Leading Operations Online

Ask someone to explain what “programmatic” is and they will invariably use the word “automation.” Makes sense, but automation for whom? For buyers, programmatic platforms certainly automate the purchasing of media across sites. For sellers, programmatic brings hundreds if not thousands of buyers their way without sales having to pick up the phone. 

But let’s not forget that much of programmatic is not automatic yet. Operations is still left holding the bag with a number of manual tasks in this not-quite-automated process.

I asked Craig Leshen, President of OAO for his thoughts on the matter: “At OAO, each of our clients have specific rules and requirements for managing monetization. There’s no ‘one-system-to-rule-them-all,’ which works perfectly and achieves 100% fill at the desired CPM level. Therefore publishers may elect to utilize a variety of monetization partners to help fill unsold inventory across multiple platforms (desktop, mobile, web, mobile apps, etc).  Each...

December 11, 2014 opspov Gavin Dunaway

Gawker co-founder and CEO Nick Denton sent the digital media world into a tizzy Wednesday by announcing he was stepping down as president and replacing himself with a group of senior managing partners to oversee the media empire. As I scrolled through the list of the anointed, I saw one name that didn’t surprise me, but certainly made me smile: Erin Pettigrew had been promoted from VP of Business Development to Chief Strategy Officer.

According to Digiday, Pettigrew “is the most important person at Gawker you’ve never heard of.” But she’s long been considered a forward-thinker in the ops community, earning a Digital Media Leadership Award from AdMonsters this year. She’s also been a great resource for me over the years for numerous stories, and was a key...

“The good thing is that we are on a vendor stack,” commented Ricardo Collison, VP of Revenue Platforms for CBSi. “The bad thing is that we are on a vendor stack.”

A digital totem pole built out of a mishmash of mismatched pieces, the revenue tech stack stands in the center of the ad operations village, enabling the ads and revenue to flow. While every ops pro toils with the looming fear that the pile will come crashing down and bring the revenue machine to a deadly halt, on a day-to-day basis they are more concerned with optimizing the components, connections and processes to not only increase productivity, but also drive additional revenue. 

Which is why attendees at the Publisher Forum and other AdMonsters events often huddle together and ask each other, “Who are you working with? What’s in your stack?" 

Alas, there is no one perfect tech stack – each publisher will have its own...

First-party data is oil of the digital media landscape. While all kinds of publishers can claim it, the refinement process, not the drilling, makes the big bucks. Fortunately, technology has improved publishers’ refining abilities, not just in driving revenue from first-party data through on-site advertising as well as selling data to third parties and applying them to CRM and email marketing.

In addition, tech has vastly improved publisher content and audience extension efforts, so much so that CPMs and performance are comparable (in some cases better) to on-site advertising. According to a recent survey by Digiday and Audience Accelerator, Rocket Fuel’s business unit for ad sellers, 77% of publishers say they are “very familiar” with audience extension; 52% are offering the service to their advertisers, with 33% adding it to most or all of their campaign proposals.

There are no universal guidelines to...

November 17, 2014 viewability Joe Luna

I can’t remember any change in digital media sales that has been as dramatic as the concept of viewability. It paves the way for efficiency and opens the door to exciting metrics – for example, the idea of selling based on attention – which are good for advertisers, agencies and premium publishers alike. 

However, viewability also makes everything a lot more complicated. There are over a dozen MRC-accredited viewability vendors as well as many more that aren’t accredited – both lists are quickly growing. Some vendors are accredited for banners, others for video, some for standard display, and yet others for rich media. It’s not realistic or beneficial for any party to optimize towards viewability if each stakeholder trusts a different vendor that’s showing...

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