Leading Operations Online

Thirteen years ago, Dennis Colon took a job at Conde Nast that no one else wanted. Now as Senior Director of Revenue and Advertising Operations, he’s a major force in the sweeping changes that have shook up the media giant’s revenue business in the last few years. In the video below, Colon dives into the evolution of Conde’s ad initiatives, how structure produces efficiencies and how operations stays on the cusp of ad tech innovation.

Rob Beeler: In many ways, Conde continues to be at the forefront of operational issues (viewability, native, programmatic direct, etc.) - how are you able to do that?

Dennis Colon: We try as best as we can to be at the forefront or part of the conversation when it comes to new products or initiatives. This allows us to be a part of the development of new products as well as frame the conversation.

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With 14 years in the digital media trenches, Kerel Cooper, Senior Director of Digital Ad Platform Strategies at Advance Digital, is a great resource for the whole AdMonsters community on a wealth of topics – most notably, audience extension. Not only has he witnessed ops’ transformation from cost center to revenue generator, he’s undeniably been a driving force in this change. In the video and interview below, he details why ops is a rewarding career path and the importance of keeping up to speed with a rapidly changing industry.

Rob Beeler: You mention in the video, the change of ad operations from cost center to profit center. Can you share with us how you were able to make that shift?

Kerel Cooper: To be clear I was speaking in more general terms of how I have seen the Ad Ops function change from where Ad Ops was in 1999 to where Ad Ops is in 2014. I think as technology has improved, more data is provided and the types of advertising opportunities have grown Ad Ops...

I have just emerged from my sensory deprivation chamber following AdMonsters’ June 10 OPS conference – the stimulation of more than 500 industry players roaming four floors devoted to native advertising, multiscreen and technology was too much to digest. Just before I went into shock, Content Czar Rob Beeler guided me to AdMonsters’ secret lair underneath the UN Building, where he locked me into the chamber with orders to process all I could from that hectic day.

In the damp, dark silence, I was able to refine my seemingly infinite learnings into a compact form – six major takeaways. I was almost able to embrace the listicle format I’ve been studying on ClickHole, but alas, my legacy journalist habits still plague me to write in paragraph format. One day I’ll catch up with new media style, one day…

1. Creative production was a big issue from the get-go, and it’s clear that publishers are stepping up in...

It’s hard enough overseeing the ad operations tech stack and processes of one publisher; imagine juggling multiple publishers. But that’s exactly the mission companies like Outsourced Ad Ops (OAO) have taken on – and they have to do it well enough to be profitable and grow as a company. While that task may seem Herculean, it also happens to give OAO a unique and broad perspective of the industry.

I sat down with Craig Leshen and Michael Alania, President and Vice President, respectively, to learn more about the intricacies of outsourcing ad ops as well as their takes on the top issues of the day.

Complexity is the bane of any ad ops person’s existence. How does technology add to or mitigate complexity for ad ops?

Our industry is definitely complex, and it will continue to become even more so as technology advances to produce more opportunities to deliver digital ads across devices and platforms. Technology should be complex. There’s a lot of...

Viewabilty has been a big topic at AdMonsters events since the term came onto the scene. When the MRC recently rescinded its advisory against transacting on a viewable basis, we wanted to know how much it would affect publishers right then—and in the future.

We conducted a survey of ad operations leaders at more than 50 publishers about their experiences and garnered their opinions on the state of viewability. Some results echoed what we had heard at various Publisher Forums, while other answers completely surprised us. 

While viewability is hardly taking publishers by surprise – many are already actively testing multiple vendors and taking the necessary steps to improve viewability – the discrepancies surrounding solutions abound.

The MRC's decision to lift its advisory was met with optimism for the nascent metric, but many publishers saw the move as premature. Buyers' viewability demand is steadily climbing, yet...

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