Attrition is still a stubborn challenge for publishers and agencies that rely on their ad operations (AdOps) teams to keep their campaigns going.
This is a serious issue given the high cost of recruiting, hiring, and training campaign traffickers. It’s a situation that begs the question: What can we do to make these jobs more attractive so that experienced team members stay longer in their positions?
The answer is to eliminate the tedious and manual tasks that take up so much of their time, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks instead.
Consider this: According to research by Central Research Inc., AdOps teams spend about seven hours each week performing manual, repetitive (and, let’s face it, boring) tasks. That’s a full day out of the work week. In an industry that prides itself on smart automations and efficiency, that’s just unacceptable. But there’s good news on the horizon.
When Automation Works Well
Recently I met Daniel Opler, CEO of Adwallet.io, which is a Danish company that has automated one of the most mind-numbing jobs that AdOps spends several hours each week doing:
- Taking screenshots of ads as they appear in real environments.
- Packaging them into a PDF or PowerPoint.
- Sending them to the advertiser, agency, or both.
Screenshots are the modern-day tear-sheets that show clients that their ads are in working order.
I was a bit surprised by how much time taking screenshots required, but I quickly got an education. “It’s ludicrous that here we are in 2022, and AdOps teams in large publishing houses must manually take hundreds, sometimes thousands of screenshots per month, then insert it into a PowerPoint deck and email it to their clients,” he told me. “And because it’s so manual, these publishers can’t provide screenshots to all their clients, as much as they’d like to. Only the biggest clients get screenshots of their ads as they appear on their sites.”
Opler did what any entrepreneur does when they see a gap: He launched a company to automate this task. Think of it as a platform for programmatic screenshots.
Here’s how it works: Before a campaign goes live, the AdOps user determines which campaign screenshots to provide for the client — banner ad desktop, mobile, interstitial ad mobile, etc. Once the campaign goes live, the platform takes the screenshots automatically and stores them in a folder for that campaign. The platform takes screenshots of campaigns sold directly and those that appear “in the wild,” as Opler refers to programmatically placed ads.
AdOps user then selects which screenshots to send to the client. The platform then inserts them into a PowerPoint or PDF that includes the publisher’s logo and branding elements and sends it off. Some clients would rather import those screenshots into their internal systems via an API, which AdWallet.io easily supports.
What is the impact of this automation on AdOps teams? “In the world of AdOps, screenshots can be a pain point,” explained Sharon Goldsmith, Manager of Digital Advertising Operations for Tribune Publishing, Inc. “Eliminating a manual and mundane task, such as screenshots, has opened up time for growth opportunities. This has led to higher job satisfaction for our employees.” Now that process is automated, Goldsmith’s team can focus on optimizing and booking new business, a more rewarding task for all involved.
The Democratizing Effects of Automating AdOps Tasks
Automating repetitive tasks has a democratizing impact on everyone involved in the ecosystem.
The AdOps teams within publishers and agencies are relieved from repetitive tasks, like taking screenshots, essentially giving them back a full day of work to concentrate on other high-value and more personally rewarding work. “Nobody goes to university so they can take screenshots all day,” Opler said.
Conversely, employees who feel valued and engage in more meaningful work are far more likely to stay than look for another job. In addition to saving on recruitment and training costs, publishers or agencies benefit by keeping that hard-earned experience and industry knowledge on their payrolls. And their clients benefit from continuity.
It also means premium services like screenshots of ads appearing on a publisher’s website or in programmatic land can be made available to all advertisers, not just the ones with the million-dollar ad spend.