Buy The Trade Desk as a Hedge Against the Walled Gardens of Big Tech

From time to time, I find myself perplexed about an opinion I formed on a particular stock. And so I wonder what I was thinking in early June when I lumped The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) stock in with other bubble stocks?

The logo for The Trade Desk is displayed on a smart phone.
Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

In fairness, TTD stock is up 166% since January 2020 making it a pandemic winner of sizable proportions. Perhaps it wasn’t a bad call to suggest it was time for a mild correction. 

TTD stock has struggled in 2021. It has gone positive for the year on multiple occasions, but it has been rebuffed every time. Most recently, it has met resistance after a bullish spike in late June. As of this writing, the stock isup nearly 7% for the year. 

However, I missed the news that the company was about to execute a 10-for-1 stock split. So if you ignored my advice, you’ve been rewarded with a small gain over the last 30 days. 

Now that I’ve got that mea culpa out of the way, let’s take a look at why I think it could be a bullish second half of 2021 for TTD stock. 

A Closer Look at TTD Stock

In January, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the parent company of the ubiquitous search engine, announced it will not remove third-party cookies to track internet users until 2023. The original deadline was 2022. 

That announcement sent TTD stock soaring to over $90 per share in mid-February, but the stock gave back some of those gains. The volatility seems likely due to the uncertainty surrounding potential regulation of big tech.  

I understand why The Trade Desk gets lumped in with other flowers in digital advertising’s Walled Gardens. However, it’s important for investors to understand that the company is actively pursuing its own approach. 

As many investors know, the removal of third-party cookies is not going to have a large effect on Google. The same can’t be said of The Trade Desk. However, according to the company’s CEO Jeff Green, the company will be alright for two reasons.

First, cookies weren’t designed for the complexities of digital ads to begin with, and they play no role in the mobile and connected TV (CTV) ads that many advertisers are moving towards.  

With that in mind, you can understand why The Trade Desk would be creating an open internet platform, Unified 2.0 (UID2). 

Instead of using cookies (I.e. bits of code), UID2 employs a single sign-on and encrypted email addresses to collect data and deliver targeted ads. This method works across web browsers, mobile devices, and CTVs.  

The company didn’t stop there. It has recently introduced Solimar, a dashboard that merges the company’s existing marketplace into a single interface with features such as data onboarding and identity resolution.

This will allow their customers to target specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as sales at a specific store rather than relying on the traditional model of clicks and CPMs 

The Open Internet Versus the Walled Garden  

There is no force greater than talking yourself into the decision you wanted to make the whole time. That was frequently my experience in marketing communications.

The agencies I worked for were tasked with coming up with out-of-the-box solutions.  

But many times, clients were only asking for bold solutions to justify taking the safe path. As it relates to digital advertising, the Walled Garden solutions of Google and Facebook are the safe solution for many advertisers.

That’s why I’m a fan of what The Trade Desk is trying to accomplish. They’re on the vanguard of programmatic advertising. In a nutshell, the company uses a cloud-based platform that lets marketers bid on ad space in real-time.  

This provides two important benefits to marketers. First, they can target content providers that attract their ideal consumers. And second, they can manage and measure their ad spending in new and exciting ways.  

Buy TTD Stock Before It Heads Higher

Will The Trade Desk’s approach win out in the long run? That’s the bet that you’re making with TTD stock. In volatile times like these, I find myself depending less on my own intuition and looking more at what analysts say.  

As it relates to TTD stock, recent analyst opinions are very bullish. Needham & Cpmpany just initiated coverage in July and gave the stock a $100 price target.

So I suppose you could say I’m letting the rational opinion of analysts justify the bold solution I want. That is to see the company’s open internet approach succeed.  

On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.  

Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for seven years. He has been writing for InvestorPlace since 2019.


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