Self-Service Advertising: All You Need To Know

4 min readJun 22, 2021


In recent years, “self-service advertising” has become a popular buzzword. Simply put, self-serve advertising is any sort of advertising in which the advertiser manages his or her own budget, creative, and campaign execution. Self-serve advertising is a simple, low-cost way to grow your business.

It can be applied to any sort of advertising in which the advertiser does not need to deal directly with a publisher. Instead, the advertiser uses a self-serve platform to manage their advertising campaigns from one location without any interaction from the publisher at all.

We’ll take a closer look at self-service advertising in this article, as well as the differences between self-serve and managed services.

What is Self-Service Advertising?

Self-service advertising is a method of buying, creating, and publishing adverts on publisher platforms without the need for human interaction. It’s becoming a popular form of digital advertising, and it’s usually cost-effective because it doesn’t require any human involvement.

A self-serve advertising transaction consists of two parties: the platform owner or publisher selling advertising on the self-serve platform, and the advertiser purchasing ad space from the publisher via the self-serve platform.

To boost business efficiencies and cut costs, publishers embraced the issue of digital transformation and began developing self-serve platforms.

But, what are the differences between a managed service and a self-service platform?

With programmatic advertising, there are many options for advertisers to target the specific audience they want when they want. And there are two methods to doing this, either through managed services or self-service. To explain why you should use a self-service advertising platform over a managed service, it’s necessary to first recognize the four key differences between both.


Advertisers can see what ad inventory is available in real-time with self-service, and can purchase this ad space directly from the self-service platform, giving them complete transparency and control over their ad buying.

With a managed service, this is a luxury that isn’t as accessible. Advertisers have no real-time visibility into available ad space or paid ad inventory, which frequently results in them missing out on great ad placements and having no overall perspective of media planning.

Complete Control

On a self-service platform, advertisers have easy access to their campaigns and can make changes in real-time, such as ad creative changes, targeting adjustments, budget, and bid adjustments to name just some of them. Not to mention having a 360-degree view of all their data in one platform.

With a managed service, the advertiser receives campaign reports from the media strategist working for the publisher. This is time-consuming for the publishers but is also inefficient for the advertiser, as the data received in the report is often ‘old’ and changes are not made based on real-time information.

Faster Turnaround Times

The option to handle their entire campaign in-house is a big benefit for advertisers. With a self-service platform, the ad operations team has all the knowledge and access to all campaign data they require, reducing the time it takes to make campaign changes.

As publishers deal with many requests from advertisers on a daily basis, there are generally delays between when the advertiser receives campaign data and when the publisher has time to make the modifications with a managed service. As a result, important campaign budget is spent on ineffective strategies for the advertiser, as identified in the campaign report.

Reduced Costs

Campaigns are more cost-effective for advertisers because they are self-efficient and manage their own campaigns using a self-service platform.

Whereas with a managed service, the advertiser will pay the publisher a minimal cost, and important campaign budget would be wasted on unproductive methods such as delays in campaign updates. Not to mention the time spent corresponding with the publisher.

As a result, the advertiser benefits of using self-service advertising platforms outweigh the challenges of using managed services. With many advertisers shifting away from managed services toward self-service platforms.

How has the pandemic further moved advertisers towards self-service advertising?

The advertising landscape shifted when the pandemic struck. Publishers realized that having a sales team agree on contacts and work through the ordering process with advertisers isn’t cost-effective, and can have a negative impact on optimization and reporting because data isn’t housed in one system. They recognized that optimizing operations makes working with any advertiser, especially smaller ones, easier and more cost-effective. Ad ops teams spend a lot of time communicating with advertisers, and a solution to help reduce this, particularly when working with smaller advertisers, will help the publisher to increase efficiencies.

Publishers have been able to drastically minimize manual labor by using self-service, as ad operations staff no longer have to manually populate sales systems, approve designs, or prepare and deliver reports to advertisers. Ad operations teams now have time to focus on higher-level responsibilities like streamlining the company and increasing revenue for the publisher.


Self-service advertising adoption is likely to continue rising through 2021 and beyond. More advertisers are expected to switch to this cost-effective method of advertising. Leading to more publishers reaping the benefits of investing in self-service advertising technology, which will result in increased revenue. Self-service advertising is an area of advertising that will be one to watch in the coming years to see how the platforms evolve in parallel with the industry.

To learn more, read about the latest ADvendio Self-Service Platform release.

Originally published at on June 8, 2021.




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