The TV series, Mad Men, certainly raised the profile of advertising and marketing, and attracted legions of students to major in communications. These students expected to enter a world of three-martini lunches after presenting their stunning campaigns in high profile meetings.
In reality, most people today get their foot in the door by joining an ad ops team – work that is vital and strategic, to be sure. But it’s not quite what these starry-eyed grads dreamed of when they got out of college or university. Ad ops is widely viewed as a stepping stone to higher level positions. Chasing creatives, reconciling ad server reporting discrepancies, tag management, running mid campaigns reports at 11pm, is difficult work.
The high turnover rate is a challenge. New campaign traffickers need to be recruited, vetted and trained, all of which costs money and takes time. Moreover, a high rate of turnover can affect a team’s workload and morale. Worse, it deprives the brand of a critical asset: continuity in ad operations.
Continuity in this business equates to reliability, and reliable campaign execution demands a team of players who have the skills and experience required to deliver client campaigns on time and error free.
The make or break impact of ad ops
The best – most brilliant – creative campaigns won’t succeed without an essential ingredient: obsessive attention to detail. Consider all the skills required to get the right ad in front of the right audience:
- Identify the right channels to find an audience and acquire enough quality inventory to meet scale and pacing requirements. Ensure ad creatives meet the publication’s requirements to display ad correctly
- Measure the audience: are we actually reaching our target audience?
- Obtain results in real time and read the tea leaves: who is responding? Are they users who have an actual need, or are they accidentally clicking? Are there surprising audiences we didn’t realize have an interest in this product or service? Can we validate these findings and assess how relevant they actually are?
- Optimize targeting strategy based on real-time results, measure and repeat
- Generate reports in order to assess the impact on business outcomes, optimize messaging strategy, and make smarter decisions next time around.
- And finally, request make-goods for bot traffic, ICT or unfulfilled impressions.
Gaining continuity in ad ops
Clearly there’s a lot of value in continuity, both in the team you invest in, and the learnings that occur from trafficking campaigns. How do you get there?
Option #1: Build an internal team
One way to ensure continuity is to build a team internally, but as mentioned above, it’s an endeavor that demands investments in recruiting, training, and lots of costly turnover. It also requires a fair amount of investment in staying current on the many platforms and technologies required to delivery campaigns that meet or exceed your KPIs.
That’s not to say this isn’t a viable option for many brands. According to a survey by the IAB and Accenture, 69% of brands have opted to bring at least some portion of their programmatic activities in-house. But it’s a long-term strategy, with a lot of technical requirements, including ensuring full compliance with the privacy and data security requirements of GDPR and CCPA. Household-name brands have the technical and financial resources to build and maintain an internal team, but many others may find this option a bit out of reach.
Option #2: Partner with an ad ops expert
A second option is to turn over some or all ad operations to a third-party company whose business is to traffic campaigns and to focus on the myriad tasks involved in ad ops – an agency like Paragon. We have deep expertise in ad serving, targeting, measurement, cross-channel trafficking, optimization and reporting for direct and programmatic campaigns.
A partnership with Paragon brings 14 years of technical platform expertise, and an industry leading commitment to accuracy plus on-time delivery. Your systems, your business processes, Paragon’s people and expertise means continuity in your ad operations.
You can turn over your entire ad operations to a partner like Paragon or just some portion of it. For instance, you can opt to outsource the technical or busy work, enabling your existing ad ops team to focus on the client-facing tasks they find more rewarding from a career enhancing perspective, thereby preserving the investments you’ve made in your most important asset: Your people).
To find out more about how bespoke ad ops outsourcing can boost your business, get in touch.