Commentary

Optimization Beyond Ad Ops

Mention the word “optimization” in the online advertising world, and images of the ad operations team instantly come to mind. However, the combination of new technologies, evolving campaign success metrics and increasing advertiser demands means that optimization can no longer fall solely on the ad ops teams’ shoulders. Rather, in today’s ecosystem, optimization is central to every campaign and must be looked at holistically by sales and ad ops, at the start of each campaign and straight through until the campaign is delivered in full.

As a publisher, do you feel confident that all of your campaigns are fully optimized?  The assumption by advertisers and even a publishers’ own sales team is that, yes, all campaigns are being addressed. However, manual processes, coupled with the ever increasing data elements available, means that often less than 20% of campaigns are optimized. The first step in addressing the discrepancy is simple awareness. Publishers, and particularly their sales teams, must understand the value that optimization yields. The commercial teams need to make it central to client discussions and integrate more with their ops teams to ensure their clients’ campaigns are fully optimized.

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When your sales team is working with advertisers, optimization should be a key selling point and advertisers and media planners should be educated on the value it provides to a campaign. Your sales team should be asking for every live campaign to be optimized, and regularly demonstrating to advertisers the actions that are being taken to ensure their campaigns achieve, and exceed, their goals.

Enhanced campaign performance and reduced under and over delivery issues, via optimization, all have positive revenue implications. Ensuring every campaign delivers to its objective means advertisers stay with you -- and, ultimately, spend more with increased budgets.

As an industry, we must embrace the new programmatic options that create efficiencies in the optimization workflow, but there also needs to be a human element to drive adoption. Are advertisers demanding that their campaigns be optimized? Is the sales team monitoring campaigns and partnering with the ops teams to ensure that success metrics are clear and optimization takes place? Are publishers using solutions that provide transparency and the ability to customize optimization to premium campaign demands? It takes awareness and collaboration to make online campaigns perform effectively. Unless operations is having the conversation with the sales team, and the advertiser is demanding a level of service through clear goals, we are underperforming as an industry.

With the technology available to publishers today, we are empowered with data that can be used instantaneously to fully optimize an advertiser’s campaign. Instead of waiting until a campaign has run its course to evaluate its effectiveness, publishers and advertisers must focus on continual optimization and work together to ensure a holistic, successful campaign.

For publishers that wish to gain a competitive edge, it is absolutely critical not only to expand optimization beyond the ad ops team, but also to engage ad ops early in the campaign cycle. Leverage the ad ops team where you can: bring the team into the sales process early and tap into their collective brain power and expertise to develop strategies to achieve the client’s goals. Ops can then arm your sales team with information on optimization and help them communicate the value-add your optimization is providing to your advertisers so they view you as a trusted partner with a clear competitive edge. When all parties recognize the power of optimization, campaigns will be more successful than ever before, and everybody wins.

3 comments about "Optimization Beyond Ad Ops ".
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  1. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, April 11, 2013 at 11:05 a.m.

    Ad-ops team....hmmm of the 10's of thousands of editorial based sites, I'll bet that less than 200 have ad-ops teams (what ever that is in new age buzz speak)... most sites cannot even get a response from potential advertisers, optimization is a two way street, not a unilateral exercise.

  2. Francine Hardaway from ZEDO, April 11, 2013 at 11:05 a.m.

    SHouldn't we also know what we are optimizing FOR? What the advertiser is optimizing for? You can't indict an entire industry for underperforming until you know what the right metrics are, and I don't think we really have those yet.

  3. Denise Colella from Maxifier, April 11, 2013 at 5:16 p.m.

    Francine, I agree completely. There needs to be a conversation between buyer and seller where the goals of the campaign are clearly stated up front. Until now, most analytics have been post-campaign, resulting in no dialogue between buyer and seller until the campaign had run its course. Now that there are intelligence and optimization capabilities throughout the campaign lifecycle, it provides an opportunity for discussions around metrics and how to achieve them during the sales process, as well as while the campaign is live to ensure goals are met.

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