Sometimes, a great opportunity can simply be finding value earlier than others. Peter Thiel, a legendary Silicon Valley investor, saw value in Facebook as their first major investor; Warren Buffet makes billions identifying value in a company’s financial statement before the market; Capturing a new market with your startup can lead to world-altering technologies.
Personally, I have always sought to discover these types of opportunities. This curiosity has likewise attracted me towards the technology industry, where I can work on a product that has high growth potential while learning many skills in the process. These experiences led to my selection for the Cansbridge Fellowship, a program that selects 15 entrepreneurial Canadians every year to gain access to their entrepreneurial network. The initiation to this community, however, requires each new fellow to pass a unique test: find and work for the most interesting Asian-national company possible.
This is when I began to look more closely into the Chinese technology sector. As most are aware, China is becoming the centre of innovation in the emerging world as their technology sector continue to attract attention, talent and investment. I knew that I would find the most exciting company in China and during my search, I decided that the “most interesting” company needs to have:
- High growth
- Scalability potential
- Unique product(s)
- Domestic and foreign clients
- Potential to disrupt an industry
It is at this point that I discovered the advertising technology industry, better known as adtech.
Why this industry specifically? Because Internet advertising is set to become the dominant medium for global ad spend. Using this year’s numbers, that represents a $214 billion market! At first, I did not understand how this was possible. However, as I continued to research, I realized that online advertising was disrupting many traditional industries. Physical newspapers, once the main source for daily information, are being overhauled and moved online. Radio has long since peaked and continues to decline in effectiveness for advertisers. The millennial generation spends a significant amount of time watching videos online, removing the power of TV advertising. Adtech provides the necessary tools for this massive disruption, empowering marketers to more efficiently gain leads, develop brands and expand to new markets.
In China, the statistics add to the importance of adtech. With 136% year over year growth of mobile web traffic, mobile browsing now accounting for 42% of web traffic and digital media accounting for more than half of the time Chinese adults spend consuming media, traditional advertising is changing and adtech is driving the transition.
Why Sunteng Technologies?
Sunteng is one of the leading Chinese adtech companies providing professional marketing solutions to advertisers globally. They have many sophisticated and industry-leading products for marketers, including a data management platform, an A/B Tester, and dynamic creative optimization. Their product that I found to be most interesting is called BiddingX a full stack, demand side platform (DSP) that can execute very targeted and efficient marketing campaigns. While there are many DSPs in the industry, BiddingX appeared to have developed a reputation as the most effective DSP with the highest returns. I learned this after seeing a news article announcing BiddingX’s recognition by the Digital Marketing Committee for China (DMCC) as the Highest Growth Potential Marketing Technology Company in 2015, an extremely meaningful award in this crowded field. However the data-backed results are even more impressive than the accolades:
When I began to look into BiddingX, I knew that it was a high value venture that was still undervalued and outside of the spotlight. Programmatic buying will be the main drivers of the multi-billion dollar digital marketing industry with DSPs in an excellent position to facilitate this buying. I hoped to join their team early, before they amass the attention that their technology platform deserves.
I am extremely honoured to say I that have now moved to Guangzhou, China to join the Sunteng strategy team. This is an exciting opportunity to grow with this company as it continues to shape the adtech industry as well as global marketing around the world.