This week, our “Under the Hood” interview is with Hunter Terry, Lotame’s Solutions Engineer, APAC. Right after graduating from college, Hunter joined the Lotame team, and fully immersed himself in the AdTech industry. Here he walks us through the secrets of a successful DMP implementation, in his own words.
You’ve been a part of many DMP implementations for Lotame clients. Do you have any advice for folks looking for success with a DMP?
Work together, commit to the test, and be prepared for setbacks and surprising successes. AdTech is a world where anything can happen. Being over-prepared is always your best bet.
By expecting the unexpected, you will be able to understand that not every new idea will lead to a new success. On the other hand, that new idea may turn out to be a true money-winner. I consider myself to be a very cautious person, but what makes an implementation rise to the top is the willingness to go beyond what everyone else is doing.
I would say, to successfully maneuver throughout the DMP implementation process, you must be a company unified by your goals, and willing to put forth effort into any and all ideas that could be beneficial to you as a business. By following this process, you will see results, early and often. At Lotame, you have a team of individuals committed to making you successful. You are not in this alone.
How have your previous positions at Lotame influenced your current position today?
I’ve had many fortunate opportunities here at Lotame over the years. Starting out as Platform Analyst, I was able to learn on the job about active client accounts directly with a Senior Client Account Manager. This provided a huge advantage for me over newer hires in the Client Success organization, as I was able to learn the business needs, challenges, and use-cases of our clients, as well as the industry ecosystem and complexities rather quickly. I worked from an implementation and strategy perspective.
After a few months of that I transitioned into a full-time Technical Account Manager role. Having had a few months getting up to speed with what clients want (and more importantly, what they the need!), learning the technical aspects of pulling all of their digital data into the platform and pushing it out to the various activation channels helped put everything into proper focus. I now knew (mostly) what to work towards for and with clients, and what can be worked towards. I knew the high-level inner workings of the platform.
After a few years of this I made the move to Singapore where I helped build out the Technical Account Management (TAM) team. I dealt with new client types, new mentalities and use-cases, and I learned a lot about delineation when it came to handling many new accounts with a rather small team.
After the TAM team was built up sufficiently, I made the switch to a Technical Solutions Architect. If you don’t know what that is, well, neither did I. Basically, I worked partly as a Solutions Engineer, determining what the needs of the market were and trying to translate that via low fidelity and low fidelity product prototypes.
However, after supporting sales and product efforts in India, SEA, and ANZ as a Solutions Engineer (SE), I decided to make the full transition to that of SE, which is what I always wanted! I’m so happy I took the route I did to get here finally, as it has taught me all the key criteria to being a half-decent SE: understanding business needs, understanding technical needs, knowing the DMP architecture, knowing how the product pipeline works, and experience dealing with a diverse array of clients, people, and positions. I come to work each day looking forward to the next challenge I get to tackle and stay up at night pondering potential solutions.
The AdTech industry is pretty complex, and I hear you joined Lotame fresh out of college. How were you able to be successful?
You always have to start somewhere. In my case, it was less about starting with zero experience and more the fact that all my previous experience was unrelated (i.e. English Literature major to DMP Technical Account Manager!) Regardless of how much experience you have, or how relative or not it may be, I’ll give the same advice:
Be passionate about what you do. If you go into a situation, whether it’s work or personal, and have no intentions of getting something out of it, it’s a worthless experience. Be curious. Find meaning in what you do.
Is there a “typical” day in your role at Lotame?
Not at all. I recently met someone at an IAB event here in Singapore, and I immediately called the guy out for not having a title on his business card – ‘How come?’ It turns out that he calls himself whatever he needs to depending on who he’s speaking to. It’s also a great way to hand a card to someone more senior than yourself.
To the point, I feel that his unclear indication towards his own position encapsulates my own sentiments to that of my daily life in Lotame.
Come in one minute and I could be marketing manager of APAC working on sales collateral. The next I could be Commercial Director of SEA developing pricing proposals for the newest set of prospects. Hopefully at some point you see me as a Solutions Engineer (my actual position) vetting out the business and technical needs of an upcoming client!
Where do you see Lotame heading in the next 5 years?
First, note that ‘DMP’ has really only existed in the last 5 years, so we’re still early in the growth of DMP with plenty of improvements ahead of us.
There are many problems in the industry that many are looking to solve. 5 years from now I expect those problems to be standard offerings with the DMP to be at the center-front.
Universal attribution will be commonplace. Clients will then be able to determine exactly from what campaign touch points (paid, earned, owned) a conversion can be derived from. The problem is simply capturing all of those data-points against the same user across all channels and devices.
All user data will be connected. Problems currently exist getting offline data online. TV viewership, CRM, DM, call center, etc. will all be available with the online data of a user as a universal profile.
Beyond those, there are some efficiencies that we can work on to be better as a DMP like better integrations or more customizable reporting etc., but those are the two big problems that we as an industry need to have solved. Lotame will be amongst those who provide the value of the solution.
What would you say makes Lotame different than our competitors?
Our people make Lotame different from our competitors. I find it hard to imagine that out of the few DMPs out there any of them have a better, well-rounded group of people supporting their clients – from client success to product to tech to legal, from entry-level to C-suite.
Walk into a Lotame office anywhere in the world (I have!) in New York, London, Sydney, etc. and you feel the same vibe, the energy in the air, the positive surge that directs Lotamites into developing the best product, the best tech, and the best client success possible.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you.
I own a coconut and banana farm in the Philippines. And, yes, I’m being serious. They get sent to the same plant in Manila that the Dole bananas, who are neighbors of mine, are packaged in. Next time you go to your grocery store and pick up a pack of bananas, know you may be eating Hunter’s ‘nanners! Here’s a photo of the 2 month old plants: