JUNE 2019

A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned By Centro

The Total Economic Impact™ of Basis™ by Centro

Increased Digital Media Team Efficiencies And Revenues

Executive Summary

Centro provides a media automation platform (MAP) that enables customers to manage direct, programmatic, search, and social through a single platform. This creates greater efficiencies, provides better analytics, and delivers better digital marketing campaign results. Centro commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential benefits enterprises may realize by deploying Basis. The purpose of this study is to provide readers with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of Basis on their organizations.

To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with this investment, Forrester interviewed four customers using Basis. Basis streamlines operations across many functions — including negotiation and contract management, direct media activation, universal campaign reporting and optimization, collaboration and messaging, billing facilitation, ad server integration, search and social integration, programmatic buying, and planning — and also provides access to ad inventory and target audience data through multiple partnerships and integrations.

Prior to using Basis, the customers typically used a mix of in-house tools, other demand-side platforms (DSPs), and sometimes third-party management companies (for programmatic). This led to inefficient operations, campaigns that were costly and did not deliver intended results, and dissatisfied customers.

Forrester developed a composite organization based on data gathered from the customer interviews to reflect the total economic impact that investing in Basis could have on an organization. The composite organization is representative of the organizations that Forrester interviewed and is used to present the aggregate financial analysis in this study. All values are reported in risk-adjusted three-year present value (PV) unless otherwise indicated.

Key Findings

Quantified benefits.The following risk-adjusted PV quantified benefits are representative of those experienced by the agencies interviewed and are modeled by the composite organization:

Benefit Insights

  • Increase in digital team efficiency:

  • Income uplift

  • Benefits (present value):
    $1.4 million

  • The composite organization achieved efficiencies of 35% through automation and tool/process consolidation over a wide range of activities.

    The composite organization, which had $11.5 million in total digital spend and six members on the digital team before adopting Basis, was growing at 30% per year in terms of total ad spend. Centralizing all types of ad campaigns onto a single platform created efficiencies across all stages of campaign management — setup, execution, and post campaign. With Basis, the organization also streamlined new customer onboarding, as well as internal and external communication. Without Basis, the composite organization would have needed to add eight additional FTEs over three years. Basis reduced this to four additional FTEs. The total labor savings over three years was $591,525.

  • New wins and improved campaign delivery and performance tracking increased income by 12%.

    Agencies reported that demonstrating the capabilities of Basis helped win new clients. They also said that better tracking of campaign spend ensured budgets were entirely used and the agencies were paid on the full budget. For the financial model, Forrester assumed that the various ways an agency can make money, e.g., fees and commissions/markups, equaled 15% of the total ad spend; Forrester used this to calculate the agency income uplift. Partners also said that using Basis helps to increase profits from existing customers, but those were not included in the financial model because they can vary so widely. The increased agency profit over three years was $822,552 for the composite organization.

Unquantified benefits. The interviewed agencies also experienced the following benefits, which are not quantified for this study:

  • Increased employee skills and satisfaction.

    Digital media team members at the interviewed agencies said that they were learning valuable new skills after the move to Basis. This included how to run better campaigns, complete better analyses, and communicate better with peers and clients. This, along with the satisfaction of working with the latest tools, increased employee satisfaction.

  • Improved digital ad campaigns and analytics.

    Agencies were able to reduce campaign costs, which made more budget available for purchasing inventory. Also, better targeting tactics enabled organizations to spend campaign budgets more effectively, which improved campaign outcomes. This created happier customers. Furthermore, agencies that brought programmatic buying back in-house from a third-party management company had better visibility across all ad types and ran better campaigns. Basis also provided broader analytics, which improved agency operations, automation, and the value of insights. Lastly, interviewees said that campaigns were better because of the built-in brand and fraud protection tools.

Costs. The interviewed agencies said that there were almost no incremental costs for purchasing and using Basis. The effort to manage the Basis platform was no more than the previous solution(s) they had in place.

The composite organization experienced the following risk-adjusted PV incremental cost:

  • Implementation of Basis cost $16,500.

    Two FTEs spent one month implementing Basis.

