In the fast-paced world of digital advertising, brands need to make smart choices to stand out and connect with their audiences effectively. While some brands and agencies opt for a self-serve approach using DIY platforms (such as Centro or Google for example), partnering with a digital advertising agency with white glove managed service brings significant advantages. In this article, we will compare and contrast the experience of collaborating with a managed service partner relative to a self-serve tech platform.
1. Strategic Planning
Managed Service Partner (MSPs) advertising agencies have the expertise to develop comprehensive strategies that align with client goals and target audiences across various platforms. By maximizing ad spend and leveraging industry best practices, it’s these MSPs that on average, generate better results. On the other hand, working with a self-serve platform, the brand’s internal teams must possess and dedicate their own additional time and resources to media planning, research, and strategy creation. This can lead to longer lag times in campaign optimizations and missed opportunities.
MSP agencies bring together a team of experts with diverse skills and knowledge in digital marketing strategies, advertising platforms, media buying, campaign optimization, and data analytics. Their expertise allows for invaluable insights, tried and true campaign recommendations, and quick adjustments based on prior learnings and current best practices that only the human eye and hand can identify. In comparison, relying solely on the internal knowledge of in-house staff, or too heavily on AI-based campaign execution, can often miss critical nuance, limit campaign performance, and hinder skill development within the organization in a self-serve scenario.
3. Access to Multiple Platforms
MSPs work with multiple advertising demand-side platforms (DSPs), social media platforms, search engines, and other advertising channels. This enables them to leverage the strengths of each platform relative to the client’s objectives, expanding the reach to a broader audience at every stage of the consumer journey and increasing campaign effectiveness. Conversely, in-house campaign set-upwithin self-serve platforms across every ad platform desired can be exceptionally time-consuming, costly, and cumbersome to manage. Too few platform selections can lead to limited reach, fewer channel options, imprecise targeting, or campaign misalignment in any number of areas. In basic terms, while a wrench is a useful tool, it can’t be used for every repair. More tools in the toolbox allows for the ability to adequately address a wide range of situations.
4. Time and Resource Efficiency
Managing digital advertising campaigns requires specialized skills, tools, and continuous monitoring. Partnering with an MSP agency allows clients to offload these tasks and focus on core aspects of their business. MSP agencies handle campaign management, optimization, and reporting, ensuring efficient use of time and resources. Conversely, in a self-serve model, clients need to consider how they plan to invest in training their own staff, hiring additional team members, keeping up with the whirlwind happenings in digital media, and dedicating valuable time to campaign management and optimization – all requirements for success.
5. Data Analysis and Optimization
MSPs have in-house tools and expertise to analyze campaign data, identify trends, and make data-driven optimizations that improve performance. By constantly monitoring key metrics and adjusting targeting strategies, agency teams optimize ad spend for the best return on investment. In contrast, self-serve platforms require top-tier talent proficient in each platform used, making it challenging to maintain efficient optimization across multiple platforms. This makes it exceptionally challenging when it comes to crafting reporting narratives clients demand.
6. Performance Tracking and Reporting
Digital advertising agencies provide regular performance reports, insights, and progress updates to clients. They highlight campaign metrics against key performance indicators, and offer end-to-end reporting solutions through unified dashboards. In a self-serve platform, brands face the burden of manually collating reports from each platform and addressing reporting questions and discrepancies themselves – time-consuming endeavors, requiring a ton of digital know-how.
Collaborating with an advertising agency that offers managed services brings numerous benefits that lead to greater campaign success, less strain on valuable internal team members, and better ROI. MSP agencies offer expertise, access to multiple platforms, time and resource efficiency, data analysis, optimization capabilities, and comprehensive reporting. And while self-serve platforms certainly can provide a degree of control, they often come at significant expense, require extensive in-house digital knowledge, ongoing platform training and expanded staffing, as well as the bandwidth to handle multiple platforms simultaneously.
Ultimately, the value of managed services versus self-serve must be carefully weighed for your organization. If you need a partner who listens to your challenges, questions, and concerns, reach out – we’re all ears.