Self-serve programmatic has made quite an impact on the digital advertising world in recent years. Software platforms reduce the need for human services to operate campaigns while simultaneously making information about the campaign available in real time. But, there are many other benefits that come with using self-serve programmatic in the agency including performance, control & efficiency, transparency, intelligence, strategic positioning and value capture.
Putting more of the client budget directed 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.