The Case for Fully-Managed Native Advertising Platforms

The Case for Fully-Managed Native Advertising Platforms

September 29, 2013

It’s no secret that native advertising is the future of advertising. Less jarring than banner ads and far more interesting, native ads effectively command consumers’ attentions. Creating native ads requires clever and skilled editorial judgment.. Many brands opt to use a service that manages and optimizes programmatic campaigns so all that is required of them is to provide IOs.

Still, there is a demand for platforms that brands could manage in-house. Self-service has been touted over full-service as being the savvy way to go about social marketing and native advertising as of late. With self-service software, in-house advertisers can set up their own campaigns, manually optimize them, edit budgets, and sometimes even pay for campaigns with a credit card.

A small survey of ad tech companies reveals that less than 10% of clients actually use self-service if given the option. In fact, most companies that ask for it rarely use self-managing solutions in the end — suggesting that self-service doesn’t live up to hype. For many brands, a fully-managed platform is still the best choice for native advertising campaigns. 

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The Advantages of Using a Fully-Managed Platform

Some argue that self-service is more conducive to protecting a company’s data. However, closing an ad tech partner off from data can create challenges in technical support and training. Additionally, if a brand doesn’t trust a partner company with data relevant to the service it provides, then it’s best not to partner with that company at all. It may take some creative thinking on the brand’s part, but there should be a way to protect sensitive data from misuse, while working very closely with a service provider.

One of the biggest draws to self-service is the comparatively low cost. While it’s true that self-service options are notably cheaper than fully-managed platforms, banking on these savings assumes that a brand can not only perform the same functions, but garner the same results as a managed solution. Also, devoting time and energy into the training and managing of the software in-house often means diverting efforts away from other tasks that are more central to a company’s business.

Fully-managed platforms can ensure continuity of service, regardless of shifting account teams. Employees of an ad tech partner will be intimately familiar with the technology and have an easier time learning updates or coming up with new solutions than a self-service user. Also, if positions shift or there is a sudden departure within the brand, it will likely be challenging to find and train someone new to work with the platform.

It has also been argued that self-service gives in-house advertisers influence over development resources to build, deploy, and implement their own special features. Additionally, they may have access to direct support that can range from custom data loads to exclusive access to features under development. Self-service has only a marginal advantage in this case, however, and the right managed solution should be able to work with a brand to utilize its expertise in order accomplish goals.

Leaving the fine-tuning of native advertising to a partner firm frees up resources in a company to be directed elsewhere. Full-service providers are experts in advertising, programmatic media buying, and online technology. Fully-managed advertising platforms can deliver better results While smaller campaigns may be managed in-house effectively, we’re seeing larger campaigns and larger companies looking for assistance from a fully-managed platform.