Martech Interview with Co-Founder, DanAds – Peo Persson

Peo Persson from DanAds discusses the financial awakening in the Adtech arena and dissects the need for optimization for digital advertising campaigns.

The financial impact of COVID will long be felt by publishers and advertisers alike. What this will mean for the years ahead is investment in advertising that is much more conservative, and ad campaigns that are more strategic, targeted, and cost-efficient as a reflection of this.

1. Tell us about your role at DanAds?
“I am the co-founder and CPO of DanAds. Prior to co-founding DanAds in 2013, I held a number of senior roles in media and the IT industry and have a decade’s worth of experience working in adtech and media innovation.”

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
“My interest in media and automated technology began in 2007 while working in a digital sales role at a company owned by Bonnier in Sweden. In this role, I noticed the industry was lacking those automation tools required to streamline sales and ad operations. By addressing this shortfall, I knew that it could liberate publishers’ sales, AdOps, accounting, and management teams to focus more on those mission-critical and value-adding tasks that impact the most important thing: the bottomline.”

3. What do you think is the biggest technological challenge in marketing right now?
”Businesses will see that it’s difficult to determine the most effective marketing methods. One thing I believe will be a struggle is to acquire accurate data. Without clear data of what’s working and what’s not working, it will become very difficult for a business to determine the direction of its marketing strategy and where to allocate budget.
With the right self-serve tools, marketers and the wider business can learn from and optimise first party audience data allowing you to make informed decisions when it comes to changes to strategy and budget allocation.”

4. How has a customer-centric approach empowered the AdTech industry?
“From our perspective, the aim has always been to help and empower the many publishers, who, unlike big companies such as Facebook and LinkedIn, lack the necessary expertise or labour and financial resources to build their own self-service platform and, as a result, are stuck in an expensive and time intensive cycle of relying on both manual direct sales and third party-controlled, non-transparent programmatic sales.
By offering the accessibility and ease of transaction to both traditional and emerging digital publishers, we are able to provide a direct line between the business and advertiser, offering a one-stop solution that enables automation of all ad operations, sales, and creative asset management, as well as helping to open up additional revenue streams for publishers as the world migrates to online at a growing pace. From the advertisers’ perspective, we also empower local and small businesses, for whom the barrier to entry may have previously been too high, to reach the target audience of their choice.”

5. How does your self-serve advertising technology help advertisers and publishers?
“Our mission is to work together with publishers to provide them with a platform, with the best self-service features, that manages one-to-one guaranteed buying relationships with their signed clients, sales teams and walk-in advertisers.
We provide publishers with their own white-label platform which connects the publisher directly to their advertisers, allowing them to accept ad budgets of all sizes. This opens up the opportunity for our publisher clients to sell directly to the millions of SMBs out there advertising their businesses. Technically, this means the advertiser on the other end of the transaction won’t need a DSP (demand-side platform) buyer integration or an ad exchange in order to perform transactions with hyperlocal targeting directly on the publisher’s website.
Today, we work with small publishers as well as with the world’s largest media houses, delivering a flexible white-label self-service platform that meets the demands of our publishers’ internal ad-business needs throughout the entire sales cycle.”

6. What features of your DanAds technology gave you an upper hand in winning AdExchanger Power Player award for the second time?
“I believe we were recognized not only for our technology but for the expertise and support we provide. We have significant experience and a deep knowledge of what self-serve can do for publishers, content providers and advertisers. I believe that all of our customers acknowledge and feel that we support them in every single phase, from offering them the best technology and platform development to strategy, marketing, and management. We help and support all of our customers to bring the best self-serve offering to their advertising market.”

7. What are the biggest changes you expect to see in the AdTech industry in the next few years?

“The financial impact of COVID will long be felt by publishers and advertisers alike. What this will mean for the years ahead is investment in advertising that is much more conservative, and ad campaigns that are more strategic, targeted, and cost-efficient as a reflection of this.

To maximise the limited resources available to them, companies will look even more to digital and online spaces to appeal to more specific audiences. The decline of traditional media will accelerate this shift as its advertising impact declines and premiums increase.”
The democratization of the digital media industry will also continue. As an industry where all the small and medium-sized businesses looking to advertise their business are limited to the two biggest tech giants (Facebook and Google), it is not a democracy. The big publishers have started to realise there is ample opportunity to open up this segment and build relationships with these advertisers that will generate revenues in the short and long-term. For advertisers, the major advantage to this shift is access to highly valuable first party audience data that can only be found in the publishing space.”

8. What advice would you like to give to technology startups?
“It takes knowledge to get attention and time to build the relationships that are needed to garner success and growth.”

9. What work-related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
“I read books, read the news frequently, make sure I sleep for six hours every night and I don’t close my computer as soon as 5pm hits.”

10. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
“It’s all about the use of your data.

The potential of artificial Intelligence and machine-learning can only be realized if we enable businesses to fully leverage first party data, automation and the use of algorithms.

Whether it’s a multi-billion dollar business or an SME using our platform, its effectiveness is likely to depend more on how well it can leverage automation and algorithms and use publisher’s first party data to present the right messages to the right customers.
DanAds’ ability to adopt machine intelligence to collaborate with publishers, optimize booking processes, and help advertisers to appropriately reallocate budgets based on data insights will all play a key role in determining our future success.”

11. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
“I would not be where I am if I didn’t have the best team in the world supporting me.
The most important support I have is from DanAds onboarding, and the Solution Engineering team. They pick up all the things that I miss on a daily basis.”

12. What movie inspires you the most?
“The Shawshank Redemption, Inception and The Green Mile.”

13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?

14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
“Linkedin, Zoom, Vivino and a lot of news feeds. My life is all about wine and news!”

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Peo Persson, co-founder of DanAds (, the biggest player in the self-serve advertising game, and the driving force behind some of the world’s largest self-serve advertising platforms, including those of leading traditional (and non-traditional) publishers such as Hearst Magazines, Bloomberg Media Group, Roku, Philips, TripAdvisor, and SoundCloud.

DanAds is the industry-leading provider of self-serve technology. They aim to give all global media owners their own fully automated, and white-labeled self-serve infrastructure that enables all departments to focus on revenue-driven tasks instead of manual administration.

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