Cocktails + Conversation with Cox Automotive: Our Ad Ops Workshop Recap

Blog   |   Fatou Bah   |   July 29, 2016

Summer is in full effect in NYC and it only felt right for our team here at Operative to host an ad operations best practices workshop at the picturesque Monarch Rooftop Lounge on July 21st. Industry experts from top publishers gathered to learn the best tips of the trade including The Economist, A&E Networks, NBCUniversal, Refinery29, Wenner Media, Charter Media and SheKnows.

We were very lucky to have our guest panelist, Cox Automotive Director of Ad Operations Melissa LaCaille, share her best practices for running a successful ad operations business. Melissa successfully led a lengthy merger between the ad ops teams of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. One of the challenges she faced was around alignment: “…how do we get alignment, and once we agree on alignment, how do you get by it? … How do you get leadership and all the parties involved to really say, ‘Okay, we are in it, we are going to change?’” She found that open communication with her team and walking them through a decision helped them feel like a part of the solution. Other key highlights  included the following:

  • Give your ad operations team autonomy to build their own relationship with sales. Doing so encourages ownership and keeps the retention up within the team. Empowering the ad ops team to understand their value and see their direct impact on revenue goes a long way.
  • Document EVERYTHING. Processes will not be impacted by merges, outsourcing or job transition if a successful method of documentation is incorporated into your team structure. Team members will be able to track their progress and know where they stand during reviews and when considering their overall contributions to the team.
  • Make reporting a priority. Standardize reporting for pacing, discrepancies, and inventory as much as possible; keeping an eye on campaigns can minimize errors, discrepancies, or miscommunications that will otherwise become costly.
  • Protect your data. Create partnerships and include ad ops in the KPI conversation to understand what data is most important to you.
  • Pick the right vendor for your business for the future – not just the present. For example, while you might not do a lot of video now, if your plan is to expand largely into video, make sure your vendor partner can grow with you.

We concluded our workshop with three breakout sessions. Topics included “Optimizing your scalability via outsourcing and resource allocation,” “Converging trafficking landscape: digital or linear on top?,” and “Reporting, attribution, and campaign performance – tying it all together.” Scale was a word that was used often throughout the breakout sessions. All in all, great conversations were had on the rooftop and many tips were shared. Check out more photos from our workshop.

We are hosting a programmatic breakfast in mid-September. If you are interested in attending, click here to request an invite. If you are interested in speaking at our programmatic breakfast, or any other ad ops event we host in the future, please let us know.