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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Empowering advertisers: The rise of self-serve platforms

July 19, 2023 | By Jeffrey Mayer, Head of Product – DanAds @danadsselfserve

As companies grow and expand, employees are often expected to be more productive despite having less time and resources available to them. Whether it is a small business, programmatic trader, or large agency, these groups can all benefit from using a self-serve advertising platform to streamline the process of executing digital campaigns and alleviate employee workload, allowing them to focus on other essential tasks.

What is self-serve?

Self-serve advertising platforms are becoming increasingly popular in the digital advertising world. However, “self-serve” has been a regular part of our daily lives for quite some time. Various self-serve services are available, such as ATMs for withdrawing or depositing money, self-checkout at grocery stores, pumping your own gas at gas stations, and kiosks at airports for printing luggage tags. These services have one shared characteristic: they eliminate the need for a middle person, resulting in increased efficiency and savings in both time and cost. Let’s break it down.

A person arrives later at the airport than they had intended and needs to check their luggage before heading to security. But lines for the airline agent are longer than lines for security, and this will cause the person to miss their flight. Luckily, the airline has kiosks available where the person can pay for their checked bag, print their luggage ticket and boarding pass, and allow them to bypass the queue. The kiosk has acted as an effective and efficient self-serve service for the traveler by performing tasks usually completed by an airline agent, allowing both the traveler to make their flight and the airline agent to accomplish more important tasks. 

These examples of self-serve systems in our daily lives parallel advertising because self-serve advertising platforms address the ongoing need of businesses asking to achieve more with less time and resources. 

Self-Serve in addition to DSP

Marketers utilizing DSPs for their media strategies can also benefit from including self-serve technology in their plans. Self-serve advertising platforms used in addition to DSPs can support businesses by providing direct access to a publisher’s inventory without any friction. While DSPs operate in the programmatic space, self-serve provides a tactical solution for automating direct sold guaranteed media execution to build the closest relationship possible between the buyer and publisher. Additionally, there are many other advantages to incorporating self-service options into campaigns.

Benefits of implementing self-serve

One major advantage of self-serve advertising is its user-friendly nature. We are all familiar with booking our own travel, purchasing products online, and entering our credit card details during checkout. Self-serve advertising is simply an additional tool that simplifies our daily tasks and enables advertisers to create campaigns with just a few clicks.

Another advantage of self-serve advertising is that it is cost-effective. Self-serve advertising is a more accessible option for businesses of all sizes. Advertisers can create and manage their digital advertising campaigns, bypassing intermediaries and avoiding hiring third-party professionals, making it an ideal solution for small businesses. With self-serve advertising, businesses can take complete control of their advertising campaigns, leading to more media spend allocated directly within the ecosystem. The ad budget with fewer intermediaries provides more media value to advertisers and allows publishers to earn more. Additionally, self-serve advertising platforms often have lower transaction fees, which can further help businesses stretch their advertising budgets.

Self-serve advertising also offers flexibility. Advertisers can choose their own targeting options, ad formats, and pricing models. This level of customization allows businesses to tailor their advertising campaigns to their specific needs, which can lead to better results. For media-buying professionals seeking to establish a campaign rapidly, self-serve can be an ideal solution. This platform allows for swift and easy setup and procurement of media campaigns, with the option to pay via credit card or invoice. Additionally, self-serve provides the benefit of avails forecasting and the ability to generate line items without the necessity of waiting for an insertion order or RFP response.

Furthermore, self-serve advertising platforms offer transparency. Advertisers have complete visibility into their campaigns, including where their ads are being shown and how much they are paying for each impression or click. This transparency allows businesses to make informed decisions about their advertising campaigns and can help them optimize their results.

Final thoughts

Self-serve advertising will appeal to businesses looking to take control of their advertising campaigns and optimize their results. It is easy to use, cost-effective, flexible, and transparent, making it an accessible option for businesses of all sizes. While DSPs and managed services have their own advantages, self-serve advertising platforms are strong additions to current media strategies to execute and manage advertising campaigns. 

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