Meet Tom Simpson, Growth & Programmatic Director for AdColony APAC! You might miss him if you come by our Singapore office though! He might be busy traveling all across the region, meeting with clients and working with cross-functional teams on everything from programmatic to marketing and strategy.
We’re also proud to announce Tom has been named to Campaign Asia’s annual list of the brightest, high-achieving young people in the marketing communications business has selected Tom as one of the 40 Under 40 faces to watch! Congrats, Tom!
Tom has experience on the advertiser and ad network side, giving him the edge to tackle multiple projects and any challenge that comes his way. During his free time, Tom enjoys playing golf, spending time outdoors, and staying connected with friends through gaming apps! Tom, it’s time to get you AdColonized!
What exactly does a Growth & Programmatic Director do at AdColony? What’s an average day like for you?
I support the APAC teams with anything programmatic related and also work on growing all markets in the region. This means a lot of technical questions, air cover in terms of new decks or marketing, troubleshooting issues with clients or DSPs at a regional level in Singapore plus a LOT of travel!
Typically I will be on a plane every few weeks, spending a few days in market presenting to clients about our capabilities (back to back meetings all day, jousting with Jakarta traffic!), and educating local market teams about the vagaries of programmatic. I also liaise with the global programmatic and strategy teams to help form and roll out our responses to viewability and other global best practices.
Tell us a little about your experiences prior to joining AdColony & how they have prepared you for your role here.
My background is client and agency side, both performance and brand, so I understand a little about what advertisers look for in a marketing partner. I also (for my sins) launched a DMP / SSP startup across APAC prior to joining AdColony, so have a decent grounding in the technical aspects of Data and Programmatic, plus lots of experience in Asian markets.
What made AdColony the right fit for you?
I was looking to build experience in Mobile, as this was an area I had only touched on previously, and really wanted to deep dive. What does an SDK look like under the hood?! AdColony seemed to have a market leading product, and exposure to a good mix of clients and markets where I could immediately add value, alongside areas to spread my wings and learn. Plus, I love to travel and have a real passion for building businesses in APAC, so it was a great fit from that perspective.
How do you keep growing & learning in what you do?
Working across such a variety of markets and people – from Australia to India to HK – means I am always learning new things. It is tempting to think that what works in one place will work everywhere, and while there are definite commonalities across markets, everyone approaches things differently and is motivated in different ways. To do the job well (I hope I am, although will leave this for others to decide!) you have to be constantly learning. Singapore is also a fantastic hub for ideas, a genuinely tech- first city, and we’re surrounded by some great minds here. And then, of course, there’s Asim!
What are your hobbies or activities that you look forward to doing on the weekends or after work?
Outside work (and inside as well sometimes, depending on the client!) I love to play golf. Anybody living in Singapore gets the opportunity to travel a lot – Bali on the weekend is always good fun, and my wife is Vietnamese, so we head back to the beautiful cities of Saigon and Hanoi fairly often. Beyond that I read a lot, try and get outside into nature despite the heat, go to start up events to stay in touch with what’s going on in tech land, and spend the rest of my time watching Netflix and drinking Yorkshire Tea. As an Englishman, the tea is crucial.
Which app is keeping you engaged lately? Why?
Reddit is a big passion. Proud to say I have been front page TWICE. Yes, I know, /r/iamverysmart! Amazon has just launched in Singapore, so it’s nice to have that back in my top 5. I play too much Words With Friends, mostly to stay in touch with friends and acquaintances from all around the world, and also spend a lot of time logging what I eat on MyFitnessPal – getting healthier has been a big focus for 2017.is
What’s one thing not many people know about you that you’re willing to share?
I’m a Liverpool fan, which is a burden I’ve carried my whole life. Things looking up in the past few seasons, but we can’t quite get it across the line. #YNWA
Do you have a nickname at work? If so, is there a story behind it?
Mimmie (SEA Sales Director) calls me “Blue Eyes”, which is absolutely nothing to do with my Frank Sinatra-esque good looks, and everything to do with the fact that Mimmie is one of the nicest people you could work with, and a total charmer to boot.
What is your favorite moment you’ve had with the AdColony team so far?
There have been a few. The Australian team Christmas dinner down at Bondi beach was a real “wow, how lucky are we” moment. The 2017 Sales off-site on Sentosa island with the global team was good fun, especially late night swimming and cocktails at the W Hotel pool. We’ve also had some great wins with Google and Unilever over the past few months, and that always keeps me motivated and loving the job.
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