If you work in marketing or run a small business, you’ve probably heard about agency trading desks and wondered if you should consider working with them. In this article, we will tell you all about agency trading desks, their pros and cons, and whether you should consider outsourcing your marketing to them.
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Agency trading desks, or ATDs are companies that specialize in buying media and running marketing campaigns for their clients. Their goal is to optimize marketing campaigns to deliver the best results within the clients’ ad budget. ATDs often use their own proprietary technology or third-party demand-side platforms, ad servers and other tools to provide the necessary results.
When you hire the services of an agency trading desk, the fee that you pay for the services of the agency trading desk fall into several categories: there are technical fees associated with the software that the trading desk develops and uses, data fees that cover data collection and analysis services provided by the trading desk, fees for professional targeting and analysis services. Overall, you can expect to pay 10 to 20 percent of your advertising budget to the trading desk, although this number can vary greatly among different companies.
When you hire an agency trading desk, you pay for professional services. ATDs usually have lots of experience running media campaigns for clients in different areas of business. Therefore, you can expect that an ATD will be able to buy media at lower prices since they are buying in bulk, collect and analyze data about your campaigns and optimize them to give you the best result for your money.
While agency trading desks promise to provide you with the best marketing services, claiming that you won’t have to worry about your digital marketing campaigns ever again, they have come under fire numerous times and many large companies have moved away from using them, choosing to buy media in-house instead. One of the concerns is that ATDs technically both sell and buy media, therefore, they have a conflict of interest that doesn’t always serve the clients well. Additionally, clients have expressed concerns over ATDs’ performance and results provided to the clients, including issues with efficiency, billing, media buy9ing transparency and more.
All things considered, you can try using the services of a media trading desk if you wish, but it is probably a better idea to go for the alternative – simply buy media in-house. Today, marketers and businesses have lots of options for licensing programmatic technology in-house. For instance, you can use white-label DSPs or self-serve DSPs to buy media, track the performance of your campaign, control your marketing spending and more.