Forrester’s interviews with four existing customers and subsequent financial analysis found that an organization using Basis, based on these interviewed organizations, experienced benefits of $1.4 million over three years and almost no incremental costs that the agency needed to bear.

Financial Summary

TEI Framework And Methodology

The TEI methodology helps companies demonstrate, justify, and realize the tangible value of IT initiatives to both senior management and other key business stakeholders.

From the information provided in the interviews, Forrester has constructed a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) framework for those organizations considering implementing Centro Basis.

The objective of the framework is to identify the cost, benefit, flexibility, and risk factors that affect the investment decision. Forrester took a multistep approach to evaluate the impact that Centro Basis can have on an organization:


    Interviewed Centro stakeholders and Forrester analysts to gather data relative to Basis.


    Interviewed four organizations using Basis to obtain data with respect to costs, benefits, and risks.


    Designed a composite organization based on characteristics of the interviewed organizations.


    CConstructed a financial model representative of the interviews using the TEI methodology and risk-adjusted the financial model based on issues and concerns of the interviewed organizations.


    Employed four fundamental elements of TEI in modeling Centro Basis’s impact: benefits, costs, flexibility, and risks. Given the increasing sophistication that enterprises have regarding ROI analyses related to IT investments, Forrester’s TEI methodology serves to provide a complete picture of the total economic impact of purchase decisions. Please see Appendix A for additional information on the TEI methodology.


Readers should be aware of the following:

This study is commissioned by Centro and delivered by Forrester Consulting. It is not meant to be used as a competitive analysis.

Forrester makes no assumptions as to the potential ROI that other organizations will receive. Forrester strongly advises that readers use their own estimates within the framework provided in the report to determine the appropriateness of an investment in Centro Basis.

Centro reviewed and provided feedback to Forrester, but Forrester maintains editorial control over the study and its findings and does not accept changes to the study that contradict Forrester’s findings or obscure the meaning of the study.

Centro provided the customer names for the interviews but did not participate in the interviews.

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The Basis Customer Journey


Interviewed Agencies

For this study, Forrester conducted four interviews with Centro Basis customers. Interviewed customers include the following:

Sports marketing • Supervisor $15 million
Political and advocacy • VP of digital $10 million
Marketing and branding • VP media
• Ad operations specialist
$16 million
Marketing • Partner and director of integrated marketing services $1 million

Key Challenges

The interviewed agencies shared the following challenges that led them to look for a new solution like Basis:

  • Lack of control and visibility.

    Previous solutions, which could be a mix of in-house and third-party, as well as fragmented across programmatic, direct, search, and social, meant that information was difficult to aggregate and then analyze in a detailed, timely manner. This affected internal operations and the quality of ad campaigns.

  • Inefficient, manual processes.

    Lack of automation led to disjointed business processes and communication across a wide range of activities. This meant more effort and elapsed time for teams that were already stretched thin. Communication and centralization of information were especially big problems if someone on the team was on vacation or left the company.

  • Difficulty supporting growth.

    Poor systems and processes meant agencies could not support growth without an increase in hiring, and this was not a viable option. These problems also existed in short-term contexts in sectors that were cyclical, e.g., election campaigns and sports seasons.

“Moving to Basis was more about control than an economic factor. We wanted everything to be tied together so we could work more effectively and better serve our clients.”

– VP of digital, political and advocacy

Solution Requirements

“We looked at several options. One of the things we liked the most about Centro was the level of attention we would get from the account manager. Centro is the right size to provide good service at a good price.”

– Supervisor, sports marketing

The interviewed organizations searched for a solution that could:

  • Bring everything in-house and run direct, programmatic, search, and social campaigns through a single solution.

  • Be cost-effective at scale because of rapid growth.

  • Provide detailed analytics on business operations and campaign performance.

  • Come from a vendor that was responsive to their needs and would provide excellent customer support.

One interviewee described an evaluation of six different vendors that covered multiple areas: “Geotargeting capabilities, number of exchanges, built-in third-party modeling and analytics, private marketplace capabilities, contextual targeting, in-app inventory, mobile- rich media, estimating, frequency capping/governance, budget pacing and flighting, cross-device capabilities, machine learning optimizations, reporting, license price, training and fees, customer service ratings, and numerous others.” This company selected Centro because it best met all of these requirements.

