With the rise of programmatic trading, digital advertising has become more reliant on automated systems and technology than ever before. With that in mind, the Interactive Advertising Bureau on Thursday introduced a new certification program for digital ad operations professionals.
The IAB says the Digital Ad Ops Certification will be the first credential of its kind for people working at digital publishers, ad agencies, trading desks, demand- and supply-side platforms and ad exchanges. It follows the organization’s launch of a similar benchmarking program last year for digital sales executives, through which nearly 1,000 have since been certified.
The Ad Ops certification process requires candidates to pass a 100-question multiple-choice testing covering seven primary areas including: executing a campaign launch; managing a live campaign; managing emerging technologies; creating, maintaining, and documenting product offerings; managing incidents; inventory management and integrity; and managing client and partner relationships.
The IAB developed the Ad Ops exam with input from more than 24 companies and agencies, including AOL, Facebook, Google, Operative, Rubicon Project, Theorem, Universal McCann and MediaCom. Operative and Theorem are the first to require ad ops teams to take and pass the exam.
“This new certification is designed to test digital ad operations professionals' mastery of the intricate processes that drive digital marketing," said Michael Theodore, vice president training and development, IAB, in announcing the new ad ops program. In addition to serving as a “stamp of approval” for current employees, it can also play a part in the hiring process, he noted.
The first window for taking the Ad Ops test, administered by Pearson VUE, runs from October 15 to November 15, with additional windows slated for January, April, July and Oct. 2014. To be eligible, participants must have at least two years experience in digital ad operations. The cost is $500 for IAB members, and $750 for non-members. No formal coursework or training is required to take the exam.