The Vital Relationship Between Ad Tech Partners and Agencies

The increasing popularity of real-time bidding is having an effect on branding and media agencies. Many companies have even decided not to use agencies for their branding needs. In the past, businesses have usually hired an agency to handle their media demands as they did not possess the know-how or the ability to negotiate low prices like the agencies did. Now, however, agencies themselves often employ ad tech partners that purchase on the exchange. In these types of setups, it seems that the ad tech partner ends up doing most of the work, causing many businesses to wonder what role the agency plays in their bottom line.

The changes have also affected the agencies themselves. Many have had to lower their fees while still trying to comply with the expectations of their clients. Agencies also had to deal with ad tech partners that have begun to bill clients directly. This new custom cuts out the agency, effectively eliminating their ability to add margins. In an effort to avoid this, some agencies have begun to set up their own trading to try to gain back some control of real-time buying. A lot of businesses, though, are not satisfied with that option either.

Ad tech partners, on the other hand, do not seem to be struggling quite as much. Since they handle campaigns themselves, they retain more control over their fees and margins. The fact that more money is coming in allows them to fill in some of the empty spaces in regards to staffing that the agencies are leaving open. These companies can sometimes feel like they are trapped between the agencies that have employed them for so long and the clients that now want to employ them directly.

A smart ad tech partner would attempt to fill in the gaps within the agency that they cannot fill themselves, focusing their efforts on making sure their positions are only filled by qualified staff. Also, the content they bring forward should be helpful to the agency and valid for the client. The agency and the partner should go back to their roots and work as a team again, striving at all times to make up where the other lacks, and not competing for clientele—a partnership that benefits all points of a business triangle equally: client, the ad tech partner, and the agency.