Key Results

“Having everything in one platform saves us a lot of time. . . . We’ve grown a lot since last year and haven’t had to add anybody.”

– Supervisor, sports marketing

The interviews revealed that key results from the Basis investment include:

  • Greater efficiencies.

    Basis made it possible to support large growth without adding incremental headcount at the same rate as before. This saved money and also gave employees the bandwidth they needed to focus on executing quality campaigns and delivering customer success. One interviewee said, “Moving to Basis has increased our capacity tenfold.”

  • Increased income.

    Interviewees said they increased income in several ways, including winning new customers, increased wallet-share from existing clients, and making sure ad budgets were entirely spent. “Client budgets have gone up, and commissions have gone up.”

  • Better digital campaigns.

    Faster and more detailed analytics, better access to inventory, and better coordination across ad types all contributed to better campaigns. This resulted in happier clients, increased business from those clients, and more satisfied employees. “We now have much better transparency and insights into campaigns — the ability to see where the ads are being served, what is cost-effective, and performance and optimization opportunities.”

Composite Organization

Key assumptions
  • Digital spend: $11.5M → $25.3M
  • Team members: 6 → 11 FTEs
  • 15% income margin

Based on the interviews, Forrester constructed a TEI framework, a composite company, and an associated analysis that illustrates the areas financially affected. The composite organization is representative of the four agencies that Forrester interviewed and is used to present the aggregate financial analysis in the next section.

The composite organization that Forrester synthesized from the customer interviews is a US-based digital marketing agency serving a variety of industries and clients in their region. The composite is experiencing rapid growth, and the previous solutions — home-grown tools, another DSP solution, and third-party management for programmatic — could not support the growth. Total digital spend before the first year on Basis was $11.5 million, and there were six members of the digital media team.

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Analysis Of Benefits


Total Benefits

Ref. Benefit Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total Present Value
Atr Increased efficiencies $162,000 $243,000 $324,000 $729,000 $591,525
Btr Increased income $131,625 $344,250 $556,875 $1,032,750 $822,552
Total benefits (risk-adjusted) $293,625 $587,250 $880,875 $1,761,750 $1,414,077

The table above shows the total of all benefits across the areas listed below, as well as present values (PVs) discounted at 10%. Over three years, the composite organization expects risk-adjusted total benefits to be a PV of more than $1.4 million.

Increased Efficiencies

The most important impacts of moving to Basis were streamlining and automating campaign and business-operations processes and improving communication internally and with customers. This delivered many benefits, including growing headcount at a slower pace than revenues, having more time to focus on campaign quality, improving communication, and automating operational functions. Agencies provided examples of efficiency gains across seven areas, which are discussed individually below. Each includes examples in the agency interviewees’ own words.

Customer Onboarding

Interviewees said that they can now set up new customers faster and launch their initial campaigns sooner and with less effort. This is especially true for agencies that had previously outsourced anything to third-party managed service providers.

  • “It is super easy to set up a new client on the back end. It is very turnkey to add a new brand.”

  • “We can have a customer up and running the same day if we want to. In the past, our outsourcing partner would want assets five days ahead of time.”


Because a campaign can be holistically planned in a single platform, and planners are able to efficiently copy over line items and tactics from past campaigns, the entire planning process has improved. Having easy access to high-quality inventory, and the ability to plan search, social, direct and programmatic campaigns within a single UI has also saved a lot of time.

  • “We are saving a few hours per person per week. We don’t have to guess who the target audience is or what it will cost. We have a solid answer instead of just instinct.”

  • “It is very easy to shift line items around. We can start a plan and optimize it faster.”

  • “Campaigns are much easier and faster to launch. We are able to coordinate internally with our creative team and traffic team and get the campaigns launched in half the time.”

  • “We can spin up a new campaign in hours if it is for a curated audience. It used to take a couple of days.”

