ITA Spotlight: Centro
Friday, May 3, 2019
Posted by: Kaylin Berg
Matt Miller, Chief Financial Officer, Centro @Centro
Centro’s mission is simple: to make digital media better. Whether it’s driving performance across campaigns, teams, or businesses — media professionals will do more using our technology, Basis.
In 25 words or less, what is Centro all about?
Centro offers Basis, the industry’s most comprehensive and automated digital media platform. It converges all major aspects of digital media into a singular system.
What problem do you solve and how do you solve it better than the competition?
Today, digital media buying teams rely on multiple and fragmented advertising technologies to facilitate and manage their day-to-day work. This fragmentation and platform complexity drives up labor and tech infrastructure costs, creating chaos, confusion and inaccuracies in the digital media operations process. It is unsustainable for agencies and their employees to log into multiple, disconnected technology platforms for the mere purpose of executing a single digital media buy. Digital advertising needs a transformation. Basis creates true automation across the entire digital media process to drive performance, reduce costs and empower media teams to do more.
How did you get started?
Centro originated in 2001 with a mission to simplify the complexity of media buying. The idea is to create software that would automate the entire process. We first automated direct buying between agencies and publishers. Today, as data-driven audience targeting grows (through programmatic channels), we’ve architected our technology to address these market changes. As digital media evolves, we continue development on our software to stay on the forefront of what agencies and their clients want.
How has your company culture evolved as Centro has grown?
When our founder and CEO, Shawn Riegsecker, started Centro in 2001, he built a company with two concepts in mind – personal growth and helping others. The notion is that people are happiest when they are learning and growing, and when they are helping others. This foundation has carried us through the years, where we continue to invest heavily on the development of our employees.
What are your primary goals for Centro?
Our main goal is for our software, Basis, to be the most widely used media automation and intelligence platform in the world with the highest customer satisfaction ratings. We believe this will happen because it solves numerous pain points for agencies and marketers, and it is the technology Centro uses to run a scaled, profitable and growing business.
Where do you see Centro in two years? Five? Ten?
In two years, we will have significant market share among regional, independent agencies, who are early adopters of innovative methods in digital media because they are more flexible and nimble in how they operate. In five years, we see Basis as the industry standard for software among large agencies within the major holding companies. No one is getting fired for buying Basis.
What’s the No. 1 thing on your to-do list?
My focus is to ensure that we have resources to support our goals of driving adoption for our technology and maintaining a high level in customer satisfaction. This means investing in our technology development to ensure that it fills the needs of advertisers today and into the future. This also means investing in customer success to proliferate knowledge and best practices to our users so that they are happy with their experience. Doing these well leads to more resources to invest in the growth and learning of our team so that they are excited and energized every day as they walk into our office.
In your opinion, what are some of the pros and cons of being an Illinois business?
The most challenging aspect is the false perception that this region is second-tier for professional growth. There is a notion that this is not an important market, that all the tech and media action happens on the coasts, and that it’s so cold and miserable. These are just stories. Illinois has a thriving tech community made up of brand name stalwarts as well an up and coming organizations. The most positive aspect with establishing our headquarters in Illinois, specifically in Chicago, is the talent. There is a lot of cache with having a strong business in the Midwest, which attracts a lot of local talent who are interested in great opportunities that can be attained near home.
What are the biggest challenges you face as you scale your business?
The competition in ad tech is intense. We are facing large established players like Google and Adobe in the market in addition to numerous mid-sized tech providers. They all have plenty of resources and funding, so we compete for customers, talent and mindshare. Digital advertising moves fast. We are continually improving our technology to ensure that marketers see us as the best partner for solving their ever-changing needs.
This one is all you… anything else you want to tell us?
For more than a decade, Centro has delivered solutions that make the lives of digital media professionals better. We do this through automation and we are the premier destination for people interested in how technology is being applied to the future of advertising and marketing. If you want to influence the shape of industry, Centro is that place where you can do it.