Q&A With New Adcentricity CEO Doug Woolridge

April 24, 2012 by Dave Haynes

I got wind of some sort of deal involving a company that started with a B and Adcentricity several weeks ago, but I waited until there were some actual details before writing anything up. Once I had a draft press release to work with, I asked the new CEO Doug Woolridge if he would do a Q&A with me to provide some more background on what is interesting deal in the context of how this industry has (and hasn’t grown) and where new efforts are being made.

Q. My guess is most of the digital signage and Digital OOH sector is not familiar with Bee Media. Can you give me some background?

Doug Woolridge, Adcentricity’s new CEO: Bee Media started in 2010 and has been working on developing a robust location-based mobile shopping platform including mobile interfaces, shopping tools, location services, mobile payment, content management, analytics and reporting. We’re experts in this space. Our collective experience spans 100+ years and includes work across every major category from CPG, automotive, shopper marketing, health, food and beverage, lifestyle, retail, financial services, telecommunications and more. Our strong and experienced management team is also backed by an industry-leading board of advisors. In addition to the strong Bee Media management team, we have senior level support from the founder of the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA), as well as the founders of Adcentricity who will remain as part of the management team. Strategic partners include leading advertisers, agencies, retailers, media buyers, network partners and carriers.

Q – What’s the elevator pitch now?

Adcentricity is a location-based digital media platform company offering two unique location-based marketing platforms and solutions that drive shopper marketing and consumer engagement based on a person’s physical location.

Q. How long has this deal been in the works, and what’s the thing that made the decision for you and your investors to go ahead?

Bee Media and Adcentricity have been working as strategic partners for about 6 months. The deciding factor was that there is a clear alignment between mobile engagement and location-based digital media when you consider the fact that nearly every person out there is walking around with a mobile device at their fingertips. Together with Bee, we can now offer an even more powerful platform with the ability to target and distribute content across every channel including mobile shopping applications, which Bee was widely known for. When you couple what Bee offers on the consumer mobile applications side with what Adcentricity offered on the location-based media side it makes for a highly effective tool for brands and retailers.

Q. The hyperlocal mobile business was and is, I assume, highly competitive – not only with other mobile offers but all those daily deals companies. Did that influence the decision to diversify?

Not really and we agree that the industry is fragmented and confusing with a lot of new entrants and tactics emerging daily. We saw an opportunity to help media buyers, planners and agencies to seamlessly incorporate location-based digital media into their plans thus benefiting our numerous network partners and vendors. Adcentricity makes it easy to create and place location-based media campaigns in a very fragmented and confusing space. There is no other company that has a fully-integrated platform to compile, create, localize, render and distribute an advertising campaign as easily and cost effectively.

Brands are increasingly turning to new digital mediums and platforms to connect with consumers in exciting and engaging ways and while the explosion of digital technology has fueled this desire, it’s also created the inability for marketers and brands to truly understand what works. The combination of local, shopper marketing, mobile, in-store audio, WiFi/Bluetooth networks and digital place-based and in-store video networks has created a fractured landscape of thousands of smart, effective companies and media channels with limited ways to get the attention of, and adoption by, brands. We take those pieces and put it together in one cohesive strategy that allows brands to gain the attention they need.

Q – You are selling a fully-integrated platform to compile, create, localize, render and distribute an advertising campaign easily and cost effectively. Will Adcentricity be the platform from the buy through the delivery, or are you enabling other companies that would use this platform, with your company taking a “processing” fee or something?

Both. We provide a service to planners and buyers and alternatively, agencies and network partners can adopt a self-serve model where they use our platform and pay us fees for usage of the platform. AdCentral is a hub for both demand and supply with 100 networks and over 250,000 location-based digital assets.

Q – This is a new way of approaching media buying and delivery, and you are up against planning and buying activity that can be really silo’d at agencies and brands. How do you get past the objections about not knowing which bucket your offer is in?

Great questions. The key is for us to remain flexible and know the nuances of each network partner, client, agency and planner.

Q – How large is the new Adcentricity in terms of head count and numbers of offices? I gather you are hiring and expanding locations?

We have approximately 30 people with offices in Toronto, New York and London. We have just hired 8 new sales reps and 5 new heads in product management.

Q – Is the head office going to stay Toronto or will you build up in New York and perhaps London?

Head office will likely stay in Toronto with strong representation in both New York and London.

Q – Usually, not always, but usually when a company acquires another the buy side’s brand survives and the seller’s disappears or gets rolled in as a product or subsidiary. Why drop Bee Media and use Adcentricity?

Bee Media was flying under the Radar while Adcentricity had brand awareness and momentum. We wanted to pick up on the momentum and avoid confusion in the marketplace.

Q – What’s the percentage of revenue you see coming out of Digital Out Of Home? What’s going to be the main vertical for you?

DOOH will be the majority of our revenue approximately 65%. With our AdMobile making up the difference.


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