What is Ad Operations?

What is Online Ad Operations?

Ad Operations (aka "online ad operations", "online advertising operations", "online ad ops", "ad ops", and "ops" in the trade) refers to processes and systems that support the sale and delivery of online advertising. More specifically this is the workflow processes and software systems that are used to sell, input, serve, target and report on the performance of online ads.

Digital or online advertising is a subset of the advertising industry that references electronic communication promotions and marketing. This can include but is not limited to website display advertising (banner ads or rich media advertising), text advertising, search advertising (paid search results), online video advertising, mobile and device advertising (sms, wap display ads, video, application ads), email display ads and text advertising. These advertisements are a forum of revenue generation for content providers.

Ad operations is typically a department within a digital content publisher, ad network, ad technology provider (such as a rich media vendor or an ad server) or ad agency. They may fall under sales organization, information technology, or may be a separate entity.

The primary function of ad operations is to fulfilling the order of sale (also called an “ad campaign” or “media ad buy”) purchased directly by or on behalf of an advertiser (also called a “direct marketer” or a “client”). Therefore ad operations is a group that directly responsible for revenue generation.

Ad operations groups may be responsible for other functions such as pricing, ad product creation, research and vendor management depending on how the company is structured. This group may also be responsible for maintaining the hardware and software systems used that are used (such as ad servers or other technology) or that specific task may fall to information technology.

The ad buy is the amount of advertising the client wants to run for a given period of time on a specific placement. This is dictated by an insertion order or “IO.” The ad buy is purchased via the sales force and is then implemented by ad operations.

An ad operations team can be made up of many different roles such as ad schedulers (also called “ad ops coordinators”, “ad campaign managers” or “ad traffickers”), billing personnel, inventory management, yield management, vendor management and technical operations.

In addition there are other roles not directly related to the fulfilment of ad campaigns such as ad product and project managers, account managers, sales planners and sales engineers. These roles may fall also under ad ops or sales (depending on how the company is organized).

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