Leading Operations Online

Editor's note: In April at our OPS London event, Tim Faircliff, General Manager, Thomson Reuters, gave a session on Best Practices in Multi-platform Digital Media. The transcript from that session is now available below.

Session Overview:

The role of Ad Operations is rapidly evolving as it acts as the “Engine Room” in terms of revenue delivery and optimization. Ad operations is not just about trafficking advertisements but about helping execution, customer service and business direction. Data drives our understanding of business operations and it is the ad operations teams that are holding those important data sets to inform business strategy. Aligning Ad Operations with other areas of a business, such as finance to exact operational excellence will enhance the performance of the business.  For businesses to benefit they need to re-evaluate the importance of the roles and functions involved in ad...

GhostWriter lets you prioritize when and how you load third-party content, like ads. Your users see what they’re looking for sooner which increases engagement and improves your search engine rankings.

One of the ways it does this is by introducing a smarter replacement for the standard document.write method. Couple this intelligent proxy with GhostWriter’s hooking mechanisms and you can measure the performance of individual components from the end-user perspective and send this data to a system like Google Analytics.

The reports lets you see a list of all third-party resources.


Our post last week talked about the startOffset and loadTime events; however, we’ve now added the componentLoad and componentTimeout events to this page. Here’s an overview of what each one means:

  • startOffset — The...

"Private Exchange" is probably the only buzz word in the industry right now without a TLA. That’s almost a crime considering the huge potential they offer to both publishers and advertisers. Much has already been discussed about their proposed value prop for publishers—greater control over inventory prices and ability to dip their toe into the RTB world while still controlling which advertisers buy inventory, to name a few—however I think the real potential lies in what it can do for advertisers, which is to finally scale RTB, making more high quality inventory accessible via RTB & through DSPs.

Before we jump into the potential value for advertisers, it’s worth noting just how much private exchanges and their inception point seem like a bit of a call back to vertical ad nets. For those new to the game (or just feel like a brief trip down memory lane), just 3-4 years ago, as a response to the growing cartel-esque control ad nets had over publisher’s remnant inventory prices, many top tier publishers (& media conglomerates) pulled their inventory from 3rd party nets & instead began siphoning it into their own vertical ad nets. These...

Being on the media agency side of the industry, we have the unique opportunity to get the inside view of all platforms and technology providers. We can opt to have partners be a preferred solution, or form agreements with as many as possible to promote competition.

Because there are so many different solutions out there, it can be very cumbersome to evaluate them. There are ad networks, demand side platforms, ad exchanges, ad severs, mobile ad servers, campaign management platforms, data visualization tools, tag management systems, ad verification services, and the list goes on. (Notice I left the three letter acronyms out. It’s easier on the brain this way.)

Where does an agency begin to evaluate these tools? How do they make a decision?

Our process always begins with a product demo. Screenshots are never enough, and honestly, when your aim is to see what the technology can do, nothing beats seeing it in motion. After a product demo we feel would greatly benefit our clients and teams, we immediately brainstorm clients this would be a fit for. For example, if we’re looking at data visualization tools for reporting, a few questions we might run through are-...

We saw that Google Analytics now supported Page Load Time metrics out-of-the-box and started thinking about how we might be able to use GhostWriter’s insights into third-party content (read: ads) performance to give users of both GhostWriter and Google Analytics highly granular performance measurements.
GhostWriter’s hooks allow you to execute custom call back functions at the beginning and end of each ad call. The hook records the timing of each of these events and submits custom events to Google Analytics using its _trackEvent() method. We’re using this page to test.

Ad Load Time Reports

Check out this eye candy. All Event values are in milliseconds.

Average loads times:

loadTime Average By Position

Distribution of ad load times:


Rocket Fuel