Leading Operations Online

Rob Deichert Jr of The Weather ChannelRob 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...

August 3, 2010 staffing Chris Haviland

Multi-tasking in Ad OpsFocus 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...

July 27, 2010 staffing Chris Haviland

Online Ad Operations: Properly Defined and How to StaffStrong Leadership

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...

Rich Media Advertising is evolvingThe world of creative in online advertising is constantly evolving. It seems that every month we’re reading about new types of creative that can be implemented on a publisher’s web site. While many still use plain images to do their advertising (and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!), we are beginning to see that advertiser’s want to more to directly engage the user, and when they do, it leads to quantifiable results.

While Flash® is still considered ‘Rich Media’ by many, it is quickly becoming ‘standard’ creative in this day and age. Flash® ads are now so common that even as a user myself, I do not feel that it captivates my attention like many of the newer brands of creative – ads such as push-downs, interstitials, and floating ads, while sometimes annoying to the user, also present a better opportunity to capture the user’s attention.

So if you are a publisher and want to get involved in the freshest types of rich media, here are 3 things to know so that you aren’t caught off-guard by the...

July 22, 2010 staffing Chris Haviland

 Online Ad Operations: Properly Defined and How to StaffAd Operations is the most widely used name for the department in a company that manages the advertising closed by account managers or sales reps.

Fundamentally, Ad Operations is a team of ad traffic managers, although the overall team description is (or should be) more than just managing ads. These are titles that migrated into the internet business from other advertising media such as print (especially periodicals), radio, and television. However, except for the general description, these variant forms of traffic management are nothing alike, and they should not be treated the same way. Online Ad Operations is arguably the most intense, technical, and difficult form of ad trafficking, and it would behoove any company with an internet venture to develop and manage its Ad Operations team as seriously as their IT, web production, editorial, sales, marketing, and other staffs.

Many ventures have no formal Ad Operations department, rather they have one or two ad traffic managers....

Rocket Fuel