An eMarketer report predicted that 2017 “will mark a major milestone for ad spending, as total digital surpasses TV for the first time.” While this is great news for digital advertisers, this also means complex operations and pulling-your-hair-out stress for Ad Ops managers. While the road to success is paved with obstacles, there are ways around them. To help operations teams thrive in such a hectic and high-pressure environment, we interviewed Ad Operations directors from Kelley Blue Book, Cox Automotive and Autotrader as well as Operative’s industry experts for our new whitepaper, “Turning Roadblocks into Revenue: An Ad Operations Guide to Guaranteed Success.”
Here is a sneak peek at a few of our findings:
1. Reducing Risk of Turnover
It’s important to implement a strategy that ensures you hire the right people for your team, and then do everything you can to keep them there. Ad Ops teams take on complicated processes as part of their everyday workload. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) insists that standardizing and documenting processes make the team’s lives easier and make their actions less susceptible to error. In addition, remembering that your team members are individuals that want to grow and work hard, and rewarding them for the work they do, can go a long way.
2. Utilizing Technology that Increases Ad Ops Bandwidth and Your Tech Stack
If something is broken, fix it. Sometimes Ad Ops managers need to take a step back and evaluate the technology and processes they are currently using, even when everyone wants them to go 100 miles per hour. Adopting new operations will prove to be well worth the temporary growing pains if the result will benefit the long term goals of the company.
3. Creating Practical Solutions for Fluctuations
Fluctuating volumes are to be expected in Ad Operations, but that doesn’t mean they are unpredictable. KBB reviewed volumes from their previous year, and knew how to properly gear up for the workloads the following year. They shared that “to get through those times, we outsource with Operative. We send about 80% of our standard traffic on a daily basis to Operative… We prep our offshore team, and as things come in, we have tickets ready to go.” To optimize the potential of an outsourced team, certain steps need to be taken first, such as planning, documentation and training on both sides.
4. Implementing Success Metrics
According to a 2015 AdMonsters survey, “too much to do, too little time” is a particularly common concern within Ad Ops teams today. Implementing a QA process that works for your team is crucial to keeping them focused on the most important tasks, keeping error rates as low as possible, and catching potentially expensive discrepancies. Tying these into transparent success metrics for Ad Ops teams keeps everyone on the same page, and has proven to be successful for companies like KBB.
As Ad Operations departments continue to generate revenue for media companies, the operations themselves will grow in complexity and sophistication. Since there is no such thing as “one size fits all” in the digital advertising world, Ad Ops teams need to continually evaluate and evolve their operations strategies. The extra work to get your operation in shape will be worth it in the end.