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Meet A.N Bansal – To Outsource, Outstaff, or Hire Ad Ops?

 Today we have selected Anastasia Nikita Bansal to take her interview. She is the Director of Enterprise Solutions at SmartyAds.

First, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

Lockdown took us ten years ahead in a blink of an eye. Judging by our digital habits – content consumption, online communications, online shopping, and entertainment, many things have changed for our company and the world. Businesses actively automate routine processes and advertising tasks, thereby saving time and resources.

Entrepreneurs realize that with new generation technologies like a white label, they can do everything much easier and faster; this is why we aren’t seeing a shortage of clients, in fact, quite the opposite. We ended up drastically increasing our team since our retention went up by more than 96%. 

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?

I’m currently growing the White Label branch devoted to SaaS platforms like White Labels for Enterprises (white label SSP, DSP, SSP+Ad exchange solutions). I’m also leading outsource and out staff projects. I’ve been cooperating with SmartyAds since 2017. Still, before this, I’ve also worked in Informational Technologies and White Label industries – namely, I polished my skills in project management, business analysis, and management as a whole.

Remember it like now – It was December 2017 when I started consulting SmartyAds as a project manager for their WLS SSP. Can’t believe it has been five years since. During this time, we’ve merged and reorganized several teams to achieve this outstanding structure of Enterprise solutions. The company has a strong and qualified team that can adhere to the best ad tech industry standards. 

How does your company innovate?

Programmatic brought automation and a great level of targeting precision into the advertising industry. With time, many brands started shifting programmatic in-house as they realized they could cut budgets they normally pay to service providers. Many companies started their ad tech businesses, take, for instance, Spotify or Procter & Gamble. However, starting a programmatic business from scratch was not something available until a few years ago. 

With a new business model like white-label, companies learned how to ‘hack’ the time-consuming and costly process of building the business in programmatic. We are that company that offers a white-label technology based on which companies can build their self-branded ad exchange. The pre-built core of white label technology is a key that decreases deployment time (to 7 days) and eliminates labor involved (and thus overall deployment cost). 

The other point of innovation is the outsourcing service that we offer to the same businesses. By our staffing professionals from us, entrepreneurs can focus on business while our employees service their solutions. This way, they access the best ad tech talent that is hard to find in the labor markets. Sure, there are also models like outsourcing and hiring staff. However, we’ve pinpointed that outsourcing is the best model for hiring employees in ad tech.

This way, the company doesn’t have to meddle with HR tasks such as screening, testing, hiring, taxation, and finding work equipment for the employee (like an in-house model). Still, the entrepreneur can manage the workflow of the hired employee (which is unavailable in outsourcing). 

Outstaffing is most suitable for SMBs and companies that continuously scale their businesses because they often experience an acute shortage of employees. Such companies typically have their own established management model and workflow processes. For this reason, outstaffing currently appears to be the most popular hiring model for those ad tech businesses that strive to nourish their talent in-house but without meddling with labor-related issues.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

We’ve survived a global economic crisis in 2020 and successfully entered a new tech cycle in 2021. During this period, our business even expanded to new markets – Israel – then we explored the Asian region (Hong Kong, China), LATAM (Argentina, Uruguay), USA, Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine). Our agile approach, responsiveness to the market’s change, and attentiveness to the needs of our clients have been defining for the success of our product.

Also, I can say that our talented ad ops team and customer service play a big role in managing this crisis together. Even after trying similar solutions, customers keep returning to us because, like no other company, we care about our customers after the purchase; we advise them and guide them on using technology to boost their business outcomes, ROI, and profits.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

I think in this sense our company has a great fortune. Pandemics made many business owners rethink their approach to advertising, optimize it and adopt technologies that automate routines. For instance, starting a fully working programmatic platform became a matter of days thanks to the white-label technologies. Getting access to the best employees for platform servicing, we also simplified with outsourcing service. The advertising market needed innovation, and we were at the right place and time to offer our technology and people (outstaffing). 

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Now, during the pandemics, many employees at our company work remotely. It is a normal practice for companies around the world these days, and this is why we now rely more on technologies to stay connected as a team. We hold regular calls with our clients via Zoom, and internal communication is happening in Slack. For our daily workflow, we also use Gsuite and Jira task manager.  

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

There are very few alternative solutions to our products. To be exact – currently, the market doesn’t offer competitive solutions that would offer the same functionality and level of customer care. Sure, it is quite a brave statement, but we specifically researched the market to pinpoint our position and the strong and the weak sides.

In terms of technology, for instance, only our white-label platforms enable certain media-trading connections. We also have a proactive team that is way more than just customer support. It guides and actively educates the client to ensure that their business thrives. Finally, we are searching and outstaffing employees individually for every platform owner to ensure they align with their specific business requirements. 

Your Final Thoughts

The majority of companies in ad tech have been going through a digital transformation during the last couple of years. As digital advertising is closely related to technologies, entrepreneurs are looking to simplify programmatic business entry.

Thanks to new technologies like the white label, it all becomes easier like never before. Outstaffing the ad tech talent meanwhile streamlines rare talent attraction and costs on keeping employees in staff. We are going through a turbulent period, but it also gives us opportunities to innovate, optimize work and achieve better business outcomes. 

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