Go-to-market strategy: 3 steps to successfully launch your self-serve advertising platform

Go-to-market strategy

These days, most publishers are integrating self-serve advertising into their sales offering to advertisers, particularly for the smaller advertisers who are harder to reach and have low average order value.

BUT…to be successful you need more than just technology, you need a solid Go To Market strategy (G2M), implemented by the Sales & Marketing teams, to get advertisers using the self-serve platform.

To start off, hear from our Head of Customer Success on the importance of a solid Go-To-Market Strategy in this short video intro:

We have put together the following 3 stage guidance based upon our experience across a broad range of clients currently running DanAds Self-Serve advertising technology.

Stage 1: Put your infrastructure in place

  • Decide where the responsibility for sales on your self-serve will lie. Have a dedicated self-serve team/person managing sales and marketing.
  • Define your self-serve ‘sales’ territory. Think about setting a max order value limit for self-serve so everyone is clear which orders are to go through self-serve.
  • Set scaled targets for turnover based firstly on existing turnover transferred to your self-serve.


Stage 2: Decide on the target audience acquisition

Break your target audience down in to three categories:

  1. Current advertisers or user recruitment
    Your existing advertiser or user base that you need to recruit to your
    self-serve platform.
  2. Lapsed advertiser re-engagement
    Now is an ideal time to utilise the advantages and ease-of-use of self-serve to attract old advertisers back to you.
  3. New advertiser acquisition
    Self-serve makes it easy for new advertisers to try you out. Many will not have known they could advertise with you.


Stage 3: Set your Objectives

Any self-serve G2M strategy will have broadly the same objectives for each of the above target audience categories:

  1. Adoption – Getting advertisers on to the self-serve platform. Start scoping out how many advertisers you aim to recruit from each targeted advertiser segment.
  2. Activation – Getting that first self-serve booking. Once you start seeing sign-ups, make sure you give your registered advertisers the proper incentives and guidance to book their first campaign on the platform.
  3. Life-time value – Getting repeat bookings.
    The profit from all the hard work of the previous two objectives is in achieving a high life-time value from each advertiser.

Once you’ve put your infrastructure in place, agreed on your targeted advertisers and set your objectives, you’re ready to start fleshing out your G2M strategy. In order to reach your set objectives, here are some tried and tested ideas that can be applied to secure a successful launch of your self-serve platform:


– Getting advertisers to sign up for your self-serve platform.

Advertisers will not do this themselves, they will need to be encouraged to register and set up an active account on your self-serve platform. How you wonder? Some helpful tips below:

5 ways to successfully recruit advertisers to your platform

  • Maximise visibility
    Your self-serve platform needs to be very easy to find by your advertisers. Make sure you have a clear select mechanism integrated throughout your main site and on all your sales communication – emails, mailings etc.
  • Educate
    Allocate resources to educate your existing advertisers through online intro webinars before and during the launch. The more they understand your self-serve platform the more likely they will be to transfer over.
  • Remove hurdles
    The less steps involved for existing advertisers the better. Try pre-registering all your existing advertisers and sending them a ‘log-in’ invite’ with username and password.
  • Onboarding Support
    The first time your advertisers use the platform will be the most difficult for them. Allocate resources to a live ‘onboarding’ call to get them set-up.
  • Content Marketing
    Why not create a series of ‘masterclass’ blogs and/or video content to engage with your advertisers and demonstrate the benefits of the platform.



– Getting that first self-serve booking.

You will need to motivate and guide your advertisers to their first booking on the platform. And don’t worry, we have some killer tips for this one as well:

5 ways to get your advertisers to book their first campaign:

  • Incentivise
    DanAds self-serve platforms enable promotional discount codes to be created by publishers. Look to develop enticing first booking discounts for registered advertisers.
  • Booking Support
    Although a DanAds self-serve platform is simple and intuitive, advertisers always have questions as they use the platform for the first time. Adding a live chat support (DanAds work with Intercom) can pay for itself by maximising completed bookings.
  • Best Practice
    Help your advertisers understand the best way to use some of the key features, such as targeting options, by running regular ‘invite’ only live webinars or short online video tutorials.
  • CRM event based strategy
    Look to create a series of CRM emails triggered by advertiser events on the platform. Abandoned booking carts, long session times but no final booking, can all be linked to incentivised emails to encourage the advertiser to complete the journey.


Life-time value

– Getting repeat bookings.

5 tips for maximising repeat bookings in your self-serve platform:

  • Incentivise
    All advertisers are used to loyalty promotions. Setting up a loyalty scheme for your self-serve advertisers where they can achieve financial discounts or free campaigns, will act as a major incentive to keep them booking.
  • Campaign Feedback
    DanAds self-serve platforms provide a high level of campaign performance reporting for both advertiser and publisher within the platform. But advertisers who are contacted by the publisher ad ops team to talk through ‘post’ campaign performance, are more likely to raise any problems that can then be dealt with ensuring you do not lose an advertiser.
  • CRM email strategy
    Set up a CRM strategy based on your knowledge of average booking frequency to target advertisers who have not been active on the platform.
  • Business Intelligence sharing
    Advertisers respect your brand, it’s why they advertise with you. Look to become their source of information on the market by sharing business intelligence/market research information.

Lastly, a final word on Stage 1 ‘Putting your infrastructure in place’. In our experience, this is the single most important component of a successful G2M strategy. Without the right infrastructure and importantly, dedicated resources, it will take longer to grow revenue on your platform. So make this your priority.

Having worked with many and varied publishers, our Customer Success team has bags of relevant info and experience that they would love to share with you. Just give us a call.

Andrew Dempsey

Customer Success, DanAds

About DanAds

We are the industry-leading provider of self-serve technology, supplying publishers with white-labelled and customisable self-serve ad platforms

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