Leading Operations Online

If you think standardizing and centralizing sales workflow across a few properties is Sisyphean effort, spend some time in Gannett’s shoes.

The national and regional media powerhouse is in the middle of a massive sales workflow centralization project and has already integrated a single-entry order system for digital products across 92 properties. (You’re allowed to have a Keanu “Whoa” moment.) At the heart of this mission is OrderHub, an entry system built on top of the Mediaspectrum platform that unites the CRM with the various digital fulfillment systems (DFP, email, social) as well as billing.

Centralizing workflow and order management has had most pleasant side benefits, including digital rate card standardization across regions and a shift in sales focus from banner ad sizes to holistically meeting local advertisers’ marketing and audience objectives. While the process has had its challenges, particularly with...

Device fragmentation has had a complicated effect on publisher efforts to understand and target their audiences. Where once a publisher could easily track user behavior and deliver targeted advertising across a site – or network of sites – with the help of HTTP cookies, that tool is virtually useless today outside web browsers. The same person may appear as three different users when they access publisher content through desktop Internet, a smartphone or a tablet.

We shouldn't go so far as to say the HTTP cookie is "dead," even though so many of the trade pubs have felt perfectly comfortable saying it is. It's more like cookies perform a limited function as an identifier, and in order to do good ID-matching, it's important to look at a whole range of other identifiers. These identifiers fall into two camps: deterministic and probabilistic IDs.

Deterministic identifiers are straightforward enough. These are based on some kind of identifiable data: for example, a log-in to a site, behind which is likely a...

Looking back on what happened in digital media in 2015, it’s hard to summarize it, exactly. I keep thinking of something AdMonsters’ Publisher Rob Beeler said during our Publisher Forum in La Jolla last month: One of Rob’s old lines about the state of ad ops is, “Everything is status quo; everything is changing.” And, generally speaking, that’s his take year after year on the perpetual state of ad ops. But more recently, it seems as though, as he put it, “change is changing.” The state of digital and the role of ops is growing into new shapes, pointing in new directions. When we look back, the path from there to here makes sense. Everything is a reaction to something that had been coming to a head for a long time. But the “when” and the “how” in these stories weren’t always predictable.

Throughout this past year, expectations around viewability have rattled publishers’ ad strategies. Widespread adaptation of ad blocking has pubs sweating potential...

The role of ad ops is complicated and ever-changing, and as expectations and responsibilities morph, it seems there's always something ops teams need to outsource. The tasks they choose to outsource, however, are subject to almost as much change. As 2015 draws to a close, it's a good time to assess where we are, as it pertains to what ops can handle in-house and what they have to pass along to someone on the outside. Craig Leshen, President of OAO, is the sort of person who can speak authoritatively about the year's biggest trends in ops outsourcing, and what ops teams might need to outsource in 2016. AdMonsters Publisher Rob Beeler sat down with him for a conversation that shows, as Leshen says, how important ops has become, and how ops continues to grow in its significance and responsibilities within organizations.

ROB BEELER: Craig, it’s that time year again, when people are budgeting for next year, and I always find more people...

As demand among buyers for quality video inventory has risen, so have the channels for transacting on video--programmatic video, video private marketplaces, programmatic TV. At the same time, so have the platforms into which advertisers feel enthusiastic about buying video inventory, with in-demand media bursting into outstream, mobile and other formats. Advertiser demand for video inventory is exploding in all kinds of direction, including outstream and mobile, and publishers are racing to innovate and expand their own offerings.  

But while publishers often approach these new possibilities with their eyes on the prize (advertiser dollars), it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re trailing in your path. Poor user experience has an ill effect, and so does weakened security that can leave the door open for bad actors. It’s essential here to consider the quality assurances that are specific to video advertising.


Sure, increased video consumption has been great for monetization, from the perspective of many...

Rocket Fuel