Self-Serve ad platforms are now a major tool for all publishers and media owners looking to generate incremental ad sales and manage costs. Just as programmatic changed the digital ad sales landscape by shifting power to the agencies and bigger brands, Self-Serve ad sales are now bringing the power back to media owners.
Even before the sledgehammer blow of Covid hit publishers, their ad revenue was being eaten away by the global tech giants. Programmatic Advertising through ad exchanges mean publishers are taking a decreasing share of their own ad revenue, whilst Google Ads and Facebook Ad Manager have made it too easy for advertisers to spend 100% of their budgets.
This is not a good deal for Publishers. The recent ISBA report on Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency showed some staggering numbers, exposing that only half of the advertiser’s media spend actually reaches the publisher, whilst one third of the supply chain cost is unattributed for altogether*.
Publishers have to fight back to regain control or accept an ever-smaller share of the ad budget. But with diminishing revenue, how can publishers afford the ad ops infrastructure to service the growing SME market and important longtail? That’s where Self-Serve has been supplying the solution to publishers in every market, giving them the tools to regain control of their ad revenue.
So how does a Self-Serve option save a publisher money? And can it generate new revenue in the medium to long term?
It is all about reducing the costs involved in the advertising transaction and automated self-service advertising minimises the average cost per transaction to make even small ads profitable.
“For most of our clients the obvious savings are in reducing inefficient internal ad operational resources. Using Ad teams to handle the sale – plan, negotiate, add the order, manage creatives, billing, and sending statistics once the ad has gone live – all takes time and money. With a 24/7 low cost Self-Serve platform that is connected to a publisher’s internal infrastructure, this is all done via automation. Publishers get better cost control by reducing internal resources and the SME advertiser gets the power to manage their own bookings, targeting options and the ability to optimize their own ad campaigns,” explains Johan Liljelund, CTO and Executive Vice President of DanAds
Saving you overhead is not the only way Self-Serve will improve publishers’ bottom line.
Self-Serve has the potential to bring large numbers of new advertisers to your door. Advertisers and agencies that traditionally have had low budgets (being too small to warrant the attention from resource strapped publishers) have struggled to access quality branded environments to place their digital advertising, leaving their spends to Google and Facebook. Self-Serve platforms give publishers the tools to offer their advertisers highly sophisticated planning, buying and tracking services for their ad campaigns in a user-friendly environment that they can manage themselves.
“Another way to look at it, is that Self-Serve can allow media owners to reallocate those ad operational resources – which are expensively working to service individual low spending direct advertisers – to marketing, where they can be deployed to generate new ad revenue rather than just doing manual services.”, says Peo Persson CoFounder of DanAds.
As an example, until affordable Self-Serve ad platforms became a reality, anything other than blue chip advertiser campaigns on global brand platforms like Tripadvisor, were too difficult to manage internally. Tripadvisor made the decision to use Self-Service and join the growing band of platforms that are opening themselves up to a larger pool of advertisers without having to invest in large scale ad team infrastructure.
“We wanted to build a Self-Service platform for Tripadvisor, that would accommodate smaller businesses with more modest budgets, many of whom are new to Tripadvisor as advertisers. With the launch of Tripadvisor Media Manager, we’re breaking down those barriers with a solution designed to democratize ad buying.”
says Eoin McGregor, Head of Customer Success at DanAds.
It is a big step for any publisher or branded platform selling ad inventory to shift from manual to automation. But Self-Serve is the next step in the digital journey to sustainable and profitable ad sales. A good Self-Serve integration is not ‘plug & play’ and publishers will need an experienced partner to help navigate the complexities of their own internal infrastructure to ensure they get a seamless fit and maximize all the advantages a good Self-Serve platform can offer. But we think it is worth the effort to ensure publishers stay in control – the alternative is to hand your ad ops over to the tech giants who are driven by their own interest and profitability.