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BizReport : Internet : May 06, 2021

How managed service can save advertisers time and money

Managed services are not new in the digital space, but with the ever-growing amount of advertising and content options more marketers are looking into the benefits. Managed services can offer a wealth of information at a much-reduced cost. Here's how these emerging channels are set to disrupt the online space.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What role does managed service play in today's digital landscape?

Todd Heger, Chief Revenue Officer, Digilant: Managed service fills the gaps for teams that don't have the staff or expertise required to own media strategy and execution fully. Ad tech doesn't run itself, and even when it comes with a playbook, it still requires hand-on-keyboard expertise that can be difficult to hire for. Over the years, as the digital landscape has evolved to include new channels, ad formats and data providers, so too have the expectations of managed service partners. What we are seeing is more and more agencies and brands seeking a managed service partner that can deliver on services beyond the table-stakes of media buying. Managed service partners have become the coach, the personal trainer and the private chef all rolled into one agency -- and if we properly service and deliver, we quickly become part of their marketing teams.

Kristina: How can advertisers and brands ensure they're choosing a service that fits within not only their needs but that will help foster growth?

Todd: If you are seeking a managed service partner -- you are seeking just that, a partner. Gone are the days when managed service meant a transactional, io-based relationship. As the vendor landscape continues to grow, especially as we see new players in identity resolution, contextual data, CTV and audio, it's important to find a partner that can and will do the heavy lifting for advertisers. An ideal managed service partner will be platform-agnostic and will push the boundaries on digital media strategy and execution -- always with the advertiser's goals in mind.

Kristina: What emerging channels are you watching right now?

Todd: There is a tremendous opportunity for advertisers to tap into emerging channels. The last 12 months have provided significant "fuel" for greater CTV and Audio consumption. It was only a couple of years ago when clients were purely asking about and wanting an education on CTV and digital audio. Today we have processed quickly from getting small, test budgets to seeing real dollars invested in these channels. At Digilant, we've seen 2X growth for both CTV and digital audio or podcast spend among our clients in the last year -- and I don't think we are alone here. This growth is unsurprising as eMarketer and Statista are projecting significant growth in CTV ($11.36 billion) and Audio ($3.1 billion) in 2021.

Kristina: How will these channels affect the brand-customer relationship, in your opinion?

Todd: The growth of device usage and digital channels has created a complex customer journey which makes meeting consumers wherever they're spending their time with relevant messaging incredibly important. Looking back, TV and Audio have been two of the longest-standing mediums for brand-building storytelling. Now, thanks to the emergence of OTT and Audio ad-supported platforms like Hulu, Roku, Amazon, Pandora, and Spotify along with expanded media buying solutions powered by DSPs like MediaMath and The Trade Desk -- TV and Audio have gone digital. This shift gives advertisers the opportunity to be really smart with the placement of 15, 30, and 60-second CTV or digital audio and podcast ads by targeting consumers in a "lean back" environment with a "lean forward" message.

Kristina: How can advertisers and brands retain control of their investments within these channels?

Todd: For some, control is achieved by doing all media buying in-house. And for others, control is found through working with a partner that offers transparency into where media dollars are being spent, how investments are performing and where there is an opportunity for optimization and cost savings. Regardless of whether advertisers want to in-house or out-source media buying, both sides of the house can benefit from having a strong pulse on how investments in emerging channels, traditional channels and all channels really... are moving the needle on marketing objectives. We all know that measurement isn't perfect, especially for CTV and digital audio, but measuring what you can and utilizing historical benchmarks is a great place to start.

Tags: advertising, advertising tips, Digilant, ecommerce, managed service tips, managed service trends

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