Orchestrating the Future of Digital Innovation and Advertising: How Siprocal’s Sam Berenato Is Shaping Today’s CTV Advertising Landscape

Berenato’s path to becoming SVP of Global Operations at Siprocal is marked by a unique blend of serendipity, strategic career pivots, and a deep understanding of digital media’s evolving landscape, shaped significantly by his early education and the post-recession job market

By Jerica Kingsbury / March 12, 2024

Sam Berenato’s journey through the tech industry is a testament to the power of strategic foresight paired with a passion for transformative change.

For more than a decade, Berenato has been at the forefront of digital innovation, holding roles that have shaped the trajectory of leading tech enterprises. He channels a deep-seated expertise in product strategy and market analysis to pioneer media that doesn’t just follow industry trends, but dares to set them.

What sets Berenato apart is not only the string of successful product launches or the ability to navigate the complex currents of tech’s ever-changing seas. It is his underlying philosophy of “intentional innovation”—a belief in creating technology that serves a purpose beyond mere utility, aiming to enhance the customer experience and the media landscape. Siprocal LogoDigital Reef Logo

   FROM ANTHROPOLOGY TO AD TECH

Berenato’s path to becoming SVP of Global Operations at Siprocal is marked by a unique blend of serendipity, strategic career pivots, and a deep understanding of digital media’s evolving landscape, shaped significantly by his early education and the post-recession job market. 

With an educational background in anthropology, Berenato forged a deep understanding of consumer behavior, a skill that proved invaluable as he navigated the challenging economic climate at the time of his graduation. His first role was in radio advertising, where he mastered the art of sales, targeting the crucial yet challenging 65-plus demographic.

The transition to SpotX helped Berenato break into the digital domain, specifically the programmatic exchange for online video, where he managed publisher relationships and advertiser campaigns. This experience laid the groundwork for his future endeavors, including a significant role at Altitude Digital, where he helped build a supply-side ad server and SSP from scratch. His journey continued through a merger with Genesis Media, focusing on combining media execution with advanced player technology and audience intelligence, a move that eventually pivoted toward the burgeoning field of connected TV (CTV).

Berenato got a chance to put his strategic foresight to the test with the launch of Column Six in 2018. Just a few years later, Column Six was acquired by Digital Reef and eventually became a key component of Siprocal after merging with a gaming company. At Siprocal, Berenato focused on enhancing the streaming ecosystem by providing valuable services to publishers and game studios alike. He worked to ensure that advertising initiatives were both relevant and engaging, essentially bridging the gap between content and advertising. 

With a desire to offer enhanced experiences to both publishers and viewers, Berenato set his sights on going global, with a focus on Latin American markets. 

   SIPROCAL: REDEFINING CONNECTED TV AND GAMING ADVERTISING

It didn’t take long before Siprocal rose in the industry. By bringing together several specialized companies, the organization took a shape that would allow it to address the ever-changing landscape of Connected TV (CTV) and gaming, while also extending its reach into the growing Latin American market.

Central to Siprocal’s strategy is customization of ads to align with viewer preferences, establishing relevance and bolstering engagement. This approach is not only consumer-friendly but also crafts valuable audience segments based on TV viewing patterns, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of ad placements.Siprocal’s unique approach to advertising was put under a spotlight when it forged a partnership with Triscost Media, a film distributor looking to monetize its extensive content library. Faced with the challenge of inventory management, Triscost Media turned to Siprocal for help. Within 24 hours, Siprocal set up a white-label unified auction system, enabling exponential revenue growth for the film distributor. This major win illustrates how effectively Siprocal can enhance the monetization potential for content distributors.

Siprocal’s innovative data product is reshaping CTV advertising in anticipation of a post-cookie era. With an emphasis on intelligent user targeting that eliminates wasteful spending, Siprocal leverages detailed content signals—from genre to show titles—to build precise audience cohorts.

Such granular targeting was exemplified in a campaign for Mike’s Amazing Mustard, where ads were targeted to NHL content, matching with specific games to ensure the highest relevance and engagement.

By distilling user preferences and viewing habits into actionable data, Siprocal not only enhances the viewer’s experience but also drives significant value for advertisers. Its methodology stands as a driving force of innovation, signaling a new dawn for CTV advertising where efficiency and precision lead the way in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Berenato presenting at X-FRONTS in Los Angeles

   STREAMLINING THE FUTURE

Looking at the vast array of streaming services, SaaS providers, and countless middlemen, Berenato envisions a future marked by the consolidation of digital services. He says the streaming realm is set to undergo a transformative integration, mirroring the consolidation already underway in content production. Berenato foresees a simplified landscape where users can effortlessly access a variety of content through fewer, more integrated platforms, reducing the complexity and expense of building new services from scratch.

Berenato’s perspective on the future of streaming extends to the growing SaaS industry—as it becomes more saturated, businesses are forced to spend more money for the services offered by these companies. At some point, Berenato expects, the pendulum is going to swing back toward consolidation of SaaS offerings. These all-in-one platforms could offer a full spectrum of business tools, streamlining operations and potentially offering cost benefits similar to those provided by companies like HubSpot.

His position in the industry gives Berenato a premium vantage point to see all the inefficiencies in the digital advertising ecosystem, often referred to as the “ad tech tax.” He believes there is a need for a more direct connection between viewers and advertisers, eliminating unnecessary middlemen that drive prices and inefficiencies to new heights. By advocating for a consolidated approach, he has positioned Siprocal as a catalyst for change, aiming to enhance the value delivered to every party involved, from end-users to advertisers.

Siprocal has recently partnered with Causal IQ to deliver a tailored ad experience in the sports industry, ensuring precision across the entire video journey

   NAVIGATING NEW FRONTIERS: SIPROCAL’S VISION FOR LATIN AMERICA

In planning for the future of the industry, Siprocal is zeroing in on Latin America as a pivotal frontier for its upcoming growth initiatives. Berenato’s strategic focus is informed by a deep understanding of market trends, notably the exponential increase in internet penetration across Latin American households—a staggering 400% over the last decade. He cites the overwhelming shift to Internet-enabled televisions, with 98% of TVs sold in the last year in Latin America being smart devices, as a precursor to a massive surge in viewership and advertising potential in the region.

“We’ve been working in the Latin American market for the last seven years,” Berenato says. “So we’ve got a really strong foothold there.” This sustained effort now positions Siprocal as a frontrunner in a territory where many have hesitated to venture due to its challenging market dynamics. Berenato’s long-term engagement in the region illustrates his commitment to organic expansion and deep market integration, setting Siprocal apart from competitors who are now scrambling to catch up.

When it comes to understanding consumer needs, Berenato champions direct conversations as the most effective approach.

It’s more about ‘How can I help your business?’ instead of trying to sell advertising, he says. Being a true collaborative partner requires an element of trust, and you can’t get that by trying to make a sale. 

His approach goes beyond solving problems to enhancing efficiency and peace of mind for businesses. This ethos of collaborative partnership and trust-building, devoid of ego, has been integral to Siprocal’s success. 

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