Leading Operations Online

August 31, 2010 ad technology Lorne Brown

Draft Strategies for Ad TechnologyAnyone know what time of year it is?  That’s right, it’s fantasy football draft season.  If you’ve played before, you know that draft season is the most stressful time of year.  This is when you have to sit down, look at all the players that are available and decide which ones will help you win a fantasy football championship.  There are many strategies that you can deploy, and the most conventional is to draft running backs- fast, furious and early on.  Why?  They are the steady players that give you consistent point production.  But, fantasy football has changed.  Lots of NFL teams have moved away from running the ball and have opted for the exciting air attack.  This opened up opportunities for fantasy owners to structure their teams around additional point contributors like a Quarter Back like Drew Brees or a Wide Receiver like Larry Fitzgerald.  Decisions, decisions.

How does fantasy football relate back to digital media? 

Well, it’s also technology budgeting...

Counting DiscrepanciesPost provided by Catchpoint Systems.

Counting discrepancies in impressions, page-views, and other visitor data impact every online tracking company, publisher, and marketer. The cost of such problems varies and it impacts directly everyone involved. The sooner the problem is found and solved, the better it is for all.

Adservers, Ad Networks, Web Analytics, and Behavioral Targeting companies – all have products that rely on small image requests to track impressions of advertisements or user visits on the page. Every online company has been impacted at least once by discrepancies in the numbers they provide and the numbers of another company or product. Over the last decade the issue has become so common in the online advertising world that discrepancies of 1-10% are considered normal, and will not be investigated. Such discrepancies impact both marketers and publishers, and raises the cost of doing...

August 17, 2010 staffing Chris Haviland

Online Ad Operations Staffing ModelsStaffing Models 

The following staffing models are rough suggestions, as every publisher's culture and requirement is different. One organization might have many sites each with minimal inventory, another might have a single site with a lot of inventory. An organization may have more focus on e-newsletter advertising, or site advertising, or mobile device advertising. An ad network or ad agency might be structured a little differently.  

But no matter how you design your Ad Operations staff, keep a sharp eye on internal demand. If you're an online publisher, you should not permit your Sales department to invent new sites, new e-newsletters with display ads in them, new web sizes and ad positions, and new buy types or targeting schemes without consulting Ad Operations to see if it can manage the increase of work without staffing up or automating further. All innovative sales ideas for earning new revenues must be evaluated against implementation and operational...

August 11, 2010 staffing Chris Haviland

Ad Ops must be defined within the companyDefining Traffic Managers, Client Services Managers, and Analysts

Ad Operations must be clearly defined and communicated to the company, especially to the departments who interact with it. That is: what this staff does in this organization, and what this staff does not do. Otherwise, it is not unusual for Ad Operations to become the go-to group for whatever another department or employee needs, even tasks or data unrelated to Ad Operations. For example, unless Ad Operations has a site traffic analyst on staff, it should not field requests for page view reports or analysis. Or, if the staff is not responsible for sending e-newsletters, it should field requests for email sends or opens, or subscription database inquiries.

That doesn't mean Ad Operations cannot take on those roles, but it will need to be staffed appropriately and equipped with the required tools and access. A newsletter producer, a site traffic analyst and a traffic manager should not all be the same...

Advertisers should turn or into andEspecially 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...

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