Having worked closely with ad ops teams for the last 15 years, I feel they bring durability and fulfillment to the advertising business. The amount of changes they’ve weathered in keeping pace with evolving technology while also meeting business demands is hard to fathom.
But despite all this transformation, what remains constant for ad operations holistically is a voluminous assortment of repetitive tasks. Ad operations professionals should be spending the majority of their time providing meaningful campaign ROI insights to customers.
There’s been no “genie in a bottle” to take care of all this repetitive work… Until now.
Don’t Fear the Bots
Welcome to the age of “RPA Bots,” which can be trained as co-workers to mimic monotonous ad ops tasks and free up time for revenue professionals to focus on customer engagement and innovation.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software to handle high-volume, repeatable, and rule-based decisioning tasks that previously required humans to perform using the computer.
To know more about bot development, you should log on to UiPath Academy and learn on how to make a simple robot. In fact, you can download the community version of the studio from the site and begin your first bot development journey.
New Frame of Work
AIWA—or “Ad-Operations Integrated Workflow Assistant”—is an automation framework that every ad ops team should consider while determining how best to automate in conjunction with a “human in the loop.”
AIWA can help you achieve three key objectives:
- Redeploy seasoned ad ops analysts to spend more time with customers and improve return on advertising spend.
- Move faster in offering custom and creative solutions to meet campaign objectives.
- Directly impact true ROI (customer satisfaction / revenue) via the ad ops team’s transformation.
The automation journey is all about picking the right processes to automate. To identify the low-hanging processes ready for automation, apply the Rule of 5—three straightforward rules.
- No more than 5 decisions made by each robot.
- No more than 5 applications connected to each robot.
- No more than 500 clicks.
If a process does not follow the Rule of 5, you need to look into breaking down the task or refining it before enabling automation.
Implementing automation is simple and straightforward. The first step is finding renowned RPA software (for example, UiPath). After that, it’s a three-step process.
Step 1: Based on the process identified, you will visually code the process and its sequence to mimic human actions.
Step 2: Once you code the process sequence, deploy it on an orchestrator. An orchestrator is like a central console that manages when processes runs and what kind of resources are allocated. It also logs all the actions generated by a process does. All changes to the process are versioned and monitored by the orchestrator. At any point in time an audit can be performed.
Step 3: Assign a machine/resource to perform the selected tasks. Once the deployed process is mapped to a physical or a virtual machine, the orchestrator will ensure the virtual worker performs the task based on different incoming events and intervals.
More Productive Ops Teams Begin With Automation
In contemporary ad ops, we’ve streamlined processes; digitized operations; deployed and integrated multiple systems such as opportunity management, inventory management, order management and reporting; and optimized cost with a tactical labor arbitrage model.
Yet the repetitive and voluminous tasks that we handle remains huge—whether they are performed in-house or outsourced. From our experience working with different agencies and publishers, we stress the value of RPA to reverse 70/30 ratio on trafficking tasks to analyzing and consulting the client on delivery.
Just beginning to integrate automation will significantly reduce ops’ trafficking time and free them up for more valuable analysis and client care.
Some Easy Tasks You Can Build Automation On:
- Populating I/O template from client correspondence (email/PDF)
- OMS order shell creation from I/O templates.
- Send order booking confirmation.
- Creative follow-up
- Set up creative and generate tags
- QA and traffic ad tags
- Access 3rd-party reporting
- Distribute screenshots
Reporting & Billing
- Monitor for delivery and alert variances
- Distribute pacing reports and final delivery reporting
- 3rd-party & viewability measurement reports
- Update reconciled and actualize numbers
- Send billable numbers to clients
- I/O audits