As we travel around the world launching the new InView ad formats at conferences from Washington DC to San Francisco and Sydney to Singapore, we hear many of the same complaints from our publisher customers and prospects: it’s really difficult to handle ad operations.
First, most of them have staffing headaches. It’s difficult for them to find qualified resources, to train them internally, and then to retain the best performers for a sustained time period. Because the industry is young, many of the people they already had on staff aren’t really comfortable or familiar with new ad tech offerings.
More problematic is the inefficient team structure that comes from the unpredictable nature of the ad operations workload. Most companies find themselves either over-staffed or under-staffed, and we hear this from the largest and the smallest publishers we service. And even from those we don’t service yet.
Once again, because of the nascency of the industry, most publishers lack specialized ad ops workflow and processes. Sales people are constantly looking for execution status, inventory availability or someone with the ability to troubleshoot if something goes wrong; often, they can’t get that in a timely manner.
And ad operations is predominantly a facilitator, not a net revenue generator for the business, so, management usually categorizes it as a cost center rather than value addition, and is reluctant to spend scarce resources on improving it, and that leads to the lack of extended coverage and service : what do you do when you need your ad ops team at 6pm on a Friday evening?
At worst, there’s a lack of accountability, even though errors made in the Ad Operations execution cost the company actual dollars that no one wants to lose. Ad Operations need to to be accountable for the quality and efficiency of its work, and that’s difficult to achieve if you are short-staffed or experiencing constant churn. The nightmare of every ad ops director is the launch of a new product, which is only slightly more painful than the vagaries of increased workload during the holiday season, unexpected turnover, or someone on staff who gets married or takes a long vacation.
We started to see this a long time ago, and developed a suite of outsourced ad ops services that can take all this off the backs of our customers. Some of the benefits they see include
– Decreased cost structure
– Increased coverage and service
– Increased accountability
– Decreased staff headaches (no retention problems)
– Increased Scalability and efficiency
As online advertising becomes a larger and larger portion of a publisher’s revenue, and as it moves to more sophisticated formats on multiple platforms, outsourcing ad ops to someone like us who is staffed to handle it sounds better and better to the people we know.