Why are so many brands taking their display campaigns in-house? And how can they make it work?

Since 2017 there has been an increasing amount of media coverage on the subject of client in-housing. A May IAB programmatic report discovered that 35% of brands had expanded their in-house programmatic media buying, and 62% were planning to do so by 2022. And only recently both Vodafone and Lucozade indicated they were keen to take their media buying in-house.

But what exactly does in-housing mean in practice? Does it mean that all planning and buying activities for media are handled by brands’ own employees? Not necessarily. According to the IAB report, only 48% of brands use their own staff to execute buys. The rest use some form of agency or even ask the DSP to do it.

What are the benefits to in-housing?

So if in-housing is not about execution, what is it about? The answer is control. Traditionally large media agencies have liked to control a number of areas such, as planning, tech vendor, publisher selection, client data, third party data and commercials very tightly.

By taking programmatic in-house, brands are taking responsibility for some if not all of these areas. This is strategically hugely valuable, as it allows a brand to do what is in their best interest, rather than what is in the interest of the agency.

For example, getting a campaign out quickly for a new product launch may not be in the agency’s interest – after all, if they have lots of clients they may have different priorities. But if it is in the brand’s interest then it can put resources and processes in place to ensure it happens.

There’s also huge value and many good legislative reasons for brands to control their data and technology used on their properties, including user privacy, GDPR compliance, and avoiding sites that infringe Intellectual property rights. And from a knowledge perspective, who knows the brand values for planning and creative better than its own employees?

Finally, brands that master in-housing will find they are more likely to get a better deal, particularly when large agencies struggle to gain as much value from their buying power as they once did.

So what should vendors, tech companies, independent agencies and other companies that wish to partner with the ever-growing number of brands looking at in-housing do? It’s simple – they need to give transparency, control and value back to the client.

With these principles in place, supporting companies will thrive, because brands will always struggle to have the breadth of specialist talent needed to cover all their needs and eventualities.

Six ways we can help brands in-house

At Crimtan we have a range of products and services designed to support brands and give them value, transparency and control. Here are six reasons why brands come to us to help with their in-housing needs.

1) Data driven dynamic creative

We have the technology and expertise to design on-brand ads that maximise creative performance. We use data points like products viewed, audience segment, geo, keywords, time and more to find the best creative.

2) Publisher relationships and PMP deals

We have an exclusive publisher team and excellent publisher relationships. This means we can get preferential rates and access to inventory as well as being able to offer more advanced formats.

3) Bespoke bidding technology

This allows advertisers to get a targeting advantage as we only bid on the most relevant, viewable inventory – this leads to increased performance. As this is our own technology and our own algorithms we are also able to get a cost advantage.

4) AI and machine learning advantage

We have developed a library of machine learning and AI setups that can be used by businesses to improve performance. Each algorithm is for a different job, for example the best algorithm for prospecting is not also the best at customer targeting. Each algorithm can be customised to best fit the needs and data of the client.

5) Full technology stack

Only Crimtan offers a DMP, DSP, DCO (creative platform), adserver, CMP (consent platform) and campaign planning platform. This has big advantages in terms of safety (one platform), data discrepancies (all one platform so no discrepancy) and, indeed, cost as you are only paying for one platform.

6) Service and expertise

We have access to a variety of specialised and rare skills in programmatic advertising that go across the planning process. From brand strategists, planners, programmatic buyers (traders), publisher experts, data scientists, programmatic creative designers, application developers and more. We’re perfectly positioned to help you get the most value out of programmatic.

Need help to take your display campaigns in-house? Find out how we can help by calling us on 020 7821 6864 or emailing Jon Weeks.