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Building Trust & Success: The Story of Hotspex Media

Building Trust & Success: The Story of Hotspex Media
Mara Heathcote

If you're reading this, chances are you're interested in the world of digital media and advertising. And if you're interested in that, you've probably heard of Hotspex Media.

But do you know the story behind this innovative and successful company? Let's take a journey through their history, from their humble beginnings to becoming one of the leading programmatic planning and buying agencies in Canada.

Hotspex Media was founded in 2018, but its roots go back even further to 2013 when Wave Digital Media was established. Wave Digital Media's focus was narrow and deep, helping advertisers navigate the ever-changing programmatic media landscape through an unbiased approach by partnering closely with creative, PR, and small-medium digital media agencies. The company hired experienced, motivated media professionals who helped them punch above their weight class, and by investing early into growing businesses, they were able to increase investment over time by successfully tying back the metrics that matter through insight-driven reporting and analytics. By 2016, Wave was named the 13th fastest-growing startup in Canada by Canadian Business, and by 2018, it was the 24th fastest-growing company in Canada, the highest ranking of any independent media company. But what made the company wave goodbye to their old title?

In 2018, Wave was acquired by Hotspex, North America's #1 Most Innovative Insights Firm for three years running. This acquisition brought a growing emphasis on data science and the development of tools to help brands bridge the gap between great insights work and cutting-edge media executions on a global level. With the acquisition came a new name, and Wave became Hotspex Media.

Through internal expertise and expansive ad-tech relationships, Hotspex Media brings forward the latest executions and strategies to plan and deliver campaigns that are aligned with achieving primary KPIs and business objectives. The company's full-funnel approach helps clients clearly define KPIs and expectations, outlining the relative value derived from each investment. This allows them to maintain the values, culture, and working relationships that have driven their success.

But what sets Hotspex Media apart is their hands-on approach. Their team is exclusively comprised of strategic doers who are obsessed with being effective and efficient. They believe in transparency, open-mindedness, and accountability, and they work collaboratively with other teams to elevate each other. At Hotspex Media, there is no culture without great people, and the company's core values reflect this. The company's values are instilled in each employee, helping to create a culture of learning, support, positivity, and empowerment:

- Give A Sh!t: We learn nonstop because we love what we do. Because we love what we do, we do it extremely well.
- Got Your Back: We take care of and support one another. We build each other up. There is no culture without great people. 
- Yes Before No: We are solution focused. We are flexible, inquisitive and positive. Any innovation must start with yes.
- Inclusive: We seek differing opinions. We ensure all voices are heard. We are strong when we are different.
- We've Got Guts: We empower change and step outside our comfort zone, bringing teammates with us. We have tough conversations. We ask to be challenged.

Hotspex Media is one of the last true independent programmatic trading desks in Canada, and continues to operate as an independent company, allowing the company to maintain the values, culture, and working relationships that have driven its success. The foundation of Hotspex Media is rooted in helping build and position brands for long-term success, which remains evident in recent work which has been validated with:

  • The Drum, Best Buy-side Innovation, Game-Changing Tech (Nominees)
  • GRIT, Most Innovative Firm in North America - 2018,2019,2020,2021
  • CMA, Gold YouTube Storytelling - RBC 2019 
  • New World Report, Leading Innovators of Programmatic Advertising 2020
  • Internationalist Media Innovation Award - Acura/PHD 2020
  • #1 Ranked Media Buying and Planning Agency on
  • 103rd Fastest Growing Company in North America, Deloitte Fast 500
  • Named one of the Ad Age Best Places to Work 2023 

Hotspex Media's story is one of growth, innovation, and commitment to its clients and employees. As the digital media landscape continues to evolve, Hotspex Media remains committed to staying ahead of the curve and providing its clients with the best possible solutions. Their continued focus on real-time biddable media buying and the constantly evolving programmatic media ecosystem demonstrates invaluable expertise, strategy, and collaboration. Hotspex Media has come a long way since their beginnings as Wave Digital Media, and they continue to push the boundaries of programmatic media buying and advertising.

So why partner with Hotspex Media? They work with both brands and agencies and get the most out of media buys. They help identify and measure the metrics that matter most, place pixels and track important website actions, and work with leading measurement partners to execute brand lift analyses. If you're looking for a partner who is flexible, passionate, and transparent in all they do, look no further than Hotspex Media.

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