  • “Setting up plans is super easy. Copying over from old campaigns saves us hours and hours. We no longer have to recreate everything from scratch.”

"I’m seeing the greatest efficiency gains on the planning side — getting the plan up and running and shifting budgets. It used to take a few days; now it’s a couple of hours."

– VP of digital, political and advocacy


Buying, and execution of campaigns, is much more efficient using Basis with the ability to plan, buy, and launch direct and programmatic campaigns simultaneously.

  • “Rather than dealing with four or five managed buyers doing programmatic, I now have everything in one place. This saves lots of time.”

Trafficking And Campaign Management

“We not only have full visibility into the media buys, mix, and channels, we also have the ability to change on the dime if something is not working or feed more money into a strategy if it is overperforming.”

– Partner, marketing

The tools that streamlined planning and buying have also made it easier to oversee and optimize active campaigns. This is closely aligned with the analytics and insights available in Basis via its integrations with major search and social platforms empowering a digital team to make smarter decisions by accessing all campaign analytics in a single platform.

  • “Being able to export all of the traffic and campaign information makes everything easier. In each activity related to campaign management, I am saving a few hours per week.”

  • “We needed to be more hands-on in controlling our campaigns and media placements in order to be nimbler with our in-stream optimizations.”

  • “Optimization could take one person a whole day. Now it’s super easy, and we are saving a lot of time.”


Basis provides tools that make it easier to pull real-time and post-campaign analytics, as well as access team and business metrics allowing for better management of their business operations. This saves time and also provides insights to make better decisions. We discuss this further the Unquantified Benefits (Better Campaigns) section later in the study.

"As an ad ops specialist, the reporting features save me a lot of time — probably 2.5 hours per week."

– VP media, marketing and branding

  • “A reason we chose Basis was the greater need for insights and analytics. Data and analytics are now the norm and demanded by our in-house teams as a feedback loop to modify content, calls to action, channels, and ad placements.”

  • “Basis, along with other tools we have integrated into it, is making it easier for us to access this data and perform real-time analysis, reporting, and optimizations.”

  • “Analytics helps us manage the team better and know where we should add additional personnel.”


Basis includes a robust reporting engine that uses data across all search, social, programmatic, and direct campaigns along with team, business, and financial metrics. This automates the process of delivering necessary campaign and business information to the digital team, management, and customers.

  • “We now have much better reporting capabilities.”

  • “We can easily pull segment reports to see which are performing the best. It’s much better than in the past.”

  • “Accuracy of reports is much better. We can create very specific reports on almost anything we want. We used to wait a couple of days for a vendor to get us the information, and then we had to try and make sense out of it. One client is still on the old system, and we still haven’t completed reporting for them.”

  • “Reporting is more accurate because Basis does automatic deduping for us.”

  • “We are able to schedule reports to be delivered with ease directly into our inboxes.”

  • “We can create very specific reports based on our needs. In the past, we used to wait a couple of days for vendors to get back to us, and then it was a lot of work to repackage it for clients. I now feel more comfortable with the reports, and it is quicker to put together. Our clients have noticed the improvement.”

  • “We have all of the channels integrated in the reporting tool and can now see across all channels and understand the true media mix, pacing, and performance metrics. We have developed custom reporting and extracts, which are fed real-time into a data studio for all interested parties to view, monitor, suggest, and report on as needed.”


“Developing campaigns through Basis and incorporating vendors has allowed for transparent billing and a quick view of pacing and finances.”

– Partner, marketing

Basis provides detailed campaign tracking data that is fed into the agency’s billing system and produces accurate invoices for customers. This saves a lot of time reconciling and serving data, generating invoices, and answering customer questions. Basis also serves as a hub for agencies working with many different managed service providers.

  • “We have four of five managed service providers billing Centro for the services they provide us through Basis. We then only have to pay one invoice from Centro when it comes due instead of managing 20 different wires a day during our busy season.”

  • “Our bookkeeper is very happy. She has fewer invoices coming in, and it is much easier for her to deal with our clients.”

Improved Communications

“We use the collaboration and messaging features for internal communication. We also use it for external vendor management. It connects to email so we have everything in one place. If a vendor replies back to an IO via email, I can reply directly, and Basis stores it all.”

