Patrick Robson is a digital advertising professional and the Managing Director of Digilant UK. With more than a decade of experience in digital advertising and marketing, his insights into the world of Programmatic Buying are not only comprehensive, but very educational.
When asked about Digilant’s launch in the UK, Patrick elaborates – “Digilant was launched 5 years ago, as the first trading desk in the US. Initially, companies didn’t really have a sense of what programmatic would become and how it would grow. Fast forward 5 years later, and we are in 8 countries with over 150 global employees and independent ownership.”
Patrick jokes, “It’s been a wild ride…” and continues to say “we have always known that this is a tremendously important place for us to be successful. There are multinational brands that span the globe, operating out of the UK. Marketing teams in the UK understand how exciting this time of transformation is for brands, and we are eager to offer our insights.”
Having worked with Digilant from its inception, he has spent the last 5 years helping brands discover how to drive and measure advertising results. As the business expanded in the US, the company simultaneously began operations in Europe and Latin America, all quickly realising their global potential.
Patrick enthusiastically talks about his previous stint in London, and believes that it has given him an understanding of what it takes to make a US business successful in the UK. He explains: “as a global organisation, we have a very European approach and I am confident this will allow us to help fulfil the promise of holistic relationships with many brands in the UK.”
Most people he has talked to are excited about the idea of a boutique offering, which strives to educate and be honest about revenue generation. He believes that a number of brands have lost faith in their agency partners on the topic of media buying. “We have always done things a bit differently, in that transparency has been our main focus. We offer real insights that the client can use across all media disciplines.”
Patrick remarks, “In the UK we see independents rise to the top again, like full cream milk…But jokes apart, it hasn’t been an easy road for us as an organisation. We have traditionally worked outside of the internal operations of agencies as one of the few independents. Naturally, these experiences have made us a brand-focused company, although we still have some great agency partners.”
When asked about Digilant’s success globally, he is proud of the fact that as an ad tech company Digilant has been profitable since early 2014. “2015 will be similar, as we continually expand our footprint into new markets. I think the key to success for someone reading this is that we don’t want 500 clients (well maybe we do eventually), but, we would rather service 10-15 brands or agency partners really well and give them the highest level of service available in the industry.” He is positive about the Digilant journey in the UK, which is focused on finding good partners, and optimising existing and new resources to make them successful.
Patrick goes on to say that “’Boutique’ is an oft overused word but as a textbook definition we are exactly that: a business serving a sophisticated or specialised clientele.” Excited that the UK market is bursting at the seams, he believes that it is a very sophisticated marketplace, with an incredible talent pool of people, who are offering the media buying community a great debate. When describing how Digilant fits in, he states “move away from a consumable environment and create an agile independent internal organisation – this is where Digilant has positioned itself, on a sustainable basis, in the UK.”
His love for London is evident in the way he describes the city – “It is my opinion that London is one of the greatest cities in the world in which to live and do business. It is a highly dynamic city, comprised of incredibly smart and talented people to learn from and enjoy life with.”
He emphasises, “we are honoured and thrilled to be on the world stage in the UK and we look forward to helping change and expand the way brands engage with consumers throughout the world!”