SaaS Advertising Solutions for SMBs — Not as Turnkey as They’d Hope, But You Can Help

The Chief Marketing Officer of Viant, Jon Schulz, recently wrote an interesting piece in MarTechSeries titled “The Ad Industry’s Focus on Scale Has Ignored Small Businesses.

Schulz makes the point that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — which make up 99% of all private sector businesses in the US — are largely neglected by the advertising and marketing sector, yet they are the businesses that need the most support. A compelling statistic that he cites is that nearly 91% of SMBs plan to invest more in digital advertising in 2019, making them a valuable part of the ecosystem that should not be neglected.

This all makes perfect sense.

He then lauds the SaaS (software as a service) business model that allows SMBs to access enterprise-grade solutions cost-effectively and provides transparency into the fees associated with programmatic ad buying. His conclusion is that “you don’t need to look any further than the SaaS model, which better serves the small- and medium-sized business community.

However, at AffinityX, we believe that most SMBs don’t have the time or expertise to manage their advertising investments via one or multiple SaaS products effectively. It’s not a “set it and forget it” solution, and ensuring optimization of budgets and media requires ongoing maintenance. SMB owners shouldn’t have to learn and monitor advertising software in addition to their day jobs. Instead, they can turn to valued partners who can help them navigate the world of programmatic, Facebook advertising, search engine advertising and more.

There is a reason large service ecosystems sprout up around SaaS technologies to combine technology, people, and processes. It’s simple — adtech and martech SaaS companies sell products, not services. There is a huge service gap, especially when it comes to the smaller businesses that the industry expects to drive technology adoption.

Most SMBs have little experience in advertising and have no time to scramble up the learning curve. They need a “do it with me” (DIWM) or “do it for me” (DIFM) solution. SMB churn is as high as 60% annually for many providers. Why? Poor service levels from providers (55%) and poor program results (60%) are the top two reasons SMBs are dissatisfied with their current providers, according to the Local Search Association.

Without a team or some kind of service ecosystem to effectively leverage advertising and marketing SaaS, the value SaaS products provide is limited. To leverage the real power of any software or dashboard, each individual business requires a certain degree of customization and an expert partner to manage it.

AffinityX empowers local media and marketing services companies to be the best partner for SMBs, combining technology, people and processes to deliver real value. Contact us today to find out how!