– VP media, marketing and branding

Communications isn’t a discreet activity itself, but it underpins the efficiency gains described above. Basis’ in-app messaging and communication tools create better documentation for both internal and external communications and increase collaboration by giving coworkers access to it. Better communication also improves the overall management of end-to-end processes and organizational activity both internally and with external customers, partners, and vendors. With regards to communication, interviewees said the following:

  • “We use Basis with external partners placing media for us. Whenever someone is out of the office, I can find what I need in Basis. If I need to resend an IO (insertion order), I have everything that I need.”

  • “Everyone is in the know and is far more connected. . . . There is a huge improvement in data, productivity, pacing, and strategy information sharing across the various content creation, content delivery, and account management teams.”

  • “We have greater visibility into all campaigns. When one person is out, another person is able to step right in, and we never miss a beat.”

  • “Rather than having to have 9 million email exchanges, we are able to have a holistic view of campaigns at all times and are able to interact through the platform.”

For the financial analysis, Forrester looked at all the time savings examples described above and examples of headcount not being added. Forrester scaled these to the size of the composite organization and assumed:

  • Revenues before the start of Year 1 were $11.5 million and growing 30% per year.

  • Without Basis, each member of the digital media team could support $1.75 million of ad spend. This increased by 35% with Basis.

  • The average fully burdened cost of a team member including salary and benefits was $90,000.

The increased efficiencies and avoided additional headcount will vary based on the tools and processes an organization previously had in place and any spare capacity the team has. To account for these risks, Forrester adjusted this benefit downward by 10%, yielding a three-year risk-adjusted total PV of $591,525.

Impact risk is the risk that the business or technology needs of the organization may not be met by the investment, resulting in lower overall total benefits. The greater the uncertainty, the wider the potential range of outcomes for benefit estimates.

Increased Efficiencies: Calculation Table

Ref. Metric Calc. Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
A1 Total digital spend Growing at 30% PA $15,000,000 $19,500,000 $25,350,000
A2 Number of employees — original A1/$1,750,000 [rounded up] 9 12 15
A3 Number of employees needed — with Basis A1/($1,750,000+35 %) [rounded up] 7 9 11
A4 Avoided additional headcount (cumulative) A2-A3 2 3 4
A5 Average fully burdened cost per FTE $90,000 $90,000 $90,000
At Increased efficiencies A4*A5 $180,000 $270,000 $360,000
Risk adjustment ↓10%
Atr Increased efficiencies (risk-adjusted) $162,000 $243,000 $324,000

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Increased Income

“Centro was critically important in us winning a deal worth $400,000 when we demonstrated the targeting we could do in Basis.”

– VP of digital, political and advocacy

Interviewees said that switching to Basis increased revenues in several ways. Agencies are winning new customers, in part because of the Basis story, ensuring that all campaign money is spent strategically and impactfully. Basis helps track campaign spending to ensure budgets are fully spent so commissions can be taken. Agencies are also getting increased business from existing clients. Some of the agencies’ comments include:

  • “Knowing that we are set up with Basis is comforting to customers, and it helps us win accounts. Being able to use the planning tool to show them what a plan might look like before they sign on is big.”

  • “With the pacing tool, we can make sure we spend the full amount. Last year, we left spend on the table that would have paid us at 15%.”

  • “We don’t lead with Centro in our sales pitch, but the story helps us. In one case, we were competing against under agency that used third- party vendors with a higher CPM. They can’t compete with what we can do.”

  • “We have won at least one big client that was worth $500K right away. It could turn into a $5 million project. We took them from a competitor who doesn’t have the same capabilities.”

  • “Prospects and customers like that we can buy in real time and have an enormous amount of inventory. We are buying an audience, not just [a website].”

  • “We will get a bigger share of wallet for customers that use multiple agencies because of better upstream media and downstream results.”

  • “Our managed partner took healthy margins. They tried to get 40%, which was ridiculous. We are now able to get the same thing for around 30% and pocket that as our commission.”

