Which Is Better: In-house or Self-serve Programmatic?


The advertising industry has forever been filled with jargon and now programmatic has brought about dozens of new jargon along with it, if not more. In this blog post, we’re going to be demystifying programmatic jargon namely, in-house, managed, and self-serve and then determine which one is the best to go ahead with as an agency.

Although these terms sound alike, they have their own uniqueness. Note that all these are based on the same technology, i.e. programmatic. The platforms self-serve and white-labeled serve different communities of users i.e. advertisers and agencies respectively. As far as managed services are concerned, either of the two can avail the same from their service providers.

Now that we’ve covered the brief overview, let us get into the details and understand the USPs of each of the services and determine which works the best for you.

In-house / White-labeled Programmatic Services


In-house programmatic means white-labeled services which imply owning your platform. So, as opposed to using the platform, you own it by rebranding it as per your agency. You can change the logo, domain, payment preferences, etc as per your requirements.

If you’re an agency and have clients for whom you constantly run programmatic campaigns, white-labeling is an ideal choice since it allows you to own the platform. This helps you build a consistent revenue stream for your agency and also strengthens your trust with them.

White-labeled DSP is a trustworthy solution since it is usually tried and tested on many other businesses and is curated by a team of experts. You’re literally spared from the whole process of development and infrastructure of the whole platform. You can just buy it and make it yours.

Benefits of White-labeled DSP

Customizable Platform: You can customize a white-labeled platform as per your unique needs and requirements and own it.

Tried & Tested: A white-labeled platform is built by a team of experts and is tried and tested on various other businesses so you can have a seamless experience.

Expert At Help: Although you’ve owned your platform by white-labeling, you can still get assistance from the expert of your DSP provider anytime you need it.

Self-serve Programmatic


Self-serve programmatic and in-house/white-labeled programmatic are almost similar but not the same. Self-serve programmatic is where you sign up with a third-party DSP and use their platform on your own.

Getting started with self-serve programmatic is pretty simple as it involves signing up on the platform, adding funds, uploading your ad creatives, choosing a media channel, and that’s about it. You’re ready to run your programmatic campaign.

With self-serve DSP, you get access to almost all the features as with white-labeled DSP, except the fact that white-labeling implies buying the platform and making it your own. Self-serve DSP involves the platform charges that are to be paid every time you’re using any third-party DSP to run your programmatic campaigns.

Benefits Of Self-serve Programmatic

Flexibility: You can modify the working of your campaign as per your convenience and needs depending on the performance and budget reallocation.

Transparency: You get access to the full dashboard which means you can check the performance of your campaign in a single view and optimize as per your requirements.

Control: You control the course of the campaign rather than depending on the team that would otherwise take care of the campaign on your behalf.

Now, apart from in-house and self-serve programmatic, there’s an additional service that many agencies offer. It is managed programmatic services. This is a great fit for those who are skeptical about both in-house and self-serve programmatic services.


Managed Programmatic Services


Managed programmatic services are those that are managed by your third-party DSP’s team. Here, you don’t have to hire professionals in your team, your campaigns will be managed by the experts in exchange for a fee.

When should you go for managed services? When your campaigns go through poor performance and optimization, you should go for managed services. Here, full-service specialists will take care of your campaigns.

Right from budget allocation, to setting bids, to creatives, optimization, and even retargeting, you can rely on your DSP experts to execute your campaign from A to Z. You can utilize their expertise in understanding the different ad formats, their uses, and more.

Benefits of Managed Services

Expertise At Work: You get professionals working for you to get higher returns on your campaigns and make the best use of the allocated budget.

No Need To Hire A Team: When your full-service DSP providers are also helping you with your campaign execution, you can skip hiring a team of professionals for the same.

Better Optimization: You can count on your DSP providers to optimize the campaign as and when needed to secure maximum returns on your spending.

Final Words:

So now that we’ve covered managed, self-serve, and white-labeled programmatic services, which one is the most beneficial, you may ask. To be honest, there’s no such thing as this is better than that. It’s all about your unique requirements and needs.

Every service available has its own benefits depending on its nature, which ones work the best for you depends on your needs, literally. For example, if you’re someone new to this technology, you may find managed service being the best fit.

As you continue to learn and have developed expertise, self-serve will appear to be the best option available since you can now take care of campaigns on your own. On the other hand, if you’re an agency and have many clients with similar requirements, you may find white-labeled solutions the best fit for your business.

At IngeniousPlex, we offer all the services with utmost professionalism and expertise. If you’re looking to explore this ahead, you can sign up with IngeniousPlex at https://staging.ingeniousplex.com/signup/agency/. For any queries or assistance, you may write to us at mktg@staging.ingeniousplex.com.

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