Generally speaking, software platforms reduce the need of human services to operate campaigns while simultaneously making information about the campaign available in real-time with nearly zero distribution costs. In turn, this reduces the number of agents needed to effectively plan, execute, optimize, and report on any individual campaign.
Although there are several material secondary benefits to self-service platform operation, the entity that “pulls the lever” on actual campaign execution has key advantages:
- Money: Control of the key value capturing portion of the media chain
- Power: Ownership of platform expertise makes the operator impossible to disintermediate
- Data Driven Prospects: self-service operation allows you find the correct audience you want to target throughout your campaign and immediately gives you real time data on those prospects.
- Easy inventory access: reach a larger number of websites and inventory with the click of a button.
- Immediate Data Collection: Measure campaign results immediately to record data and make adjustments to the campaign immediately in order to meet campaign goals.
CAMPAIGN/CLIENT PERFORMANCE: Putting more of the client budget directly toward the media purchase directly increases, in proportion, the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS); fusing the agency’s direct client knowledge into self-service platform operation. Who is better suited to run the campaign than the people working directly with the client?
CONTROL/EFFICIENCY: Platform operators are less reliant on multiple vendors and can act quickly and precisely during both the strategic planning processes, as well as the execution and optimization phases. Instead of never-ending email chains and conference calls with multiple vendors, the agency platform operator can make key changes in minutes, freeing up more time for impactful and strategic activities.
TRANSPARENCY: As the recent ANA study by K2 shows, rebates and other non-transparent business practices are still highly pervasive in the agency ecosystem. Running a platform in-house enables the agent to have real-time access to every cost source (media and data), which can easily be shared with the client in real-time.
INTELLIGENCE: Investing in platform expertise is an asset that scales and differentiates an agency—it is transferable between clients, and can be leveraged as a competitive differentiator.
STRATEGIC POSITIONING: Platform expertise makes client relationships stickier, and reduces churn as the data and campaign expertise sits within the walls of the respective agency; platform operators effectively future-proof themselves as the value provided to the client makes it difficult to switch.
VALUE CAPTURE: As agents are disintermediated, the value is captured at the client and primary agent level, enabling further investment and innovation.
With the learning curve getting lower (platforms getting simpler—reducing onboarding, training, and ongoing support costs) and the entry level costs being kept at a minimum (platforms are cheaper to license and/or have lower or zero media minimums to get started), most agencies stand to gain both monetarily and strategically by investing into in-house platform operation. Overall, the benefits involved with bringing programmatic in-house greatly outweigh any cost associated.
This is an adapted excerpt from “Adoption of Self-Serve Platform Operation by Advertising Agencies” whitepaper by Choozle. Click here to download a complimentary copy of the whitepaper.