Leading Operations Online

Digital media has lost a great talent with the passing of Curt Hecht, Global Chief Revenue Officer at The Weather Company, at the age of 47. A programmatic advertising pioneer, Hecht spent 24 years in a variety of roles Publicis Groupe before hopping the fence to the supply side. 

Before leaving Publicis, he served as CEO of the VivaKi Nerve Center and oversaw the creation of the Audience on Demand (AOD) agency trading desk. Even before that, he served as the Chief Digital Officer for StarcomMediaVest.

At Weather, he was part of the publisher’s major programmatic push that came in 2012 with new CEO David Kenny, another media agency veteran and former colleague of Hecht’s. In a letter to Weather Company staff, Kenny mentioned that Hecht had encouraged him to take stewardship of the company before jumping on board himself later that year.

“Curt and I both dream big, but he is the one who could turn the dream into a reality,” Kenny wrote. “When daily pressures created chaos and drama, Curt would prioritize and keep us focused on the most...

Somehow I, Sir Casper of the Pasty People, escaped the South Carolina sun with only the slightest of burns on my ears and neck (yes, my redneck is so bad that I have to hide it with a mullet).

Of course, I did spend the majority of the 36th American edition of the Publisher Forum in (heavily air-conditioned) conference rooms, moderating panels on programmatic and listening to the best and brightest in publisher ops lay out their biggest challenges. While I could probably write a few volumes on all the discourse, here are three issues that garnered a great deal of attention and conversation.

Header bidding. Also kind of nonsensically referred to as tagless tech. Ho boy, lots of talk on this one. Basically, altering a bit of your source code enables SSPs and other partners to look at all your inventory; a series of ascending price tags loaded in the ad server...

Match every impression with the channel likely to garner the most revenue – seems like the stuff of operational daydreams, but I’m not going to tell you to snap out of it. Such dynamic inventory allocation is real, oh-so-real, and it’s referred to as holistic yield management. I know that sounds like one more piece of empty industry jargon, but it’s actually a pretty appropriate name for what goes on.

Fortunately I had Vijay Balan, Head of Client Services at LiveRail, give me the lowdown on holistic yield management. In addition to defining the term, we deliberated on the revenue opportunities that should encourage publishers to forage beyond the direct/indirect divide and the compensation and organizational hurdles to dynamic inventory allocation.

GD: When I did a little research on holistic yield management, I was pleasantly surprised that it isn’t just a buzzword. This is a real thing, but it’s a little hard to describe. Is there a straightforward way you like to...

I feel like I've been eating, breathing and sleeping programmatic video over the past year. But have no complaints as this has to be one of the most exciting areas in advertising technology. Oh, you think I'm joking? Why don't you download our new playbook on private marketplaces and advanced studies in programmatic video and see who's clowning?

First, consider the money – according to eMarketer, programmatic channels will account for 28% ($2.8 billion) of all U.S. digital video ad spending in 2015. But you shouldn’t just be excited by revenue figures – a hefty percentage of those billions will be transacted through private marketplaces, which are paving the way to the future of digital video buying and selling… And likely TV transactions as well.

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Call me a borrower, a copycat or even a thief. Many years ago, Adrian D’Souza led the first AdMonsters session that had a large impact on me, and the outline of his operational process at CNET became the model for building out my department at Advance Digital. To this day I have no regrets about snatching his ideas for my own processes.

Following his tenure as VP of Ad Operations at CNET, Adrian headed up Media Revenue Operations at YouTube and the Google Display Network for several years before moving to Quantcast. Through his hard work with the IAB and AdMonsters, Adrian has helped raise the status of operations within the industry, which was why two years ago we recognized his accomplishments with a Digital Media Leadership Award

When I recently caught up with Adrian to see what’s happening at Quantcast, we hit on a wealth of topics: smart protocols for outsourcing, how ops can be seen as a...

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