  • “We were able to change our business model from mostly commissions to commissions plus fees. That has probably added $1 million in profitability. Basis is a big piece of that.”

For the composite organization, Forrester included the new customer and spending full campaign amounts and assumed that:

  • Having Basis and using it in the selling process won new customers equivalent to a 5% increase in revenues each year. The average total spend per customer was $750,000.

  • Commissions, markups, and fees were worth, in aggregate, 15% of the total ad spend. Some agencies reported numbers as high as 20% or 25%.

  • Previously, 15% of customers’ campaigns were spending 10% less than the full average $750,000.

  • The resulting total income uplift was 12%.

Increased revenue opportunities will vary based on how Basis is used in the sales process, what solutions were previously in place, and how good pacing and campaign tracking was before. To account for these risks, Forrester adjusted this benefit downward by 10%, yielding a three- year risk-adjusted total PV of $882,552.

Increased Income: Calculation Table

Ref. Metric Calc. Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
B1 Cumulative number of added customers A1*5%/$750,000+B1PY [rounded up] 1 3 5
B2 Average income per customer B1Y1*$750,000*15% $112,500 $112,500 $112,500
B3 Income from new customers B1*B2 $112,500 $337,500 $562,500
B4 Number of customers not spending full budget A1/$750,000*15% [rounded] 3 4 5
B5 Lost income per customer $750,000*10%*15% $11,250 $11,250 $11,250
B6 Income from fully spending budgets B4*B5 $33,750 $45,000 $56,250
Bt Increased income B3+B6 $146,250 $382,500 $618,750
Risk adjustment ↓10%
Btr Increased income (risk-adjusted) $131,625 $344,250 $556,875

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Unquantified Benefits

“Moving to Basis forced us to change our mindset of what we can do. People can now be more specialized and become better at their jobs.”

– VP media, marketing and branding

Employee Skills And Satisfaction

Interviewees said that members of their digital media teams were happier in their jobs because of using Basis and were also acquiring new knowledge and skills to make them better in their jobs. Some examples included:

  • “Our team puts the time that they are saving to good use. Some of that includes learning how to use Basis better and developing other skills.”

  • “This definitely helps us with upskilling everyone. The analytics in Basis helps us learn how to do our jobs better.”

  • “We hired a new person, and they are very happy with Basis. They are learning a lot of new things.”

  • “Basis has created a lot more autonomy for the ops team and helped them learn a lot about their jobs.”

  • “Everyone has a much higher sense of personal satisfaction due to clear visibility of what is happening in all campaigns and channels and being able to be more hands-on in making real-time decisions to optimize campaigns.”

Better Campaigns

“The CTR benchmark is .08; 99% of the time, our campaigns exceed it. Usually they far exceed it in the .10 to .15 range.”

– Supervisor, sports marketing

Every agency interviewee said that Basis gives them the tools to create and execute better campaigns for their customers. This is possible because of the planning, automation, campaign management, analytics, and communication tools all available within Basis and because unified campaigns can be run across programmatic, direct, social, and search from within the platform. Additionally, Basis gives customers access to additional quality inventory and direct integrations into ad servers. Another way Basis delivers better campaigns is through its comprehensive brand safety and fraud protection capabilities. This ensures that ads are not placed in locations with incompatible or harmful content.

  • “It’s now really easy to compare programmatic buys and direct buys in the reporting tool. Having everything in the same place is very helpful.”

  • “Having access to real-time analytics allows us to see and view the performance of campaigns rather than not see the results until the end of the campaign. This helps us to see if we want to move forward with campaigns or we to stop them if they are not performing as planned or anticipated.”

  • “Our creative has improved because of what we learn in Basis.”

  • “We are doing better targeting using geofences.”

  • “The Basis platform metrics are all outperforming our pre-Basis results.”

  • “With Basis, we have been able to increase our test-and-learn strategies for all campaigns greatly, and this has greatly accelerated our learnings and best practices. Many of the key learnings that we achieve with one client are now being implemented immediately with other campaigns and clients to improve performance for all.”

