By Declan Kennedy, CEO StitcherAds
Insourcing is not a brand new concept. But it’s taken a long time – too long – to reach the part of the enterprise most critical to its success: the part that acquires new customers and grows revenue. Fortunately that’s now changing.
Not so long ago, outsourcing was all the rage when reducing costs. But more recently, enterprises have found that the need to respond quickly and change frequently – tying together information from many silos of the business – it’s more effective and more secure to bring what were once exotic specialities in-house rather than leaving it to a third party.
For example, we saw UK retailer Marks & Spencer move e-commerce systems from Amazon Web Services back in-house. Now appropriate and more mature applications are available to support this, many businesses are taking an intelligent and crucial step towards ensuring ROI on many processes like website development, SEO, and most recently marketing automation. Savvy digital marketers will anticipate that with the right tools, they can get the results they need without losing crucial time spent communicating with third parties.
This movement has been brought about by the collision of two big trends: the SaaS revolution, which has completely changed expectations of software those in enterprises and SMBs alike; and Big Data, where the variety, velocity and volume of information and in particular customer interactions can no longer be left to others. No longer are radically changing and arbitrary costs the norm for a service, instead people can bring processes in-house with the support of an effective SaaS platform, for a steady and fixed price. This has been an almost universal shift within business with but one exception because of its traditional moorings – adtech. But this cannot last.
For retailers, in particular, where the skills of using direct response advertising to capture opportunities in near-real-time and win new customers by rapidly shifting offers to reflect changing demand are crucial, the adoption of effective marketing automation tools is paramount. In a recent report from eMarketer, analysis shows US retail digital ad spending will reach $11.05 billion in 2014 shows, with a 70% emphasis on ads meant to trigger sales and leads than those intended to boost brand awareness – with increasing amounts being spent on direct response, the most value is going to come for retailers who need to make every penny count.
Agencies still have a role to play – their strategic insights are often extremely valuable, but creating a lot of advertisements rapidly isn’t something that makes sense to price based on a percentage of spend (CPM). Businesses are starting to realise Facebook has become an incredibly powerful channel for direct response advertising, and with the right technology they can maximise sales conversion rates, whilst keeping costs low and predictable. Adtech is by no means as mature as it should be, but in-house marketing teams, vendors and agencies alike are starting to wake up to its possibilities.Google+