You’ve no doubt heard (or even felt) that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. That might be true for some tasks, especially if you have specific preferences, but is it necessarily valid for managing an ad platform?
We dove deeper into the pros and cons of managed service ad platforms and self-service ad platforms so that you can make the best decision for your business.
Managed-Service Ad Platforms:
On these platforms, advertisers outsource the management and execution of their campaigns to a third-party provider. Essentially, the advertiser relinquishes control and defers to another company or agency’s expertise in the industry.
This decision is a positive one for a variety of reasons. First, outsourcing comes with a reliance on others to provide in-depth knowledge of advertising strategies, industry trends, and best practices for generating revenue. Expert guidance often yields superior results. Second, delegating tasks frees up time and resources to focus on other core aspects of your business. Third, you can rely on the third party’s tools and technologies to enhance targeting capabilities, ad optimization, analytics, and performance reporting, which unlocks more earning potential and scalability.
Small businesses or beginners in the advertising space can often benefit from managed-service ad platforms. Hiring experts to help you in areas of weakness can turn you into an entrepreneurial powerhouse.
But there are some negatives to the managed-service route. If you crave control or struggle to clearly communicate your goals, you may struggle to work well with a third party. Another hurdle can be cost. While you’re getting what you’re paying for (in a perfect world), you’re playing by somebody else’s rules in terms of how much you have to pay for the services you’re receiving. You also may become too reliant on another company for their advertising services, which means you’re not investing internally in training or growth.
Self-Service Ad Platforms:
This type of platform allows advertisers to manage their campaigns independently, without relying on another provider’s expertise (although it may be available if you ask for customer support, insights, or training materials). Self-service platforms put advertisers in the driver’s seat, with control over the platform’s features and tools, audience targeting, and real-time adjustments to campaigns. This level of control enables advertisers to respond quickly to market changes, experiment with different strategies, and build campaigns the way they want for optimal results, all on their own time.
In some cases, these platforms can be more cost-effective in the long run because you’re not paying someone else to do the work; you’re just paying for software that allows you to do your work more efficiently. Sometimes, the software is even free. That leaves more money for ad strategy, research, and execution. Just train your employees on the software and campaign setup, and you’re off and running.
You’re also in control of the statistics you see. You’ll need to do your own analysis and make your own adjustments, but the transparency allows you to focus on the stats you care about and make informed decisions based on numbers you trust.
It’s important to note that while self-service ad platforms offer numerous benefits, they also require a certain level of knowledge, time commitment, and technical proficiency. Advertisers must be willing to invest the necessary effort to learn the platform’s features, stay updated on industry trends, and continuously optimize their campaigns for success. Additionally, advertisers with limited resources or complex campaign requirements may find it challenging to manage everything in-house and may still benefit from considering managed-service options.
Lastly, if campaigns are poorly managed, performance may suffer, which can end up costing a lot more than what is saved by going the self-serve route.
Which is Better?
So, what’s the best decision for your business? It really depends on the complexity of your campaigns, the bandwidth and skill set of your team, and your goals as an organization.
While self-serve ad platforms may offer some conveniences like faster turnaround times, they are not necessarily less expensive and often produce inferior results. On the other hand, managed-service platforms free up valuable time, and campaigns are managed by seasoned professionals, which can lead to better results, but they may lack the convenience and control that some self-serve platforms provide.
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