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Campaign Turkiye: Q&A with Firat Dirik, Regional Director of Eastern Europe, MediaMath

December 14, 2015 — by Emma Williams

In a recent interview with Campaign Turkiye, Firat Dirik, who joined MediaMath in September as Regional Director, Eastern Europe, discussed his new position at the company, the current state of the digital advertising landscape in Turkey and what experience he brings to the role from his time at Facebook and Microsoft.

Read the interview in full below. You can also read the original article from Campaign Turkiye in Turkish.

MediaMath has appointed you as Regional Director for Eastern Europe. What does this new role mean for you?
It’s exciting to be joining MediaMath at a time when the company is undergoing rapid expansion not only geographically, but also in its product offering. As a leader in programmatic technology and the creator of the TerminalOne Marketing Operating System™, MediaMath is committed to bringing data-driven efficiency and optimisation to each consumer interaction.

Programmatic is emerging in Eastern Europe and my new role will give me the opportunity to further MediaMath’s development in the region, while experiencing the evolution of programmatic from the start. As Regional Director of Eastern Europe for MediaMath, I will be responsible for over 20 markets. Initially my focus will be on Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Czech Republic, all of which are mature marketplaces and prime for programmatic growth.

Having worked at both Facebook and Microsoft you have gained extensive experience in the industry, how will you utilise this in your new role?
I was Facebook’s Country Manager in Turkey for four years and during that time I built the company’s share of the regional market from scratch — developing the company’s brand presence and building strong, lasting partnerships. Prior to that I spent five years as the Country Sales Lead for Microsoft’s Consumer and Online Business in Turkey, managing online advertising across a variety of platforms.

This gives me a total of nine years’ media sales experience at Facebook and Microsoft that will be invaluable for my work with MediaMath. The extensive local knowledge and operational expertise that I have gained will help to drive MediaMath’s development in the region, as well as helping the company’s local clients to maximise the advantages of programmatic media buying. The role will be a fresh challenge and a chance to explore a different area of the digital industry.

What are your thoughts on the current advertising landscape in Turkey?
Digital advertising in Eastern Europe is expanding rapidly, which presents a significant opportunity for MediaMath. While the programmatic market in Turkey is still in the early stages of development, agencies and clients are starting to realise the possibilities of online advertising — digital ad spend in the region is experiencing steady growth and increased by over 20% in the first of 2015.

Marketing operating systems are becoming increasingly powerful, and are transforming the way marketers engage with consumers. But technology and education must work as one to drive progress, which makes a greater understanding of programmatic technologies and best practices essential.

What can we expect from MediaMath in the coming months following their launch into Turkey? What are the company’s 2016 goals in this region?
In Turkey and across Eastern Europe, the MediaMath team will be working to strengthen partnerships with clients across the globe, as well as building relationships with leading local names.

We also plan to remove barriers to adoption by investing heavily in educating the market. The complexity of automated processes can make advertisers wary of new technologies and obscure their true potential. MediaMath is passionate about industry education and dedicated to dispelling the confusion that can surround programmatic. The company’s educational arm, the New Marketing Institute (NMI), and training scheme, The Marketing Engineer Programme (MEP), were launched to help marketers understand and appreciate the benefits of programmatic technology.