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Adriel Glossary
Advertising Operations

Advertising Operations

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Adriel Glossary
Advertising Operations

Advertising Operations

Imagine you told someone nice only to find them come out swinging. Ludicrous, right?

As difficult as it is to imagine, nice hasn’t always been a word of praise and encouragement. It used to be another way of saying dumb (possibly even a tad bit worse) up until the 16th century. Telling someone that could’ve marked a beginning of an end to a violent scuffle.  

By the same token, there are facets of marketing that have undergone a drastic makeover to take on a completely different meaning over time. The very one that deserves a dedicated deep dive is none other than ad operations (AdOps).

Humble Beginnings

In the early days, AdOps was pretty much synonymous with embedding snippets of ad creatives into an interface. What took this one-dimensional concept into a multilayered mesh of media planning practices was the explosion of big data accompanied by the rise of various ad networks, which introduced lots of new moving parts across the advertising lifecycle.

The shortcomings of a system rife with silos and manual workflows became apparent soon thereafter. This gave way to a multidisciplinary approach that made it much easier for marketers to embrace the methods and technologies necessary to tackle the challenges that follow in a disruptive digital advertising ecosystem.

As different teams were brought together under one roof, the scope of responsibilities for marketers naturally expanded. And before they knew, AdOps came to encompass a wide range of practices from campaign management and revenue generation to digital media buying and cross-channel advertising.

AdOps as It Stands Today

AdOps Figure-8 Knot Diagram

Digital ad operations refer to processes that empower the management and optimization of advertisements through mediums such as supply-side platforms (SSPs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs), publishers, and ad servers. But a sentence-long definition doesn’t do justice to properly recognize all the different hats ad operations specialists are forced to wear every day.

Let’s take a look at some of their core responsibilities:

  • Planning. Establishing a clear and detailed outline of campaign goals and criteria forms the basis of any successful ad campaign. Having a well-thought-out baseline plan also makes up for a seamless execution phase.
  • Scheduling. Timing is everything. An overused cliché perhaps, but it surely rings true within the context of marketing. Launching campaigns at certain times on a given day of the week can make all the difference when it comes to effective ad placement.
  • Ad trafficking. Don’t let the sound of the word fool you. Trafficking in the advertising world refers to developing compelling creatives and strategically placing them across ad servers like Google Ad Manager.
  • Data Management. Data is the oil that greases the modern marketing wheel. Robust data collection and analysis fuel benchmarking of key metrics and campaign progress tracking.
  • Optimization. Marketers only have so much budget to spare. To make the most out of each ad dollar, It’s important to stay on top of which campaign works and doesn’t.
  • Yield Management. Again, ad operations teams are always on the lookout for opportunities to maximize revenue. Rechanneling ad spend from losing ads to high-performing ones, building a robust media mix, and auction bidding on ad exchanges are common monetization tactics AdOps employ to rope in revenue.
  • Account Management. As a liaison between clients and ad agencies, AdOps teams are entrusted with overseeing multiple accounts, from distributing performance reports to troubleshooting client issues.

Why AdOps Matters

Reasons to invest in AdOps are pretty much self-explanatory. Consider this as another food for thought:

You’re a marketer who has been assigned to evaluate the progress of ongoing campaigns and devise ways to fine-tune the media mix. So, you fire up excel and start going through spreadsheets comprised of thousands if not millions of data points.

As if that’s not excruciating enough, it turns out that Chuck - your colleague who just spent hours crunching numbers into the spreadsheets - made a careless entry error, leaving you no choice but to go through the entire ordeal over again.

This is right where AdOps comes into play.

By setting up an automated end-to-end system that combines disparate data sources, AdOps effectively stamps out time-consuming manual workflows while mitigating the risk of human errors and inconsistencies that can jeopardize the entire initiative.

The Best of Both Worlds

Only if every organization had the resources to maintain a dedicated army of specialists in-house. Sadly, bringing AdOps in-house won’t make sense with the exception of a selected few, as cultivating an in-house unit tends to be an expensive endeavor.

If that’s the case, enlisting the help of a third party might be worthy of consideration. Not only do agency services come at a fraction, but outsourcing can also yield the much-needed bandwidth for the team members to focus on other needle-moving initiatives.

That’s not to say leaving everything in the hands of agencies is the right way to go about it. You’ll still need an expert in-house to streamline collaboration and evaluate the work of outsourced teams. Plus, certain tasks like customer relationship and social media management are often better kept in-house.

