4 steps to getting started with in-house programmatic advertising


It’s no question that programmatic advertising is becoming more and more integrated into every marketing professional’s media plan. However, if you are new to the programmatic world, it can be a bit intimidating. That’s why many agencies start with a managed-service model for their programmatic operations with the intention of eventually bringing them in-house once they feel more comfortable.

Bringing programmatic in-house is not an overnight transition and sometimes it’s not always the right option. Before making that leap, evaluate the reasons you want to transition to self-serve. Once you’ve validated that a self-serve model is the right path for your agency, follow these four tips to help you get started with in-house programmatic.

1. Have a fully staffed team ready to go

Before committing to bringing your programmatic operations in-house, evaluate your staffing needs. Do you have a fully-equipped team ready to run campaigns? If not, you’ll want to adjust your hiring strategy to include a team armed and ready to take on the challenges that come with directly running programmatic advertising. This team can then focus specifically on making your programmatic operations successful. Knowledge of the programmatic industry, as well as the inner workings of directly running self-serve campaigns, will be paramount for the success of this team.

2. Evaluate budget with your client

You’ll want to evaluate what your client is looking for in terms of scale and if it’s achievable with the budget they have dedicated to programmatic campaigns. You want to ensure that the budget allocated is sufficient enough to make your client’s campaigns effective and successful.

To this end, there are many items to take into consideration when planning a programmatic advertising budget with your client. For example, deciding whether to run a number of campaigns with smaller budgets or fewer campaigns with larger budgets. Is your client’s audience most likely on their desktops or mobile devices? If the answer is mobile, you’ll want to put more budget into mobile campaigns to maximize results. These are all things you’ll want to discuss with your client so you are setup to deliver high-performing, effective campaigns.

3. Clarify & declare what you want up front

Transparency and trust are key in successful programmatic partnerships. When choosing programmatic partners, it’s important to declare your needs up front when evaluating which partners to work with. Can they offer exactly what you’re looking for? What does support look like? Can they offer suggestions and recommendations for increasing client campaign performance?

RELATED: Programmatic partnership models: The 2017 marketing professionals’ guidebook to building strong business relationships between advertisers, agencies, and ad tech partners

Giving your potential programmatic partner a clear picture of your needs allows them to effectively assess if they can provide what you’re looking for. It’s also essential to understand the differences in the level of service that is provided between their managed-service and self-serve models. By understanding the differences, you can be clear on where responsibilities lie within the partnership.

4. Utilize all your resources

The great thing about technology is that you have helpful resources at your disposal with the click of a mouse. Self-serve is very hands-on, so take advantage of all the resources your technology partner provides as this will be your go-to for any questions you may have. This can include a variety of mediums such as videos, articles, and forums. Here at dataxu, we set up all of our self-serve users with access to our Knowledge Base that hosts hundreds of articles in addition to our dataxu Learning Center that contains training videos.

Your self-serve representative is also a key resource should you still have questions or challenges that leave you stumped after exhausting all other resources. Knowing about all the resources available to you and taking the time to research them will help you succeed in running your programmatic operations.

Building a strong foundation

Bringing your programmatic in-house can be a beneficial transition for your agency. It allows you to make optimizations and pull reports in real time so you can deliver even better results to your clients. Choosing a programmatic partner you can trust fully, and following these basic steps will ensure your agency has a strong foundation for your in-house programmatic operations.