In a marketing class, a teacher shared a story about hot-dog trucks outside the university. There were many, but one always had a long line. The teacher, curious as a marketing expert, asked the popular truck owner, "Why do people love your hot dogs the most?" The owner confidently replied, "It's the hand-made tomato sauce; everyone loves it."
Then, the teacher posed a thought-provoking question to the class: "What's his core business?" He explained. "You might think it's selling hot dogs… But, what if he decides to sell his amazing tomato sauce at scale to all the other trucks?”. This led to a critical lesson: understanding what is your core business and focusing on it is essential to maximize your business success. The hot-dog vendor's success wasn't in selling hot-dogs, but in his unique tomato sauce that made his business unique. What is your business special sauce?
This lesson parallels the experiences of publishers like Assertive Yield’s CEO and founder, Nils Lind, who was a publisher who faced the complex challenge of analyzing, optimizing, and managing ad revenue data from various channels.
After suffering significant revenue losses, closing 2 of the 10 online communities he owned, he decided to use his engineering and ad tech knowledge to focus on the development of his in-house ad management platform back in 2017. A few years later, his advanced script on the page could collect and normalize data, and attribute revenue to a session level, enabling detailed and cross-analysis among multiple dimensions and metrics. This empowered him to effectively troubleshoot, balance user experience, and optimize ad revenue as never before.
Recognizing its assertive impact, Nils shifted focus to what truly constituted his core business. Some years after, Assertive Yield was established to empower other publishers to enhance their user experience and lifetime value while maximizing their ad revenue.
This story sets the stage for a deeper exploration of the critical choice between building in-house or buying solutions in the realm of ad monetization for publishers.
According to the Chief Executive Officer at Hitopic, Pierre Bouchard, "Starting, we built our own ad solutions, and they worked well for us. But as time went on, we needed to add more features for better management. Creating these features ourselves was fine at first, but it became a challenge to maintain and keep things bug-free. We wanted a secure and efficient way to grow without any performance issues. That's when the big question hit us: do we keep building or do we buy a solution? After testing different options, we finally found one that is the most relevant and powerful tool for our needs in the ad market."
Hitopic stands as the sole Google Certified Publishing Partner in France, distinguishing itself as a premier French company specializing in audience monetization consulting for publishers and advertisers. Offering programmatic solutions, expertise, and tools, Hitopic caters to both sellers and buyers in the advertising industry, ensuring unparalleled support and services in the French market.
Let's dive into the advantages and downturns surrounding this common dilemma among publishers: should we build or maintain an in-house solution or buy a total ad revenue management software?
It's no surprise that creating in-house tech solutions for your website's ad monetization operations demands a significant investment and focus. However, it's often during the process of hiring a developer team or afterward, with the maintenance costs that lead many publishers to abandon projects either prematurely or when they're barely functional.
Typically, when you consult AdOps, BI, engineering, or tech teams, you'll find a preference for developing solutions in-house. This inclination to build rather than buy software is no surprise. As a tech builder, the challenge of developing solutions from scratch (and better than vendors) is inherent. There's a unique thrill in starting from ground zero.
If you have experience in developing software in-house, you're likely familiar with the advantages and downturns that come with creating every product feature internally.
However, considering the advances in big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, it is becoming less reasonable not to take advantage of big data and broader market intelligence. But we can talk about that later on.
Today, even with the resources and commitment to see the project through, that decision has to be analyzed from a long-term perspective. It's crucial to carefully assess the investment costs, risks, and drawbacks, and weigh them against your specific business goals and needs before proceeding with such a side project business. Now, let’s explore the downsides for publishers to develop ad tech solutions internally.
The cost can be substantial, including salaries for dedicated teams, infrastructure costs, and ongoing maintenance expenses. It's essential to have a robust budget and ROI analysis. The absence of external costs needs to be weighed against the lack of optimization assistance, and robust machine learning with broader market intelligence.
As we discussed, keeping up with the ever-evolving industry standards and ensuring compatibility can be a persistent challenge when maintaining an in-house solution. If you found yourself and internal teams with boundless time, an endless budget, and unlimited resources to create every desired solution feature for your monetization, you probably wouldn't be perusing this article.
"In the fast-paced world of ad tech, every second counts. Our growth needs a meticulous plan. AY isn't just a tool for us; it's the backbone of our success story. With an infrastructure built for efficiency, AY ensures our ads are delivered swiftly and reliably. We're not just buying a solution; we're investing in speed, reliability, ad tech know-how, and the foundation to take Hitopic to new heights globally, supported by a team of experts who understand the ins and outs of the ad industry." Pierre Bouchard, CEO at Hitopic.
Hence, an increasing number of programmatic leaders are exploring the option of partnering with third-party software and seamlessly incorporating it into their current ad stack. Let’s explore the pros and cons of third-party software for publishers aiming to achieve maximal revenue, reduce costs, and enhance user experience.
Although we want to be agnostic here, we can only deep dive into the advantages we access by analyzing Assertive Yield Solutions. However, we believe that a few of them can be used to balance your decision when deciding to partner with a company like us:
"When it comes to scalability, we want a tool that can work easily for one publisher or a thousand. We need it to be reliable, fast (we're talking milliseconds for delivering ads), and packed with the best ad industry features. AY became our top choice because it offers a solid infrastructure to deliver ads quickly. Our main focus is on making sure publishers' revenue isn't impacted by any issues. We're not just buying a tool; we're investing in expertise and deep knowledge of ad tech to help us grow and scale our activities worldwide." - Pierre Bouchard, Hitopic.
"Choosing to buy a solution brings a cascade of advantages: reduced in-house development costs, a continuous stream of updates and optimizations, and a team of dedicated experts. Furthermore, the potential for developing additional functionalities, such as dynamic flooring and layouts, adds a whole new layer of optimization," emphasized Sherzod Risaev, COO at Assertive Yield.
Using a third-party solution for publisher monetization operations, such as ad revenue management software, can offer convenience and expertise, but it also comes with several potential drawbacks, especially if the vendor has not offered you a chance to test the solution before committing to a long-term contract.
Balancing these cons with the potential benefits might help you to decide whether to build an in-house solution or opt for a third-party ad revenue management solution built for publishers.
However, with AY's Yield Manager, - a comprehensive, specialized solution that addresses many of the challenges publishers face in ad monetization, publishers don't need to face the dilemma of choosing to build or buy an ad management system anymore, they now have a better option to buy AND build. The AY's Yield Manager suite of solutions gives pubs the flexibility to customize everything to their needs by seamlessly integrating new partners, creating custom variants, segments, configurable dashboards, and more than 300 metrics and dimensions to build their own reports!
If you're looking to enhance your ad revenue strategy with a solution that's tailored to your needs, Assertive Yield is here to help. Our platform is designed to provide the best of both worlds: the efficiency and expertise of third-party software, combined with the customization and control akin to an in-house solution. Explore more.
Third-party ad management platforms offer quick setup and integration, and include regular updates. They are more cost-effective compared to in-house development.However, they can lead to dependence on external vendors, offer limited customization to specific needs, and may present integration challenges.
In-house ad management platforms offer complete customization to specific needs, full control over the platform and data, development of internal expertise. On the downside, they require significant resources and investment, entail high long-term costs for development and maintenance, necessitate a dedicated development team, and bear the risk of falling behind in technological advancements.
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