  • “We have improved CTRs (click-through rates) by optimizing pacing, flighting, and targeting. Downstream time on site and engagement were much better. Engagement on sites has improved by 20% to 25%.”

  • “We can purchase a lot more inventory because of a lower CPM compared to the previous outsourcer. Video costs $18 instead of $25, and display is down from $8 to $6.”

  • “We have lowered CPMs by 30%.”

  • “We are getting better placements and buys at no additional costs.”

  • “We take advantage of Brand Protection to improve campaigns. We don’t want a tire ad next to an article about a 50-car pileup.”

  • “Brand safety is of the highest importance to our clients and us. As such, we have implemented multiple brand safety filters, including Basis and our own white- and blacklist site database.”

  • “We have been using Fraud Protection since it launched, and it has been working well.”


The value of flexibility is clearly unique to each customer, and the measure of its value varies from organization to organization. There are multiple scenarios in which a customer might choose to implement Basis and later realize additional uses and business opportunities.

Some of the additional opportunities that interviewees are planning to pursue include integrating additional ad formats such as broadcast TV and digital audio, doing more with business analytics to improve internal operations and profitability, and doing more scenario testing to improve campaigns. None of these future opportunities are included in the financial analysis.

Flexibility, as defined by TEI, represents an investment in additional capacity or capability that could be turned into business benefit for a future additional investment. This provides an organization with the "right" or the ability to engage in future initiatives but not the obligation to do so.

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Analysis Of Costs


Interviewees said that the only incremental cost borne by them was the setup effort for Basis. Ongoing management is the same as or less than their previous solutions, and the majority of fees that Centro charges are a pass-through to clients.

Total Costs

Ref. Cost INITIAL Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total Present Value
Ctr Internal implementation effort $16,500 $0 $0 $0 $16,500 $16,500
Total costs (risk-adjusted) $16,500 $0 $0 $0 $16,500 $16,500

The table above shows the total of all costs across the areas listed below, as well as present values (PVs) discounted at 10%. Over three years, the composite organization expects risk-adjusted total costs to be a PV of $16,500.

Internal Implementation Effort

Interviewees all said that implementing Basis was very straightforward and took around one month. Professional services were not required, and Centro provided training during the implementation phase. Interviewees also said that the Centro customer success managers (CSMs) were critical to success during both implementation and the ongoing relationship. Some specific comments about CSMs were:

  • “Our CSM is truly integral to success. You have someone who is an extension of your agency and who is vested in your campaigns.”

  • “I haven’t waited more than 15 minutes to hear back on a support question. Our CSM is always willing to help us grow our business.”

  • “We have a great partnership with Centro. Our CSM is very responsive and helpful.”

  • “When our clients have questions or we are doing a new pitch, our CSM provides us with all the necessary answers and case studies.”

For the financial analysis, Forrester assumed:

  • The initial implementation took two FTEs one month to complete.

  • The average fully burdened monthly cost was $7,500.

The implementation effort will vary based on the size of the organization and what, if any, back-end integrations are required. To account for these risks, Forrester adjusted this cost upward by 10%, yielding a three- year risk-adjusted total PV of $16,500.

Implementation risk is the risk that a proposed investment may deviate from the original or expected requirements, resulting in higher costs than anticipated. The greater the uncertainty, the wider the potential range of outcomes for cost estimates.

Internal Implementation Effort: Calculation Table

Ref. Metric Calc. INITIAL
C1 Number of FTEs 2
C2 Number of months 1
C3 Average fully burdened cost (monthly) $90,000/12 months $7,500
Ct Internal implementation effort C1*C2*C3 $15,000
Risk adjustment ↑10%
Ctr Internal implementation effort (risk-adjusted) $16,500

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Financial Summary

  • The risk-adjusted values are determined by applying risk-adjustment factors to the unadjusted results in each Benefit and Cost section.

Cash Flow Chart (Risk-Adjusted)

Cash Flow Table (Risk-Adjusted)

INITIAL Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total Present Value
Total Costs ($16,500) ($0) ($0) ($0) ($16,500) ($16,500)
Total Benefits $0 $293,625 $587,250 $880,875 $1,761,750 $1,414,077
Net Benefits ($16,500) $293,625 $587,250 $880,875 $1,745,250 $1,397,577

The financial results are based on a composite organization agency with a digital media spend growing from $11.5 million to $25.3 million and a digital team growing from six to eleven people.

