With the advent of programmatic advertising, technical complexities in the ad tech industry have also increased. This is not to say that the scenario was simpler before. But, it can be said that programmatic advertising has added to the complexity of processes in the industry.
Publishers may sometimes find themselves wondering if they can deal with all the technicalities involved in the buying and selling process of ads. The fact is that the decision of opting for either in-house or managed ad tech services depends on a number of factors.
In order to understand these factors properly and see what services are suitable for which publishers, we sought the help of Prashanth Kumar, Sr. Ad Ops Associate at AdPushup. Prashanth talked to us about why proper ad tech services are important and what it is exactly that publishers get with either of the two options.
Prashanth started the conversation by talking about in-house services.
In-House Ad Tech Services
In Prashanth’s opinion, a small publisher, who is earning around say between $2000-$3000 on a monthly basis may not really need managed services. One of the key factors to consider in this case is the amount of money that is involved.
“Google AdSense already accounts for 32% of publishers’ payment. Therefore if the publisher is running a small business, managed services will only add to the cost and won’t be fruitful for the publisher in terms of earnings. In such a case actually, it’s definitely good if the publisher is able to run things on their own. Of course, one also needs to keep in mind the technical aspects of managing the inventory. But, if the publisher has some technical knowledge, it is better for them to manage things on their own.”
Prashanth further shared his views about leveraging an in-house ad ops person or team.
“Apart from revenue-related factors, publishers also need to think about the fact that they would have to go out and search for talent to be able to build up a good ad ops team. This can also turn out to be a time-taking activity, not just from the recruitment point of view but also because the hired person or team will have to be trained according to the publisher’s needs.”
“However, if a medium or large publisher is able to build up a good in-house ad ops team, then it can be a highly beneficial venture for them. This is because they will have talent ready at hand. Moreover, the team will be able to work according to the specific needs of the publisher and the inventory.”
“One other positive aspect of opting for in-house ad tech services is the elimination of a third-party from the supply chain. This is particularly of significance if we take transparency-related factors into account. For example, with an in-house ad ops team, issues like data leakage to a third-party or fraud in terms of money can be avoided easily. The same thing cannot be said about managed services, especially when we consider money-related fraud.”
Managed Ad Tech Services
While there are many pros of opting for in-house ad tech services, there are definitely some areas where managed services might be a better option for certain publishers. The very first one is reduced cost.
According to Prashanth, if as a publisher, you are earning over $5000 monthly, then it is better to go for managed services. Publishers opting for a GCPP partner (like AdPushup) get a chance to increase their earning potential, as companies focusing on revenue optimization offer 20-30% hike in revenue.
“The publisher is further getting professional ad ops support in addition to higher revenue (potentially). Moreover, managed ad tech services are definitely more beneficial when we consider direct deals. If a publisher is dealing with direct deals on a regular basis, it is highly recommended that they go for managed ad tech services, since ad ops professionals will be able to handle those deals properly.”
“Ad ops professionals can also help publishers get direct deals much more easily. In a managed service, the publisher would not have to worry about conducting the deals or even going through the technical complications associated with Google Ad Manager or Adx.”
Prashanth further believes that if a publisher is choosing to work with a third-party that is working with multiple partners, they will get the added benefit of having access to expertise of trained professionals.
“Partners like AdPushup that are working with various publishers get a better idea and sense of different methodologies in the industry. Basically, the ad ops professional will have granular knowledge about what methods work best for which site. They have a good understanding of different niches, the traffic pattern, and the traffic source. They pay high attention to data analysis, which is certainly an important aspect of programmatic advertising.”
“With a managed service, publishers further get the benefit of getting access to different technologies or features. For example, a lot of the features in GAM are locked, and publishers may not have knowledge about such features. If you don’t know that something exists, there is no possible way for you to leverage it. So, managed ad tech services can definitely be helpful in that regard.”
At the end of the day, everything depends on the publishers’ needs. They need to ask themselves if their business demands managed services or if an internal team will suffice.
In-house services may prove to be costly and time consuming in the long run, but if transparency is a high priority for a publisher, then they should go for this option. In the case of in-house ad tech services, publishers need to be equipped with the right understanding of how they want to conduct their affairs.
Similarly, opting for managed ad tech services will have benefits in terms of revenue generation. Furthermore, this option may be ideal for publishers who don’t possess much technical knowledge about the industry. In that case, a managed service provider may be able to handle things much more efficiently.