Chicago-based Centro, which helps provide targeted ad solutions to 13,000 publishers — 4,000 at any given time — says it is refocusing on providing publishers with complete Demand Side solutions that integrate first party data targeting, hyperlocal mobile tools, digital extensions and cross-channel capabilities.
Publishers increasingly want to provide greater reach for their advertisers than they can provide from their own-and-operated (O&O) properties, said Centro SVP Katie Risch and VP John Hyland in a discussion with BIA/Kelsey. “O & O solutions are becoming a smaller share of the mix.”
Centro DSP for Publishers, the new product offering, provides a wide range of mobile, display, video and social campaigns directly through Centro’s platform. An increasing amount of these efforts are automated. “Revenue is going towards self-serve,” said Risch and Hyland. “People don’t go back after they start with self-serve.”
To be sure, programmatic — an automated process of planning and placing ads on the platform — represents a big part of Centro’s evolution. Centro has committed 18 buyers specifically to support programmatic. But programmatic needs to be supported with other pieces.
“We are in an early iteration of programmatic,” said Risch and Hyland. It helps to “close the loop.” But “it doesn’t do enough to support the demand side of the business, which is critical for local targeting. The biggest challenge is how to drive demand. There has to be a human layer; a set of KPIs.”
Centro’s Brand Exchange, for instance, has enlisted 1,400 publishers. It allows auto dealers and other SMBs to call on the company to meet their needs for local inventory. With such services, “we are providing a cohesive media strategy, along with first party data.”