Forrester assumes a yearly discount rate of 10% in calculating present values for this analysis.

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Centro Basis: Overview

The following information is provided by Centro. Forrester has not validated any claims and does not endorse Centro or its offerings.

Increase productivity, create better outcomes for your campaigns, and grow your digital business more profitably with Basis by Centro, the industry’s first and only digital media platform to address direct, programmatic, search, and social through a single interface. Basis is here to drive more than just automated and streamlined media planning — with robust business intelligence, in-app communication and messaging tools, , search and social integrations, financial and billing applications, and the No. 1 rated DSP with built-in artificial intelligence, it’s a platform you can run your entire digital business on top of.

  • Negotiation and contract management.

    Manage the vendor request-for-proposal (RFP) process seamlessly across all inventory types.

  • Direct media activation.

    Implement your media plans flawlessly with insertion order and ad server capabilities.

  • Universal campaign reporting and optimization.

    Manage and review performance across programmatic, search, social, and direct buys.

  • No. 1 rated demand-side platform.

    Awarded best DSP by G2Crowd users for 2 years in a row, Basis includes a best-in-class omnichannel DSP built for speed and performance.

  • Collaboration and messaging.

    Access all internal and external correspondence as well as RFPs and IOs within the platform.

  • Billing facilitation.

    Produce accurate, real-time reporting for your financial system of record.

  • Powerful partnerships.
    • Integrations with ad servers (Sizmek & DoubleClick), search providers (Google), and social platforms (Facebook & Instagram).

    • Data providers with access to more than 25,000 audience segments.

    • Robust inventory directory including over 9,000 direct vendors, over 2,000 private marketplaces (PMPs), 11,000 contacts, and 70B+ impressions daily.

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Appendix A: Total Economic Impact

Total Economic Impact is a methodology developed by Forrester Research that enhances a company’s technology decision-making processes and assists vendors in communicating the value proposition of their products and services to clients. The TEI methodology helps companies demonstrate, justify, and realize the tangible value of IT initiatives to both senior management and other key business stakeholders.

Total Economic Impact Approach

  • Benefits represent the value delivered to the business by the product. The TEI methodology places equal weight on the measure of benefits and the measure of costs, allowing for a full examination of the effect of the technology on the entire organization.

  • Costs consider all expenses necessary to deliver the proposed value, or benefits, of the product. The cost category within TEI captures incremental costs over the existing environment for ongoing costs associated with the solution.

  • Flexibility represents the strategic value that can be obtained for some future additional investment building on top of the initial investment already made. Having the ability to capture that benefit has a PV that can be estimated.

  • Risks measure the uncertainty of benefit and cost estimates given: 1) the likelihood that estimates will meet original projections and 2) the likelihood that estimates will be tracked over time. TEI risk factors are based on “triangular distribution.”


    The present or current value of (discounted) cost and benefit estimates given at an interest rate (the discount rate). The PV of costs and benefits feed into the total NPV of cash flows.


    The present or current value of (discounted) future net cash flows given an interest rate (the discount rate). A positive project NPV normally indicates that the investment should be made, unless other projects have higher NPVs.


    A project’s expected return in percentage terms. ROI is calculated by dividing net benefits (benefits less costs) by costs.


    The interest rate used in cash flow analysis to take into account the time value of money. Organizations typically use discount rates between 8% and 16%.


    The breakeven point for an investment. This is the point in time at which net benefits (benefits minus costs) equal initial investment or cost.

The initial investment column contains costs incurred at “time 0” or at the beginning of Year 1 that are not discounted. All other cash flows are discounted using the discount rate at the end of the year. PV calculations are calculated for each total cost and benefit estimate. NPV calculations in the summary tables are the sum of the initial investment and the discounted cash flows in each year. Sums and present value calculations of the Total Benefits, Total Costs, and Cash Flow tables may not exactly add up, as some rounding may occur.

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