Having access to the right self-serve technology is a huge selling point for brands. In fact, 73% of large and 80% of mid-size brand marketers agree that optimization is the most important capability a mid-market agency should have. This includes having the ability to optimize in-house and in real-time. Marketers want to know that the agency they have partnered with is not outsourcing the digital campaign management, and is making campaign adjustments as needed, as opposed to simply analyzing the results at the end of the campaign. Having access to the right self-serve technology that allows mid-market agencies to achieve this is key.

Benefits of Self-Serve

As an agency, when you choose a self-serve model you are solidifying yourself as an expert. Understanding the ins and outs of technology platforms makes your agency more valuable to brands, which can increase your customer retention. Choosing a self-serve option with a DSP puts you in the driver’s seat, to better meet the needs of your clients. Although you’ll be responsible for setting up, managing, reporting and optimizing your campaigns by yourself, there is no need to get overwhelmed. If you choose the right partner, you will see there are a lot of benefits to operating on a self-serve model:

  • User-Friendly Interface

    When a company offers self-serve, it typically means they’ve made efforts to make the platform as user friendly as possible. They know that you will be navigating the platform and setting up your campaigns yourself, and they want to make that simple and streamlined, so the user is not overwhelmed. That means the platform will be intuitive, easy to use and you should have easy access to a robust support center that will answer any questions you may run into. When you have a platform like this, it allows you to create and optimize campaigns quickly and effectively.

  • Trustworthy Automation

    While having a user-friendly interface is very important, it’s not the only requirement you should focus on when choosing a platform. Your DSP partner should have technology that is not only current, but adapting to the evolving programmatic landscape—which means built-in machine learning capabilities. Your ad tech platform should have a level of automation to make your self-serve experience more seamless. Leveraging a DSP that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence, allows you to streamline your workflows, better optimize your campaigns and ensures you’re driving tangible business results.

  • Complete Control

    When you choose a self-serve model you are in the driver’s seat. You will understand exactly when and why any changes to your campaign were made, including how the campaign was set up. This provides better insight to your reporting and makes it easier to replicate your successes! It also allows you to build a list of your specific best practices that you can apply to all your campaigns.

  • Build Your Skillset

    Self-serve allows you to really understand a platform. You will be an expert of the technology, seamlessly navigating the DSP and turning out amazing results on your campaigns. When you take on a self-serve model, you are building skills. These skills will make you a more sophisticated buyer, keeping you at the top of your game.

While there are benefits to self-serve, some still find it overwhelming to take on an entirely new platform that plays such an important role in your agency. Adding a new piece of technology to your stack is a big undertaking, and it’s so important to get up and running quickly, while still being able to use the platform to its full capabilities from the get-go. This can be a daunting undertaking—but it doesn’t have to be.

Complete Onboarding Training

The best way to know you are in good hands when going self-serve is to work with a DSP that offers support, but more importantly, onboarding. When your DSP partner has a comprehensive, well thought-out onboarding process, you know you are being given the tools to succeed right from the start, and you aren’t left to your own devices. Having support available is critical, but with strategic onboarding from the start, you know you will be prepared from the very beginning. Robust and complete onboarding is essential to your success when it comes to a self-serve model, and ideally, it should look something like this:

  • Cover the Basics

    When you first start onboarding your new DSP, you should be given deep insight to how you Plan, Setup, Execute and Report on your campaign. These are four key areas that need to be covered so that you have all the tools to manage your campaign from start to finish.

  • You Are the Driver

    When you go through onboarding training, you’ll learn more when you navigate the platform yourself. Your rep should allow you to be in the driver’s seat, guiding you on where to go but having you click and navigate your way through the platform.

  • Share Best Practices

    While knowing how to use the platform is important, tips and tricks for success are always welcome. Your rep knows the DSP inside and out, and has seen it all. They should share best practices with you–insider information–that sets you up for success.
  • Responsive Customer Service Rep

    Even though you have chosen a self-serve model, you should not feel as though you are alone. If you need help at any time–whether that be locating a feature in the platform, or understanding reporting metrics and how you can better optimize–you should have a rep that you can easily reach, who is responsive, helpful and provides you great insight. If your customer service team goes above and beyond to offer you more consultation–help with strategy or provide you assistance with compliance regulations–it’s a bonus! You know you’re in capable hands and will excel as a self-serve user.

If you are working with a DSP that offers these onboarding tools from the day you get your login, you know you’re in good hands. If your DSP partner has a thorough onboarding process that is effective and efficient, you will be armed for success. When you are supported and trained, self-serve isn’t overwhelming or intimidating, it’s empowering and exciting!