One Marketing Step Ahead

Digital advertising innovator the Trade Desk leans into the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic to bring marketers into a new era

For the first time, the Trade Desk made its industry-leading digital advertising courseware and certification platform free of charge through the end of 2020. The learning platform, called Edge Academy, provides online training in digital and data-driven advertising, including connected TV (CTV).

“This accelerated focus on data-driven decisioning is putting immediate pressure on skills development across the advertising industry,” said founder and CEO Jeff Green in the company’s April 2020 news release. “Our revamped training platform will help meet this demand for new skills and certifications. And making these courses available at no cost will provide anyone looking to use this opportunity to break into one of the world’s fastest-growing industries with the most contemporary skills.”

The eleven-year-old global technology company launched its Edge Academy in 2013 and prior to the revamp, more than eleven thousand professionals received certifications. A range of leading advertising agencies, brands, and universities have partnered with the Trade Desk as well. Edge Academy provides three certifications: marketing foundations, data-driven planning, and trading essentials.

“There are many different content modules that can help you learn, from the basics of how to use a buying platform all the way to the virtues of using CTV or VOD as a channel,” Philippa Snare, senior vice president of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, told ClickZ. “You can also learn how CTV connects with display on the traditional or native advertising you might already have running.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to pivot and think on their feet to adjust to the new normal. But the Trade Desk has always sought to build a new normal—for advertising technology.

In 2004, Green had founded and launched AdECN, which was the world’s first online ad exchange that functioned similarly to the stock market or commodities market. Microsoft acquired the company within four years, and Green left not long after. A few weeks later, he launched the Trade Desk alongside former Microsoft employee Dave Pickles, who is currently chief technology officer.

Green’s intention was to put his ideas for the future of advertising technology into practice without “the bureaucracy and internal politics,” he told Forbes contributor Amit Chowdhry in 2017. “A more transparent way of transacting business had to be established,” he explained. “The new trading floor of Internet advertising would facilitate price discovery, and liquidity, in the way the public markets had for hundreds of years. It was then that I embarked on a journey to bring this vision into reality.”

By 2016, the Trade Desk had gone public. Green told Chowdhry that he believes the company is building a business that will be around for one hundred years. “Since the IPO, we’ve been able to scale the business more quickly than before through technology and global expansion. I’ve been able to focus on growing the business rather than having to raise capital,” Green mentioned. “I repeatedly remind our team that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we continue to measure our performance by how much value we’re creating for our clients.”

As marketers across the world adapt to the changes in media consumption brought on by COVID-19, the Trade Desk is ready. Being home has shifted how consumers receive their news and what devices they’re using, Snare explained to ClickZ. This is especially true of Generation Z with TikTok, which integrated its ad offerings in Asia Pacific with the Trade Desk in March 2020. “There’s a beautiful love affair rekindling for high-quality content and production,” she said.


CNM LLP is proud to work with The Trade Desk on its SOX & IT compliance programs. At CNM, we view every client relationship as a partnership. We believe in the value of long-term collaborations and pride ourselves in cultivating lasting Technical Advisory relationships with the individuals and companies we serve.