stack providers is that we are primarily focussed on product development. Over half of this company are developers which allows products to develop faster than our competitors. I’m sure during this interview about ten new product developments have been discussed or implemented!
What is the competitor landscape like?
Where our competitors fall short is in being unable to provide anything other than a one-size-fits-all solution. Often Turkish clients are turned off from our more ‘powerful’ competitors choosing to work with an easy, flexible and customisable solution.
What famous historical figure inspires you and why?
It’s got to be Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkey has been faced with many challenges during its history and one man believed in his people and in equality for all. Ataturk's skills excite me as a leadership figure and not just because I’m Turkish! We see heroes similar to him in technological companies too, a leader who believes and motivates teams to do incredible things.