We unpack how the terms "automation" and "AI" differ and where they both fit into the marketing and advertising ecosystem.
Our people are a large part of what makes Centro such a great place to work. We’re excited to introduce you to some of Centro’s most interesting people in our newest blog series, as they share their ‘Centro stories’ and a variety of experiences that have impacted their work and life.
Tyler Kelly was the fourth employee hired at Centro. After ascending to SVP of Client Development in just seven years, Tyler managed a team that grew partnerships with more than 300 agencies.
In his current role of President, Tyler is busy putting fourteen years’ worth of Centro experience to good use. Read on to learn how this original Centron has built our reputation for outstanding customer service from the ground up.
Clare McKinley: What’s the most exciting thing about our product, Basis?
Tyler Kelly: In essence, it’s that we’re fulfilling an industry need through automation. Not only does Basis automate low-value tasks, it automates low-value tasks from the beginning through the end of the media buying cycle. That means that the efficiencies created by automation start in media planning and run all the way through billing and reconciliation.
In an industry that’s experiencing a lot of turmoil, the end-to-end consistency Basis offers is groundbreaking.
CM: How does Centro as a company play into the larger conversations about automation that are happening in the industry right now?
TK: In short, we’re leading the charge.
Right now, the average media professional uses 15 different tools to do their job. That’s obviously not sustainable. From an automation standpoint, the question is, how do we scale the entire process? Basis is the only technology I know that can scale all digital media channels (search, social, display, and programmatic) from end to end.
We’re also invested in educating our industry on where automation is headed. For example, we partnered with the 4A’s to kick off their Future of Automation study. They reached out to businesses all over the country to put a finger on the pulse of what automation means to media professionals.
One of the most important findings is that automation is seen in two different ways. One is through programmatic, and how businesses can automate their media. The second is broader: How can we scale the entire process of running a business? How can we create processes that streamline and create more efficiencies within agencies? Those are the questions we’re trying to answer with Basis.
CM: Could you speak to the custom solutions Centro offers its clients, and how they set Centro apart as a provider?
TK: We have a spectrum of custom solutions we offer our clients. The first is full managed service. For businesses that can’t do their own buying, we can execute everything from front to end.
Then we have Centro as a programmatic vendor. There are a lot of agencies out there that have been doing direct and using third-party programmatic partners, but they want to see what’s actually happening within their programmatic channels. Our team executes the programmatic channels within Basis for these clients, and they get full transparency into their programmatic buys.
The next option, which I think is the most unique in the industry, is our media execution solution. It’s great for clients who want to start doing media planning on their own eventually, but aren’t quite there yet. With this solution, our services team operates within a client’s instance of Basis until they’re ready for self-serve. We are the only media technology with a 300-person service team executing this type of solution, and we've seen tremendous success.
Self-serve is the last option—the client implements Basis on their own.
CM: Centro is known for its customer service. How do you create a best-in-class customer experience without compromising quality?
TK: Customer success is ever-evolving, but our philosophy stems from Shawn and his adoption of Raving Fan service in the early days.
Within our customer success team, we have a dedicated person for each account, regular QBRs (Quality Business Reviews) to make sure everything is running smoothly, and a technology help line that clients can call any time of day.
It ensures that clients have access to a single point of contact—a person they can call—and grants access to all of the resources available within the customer success team.
CM: How have you turned “sales relationships” into partnerships?
TK: The most important thing is to get away from the idea of being just a vendor. In order to do that, you need to help clients accomplish their business goals.
On the client side, we’re asking, how do we help the client sell more of whatever they’re trying to sell? How do we help them achieve their goals? On the agency side, how do we help them scale their agency? How do we help them win more business? It’s about showing that they can increase their bottom line and media performance by partnering with Centro.
CM: What’s your strategy for anticipating customer needs currently, and into 2020?
TK: I would say the biggest learning we had this year was around education. The industry still needs a lot of education around digital buying and digital buying practices.
As we look at our clients, success is all about guiding, educating, and making them better. That’s the strategy we’re going to continue with, because it helps everyone in the industry—us included.