Level Up Your Ad Ops Skills While Working From Home

Whether you were laid off or you’re still working from home or perhaps even just starting to return to the office, the pandemic has presented a perfect opportunity for workers to upgrade their skills to either find a new job or advance their careers.

Skills training is even a great way for managers to bring their teams together and keep them motivated during these trying times.

On top of completing daily responsibilities and tasks, workers are looking for ways to connect with their teammates that feel more like the informal face-to-face water cooler moments they experience in the office. Training together can build team camaraderie, sprinkled with a dash of competitiveness just to spice things up. 

When it comes to the digital media and advertising industry, there are a few options to choose from. 

Right now the Trade Desk Edge Academy is offering free online courses and certifications, including Marketing Foundations to learn the concepts, language, and skills required to master programmatic advertising. 

Then there’s the free Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course with certification from Google. Like the Trade Desk’s Marketing Foundations, it’s also free. Plus there are a whole lot more courses to choose from. 

There’s even a highly-rated Introduction to Programmatic Advertising course on Udemy that costs under $100. 

But if you want to gain more specialized skills in a specific aspect of programmatic advertising, say becoming a Google Ad Manager pro you might have to do a little digging to find the right course. 

We caught up with Brandon Gains, VP of Marketing at MonetizeMore to learn more about why his company teamed up with PubGuru to bring AdSense and GAM training to ad ops professionals. We also talked about strategies for bringing teams closer together through training. 

Lynne d Johnson: Brandon, can you tell me a little bit about teaming up with PubGuru to offer the AdSense and GAM courses and certifications?

Brandon: Yes, this is part of a greater mission of empowering publishers. With PubGuru University, we are offering professional training courses that anyone can take at a self-pace, and then at completion, they get a certification. 

For Cyber Monday, we launched our AdSense course. And early in the pandemic, we launched our Google Ad Manager training. We’re creating a whole university with a bunch of different modules that can be taken to grow their technical skillset, as well as improve their standing within their department or team. And managers can enroll their whole teams into it.

LdJ: What was the impetus for starting this?

BG: We’ve been really great teachers with our onboarding and we have a training team and we realized this is really valuable stuff that we were putting out. We have a large inbound marketing strategy in terms of developing content and we thought there was a missing piece. People might read a blog post or get into a video, but they’re not getting in all the way. 

We thought there needed to be that commitment piece and the payoff of getting a certification for people to really take it seriously. Then people can show off to their managers that they’re ready to take the next step.

LdJ: How does the certification work? Are you verified by an industry-wide body, or are there some type of credits that can be used towards other programs?

BG: Right now it’s just from us We haven’t gone down the path of working with an institution, although that might be on the road map. But, it’s an E-certification that they can add to their resumé or their LinkedIn profile. 

They receive the certification by taking an exam at the end of the course. And after each video, we have little quizzes that prepare them for the exam. 

LdJ: So I’m ready to take the course. What’s the process? And how much is it gonna cost me?

BG: The courses right now are priced at $99 US and there are three-and-a-half hours of video content that’s broken down into two bite-size video lessons. The AdSense course is just under 35 videos and GAM is around 30. 

The GAM course goes through everything that you need to do, starting from step one of getting an account on AdSense to Ad Manager, planning out your ad inventory hierarchy, setting up your line items and just working through optimization. It just shows you what we do every day in our ad ops teams.

LdJ: I remember you saying your AdSense course was really popular. So why was now the time for a GAM course? 

BG: Everyone is still learning GAM. It’s one single platform that handles delivery, measurement, and optimization of advertising across all devices and platforms so it requires a lot of skill and know-how. With the great variety of tools and features in GAM it’s overwhelming to understand. 

LdJ: It seems that now is a really crucial time for people to start thinking about enrolling in courses to upgrade their skills. 

BG: One of the biggest verticals that is actually increasing spending is e-learning. Anytime there’s an economic downturn, there’s a wave of self-learning innovation that comes along with it. You’re really taking stock of where you’re at in your career and what you want to do with it. 

And for people who have their teams working remotely right now, it’s an opportunity to show that you’re willing to invest in their development. With remote work, it’s hard to get that team collectiveness. But if you have the shared mission of working through a course together, you can achieve that. 

LdJ: That’s interesting. How do you see online courses like yours being integrated into team building?

BG: With our training days, we’ve done things like lunch and learns. Maybe you can order everyone lunch through DoorDash, or another service like that, and everyone is online at the same time eating lunch and training together. You might even want to build in little challenges and award the winners. Or you could bring separate teams together, like dev and ops, to work together through the training.