by Courtney Ryan
June 10, 2019

The Trade Desk doesn’t leave employees or departments in a silo. Instead, collaboration rules every corner of the adtech company’s culture, from the way an account manager works in tandem with a trader and sales lead to build and maintain client relationships to each team’s holistic approach to giving and receiving feedback.

We caught up with a few members of the business team to learn more about The Trade Desk’s collaborative culture and how it empowers every employee to grow professionally and personally.  

 

Three team members laugh in The Trade Desk's kitchen
photography by Hannah Cohen
the trade desk nyc offices
photography by Hannah Cohen
the trade desk nyc offices
photography by Hannah Cohen

 

FOUNDED: 2009

EMPLOYEES: 1,000+; 330 locally

WHAT THEY DO: The Trade Desk is a technology platform that empowers brands and media buyers to create, manage and optimize data-driven digital advertising campaigns across all formats and devices at scale.

WHERE THEY DO IT: New York, with offices in Bellevue, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Irvine, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Ventura.

NOTABLE PERKS: Employees and their dependents receive fully covered health benefits and receive a new laptop every two years — which means they can keep their old one.

LUNCH ROULETTE: Every month, a group of cross-functional employees gets together and has lunch outside of the office, on the company dollar.

DATA DRIVE EVERYTHING: Data is how the online advertising company targets audiences for client ad campaigns, which means every facet of the organization relies on data scientists to fuel its efforts.

 

the trade desk sales team

Portrait of Cory Grever

 

Cory Grever, Lead Senior Trading Specialist

Cory focuses on making data digestible and actionable, both for external clients as well as internal teams.

BEYOND WORK: Along with a few coworkers, Cory enjoys training for and taking part in long-distance triathlons.

 

What types of career development resources are available at The Trade Desk?

Outside of the feedback I receive on a weekly basis from my manager, peers and direct reports, The Trade Desk has done an incredible job making professional resources available. Most recently, all global new managers were enrolled in Harvard Business School Online’s program on management essentials. As someone with no formal training outside of a book or two, this three-month program gave me an outside perspective on management as well as tools to leverage within my day to day. What was even better about this program was going through it with other new managers from The Trade Desk and being able to talk about how to truly implement some of the practices within our growing and ever-changing technology.

 

 

You mentioned talking through the program with other managers, but how else do you cross-collaborate with other teams on projects?

Choosing an example is difficult because of the high frequency this actually occurs. Recently, we had a client looking to utilize our technology in a way that had never been done before and in a way that our company had previously pushed against. But given the strong partnership with this specific client, our team was open to exploring a custom solution to achieve their end goals. The collaboration for this project far exceeded the standard collaboration across our sales, account management and trading teams, and required execution across our legal, engineering, data and product management teams. This product was a success because all teams were able to be flexible and ultimately solve a problem as a team.
 

People at The Trade Desk are vulnerable, and it allows everyone to grow closer and ultimately do better work.”


What's your favorite part or element of your company's culture?

People at The Trade Desk are vulnerable, and it allows everyone to grow closer and ultimately do better work. One great example of this is during our annual company off-site event there is a company band — Trader99 and the Bad Impressions — that performs. The band, which is made up of half of our C-suite, performs all night and, for each song, there are different people across the company who will sing and dance in front of everyone. At most places, getting up on stage in front of 1,000 people to poorly sing “All The Small Things” by Blink 182 might be a career ruiner — however, at The Trade Desk, it’s celebrated.

 

Craig Spirelli stands and shares info with coworkers

Portrait of Craig Spirelli

 

Craig Spirelli, Director of Business Development

Craig builds lasting relationships with client partners, supporting proposals, PoVs and upfront strategies while guiding them through the ever-changing programmatic landscape.

BEYOND WORK: Craig likes to spend as much time as possible with his wife and daughter, who he says inspire him to appreciate all the good in people.

 

What is unique about selling at The Trade Desk? What about your product or service do you enjoy sharing with new customers?

The Trade Desk is unique because we are an extension of our client partners. We are tasked with adding value and empowering our clients. This creates a very transparent environment where we do not push products or channels that we don’t feel would benefit the end advertiser. I’m especially excited about our Connected TV (CTV) offering. We have worked so hard for the last three years to get this right, and I truly believe we have. The fact that we can finally measure the impact of CTV campaigns against online or offline sales is absolutely groundbreaking. It has been a pain point in the TV industry for the last 50 years, and we are finally here.

 

If you look at your to-do list, what is one thing you love to do?

I love to talk about career development with team members and how we can learn from each other. I think it is so important to ask for feedback and be open about what challenges you. An employee should never doubt where they stand or what they need to be working on.
 

People often ask how we’ve maintained such an amazing culture during a time of such growth. My answer is simple: We talk about it all the time.”


How does The Trade Desk’s culture differ from other places at which you’ve worked?

People often ask how we’ve maintained such an amazing culture during a time of such growth. My answer is simple: We talk about it all the time. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t hear someone talking about our culture. Our founder and CEO Jeff Green has created a very special place and, in order to preserve what he has built, we need to continue to talk about it. There is not a decision that this company has made that was at the expense of our culture. That is extremely rare and something we celebrate every day.

 

Erin Lowrey sits on the top of a sofa surrounded by captivated coworkers

Portrait of Erin Lowrey

 

Erin Lowrey, Lead Senior Account Manager

Erin is responsible for keeping her team on task, working with sales counterparts to develop a growth plan and evangelizing The Trade Desk’s message to build trust with clients in order to grow partnerships.

BEYOND WORK: An athlete since childhood, Erin loves running marathons and says it has taught her to work hard and learn from failure.

 

You’ve been promoted twice in your time at The Trade Desk. Is your experience indicative of internal growth opportunities at the company?

Absolutely. In just the two years that I’ve been here, we’ve grown and scaled our team twice over. With huge growth, there’s a ton of opportunity for leaders to step up and take on bigger roles to continue pushing the company forward. I’ve always had a very candid relationship with my manager, and I am able to ask what I need to do to make a bigger impact at the company and continue developing personally and professionally. In turn, I have received tactical and actionable guidelines for areas where I can lean in and grow my career.

 

 

What was the largest obstacle you faced during your onboarding? How did you overcome this challenge?

Not coming from the adtech industry was a definite challenge, initially. I joke about it now, but it feels like two-thirds of our vocabulary is acronyms, which can be a little overwhelming at first. Fortunately, I was able to participate in The Trading Academy, which helped set a baseline for what I needed to know about programmatic as an industry. From there, we have such a culture of being generous with your time that it was super easy to learn about the nuances of my job from various teams and individuals. My team was awesome about inviting me to join client meetings, setting up individual training sessions and giving feedback on what I was doing well or where I needed to focus more time to improve.
 

One thing we’ve done really well is create a team culture grounded in gratitude and collaborative feedback.”


What role has culture played in shaping the direction of your team?

One thing we’ve done really well is create a team culture grounded in gratitude and collaborative feedback. By creating an environment where each person feels appreciated, where it's safe to participate and share thoughts and opinions, and where they can uniquely contribute to the overall team goals, we’ve built a foundation of trust that we’re truly invested in. This has been a game changer in our productivity within the team and, as a result, toward the overall goals of the company.

 

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