Flite believes ad products are a core competency of today’s leading publishers. Moreover, Flite believes that it is time to move away from full service rich media vendors and to invest in the people, processes, and technologies that turn native ad format programs into a core competency.

Don’t Outsource Your Future: Why Publishers Need to Invest in Ad Product Teams


Simply put, audience is now a commodity. Running standard agency creative against a ComScore reach number is a fungible offering and race to commodity pricing. Audience based buying fails to capture the premium nature of the web’s top publishers.

What are the best publishers doing to combat commoditization?

Today’s top publishers are executing on ad product strategies that deliver native ad formats. Native ad formats, available from LinkedIn, Wikia, Condé Nast, BuzzFeed, Forbes, IDG, The Atlantic Monthly, and many others, replace the model of selling audience against standard creative with an offering that offers the buyer not simply premium content, context, and audience, but a unique ad format that captures the publishers’ secret sauce in ways that deliver true value.

What changes in strategy and operation are the best publishers implementing in order to win?

Traditionally, custom executions were exactly that; custom, expensive, projects that were limited to 5-10% of total campaigns sold. The traditional model included aligning with rich media vendors who provided full service solutions for custom campaign execution- design, development, trafficking, and reporting. When less than 10% of inventory, the full service, outsourced model made perfect sense. The full service model allowed the publishers to leverage the core competencies of the rich media vendor and to avoid the investments required to enable in-house execution.

Not any more. Today, publishers need to become expert at defining, delivering, iterating, analyzing, and improving ad product programs. Outsourcing the ad product process robs the publishers of building the muscle memory necessary to become expert in working internally and with brands and agencies to become the category leader in ad product programs.

Today, it is less about the project manager overseeing vendor execution and more about the doer. Publishers are hiring and building internal ad product management, design, and production teams that are as core to the mission as editorial and sales teams.

Accordingly, we believe the traditional model of outsourcing publisher-sold ad creative to rich media vendors is an anachronism. Today and going forward, the best publishers will invest in teams, technologies, APIs, and metrics that support native ad format execution as a fundamental capability.

Flite believes it is time to stop outsourcing core competencies, it is time to hire internal teams fundamental to revenue growth, and it is time to invest in the people, processes, and systems that will lead to long-term success.

Flite Ad Studio screenshot

Flite is the market leader in powering the publishers ad product teams with a cloud-based platform that supports the entire publisher ad product process across web, mobile, and video. Let us help you develop the internal muscle memory and competencies required to win in today's increasingly competitive market.