Ad fraud, the GDPR, and ITP are not the only problems AdTech companies must tackle today. Many are struggling with problems associated with their main offering – their technology.
Which Problems Are You Currently Facing?
If you’re like most AdTech companies, you’re likely facing these technological challenges:
- Too many client requests and not enough time to address them.
- Not enough technical resources to expand your core product or build new features or tools.
- A lack of experience, skills, and knowledge among your in-house developers or external development team.
What Impact Is This Having on Your Business?
The impact of this problem varies greatly from company to company, but here are a few of the main ones:
- Lack of data ownership
- No control over the product roadmap
- Can’t compete or differentiate your business from the competition
- Low revenue and profit
- Difficulty winning over new clients
- Can’t expand into upcoming areas (e.g. CTV, DOOH, etc.)
- Complaints from clients about the lack of performance and features of your existing platforms
The Solution: Hire and AdTech Developers
The solution may seem simple, however, hiring and AdTech developers ends up causing a whole set of new problems.
The three main options companies have when hiring and AdTech programmers include:
- Hiring in-house AdTech programmers.
- Working with an outsourcing or body-leasing company.
- Partnering with a specialized AdTech and MarTech development partner.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each option.
In-House or AdTech Developers
Accountability: There’s typically a higher level of accountability when developers work for a company directly.
Cost: Hiring developers is a lengthy process, meaning you miss out on productivity while going through the recruiting process. You’ll also have to continue paying your employees a salary when development is scaled back—for example, when users are testing the software.
HR issues: Hiring, firing, juggling leave and ensuring you have the right number of technical resources at all times adds risk the success of the project.
Quality: If you don’t hire developers with AdTech development experience, you’ll receive a low-quality product as they navigate the steep and long learning curve (AdTech and MarTech are specialized areas of software development).
Outsourcing or Body-Leasing Companies
Outsourcing (also referred to as body-leasing) companies are generally made up of hundreds or even thousands of designers and programmers who can be hired by AdTech vendors and agencies to work on their projects.
Offshore outsourcing may be associated with working across time zones. This could impact daytime communication.
Nearshore outsourcing, on the other hand, involves working with companies located in closer, neighboring countries. Such a collaboration may not differ much from employing developers, provided the teams use proper tools supporting remote-team management.
Outsourcing development offers a number of benefits. Let’s go through them to dispel any doubts:
Cost: In some cases, hiring developers from an offshore outsourcing company can work out to be cheaper than hiring developers directly. However, nearshore outsourcing options may, in specific situations, turn out even more expensive than hiring people directly.
Finding talent: With the growing demand for talented IT specialists specializing in specific technologies, outsourcing is increasingly becoming a necessity, rather than just a way to find cheaper labor. It may be the only way to find talented professionals with specific domain knowledge.
Speed of hiring: Outsourcing can save you the time and hassle associated with employing your own developers. Because the outsourcing company has its own specialists on board, the team is available for an immediate start.
No HR issues: Somewhat of a spin-off of the above, you are only paying for the actual development time, and avoid all the HR problems and legal issues associated with hiring new people (relocations, visas, work permits, etc.).
Quality: Finding outsourcing companies with the required skillset and experience in designing, developing and maintaining advertising and marketing technology is one of the main challenges that vendors, brands and agencies face. Lack of domain expertise and knowledge of the inner workings of the AdTech ecosystem may compromise the quality of the project. In extreme cases, the product may not be released at all.
Time to market: Hiring outsourced developers is possible in a much shorter time than hiring in-house developers or partnering with a specialized development partner, but the actual time it takes to release the final AdTech platform to its initial users will be much longer.
This results from the situations when developers – no matter how good – lack the specific domain expertise required to finalize your project. The project’s steep and lengthy learning curve that the outsourcing partner has to face not only extends the time to market, but also causes a number of other major problems that are impossible to predict at the beginning of the collaboration.
Accountability: Large body-leasing companies seldom offer the desired levels of accountability.
Specialized AdTech Development Partners
A specialized development partner is a company that has extensive experience in a specific area of software development. Such companies typically provide full-service development resources: designers, project managers, front-end and back-end developers, DevOps, and QA and testing specialists.
Quality: Partnering with specialized AdTech engineers can result in a higher quality product compared to working with in-house or outsourced developers without specific domain experience. Projects without the support of experienced developers who understand the workings of AdTech are doomed to failure.
Domain knowledge: Explaining to your in-house or outsourced programmers terms like frequency capping, CDP, CRM, or cookie syncing puts you behind the eight ball. An AdTech development partner that understands online advertising and marketing industries, both from fundamental and technical perspectives, will save you a lot of time educating the developers about how AdTech and MarTech work.
Technical resources: A specialized AdTech programmer will have all the required know-how and resources necessary to manage the entire technical side of the project. This takes a lot of trouble off your shoulders and gives you the comfort to focus on your day-to-day activities – building your business and reaching new clients.
Time to market: AdTech and MarTech platforms (i.e. DSPs, SSPs, CDPs, and CRMs) inherently come with loads of features, and because they require numerous integrations with other systems, an inexperienced development partner would find it hard to identify the set of core features for the MVP.
A more experienced developer can help you identify the features that should be included in the MVP-development phase. On top of that, such a partner should also advise you on the ideal tech stack (frameworks, infrastructure and programming languages) for the project in the prototyping phase. This way, you will be able to release the first working version to initial users within the shortest amount of time possible.
Cost: Elimination of the disadvantages of the two previous development options comes at a cost. Specialized development partners are usually more expensive than most outsourcing companies. In fact, the cost may be around the same mark, or even higher than when hiring in-house developers, depending on the location of your company. Developers in a high-cost city (New York, San Francisco, London, etc.) always come with a heavy price tag.
However, the investment will still pay off in the long run as you’ll receive a product that meets your business’s needs and requirements.
Here’s a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of the above development options:
Clearcode is a full-service AdTech and MarTech development company. Since 2009, we’ve partnered with vendors and agencies to design, build and maintain high-performance advertising and marketing technology.
Our in-house team of designers, developers, project managers and DevOps have built many different types of AdTech and MarTech platforms, including demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs), and data- and customer-management platforms (DMPs and CDPs), as well as integrated existing platforms with other components and tools.