Interview with Trident

Interview with the COO of media buying agency Trident

Today we will get acquainted with the Ukrainian media buying agency Trident. And we’ll start with the key aspects the team adheres to: Our benchmark – perfection Our passion – CPA marketing Our routine – to seek, find, and go beyond the boundaries of the known industry.

Well, with ambitious values, we’ve already been introduced. Let’s learn more about the agency’s history, team, successful cases, insights on affiliate marketing, and future plans shared by Mykyta Koshelyk, COO of Trident Media Buying Agency.

Tell us about Trident media buying agency. What are your core values, mission, and unique features?

Trident is a media buying company with its own app development unit and app rental service. We are a Ukraine-based company, founded in 2020. We operate four traffic sources: FB, UAC, PPC, and ASO. On a daily basis, we have 30 active geos and the same number of advertisers in work.

How many team members are there currently?

Our team consists of almost 80 people across seven departments: Media Buying (FB, Google, PPC, ASO), Farm Unit, Development, Brand Unit, HR, Design, and Operations Unit.

What is your motivation system for media buyers?

Buyers have a fixed rate and a bonus. The latter is based on a progressive grid, which depends on the amount of profit generated in a month. Buyers could earn up to 40% through this grid.

Could you describe a typical working day for the Trident team?

Yes, depending on the position, you can work in the office or remotely. We have an open-space office, so it’s easy to communicate with other team members from the same or different departments. Generally, there is at least one meeting with buying teams and COO, plus small meetings inside teams for planning. We also have a PlayStation, table tennis, and hookah, so there are some additional activities to do during rainy periods.

Affiliate networks vs. direct advertising. Which do you prefer?

We usually work with both types of partners. The first ones come to us, and we are interested in working with partner networks because they offer us new offers for testing. In fact, partner networks improve the work of our department. Plus, even if we work with a direct advertiser, we can still work with an affiliate network to increase cap, match the envelope, etc.

How do you handle source depletion?

It’s a tricky question. On the one hand, we work with seemingly stable sources: UAC, FB, PPC, ASO. But, on the other hand, there are always obstacles. Policies are getting tougher, bans are becoming more regular, but we continue to do what we always do – look for loopholes and test new ways to bypass the storm. As for now, it works. Our buying team usually reads cases, surfs forums, and looks for information during such periods.

What tools do you use to optimize your team’s work?

There are two types of tools: those directly used for media buying processes (Keitaro, Dolphin Anty, Adheart, Sensor Tower, Dolphin) and those used to manage tasks and processes (Jira, Notion, Trello, Google Sheets, Google Forms, Excel).

In which traffic sources do you see potential for work?

We wouldn’t work with traffic sources in which we don’t see potential. As mentioned before, FB, UAC, ASO are profitable for the business. Also, we put great effort into developing the PPC unit, and for us, this direction is new but very promising.

In your opinion, what are the top-performing geos right now?

At the moment our dominant cash-makers are Peru, France, Hungary, Spain, Turkey. 

Could you share a recent successful case?

We have a good case in AZ, with UAC traffic source and Trident Apps, which gave us a 70% ROI on a $20k spent. The offer was private from a direct advertiser. Also, a case in France had a similar ROI (74%), but we brought traffic from FB, and the offer was private from direct advertisers too. Generally, such cases unlock when your biz dev department does an excellent job and finds a new product or advertiser or gets you a private offer from the current one. On a daily basis, working with public offers gives you a smaller ROI and more restrictions on the quantity of FTD, resulting in smaller volumes.

The key to long-term and quality relationships with partners is…

Respecting your business partner. We always try to manage conflicts or unclear situations calmly and in the form of personal meetings. If you are honest, know the quality of your traffic, and have analytics – it’s almost a pleasure to deal with it. We bring quality traffic, investing money in quality sources, so we expect to have no shave, cut-outs, or unpaid debts. Simple as it is.

Is there still room for newcomers in the affiliate space to become top performers, or is the niche already oversaturated?

Our CEO mentioned in one of his interviews that he wouldn’t start this business again now because you need significantly more resources and people to start now than three years ago. Farming becomes complicated, app development is almost rocket science, solo gambling media buying is something from tales. So, definitely there is some space for newcomers, but at what cost and how long does it take to get profitable and return your investment as an owner? A tricky question. Also, it’s so much harder to get a skilled media buyer when you just started and your processes and infrastructure are in ongoing development. 

How can someone join the Trident team? Describe the ideal candidate who could work with you.

Yes, we have open positions, you can check them at
Soft skills over hard skills. We never give priority to money in the moment against the values of the candidate. Never. We have a case where we fired a very skilled and highly profitable buyer due to his toxic behavior inside the team. 

What are your future plans? What can we expect from Trident in 2024?

Expansion, in brief. We are actively testing new niches and sources now. Our biggest goal for the next year is to differentiate. We don’t want to invest 100% effort in one niche. 

Also, we are planning to have 100 people in a team by the middle of 2024 and become a top-3 team in terms of size and awareness of the local market by the end of next year. We are also planning to attend more conferences, especially global ones, more often become speakers at events, give more interviews, and launch new projects.