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Ad Sales Workflow Provider Centro Adds DSP With Hyperlocal In Mind

Location and device IDs are supplementing the PC-based cookie for cross-screen targeting.

Centro's Kelly Wenzel
Centro’s Kelly Wenzel

Centro, a provider of data and ad sales workflow software, is continuing to expand its “one-stop shop” for both buyers and sellers with the unveiling of a demand-side platform with a particular focus on hyperlocal targeting.

The tech provider has long worked with major local publishers like The Tribune Company and Emmis local TV station websites on the supply side with services that allow for a greater blending of automation and direct ad selling. But the rise of mobile and the greater ease to target local consumers has spurred Centro to broaden its offerings, said CMO Kelly Wenzel.

A Local Legacy

“The way that we look at it is if you think about our legacy, which has all been around the workflow and automation, around site-direct guaranteed buys, the introduction of Centro DSP means that we can address the opportunity for bidded, exchange-based inventory as well,” Wenzel said. “It makes us a more central player in this space.”

By moving beyond its publisher services with the addition of a formal DSP, which is essentially an on-ramp connecting ad agency trading desks and their advertiser clients to online ad exchanges, doesn’t mean Centro is looking to become a marketplace for both buyers and sellers.

The point is simply to amplify its workflow services as more traditional advertisers and media companies seek to automate parts of the direct sales process in order to target audiences more precisely, particularly on mobile devices aimed at the online local marketplace.

The Cookieless World

“On the hyperlocal front, one of our strongest features we have in this DSP is the ability for advertisers to target audiences based on GPS coordinates instead of IP addresses,” said Ratko Vidakovic, Centro’s VP of Product Marketing for Programmatic. “Our mobile retargeting reflects the use of device IDs instead of cookies as a way to understand and reach specific audiences. It’s very important, especially when it comes to first party data management. The combination of these capabilities allows for extremely precise mobile advertising, but in a larger cross channel platform.”

Among the features of the new DSP is the ability for brands to discover regional and local publishers’ private marketplaces, something that a number of mobile marketplaces and ad networks like xAd and Verve Mobile have been working to establish the past several months.

“The intention is to help marketers thrive in this ‘cookieless’ world, and we know that many of them are struggling,” Wenzel said, pointing to the relative limitations of tracking pixels, which are so common on the PC web for ad targeting, when it comes to smartphones and tablets. “But with ad spending on mobile rising by an estimated 56 percent, it’s imperative that regional, local buyers and sellers can easily make those transactions happen.”