Frankly Launches Audience Targeting Platform for Local Sales Teams

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Local media companies — including newspaper, television, and radio publishers — are getting a new way to scale their digital campaigns and more precisely target audience segments this morning, as the team at Frankly has announced the launch of an audience extension solution. The programmatic ad-buying platform, which includes digital content distribution and ad monetization technology, was designed to give local media sales teams a fighting chance as they look to diversify revenue and compete for ad dollars against larger publishers.

Frankly’s complete audience solution expands the number of ways and places where local publishers can reach defined audiences. The solution includes an end-to-end self-serve platform that media operations teams can use to plan, activate and optimize campaigns, both onsite and via programmatic advertising, as well as data-as-a-service, providing curated audience segments through the type of targeting that’s common in local TV ad buys. Frankly’s platform also includes a managed service option to complement the work that local ad sales and operations teams are doing. The new platform was built with technology from Centro, which provides enterprise-class software for digital advertising organizations.

“Centro’s expertise in the local ad space, coupled with the ease of API connections into its DSP, made them the obvious choice for this endeavor,” says William Ammerman, global head of advertising for Frankly.

Without the resources to harvest local data, curate that data, and then make it actionable for their sales teams, many local media sites have been unable to compete in the digital ad market. Frankly’s offering is being billed as a unique opportunity to equip those sales teams with locally sourced data to reach local audiences and differentiate their ad offerings.

“The shift to programmatic has made it difficult for local sellers to compete on CPMs in the local markets,” Ammerman says. “As ad-buyers became more sophisticated, they turned to exchanges to find local inventory at reduced rates. Frankly is trying to shift some of that lost power back to the local sellers by equipping them with tools for targeting that aren’t readily available at auction.”

Frankly is already a partner for more than 200 local media websites, including those from Heartland Media.

Ammerman anticipates that the platform will be a boon for local publishers. With Frankly’s programmatic ad-buying solution in place, publishers will be able to reach targeted audiences onsite, as well as across the web, and ultimately secure more of their clients’ media buys. Adding a data-driven audience extension program should also help differentiate organizations.

Frankly’s new solution curates audience segments using first-party data from local publishers, and enriches audiences with third-party data. It then delivers the audience definition to both DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers ad server) for on-site targeting and Centro’s DSP for reach extension. Ammerman says this ensures maximum flexibility for the local advertiser. Frankly can also build custom audiences and deliver the ads on publishers’ own local sites, and extend the reach to the rest of the web as needed through Centro’s technology.

“Local sellers struggle to differentiate the value of their advertising from other competitive offerings in the local market,” Ammerman says. “By providing better targeting using data from local audiences, Frankly can improve the effectiveness of the campaigns in reaching potential customers.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.