What is the Difference Between a Trade Desk and an Online Marketing Agency?

What exactly is the difference between a trade desk and an online marketing agency?

Well, the short answer is that a trade desk focuses on executing trades for financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals, while an online marketing agency provides marketing services for clients, including SEO, PPC, and social media.

And while both deliver similar results for their clients, a trade desk is usually considered to be a more specialized and better-suited to the task than an online marketing agency.

The Rise In Demand For Brokerage Services

Over the past several years, there has been a distinct rise in the demand for brokerage services. According to the 2018 North American Information Technology Equipment & Services Outlook survey from Frost & Frost Research, 46% of firms have implemented some type of brokerage service, and nearly 74% plan to do so in the next year.

Specifically, the survey found that nearly all major industries have increased their spend on brokerage services, with financial services, insurance, and real estate being the largest spenders, with an average of $114,000, $106,500, and $103,400, respectively.

The Specialized Skill Set Of A Trade Desk

Well-known trade desks like BlueFin, Instinet, and Convergex provide a specialized skill set that’s suitable for high-volume, high-frequency, and high-stress environments.

Unlike an online marketing agency, which often sees a significant portion of its work flow consist of repetitive tasks performed by low-skilled personnel, a trade desk is able to integrate the best of both worlds—the scalable and efficient world of automation and the specialized skill set of experienced personnel—to provide best-in-class service to its customers, especially in high-pressure situations.

Additionally, the three largest US stock exchanges (NASDAQ, NYSE, and AMEX—the latter two of which are owned by the same company, American Express) all run trade desks, as do several other large financial institutions, such as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and UBS.

The Growing Collaboration Between Marketing And Technology

New data from HubSpot reveals that marketing and technology are more intertwined than ever before. Specifically, 50% of marketers intend to use data acquired through social media to develop marketing campaigns, while 68% of marketers plan to use customer experience monitoring platforms to improve the customer experience.

Further, marketing technologies like HubSpot and Marketo provide detailed, real-time analytics that can be used to track customer behavior and identify patterns, allowing for much more effective marketing strategies to be developed and implemented.

Additionally, many marketing agencies have shifted to digital marketing as a whole, making these tools essential for any agency. As a result, many agencies have established specialized digital marketing departments, enabling them to take full ownership of the customer experience from beginning to end, including content strategy, campaign execution, measurement, and reporting.

All this being said, it’s important to note that not all trade desks are created equal, and the aforementioned platforms can simply perform the functions of a trade desk (i.e., executing high-volume, high-powered transactions).

In the end, the right trade desk can be exactly what your financial institution or corporate marketing department needs to effectively market to consumers in today’s digital world. Just make sure you work with an agency that is highly skilled at marketing in general and in digital marketing specifically.