Q and A: Speakers at the Publisher Forum in Amsterdam

Last week AdMonsters held the 16th European Publisher Forum in Amsterdam. Before the conference we asked several of the speakers key questions on topics that are important to ad operations. While all of our conferences are focused exclusively on online ad operations, the Publisher Forum is even more specific in its focus, with attendance limited to just one hundred of the most senior leaders in ad operations and technology at online publishers. If you weren’t able to attend the conference check out this Q and A to gain some insight on what was discussed. Also be sure to take a look at the photos from the event on Flickr and find key points on the Twitter Feed #publisherforum.

Keynote Speaker: Paul Lomax, Chief Technical Officer, Dennis Publishing

Q: As the CTO of a large publisher, where do you see Ad Operations fitting into the overall structure of your org? Do you feel they are critical to your business and why?

Paul Lomax: All too often I’ve seen Ad Operations left in the back room of publishing companies, lumped in with production or admin teams. The reality is that they are a lynchpin of any online business that’s predominantly ad funded. They have to work closely with a range of people within the business, from sales people to UX designers, web developers, SEO/PPC managers and content editors in order to ensure delivery.

Of course they have to physically sit somewhere, so our Ad Ops team is embedded on our sales floor, which works really well. They get fewer surprises from sales because they’re in earshot, and because they work hard on the relationships with the techies and editorial guys they’re kept in the loop there too.

They’re critical to the business because failure to deliver is simply not an option. Also, Ad Ops teams have reams of data at their fingertips and that information can really help us make business decisions. By proactively working through issues with other teams such as web developers, editorial or marketing they can have a real impact on the bottom line.


Paul de la Nougerede, Head of Commercial Strategy and Operations – Digital, telegraphmediagroup

Topic: Tablet Devices – Evolution or Revolution?

Q: What is the great challenge ad operations has when it comes to new technologies such as the iPad?

Paul de la Nougerede: One of the biggest challenges has been to ensure the ad serving technical solution meets the requirements of the consumer and the business whilst remaining in our core ad ops workflow. The lack of industry standards means we spend a large amount of time testing to get the optimal user experience.


Alexandra Frase, Team Leader, Ad Management, Axel Springer Media Impact
Topic: Working with Agencies

Q: In your session you will be speaking about ad operations groups working with agencies. As a preview to your presentation is there one particular best practice you recommend?

Alexandra Frase: As the project I am going to present is not yet finalized the identification of best practices is somewhat preliminary, requiring corresponding caution.
In general terms, it is evident that establishing an automatic procedure will contribute added-value by enabling a more efficient response to a repetitive process. In order to harness the potential of automatic procedures, the OVK has developed concept which utilizes a standardized interface for conducting offer and order processes. In my presentation I will in particular highlight the tangible and wide ranging benefits of standardization in ad operations.

Martin Van Der Meij, Yield Manager, De Telegraaf
Topic: Yield Management: Why we do what we do

Q: What are some of the challenges to overcome when it comes to yield management?

Martin Van Der Meij: The biggest challenge for all publishers is to stop making Yield Management about remnant inventory and to start focusing on their sales propositions. There has always been a wall between the primary sales channel (the publishers sales teams) and the secondary channel (exchanges, adnetworks etc). It’s time to tear down that wall. Of course this will require a lot of innovation and reorganisation to answer the following critical questions: How do you combine your premium sales with performance driven sales? How do you keep focus on site-selling without losing focus on audiences? But ultimately, you have to stop looking at your ratecard and look at the eCPM of your whole inventory to improve it one cent at the time. When you control billions of impressions per month, those cents can go a long, long way.

Monsters – did you attend the EU Publisher Forum in Amsterdam? Are you interested in sharing your takeaways from the event with the rest of the AdMonsters community? Get in touch with us today to contribute your thoughts to our blog!