As an advertiser, you might find it hard to make the choice between managed and self-serve user acquisition. After all, these approaches are very different, and deciding which one will work better for you and your business takes a lot of consideration. Before settling for either a self-serve or managed platform, take a closer look at the advantages they have and the difficulties you might encounter.


Self-serve or managed mobile advertising platform: how to choose?


What are the benefits of self-serve?

Self-serve platforms provide users with the full control over their campaigns. The whole process of creating, managing, monitoring and optimizing the campaign performance is up to a customer. It does not require interference from an account manager. Self-serve platforms usually offer a user-friendly interface with an easy-to-use dashboard and sophisticated bidding algorithms. They give all the tools a client might need.

As more and more customers become aware of strategy and technology involved in mobile marketing, the demand for self-serve solutions increases.


“Clickky offers self-serve platforms both for publishers and advertisers in order to give our clients more options for managing their campaigns. Self-serve is a perfect solution for the companies that run on a tight budget and want a highly optimized tool, which minimizes their involvement in the campaign. For example, with Clickky’s self-serve platform there is no need to upload creatives and it greatly simplifies the task for advertisers. We try to build as simple an interface as possible.” — says Galina Divakova, CMO at Clickky.  


Cost-effectiveness is the main advantage of self-serve platforms. It is a great option for those who cannot afford full-service and vendor support. Additionally, it provides with more transparency and gives full insights about the campaigns. The users can receive all the information they need, set up their own campaigns and course-correct them once the campaigns are running.

However, self-serve is good for simple campaigns that have straightforward goals, standardized creative assets and basic requirements regarding analytics and targeting. This is most convenient for the companies that have qualified in-house team and enough time for managing the advertising.

The advantages of managed user acquisition

The “managed” or “full-service” user acquisition puts a team of experts in charge of all the activities regarding launching and optimizing a campaign. In this case, the professionals are tasked with supporting and assisting clients to help them meet their ultimate goals.


“Managed user acquisition includes some very time-consuming activities, such as making creatives for a campaign or running Facebook advertising. For large-scale campaigns and when time matters most, a better choice is to give the control over to the team of professionals. They can make changes swiftly and customize the campaigns efficiently.” — says Galina Divakova, CMO at Clickky.


Full-service support is a great option for the companies that value time-efficiency more than affordability. Giving the control to experts can eliminate time-intensive campaign setup and management processes. Another advantage — the support you receive when dealing with technical glitches or errors. Those can happen even with the most well-prepared campaign.

The industry is changing at such a fast pace, that standardized solutions might not be enough. The self-serve is ideal for a known environment, with no big technical challenges. But managed user acquisition is perfect for the situations that require special expertise. And of course, if you stick to the managed acquisition, you will not have to worry about the overhead cost of supporting an in-house team for running your campaigns.


Professional management of user acquisition for advertisers.


How to make the right choice?

There is no one right answer, whether self-serve or managed is a better choice. The truth is, you need to clearly state your goals, assess your needs, capabilities, and resources available to you. That is why Clickky offers both self-serve platforms for publishers and advertisers and managed user acquisition.

While the self-serve platform is great for reducing the cost of running the campaigns and getting all the control, it is better prepared for standard situations and straightforward goals. Managed user acquisition is a good choice for running lots of campaigns that might require technical expertise and innovative solutions. The team of experts can help to correct the course and even alert you about the problems before they appear. Having professional assistance is a major time-saver.

Eventually, you need to realize, which approach is more suitable to you and make the choice accordingly.