Programmatic In-House: Build or Move with SaaS?

In the last decade, since programmatic media became popular, ad industry has seen exponential growth, alongside constant change and complexity of its technologies.

It’s not a surprise that now programmatic is implemented in almost every media strategy as it gives the opportunity to decrease the cost of media spent and rump up ROI of ad campaigns.

Moreover, many large advertisers note that beside ad spend, another reason they would move programmatic in-house is a possibility to increase transparency and brand safety. 

According to Adobe poll, about 62% of advertisers will move their media buying in-house by 2022.

Bringing programmatic in-house

Since this is a time to plan your marketing strategy and budget for the next year, you might want to consider gradually take your programmatic media buying under your control.

There are three the most important components to move programmatic in-house – technology, expertise and resources. Let’s have a closer look on each of them.

Build your programmatic tech stack

It sounds very exciting to finally sit into the driving seat and manage your ad campaigns without middleman agencies.

However, you have to ask yourself a question: what is the main asset those intermediates use to manage their programmatic? Right, their technologies.

Keep in mind, programmatic tech stack is not that easy to develop. No matter whether you decided to build partial or full programmatic tech stack, it will involve several teams across departments. You need to ensure you have the right tech team that have expertise and commitment in building programmatic for you.

Even if you have succeeded in building your own platform, remember that media industry is developing in a very rapid pace. Keep track of all innovations, constantly support and improve your programmatic platform to be ahead of your competitors.

Fraud prevention

One of the biggest challenges you may face during the real-time bidding on ad exchangers is an enormous amount of fraudulent traffic.

As you know, most of the stakeholders of programmatic supply chain, usually beside advertisers and DSPs, make significant part of their revenue via fraudulent activities. Yes, sometimes it seems like everyone is trying to screw you up! Publisher will sell the worst ad space for more money, ad exchanges will try to wind the bidding price, then bots will click your ad to gloss over ad performance, etc.

Remember, there are many possibilities to charge you extra via fraudulent traffics, such as attribution fraud (click spam, click injection and modified click spam), location spoofing, smart bots, intelligent device farms, and mobile device hijacking

In order to recognize scammers and block fraudulent web-pages or apps you have to develop and constantly improve your your fraud prevention system. Bear in mind, you never know where to expect attacks from.

Gain expertise in programmatic

Bringing programmatic in-house will require to create new roles and teams with different types of skills. In order to efficiently manage ad campaigns your ad optimization team need to know how to work with data, understand consumer behavior, analyze campaign results and be able to take the most out of each ad dollar spent.

To achieve that you need to either hire new staff or invest time and money in the specialized training for current employees.

On the top of that, you might want to be able to create interactive ad creatives, that will invite your audience for interaction and call them to action. To make this happen you also need to think about creative tandem of frontend developer, who writes the code for ad creatives, and graphic designer, who design creatives for each campaign.

Moving programmatic fully in house costs… A LOT!

There are several good reasons to bring programmatic in house. It could be greater control over your ad placements, higher ROI, or transparency of spend and performance. But no matter the objectives, you need to ensure they will outweigh the costs.

All in all, taking an entire control over your programmatic media requires enormous investments. Only a few of the largest brands have had successfully built their own programmatic tech stack. And it’s totally make sense to invest in programmatic technologies and people when your programmatic spend estimates in Millions, like Netflix and Geico.

GDPR and programmatic ad

One of the main advantages of bringing programmatic in-house is the opportunity to collect user data. Since you will now be collecting and managing your own data, you need to make sure you are compliance with all privacy regulations.

There was no shortage of debates on how General Data Privacy Regulations will affect programmatic buying. The tricky thing with GDPR is that there are constant updates of regulations.

To know the limits of gathering, storing, and processing obtained user data you might want to consult with a lawyer at least every 6 month.

Using SaaS platforms to manage your programmatic buying

If everything aforementioned sounds a bit complicated and… expensive you can consider other options, like using SaaS platforms.

There are several examples of SaaS platforms and the first that might come into your mind – Google Ads. However, if you dig deeper in the industry you can find solutions for Web, Mobile, DOOH, TV etc.

SaaS platforms still give you the opportunity to set up and manage your ad campaigns, choose your targeting, monitor almost real-time results to analyse and adjust your campaign.

The main differences of working on SaaS platform are its simplicity and low costs. You can enjoy working on ready-to-use dashboard, see easy-to-understand reports and manage your budget efficiently. Most of the platforms have their ad fraud prevention, like AdCTRL by Adello, as they care about the quality of their services.

Working with SaaS doesn’t require specially trained team as it’s adapted for users that are not familiar with RTB.

Adello Direct Dashboard

Bottom line

All in all, moving programmatic media in house definitely is a big and exciting step for any brand. It’s important to make the right decision on the path of taking programmatic under your control. Simple brainstorming and
calculations will show what works for you better: invest in building your own programmatic tech stack and team or use SaaS that already has been invented.

Are you ready to bring programmatic buying in house?

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