The advertising market today is more expansive than ever before, reaching more consumers in more ways. The rise in digitization, customer demands, and ever-expanding technological possibilities has resulted in explosive change. And, for those with the means to do so, self-service platforms are at the head of the pack. In an extremely uncertain world currently spinning in the wake of a global pandemic, any sense of control is highest desired – and self-service platforms offer exactly that.
Until recently, self-service platforms were tools of industry leaders in advertising, such as Google and Facebook. However, they are now joined by players of all shapes and sizes including Walmart, Amazon, TripAdvisor, and TikTok. Despite the significant investment that can come with launching a self-service platform, the benefits clearly outweigh the costs.
According to Salesforce, 60% of businesses expect to implement self-service portals within the next 12 to 18 months.
With so much to love about self-service, this substantial industry shift is likely a sign of things to come. We have highlighted five factors are driving this progression, providing mutual benefits buyers and sellers can enjoy.
Firstly, What Is a Self-service Ad Platform?
A self-service advertising platform is one that allows companies to make purchases without the traditional song and dance that can accompany ad sales. Transactions can be managed on a company’s timeline, budget, and advertising specifications, allowing for a fast and easy process that doesn’t require negotiating with sales reps during business hours. Most of these platforms offer programmatic capabilities, ensuring advertisers can put their ads in front of the right audiences and in the right medium.
Self-service advertising platforms are becoming essential in the current landscape, especially for companies that want to get ahead of the competition. These key elements play a significant role in the evolution and rise within the industry, especially for brands that want to be future-proof as much as possible in uncertain times.
1. Increased Transparency
Self-service platforms eliminate steps from the traditional ad market. Gone are the days of negotiating with a representative; instead, all ad sales activity can take place on a self-service platform without any hidden facts or figures. Brands know exactly what they are getting when they complete a transaction: they know where their ads are going, the specifics of placement, and even who is being targeted. The increased transparency can be a blessing, boosting buyer confidence and, ideally, leading to repeat orders at the click of a button for clients.
2. Reduced Customer Service Costs
The self-service nature of self-service advertising means that the human element is largely erased from the purchase process. A good platform is fast, intuitive, and easy to use, giving customers the answers they need without requiring help from an agent. Further, platforms tend to provide comprehensive help resources as well, guiding customers through a troubleshooting process that reduces the need for a well-staffed help desk. When the average customer can make it through the purchase process without a hitch, it’s possible to reduce customer service headcount and, subsequently, customer service costs.
3. Improve Customer Abilities
Self-service is a new world for many customers, but navigating these kinds of platforms can be a valuable source of information. This is especially true for customers who previously weren’t involved in the transaction process. By allowing customers to place their own orders without someone else guiding the way, they are able to explore the different tools and opportunities available in an independent manner. This kind of self-discovery can give buyers the kinds of skills necessary to make successful placements, both now and in the future.
4. Drive Site Traffic
Most effective self-serve ad platforms are accompanied by a comprehensive knowledge base that both provides customers with platform-specific resources as well as overarching industry information. In addition to guiding customers through the self-service process and reducing customer service requirements, this kind of support system can also be a valuable source of customer traffic. Traffic can be a component of search engine optimization, improving ranking and reputation online in order to improve positioning as an industry authority.
5. Leverage Personalized Information
Personalization is always an advantage in customer service, improving customer experiences, and streamlining purchase processes. Self-service platforms that allow customers to personalize their platform content, like entering names, saving templates, or choosing color schemes, can make customers feel valued and understood. Using a personalized approach can also provide insight into customers from a provider perspective, shedding light on trends, highlighting popular services, and exposing pain points.
The Future Of Self-Service Advertising Platforms
The world of advertising is always changing, and self-service platforms are just another evolution. According to Forbes, 88% of companies believe self-service will be the fastest-growing customer service channel by 2021. With advantages for clients and advertisers alike, including increased traffic, reduced customer service costs, and faster, easier transactions, it’s very likely that self-service ad platforms will only continue to grow over the next few years.