Think local, act local could well describe the mindset at Advance Local during its two-decade evolution from a newspaper group to a print and online publisher. Now generating some 50 million monthly unique visitors across 10 sites, the company is the #1 news and information site in each of its markets, per comScore.
“We’re really very much a regional player. However, we have national ambitions in terms of both our audience as well as creating opportunities for buyers to find value in our audience wherever they happen to be,” says Jeff Sutton, VP, Ad Technology & Programmatic Strategies, Advance Local.
In this interview with Beet.TV, Sutton explains the benefits of being “hyper relevant” to local audiences and how being diverse when it comes to accepting buyers into its tech stack has yielded in excess of 100,000 of them each month.
The state of the programmatic world will be explored this month at the DMEXCO advertising and media trade show on Sept. 13 and 14 in Cologne, Germany.
In some ways, Advance is like Facebook in that “we have a stable audience of people who come back to our sites day in and day out” and because the kind of news information the company provides “is very hyper-relevant” to a local market, says Sutton.
“We cover local news, breaking news, sports, high school sports, issues and advocacy that are sort of driving conversations in the communities that we serve.”
As a result, he says Advance is not the kind of organization that struggles with a lot of fraudulent traffic to its sites. “Our buyers tell us what they like about us is that we have real people in real communities that we serve.”
The company uses a header bidder wrapper and exposes cookie and device ID information at the time of auction to allow advertisers to sync with its audiences. This comes as more buyers are opting for self-service platforms from the likes of Facebook, Google and Centro’s Brand Exchange.
“We’re very much open to the idea of allowing those buyers to buy into our properties through those buying channels,” says Sutton.
Looking for trustworthy, quality demand sources led Advance to PubMatic, which Sutton describes as “excellent in terms of giving us a really high level of input demand and, importantly, they have really a very strong support network.”
In addition to using Google Ad Exchange for server-to-server integration, Advance will be integrating with Amazon on a server-to-server basis.
“Diversity has been positive,” Sutton says about demand sources. “About three years ago we had 300 individual buyers coming into our stack on a monthly basis. Now we have in excess of 100,000 because we’ve diversified the way we accept demand into our business.”
This video is part a series that examines programmatic from both the seller and the buyer perspective. It is presented by PubMatic. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.