Introduction to Sourcing Your Programmatic Media and Marketing Operations

Introduction to Sourcing Your Programmatic Media and Marketing Operations

By William A. Lederer, Chairman and CEO, iSOCRATES
How do you know if you should outsource your programmatic media and marketing services, perform them in-house, or use a hybrid sourcing solution? There’s a broad spectrum of options to consider and no one-size-fits-all solution. You have to choose which option best fits your business’ specific needs.


First, let’s define what we mean by programmatic media and marketing services. While programmatic media buying best practices and technology were originally developed for computerized buying of online display advertising, these best practices can now be applied beyond display advertising or even paid media to embrace all digital marketing activities.


In essence, programmatic marketing utilizes data and algorithmically-driven targeting and campaign management across all digital channels. It’s an increasingly technical and specialized space, which is why many companies are looking into how to best offload these services.

Here’s a brief overview of your sourcing options:


  • 1. In-House Option

In-housing is exactly what its name implies – bringing your media and marketing operations in-house as opposed to outsourcing them to an agency or technology partner. While in-housing provides you with a dedicated staff of experts with greater brand and institutional knowledge than an external agency may have, the investment of time and money involved with hiring and supporting an in-house staff can be prohibitive.


  • 2. Hybrid Sourcing Option

While a few companies take the extreme positions of in-housing or outsourcing everything, most settle on a hybrid sourcing model where they in-house some media and marketing functions but outsource others.


You also may want to consider an Onshore-Offshore option where a US-based firm manages your overseas operations for you, which can provide better communication and oversight than working directly with an offshore vendor.


  • 3. Offshore Outsourcing Option

Offshore outsourcing, which involves hiring an overseas vendor, has become an increasingly attractive option for US businesses. Investing time and money in recruiting, hiring, training, technology and facilities can take up the lion’s share of your marketing budget – before you’ve done any marketing. Outsourcing offshore – where employees get paid a fraction of the salaries in the US – will almost definitely save you money over creating your own in-house agency or outsourcing domestically.


  • 4. Domestic Outsourcing Option

Domestic (or onshore) outsourcing is defined as hiring a company within your country to provide services for your business. This can be a media or marketing agency, or a specialty firm (such as a company that just does SEO). There’s also a vast and growing network of marketing/technology professionals who freelance their specialty services.


  • 5. Agency Option

Traditional agencies tend to market themselves as “turn-key,” offering a wide breadth of marketing services that gets wider by the day as modern-day marketing becomes more complex and technology-driven. Unfortunately, few agencies have the resources to offer deep expertise in every marketing specialty – especially in the programmatic space.


Data and Technology Sourcing Options

There are four primary contracting options for your business’ data and tech needs:

  • Build: Build and operate your data and tech yourself
  • Buy: License data and tech and operate it yourself
  • Partner via Managed Services: (1) License data and tech but have a vendor provide specialized skilled labor for you or (2) use the vendor’s data and tech license(s) and have them operate it for you

Instead of paying for custom application development, data administration, software licenses and employee training in various technologies, it may make sense to partner via managed services or BPO. These options make digital marketing much simpler for your business, allowing you to focus on what you do best.


For a more in-depth exploration of your sourcing options, download our whitepaper, The iSOCRATES Guide to Programmatic Media and Marketing Services Sourcing.


Still not sure what’s best for your organization? Sometimes, talking things through can be more rewarding. Contact us.

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