Leading Operations Online

Do you hear that sound? If you listen closely, you can hear dry erasers swiping whiteboards in conference rooms all over the globe. In each one, a digital tech company’s CEO and CMO are trying to push their ‘unique’ proposition to the advertising landscape by condensing its title into a three-letter acronym. 

It seems to be a rule within our industry that no tech can take off without a flashy acronym accompanying it. Why is that? Because as digital advertising grows more complex, more people need to be able to sound intelligent when speaking about the operationally driven marketplace that’s evolving. Being able to speak intelligently and truly understanding how the marketplace works however are two different things. If you are a leader in your company, are you ready for the operationally driven marketplace?

What Does an Operationally-Driven Marketplace Look Like?

Countless studies have shown that people are consuming more and more media through the web and through mobile...

In light of the big “day of action” by Occupy Wall Street last Tuesday, I thought it was an appropriate time to talk about a common theme of the protests: jobs. Over and over again we hear the chants of “jobs for the 99%.”

However, the positions of the protesters stand in stark contrast to the reality that my company and many ad tech start-ups face in NYC every day – too many jobs and not enough great people to fill them.

Currently at eXelate we have over 10 positions that have been challenging to fill at various levels of experience. And in speaking with colleagues at other start-ups, they are experiencing the same issue. Meanwhile, recruiters are raking in the dough hand over fist to squeeze round pegs into square holes, while young, smart people are marching for more opportunity. Where is the disconnect?

I don’t profess to be an economist (though I did play one on TV), but in my opinion, the real factors that are making it hard to find folks to fill key tech roles...

May 4, 2012 Denise Colella

The online advertising industry continues to experience significant changes as we see businesses trying to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a market now worth more than £1 billion in online display alone. One emerging trend seems to be the willingness of companies to collaborate in an attempt to become more competitive against market leaders. A recent example of this is the announcement of Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo! joining forces to sell online advertising space in an attempt to offer a genuine competitive alternative to Google. 

Previously, industry rivals rarely considered this type of partnership, as stimulus for collaboration had not been significant – until now. Back in 2007 a number of leading publishers – including EMAP, The Financial...

How does your group respond when a fastball project/request comes in and needs to be dealt with immediately? Do you take the kiddie soccer approach of everyone swarming the ball, or do you have someone on point whose role is to grab the ball (project), move it forward and get it to the right people?

Ideally it’s the latter, but an often overlooked function within ad ops that is worthy of discussion is Project Management. Full disclosure, my background is in project management and running large scale projects, but I’ll try to keep my bias out of the discussion.  

Working within lots of different ad ops organizations and running major projects, we know firsthand how difficult it is to connect all of the pieces and have a fully integrated technology stack. Even with unlimited resources, complex technology and multiple vendors in the mix can make it nearly impossible to create a seamless architecture. Then there are the constant fire...

April 30, 2012 mobile Liri Andersson

Once upon a time there was a white space, one generated by the need to connect content created, planned and bought by agencies, with online media properties. This need led to the innovation of a technology that enabled the placement of online ads, and that was the beginning of the advertising operations industry. It was an attractive industry, one with high growth, high profitability, and one where a premium price could be charged. 

But almost two decades later, the ad operations industry is facing the same realities as most growth industries. Despite its progression, it finds itself saturated with established players and facing a constant flow of new entrants, all in search of the same thing, advertising dollars.

Today, the barriers to creating ad operations technology are low, APIs exist and other players in the value chain can provide what was once a unique service. Finally, as economic theory dictates, the ability to command a premium price has diminished in accordance to the previous two...

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