Leading Operations Online

For most of us in the social media space, the big news coming out Cannes last month had nothing to do with awards or lavish cocktail parties. Rather, the biggest story was that Twitter plans to introduce advertising directly into user Tweet streams, possibly as soon as two months from now. Unsurprisingly, users voiced concern over being bombarded with ads in their streams. The consensus was that Twitter, still smarting from a poorly received mobile ad bar, needs to proceed very carefully to avoid any sort of backlash with this rollout.

But Twitter needs to go full-steam ahead with the rollout, regardless of user opinion. In-stream advertising is a smart move for Twitter, and it’s going to be hugely beneficial for Twitter users as well. But first Twitter needs to build in targeted advertising that appeals to consumers, while leveraging the existing application ecosystem to deliver these ads.

The promoted tweets program, as it exists right now, is great at driving brand engagement. In-stream advertising complements this program and drives real marketing metrics, such as clicks, re-tweets, and in-page tracking once consumers click through. But the biggest opportunity...

OPS Markets LondonThe London Film Museum provided a unique and inspiring backdrop to the AdMonsters OPS Markets conference last week; with close to 150 attendees enjoying a packed day of keynotes, expert sessions and debate, amongst the star-studded exhibits.

The Museum’s Historic Debating Chamber – once the site of many heated political and social stand-offs, and now used for theatrical productions, speeches and presentations – provided a more than suitable setting for morning Keynote Donald Hamilton – Partner Precedio Consulting – who opened the day's sessions with a lively discussion on one of the most hotly debated topics in digital media: data.

Donald’s presentation: What data do you want, and why? enthused and enthralled the audience - prompting many to join the debate and present their views to the floor -  and touched on key issues about data acquisition, usage and privacy:  

“We're all shouting from...

When you visit the homepage for Aol’s Project Devil, there’s a catchphrase across the top that immediately grabs you: "There’s no reason webpages should look the same as they did 15 years ago." I've never met a publisher who would disagree, but it wasn’t until recently that we saw any kind of effort to redesign one of the most old-fashioned pieces in online publishing: the ad unit.

New efforts to build engaging units that drive better interaction might be a sign that Project Devil – Aol's initiative to rethink standard IAB ad units – is working. Or perhaps publishers finally see the potential revenue windfall that comes with working hand-in-hand with an advertiser on a unique campaign. Regardless, we’re entering the age of the custom ad unit, and like any other format, there are a few things to keep in mind when building your units if you want them to drive real results.

To begin with, the key to any custom unit is to make it stand out. Customs units are on the top of everyone’s mind because standard IAB units aren’t getting the job done. Consumers tune them out, without fail. Think back to the advertising that really worked for you, the campaigns you...

We introduced the 3 Pillars of Success (People, Process and Technology) several weeks ago, to ultimately discuss each one in detail, and in my opinion, the People Pillar is the most important pillar

With fantastic people in your organization, you can overcome just about anything.  Whether it is a lack of standard/repeatable processes or poor technology, great people always find a way to overcome.  Granted, lacking in the other areas and expecting your people to overcome is not ideal, but more often than not, your people do overcome for deficiencies in other areas.  However, the reverse does not hold true where great technology or process will make up for unqualified people, it just doesn’t work that way.

Ad Ops is a great example of People overcoming technology or process challenges to get the job done.  Just take a look at your organization.  Many organizations today are using out of date technology or inefficient processes, yet your people still get the job done.  The most prominent technology within Ad Ops is MS-Excel.  Excel is so widely used because the processes and technology...

We’re long past the days of slapping ads on a website to make it profitable. Online advertising has advanced to the point where advertisers need more than just audiences at scale. They want their ads to reach the right audience. If a publisher can’t provide a brand or agency with the right targeting, the advertising dollars are going elsewhere.

The good news for publishers is that their sites are already generating the data needed to grow revenue through audience-targeted advertising. But managing that data by themselves is a fool’s errand, so most publishers partner with a Data Management Platform to simplify the process.

I asked David Rowley, Ad Operations Director at BlogHer, for some perspective on the challenges publishers face when they work with data, and how a DMP has made things easier for him:

The simplification

Trying to manage data on your own is next to impossible and will likely involve hiring extra staff to crunch the numbers, build and install the cookies, and interpret all the data into something you can leverage when making deals with advertisers. That’s one of the biggest reasons why publishers choose...

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