Marketers Are Ditching Agencies for In-House Programmatic Media Buying Services. Can It Work For You?
The do-it-yourself (DIY) spirit has finally reached the world of marketing and media buying. The current trend of developing more internal solutions to address business challenges could reduce the role of external agencies for years to come.
A survey completed in July 2017 by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) of approximately 150 client-side marketers found that “35 percent of marketers…have expanded their in-house programmatic media buying capabilities….” That is more the double the rate found in a 2016 Forrester market report. Additionally, nearly 52 percent of respondents worked at companies with media budgets of $100 million or more.
Two main factors drive the move to in-house programmatic capabilities–transparency and security. Several of the ANA survey respondents said they have “undisclosed” programmatic models with external agencies. In this environment, agencies don’t disclose the actual winning bid prices for purchased media. By bringing buying services in-house, there is more transparency throughout the entire process. Secondly, major brands can better harness their own data and secure it, using an automated programmatic model.
Combine In-House Brain Power with Computing Power
A digital ad-buying platform, such as IQM, which operates exclusively in the political sphere, offers incredible benefits to marketers. But, ultimately the platform isn’t a replacement for an experienced agency professional. It’s an enhancement.
The benefits of digital ad platforms are:
Real-time measurement at your fingertips. In-house programmatic allows you to measure exactly how your creative, campaign, and overall targeting is running from day one. Brands don’t have to wait to receive reports from the external agencies at scheduled intervals. Success can be benchmarked more effectively and strategies can be adjusted on the fly if necessary.
Micro-target ideal customers only. Targeting allows marketers and advertisers to directly reach their selected ideal customer. Customers can be identified through IP targeting, geolocation targeting, or business vertical and specific site targeting.
Efficiency and reach. Programmatic in-house media buying improves brands’ abilities to measure the efficiency of an entire campaign and be more budget-conscious. The ability to optimize in real-time ensures total efficiency, reaching only those ideal targeted customers while using financial resources effectively.
However, keep in mind, bringing traditional external business services in-house isn’t simple. If you have ever tried to design your own marketing collaterals or written press releases, you’ll understand. It can be done, but a certain level of sophistication and technical proficiency is needed. Companies need the budget, talent, and bandwidth to bring these capabilities in-house. Depending on the stage of maturity of a brand, it makes more sense to partner with outside agencies to execute campaigns.
Ultimately using digital solutions and technology should be viewed in context–they are tools created to complete tasks more efficiently. Tools cannot wholly replace a craftsman. But, put a state-of-the-art tool in the hands of an expert craftsperson and masterpieces are created.