Leading Operations Online
Especially in this economy, it’s clear that there are pressures on everyone in the advertising ecosystem to do more with less. This leads to advertisers (or their downstream reps, ad buying agencies) trying to figure how to allocate resources in the most effective way possible. But some of the thinking I’m seeing seems a bit rushed. In particular, many decisions are being framed as “either/or” when they can be looked at more effectively as optimizations (“and/”how much”).
Ad Networks vs. Publishers
Ad networks are the big online financial success story in the new century, especially if you count Google’s AdSense in that mix. Ad agencies that were initially skeptical are now seeing the benefits of scale and ease of going to a smaller number of vendors to deal with their advertising needs. The ad networks will argue that you can get to many of the publishers without a direct relationship. So, what’s not to like?
Publishers will argue on the...
Within the Ad Ops community, the turnover of people coming in and leaving can be nonstop. It might seem like you are always training the newbie. Training new traffickers can be a daunting task if you approach your employees with an overload of information. The 5 steps below are guidelines we follow at Operative, that have proved to be incredibly beneficial to traffickers, as well as our customers.
Set the stage for what lies ahead
Learning to traffic is like learning a new language. And with that learning, there can be a fair amount of initial frustration. To combat this, communicate with your new trafficker throughout the entire training. Provide clear direction. Take things one step at a time and don’t overwhelm them. Always encourage questions! If they don’t feel like they can ask you questions continuously, then they will develop bad habits that could negatively affect your campaigns.
Reinforce the need for...
Rob Deichert Jr., Senior Vice President of Ad Operations at The Weather Channel, will be presenting a Focus Session: Publisher Success Across Multiple Platforms: The Operations Opportunity at OPS in NY on September 30, 2010. In advance of the event we asked him a few questions about multiple delivery platforms and ad serving.
1) Can you briefly talk about your responsibilities as SVP of Ad Operations at the Weather Channel?
RD: I'm responsible for the ad operations of our websites, desktop applications, as well as our mobile apps and sites. In addition to this I also am responsible for the pricing, inventory, and yield management for these platforms.
2) Devices such as...
Focus and Clarity
Employees perform better with focus. Mixing different job descriptions that might sound like they can co-exist, such as a web producer and a traffic manager in the same role, can create tremendous difficulties that will inevitably result in employee retention challenges and failing campaigns. I call this the "Swiss Army Knife" philosophy, where a company disguises the fact that they do not want to invest in enough staff to meet internal workload demands by stating that multitasking is a desirable trait capable of quality results.
The facts are quite the opposite. Doubling Ad Operations up with web producing, billing, or any other function will lead to a higher probability for error, miscommunication, time management conflicts, and as I stated above, irreconcilable priorities.
For example, if a web producer needs to finish building a microsite by end of day and suddenly a sales rep calls and says their targeted CPM campaign is failing and it...
When I was first hired to be a traffic manager in 1998, founding the ad ops department for Mail.com, in the interview my hiring manager said, "We don't want a 'yes' man." What did she mean by that?
Ad Operations workers are generally analytical and technical people, and most of their internal customers are sales reps who are generally expressive and forceful. Each personality type is what it has to be. Sales people have to drive past the 'no' they get from prospective clientele in creative and sometimes aggressive ways. That trait makes them skilled at selling. Ad ops people, on the other hand, have to methodically attend to the technical aspects of ad serving while keeping a good attitude, and take great care to document their assignments because they will otherwise find themselves the target for blame when anything goes wrong.
If a traffic manager simply did what ever any sales rep asked them to do, the Ad Operations department and...