Stay ahead of the latest trends in digital advertising with help from our industry insiders
Senior Director Business Development Nordics | Events, News, Programmatic

The state of the Finnish ad tech industry, today and tomorrow

Pop-Up Office, Improve Digital, Blog

Improve Digital Senior Director Business Development, Rogier Lammers, together with his team, frequently visits the different Nordic markets. In this blog Rogier shares his take on the Finns and the Finnish ad tech industry.


Opportunities and challenges in the Finnish ad tech market

Set in the true Finnish winter, sunny days with temperatures dipping below minus 15 Celsius, we recently organised the fourth Improve Digital Pop-Up office in the Nordics. In my role at Improve Digital, I regularly visit the Nordic countries and this gives me a great opportunity to speak to lots of key players in each individual market. It gives me a thorough perspective of the different elements that make each country and market in this region so unique.


When trying to give a comprehensive overview of the state of the Finnish ad tech market, I’d like to include the insights that Oliver Nybergh, Sales Manager at Sellbrach and Head of the Programmatic Taskforce at IAB, as well as and Jukka Sundquist, Manging Director at Klikki, both shared during our recent pop-up office. Both agree that the Finns are highly technical and have a lot of expertise and data driven knowledge. Sundquist predicted a steep growth of programmatic in the Finnish market, with Nybergh emphasizing that soon we don’t talk about programmatic versus direct advertising, but just about systems and technologies talking to each other.


Adding to this, the main opportunity in the Finnish market is adding the first frequencies to the programmatic eco-system. One way for Finnish content providers to take this step is to embrace a holistic setup, and selecting a strategic and transparent ad tech partner.


Moving towards holistic ad serving solutions

Networking with the Finns has allowed me to get a comprehensive view on them, both professionally and personally. A trait that has become very obvious is that even though Finnish publishers are very considered, and plan carefully before taking the next step, they have great understanding of the opportunities of programmatic advertising and are at the forefront at programmatic industry developments. The Finns have the unequalled ability to gather information from surrounding markets and to learn from challenges and mistakes there. This allows them to rethink their strategies, skip the teething problems and ramp up to full speed efficiently, keeping full control over their strategy.


The programmatic ratio versus classic campaigns here is a bit behind compared to the other Nordic markets, but it is  gaining traction rapidly. This is probably due to the fact that that two of Finland’s biggest content providers, owning a lot of market share, are carefully exploring the programmatic options. Following this, many Finnish content providers are researching holistic ad serving solutions, and recognise that this will be an essential next step in successfully shaping their programmatic strategies. Across the Nordic markets, already four publishers are using our full holistic solution 360 Polaris as a SSP and an adserver.


Don’t let silence fool you…

While it’s well-known that Finns don’t need many words to understand each other, and this is the underlying reason why a silence makes a Finn feel comfortable, the Finnish market and its players are not something to be silent about. Behind this humble characteristic, there is a lot of ambition, talent and intelligence which we see reflected in this progressing market.


I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Helsinki.





As Senior Director Business Development Nordics at Improve Digital, Rogier is responsible for expanding the company’s publisher offering in the Nordics, as well as managing relationships on the demand side of the business. Prior to joining Improve Digital in 2011, Rogier spent five years in various client and sales roles within the digital media sector, building his significant expertise in online publishing at companies such as Whatser, MTMediaGroep and VNU Media.