The key here is to strike the right balance. Treat agencies as a quasi-extension of in-house arm working together toward a mutually beneficial outcome.

AdTech Stack

Thanks to the growing accessibility to technology, cultivating a high-performing in-house AdOps unit is becoming less of a challenge.

The following is a list of programmatic adtech tools marketers can leverage to implement automation at scale.

  • Data Pipeline

Pipelines serve a singular, critical purpose. They transport data from disparate sources to a designated database. While pipeline tools can support a wide array of activities from CRM and sales to marketing and customer service, they lack the functional variety to stand alone as a unique solution.  

  • Data Warehouse

At the end of the pipeline awaits a warehouse. It’s where data finds home for storage and future analysis.

The main grounds for businesses to consider implementing a warehouse is its capacity to consolidate large volumes of historical data from multiple sources, which can’t be found in transactional databases.

That’s not to say warehouses come without a drawback. As effective as they can be for storage purposes, warehouses typically don’t support mixed file formats and require a helping hand from engineers to clean up and unify the data into a single structure.

  • Data Visualization

The data has gone through the pipeline and landed in a warehouse. Fantastic. All there’s left is to make sense of the data. Because, as you may know, raw data is pretty much meaningless on its own.

Enter visualization.

Designed to turn data into intelligible graphics in the form of charts, diagrams, maps, and more, visualization tools provide the much-needed context to connect the dots between disparate data points.  

  • Business Intelligence (BI)

BI tools are known to be the cream of the crop when it comes to data analytics technology. From collection and processing to visualization, BI tools go the whole nine yards to transform unstructured data into actionable insights.

If you’re looking for an all-around solution that combines all three of the tools above, BI tools are your choice.    

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Organic traffic is arguably the most important factor for brand building. But in a world full of shady digital marketing tactics, ranking on search engines is no cakewalk.

Well, unless you have access to a reliable SEO tool, that is.

SEO is a multifaceted process that consists of different elements such as competitive and keyword research, content creation, and link building. Adopting the right SEO tool will go far to overcome the hurdles preventing you from ranking higher and open up new opportunities to drive visibility.

  • Content Management Systems (CMS)

Building an eye-catching website packed with unique content is a prerequisite for SEO success. But if it weren’t for CMS, you’d have to rely on developers and designers to roll out your editorial strategy instead of letting your content manager handle the work.

Needless to say, setting up a website from scratch is a great accomplishment in itself. Yet there’s more to CMS. Namely, most CMS platforms offer a broad range of ready-made templates to streamline the customization of your website and a centralized dashboard to facilitate content management across different channels at once.          

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Management

Conducting a series of split tests to see which ads are worth being scaled was once the holy grail of running a profitable PPC campaign. Now, however, there are many more moving parts in the world of big data and market research.

That’s what makes PPC management worth looking into. From customer profiling and demographic targeting to keyword planning and automated bidding, these tools leverage data-driven algorithms to put your PPC campaigns on autopilot.

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

You have access to a rich treasure chest of knowledge on customer relations. Would you be at all tempted to unlock its secrets?

Of course, you would. These sparkling jewels of knowledge will allow you to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time to drive awareness, engagement, and conversion.

So, no matter where your business stands, bringing CRM into your tech stack is invaluable as it aggregates and organizes the myriad pieces of data customers leave behind as they move across different touchpoints in their sales journey.

  • Social Listening Tools

If CRM was explicitly designed for social media, it’d look much like a social listening tool.

In essence, social listening tools keep close tabs on everything and anything concerning your business, from direct mentions, customer feedback, relevant hashtags, and industry trends.

Having access to all this data allows you to develop highly targeted campaigns by taking out the guesswork on your followers’ needs while putting your brand front and center of industry-shaping discussions.

So What’s Next?

It’s safe to say AdOps now lies at the heart of every successful marketing strategy. Without it, ad inventories would go stale, user experience would fall off a cliff, and, in turn, ad revenue would take a hit.

Well, if you’ve made it this far into the post, you know that already. Better yet, you now have different tricks up your sleeve to steer your AdOps initiatives to dazzling success.

So we’ll spare you further dialogue and end with something you may not know - Adriel. Think of it as the final missing piece from your current adtech stack.

To elaborate, it’s a marketing intelligence tool that will change how you collect, manage, and use marketing data.

But don’t take our word for it. Head over to your workspace and play with interactive dashboards to see the wonders of a cutting-edge AdOps tool for yourself.

Book a demo today and we'll show you how to get the most out of your marketing dashboard.

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