If you don't work in adtech businesses, there’s a chance that you can afford to move on to another client once you make a strategic sale. In the digital advertising industry, after you make a sale everything only gets started.

Try to imagine a typical digital advertising platform as a giant mechanism that has many moving parts and operational conditions. For the newcomer, correct navigation of a system powered with so many variabilities is hardly imaginable. Ad ops are those people that make everything work right, from the ad server to client communications. However, outsourced ad ops, are those people who can push your revenue generation forward without additional time and employment-related hardships. Let’s see how the ad operations team that stands at the back-end of every ad campaign executes ad-serving processes on outsource.

What is ad operations?

Ad ops (ad operations) are employees profoundly involved in ad campaign pre-launch and execution before and after the campaign goes live. In other words, these people support campaign set up, testing, flow, delivery, and cross-channel ad optimization across mediums, and digital ad formats (video, native, mobile, desktop, CTV). For this, they tightly interact with other platforms: DSPs and SSPs, etc.

Aspects and objectives of ad operations:

  • Campaign trafficking. Ad-ops monitor the ad operations from head to toe starting from the deliverability of the campaigns. Ad trafficker tunes a campaign up according to the most suitable targeting strategies, performs online ads optimization, and makes sure that campaigns are set up appropriately to go live without a hitch. Ad ops also assist pixel creation for the clients in order to track how the audience interacts with creatives. If necessary, they also perform troubleshooting.
  • Scheduling. As known, programmatic helps to automate ad buying and selling. Ad ops, in their turn, make sure that the campaign is started due to a particular deadline and is delivered timely to the targeted demographics. For targeting and retargeting users, advertisers can pick special days: holidays, weekends, a certain time of the day. Ads ops know when the CPMs are higher and lower throughout the season so they can use knowledge about daily fluctuations in order to optimize scheduling for the client.
  • Optimization. Programmatic ad ops support the day-to-day online ad operations of both programmatic and programmatic direct campaigns (non-RTB direct-sales) As well, these people are involved in optimizing campaigns in order to reduce cost, suit creative performance best according to the placement (and the ad viewability). They fine-tune the campaign so that it could achieve the desired metrics and performance during the period. Example of ad placement optimization matched to the digital content (below).

placement optimization

  • Maintaining demand. When the marketer, advertiser, or media buyer submits the creative on DSP, online the banner, video, or display ad is getting instantly reviewed and checked by ad operations to ensure that the creative adheres to the specifications set by the rest of the network partners. Plus, it should match the advertising inventory. As well, in a non-programmatic environment publishers often require professionals that manage demand for them: keeping contracts, negotiating prices with demand sources, etc.
  • Revenue generation. Digital ad ops are directly in charge of revenue generation as they are the ones who run ad campaigns behind the scenes. An employee who stays in charge of yield management and revenue generation specifically looks for such opportunities and stirs progress in this direction: e.g allocates ad budgets to the various ad space types and placements to achieve greater profits.
  • Generating reports. Ad ops pull together the data from a first-party ad server and third-party ad server, for this they need to generate and review weekly, monthly, and daily system reports. Just an example of what these reports may contain (discrepancies, such metrics as impression count, along with attribution metrics like e.g CTR).

In the nutshell, people employed in ad operations understand how to set up a campaign for a client and achieve desired results leveraging all capacities and functionality of the operating advertising stack. Their functions are widely diversified. Apart from the mentioned tasks, the ad ops team also closely collaborates with the rest of the media team and updates them about any possible change in campaign flow.

Why companies hire outsourced ad ops?

Advertising operations are complex and numerous studies of the programmatic market regularly indicate that the main factor that inhibits adtech business development is the lack of qualified specialists. In fact, 44% of professionals who already work in Internet advertising, report that they don’t understand what is programmatic advertising and that they are not familiar with the procedures and processes of digital advertising campaign operations.

Ad agency typically faces the situation when it has to have:

  • Strong knowledge of digital advertising and programmatic processes.
  • High level of in-house tech capabilities, (especially if you plan to create your own ad network, SSP or DSP).
  • Strong established relationships with advertising vendors - publishers and advertisers, plus, the rest of tech vendors.

In spite of such a colossal request, only a few media companies are engaged in training programmatic professionals (ad ops including) worldwide. Why? Because maintaining and training ad operations is very difficult -- you have to have your own proprietary ad technology, training methodology, market knowledge, industry trends, and understanding of business connections. Only big adtech companies that have sufficient expertise can afford to train and grow professionals under their own roof. Some of those are willing to share their expertise with other companies so they provide outstaffing services beneficial for both parties.

Benefits of outstaffing digital ad operations

Outsourcing ad operations becomes increasingly popular among companies because they enable entrepreneurs to save time and money essential for finding rare programmatic professionals. This way companies solve either task associated with the hiring process: screening, testing, interviewing, hiring, and the tasks related to keeping professionals in staff: paying salaries, labor taxes, and so on. Let’s sum up what all these benefits boil down to:

  • Cost-effectiveness. Those who outstaff professionals free themselves from labor-related payments including payrolls, paying money for employee search, office programs installation, let alone renting the office.
  • Saved time. Programmatic professionals of a high level are hard to find. It is convenient if you can reach them all in one place and gear your advertising solutions on market without losing time for building your own team.
  • Guarantee of expertise. As a rule, outstaffed professionals work for big adtech providers for quite a long time. They deepen their knowledge at summits and regularly polish skills while performing day-to-day work.
  • Well-orchestrated campaigns. In order to be effective online advertising needs carefully designed ad operation strategies according to which work will be adjusted. People employed in ad operations create and successfully execute strategies for campaign management.
  • Long-term collaboration. It will depend on the conditions of the contract you negotiate but in general it is possible to hire ad operation professionals that will work side-by-side with your in-staff team for a long time.
  • Ready-made employees. No need to monitor adtech markets or train your own employees, outstaffed professionals are ready to work from day one.
  • Greater performance Since the revenues of the outsourced ad ops team normally depends on the profits of the company they work for, they are automatically incentivized to deliver better results.

When do you need online ad operations?

No matter if you just starting off or conquering new market niches it is a great idea to have an adtech team by your side. Outstaffing ad ops is an effective way to ease and simplify any ad operation as you will have professionals on board who know how to buy and sell the right media programmatically. If you just started a business with a white-label ad exchange and you search for highly experienced outsourced ad ops, we can create a custom team of ad ops suited specifically for your business. Likewise, you can streamline media-selling outstaffing professionals for your white-label SSP or build the team for your white-label DSP solution.

What ad ops will do on your behalf: ad campaign management, revenue management, online ad trafficking, and scheduling of ad campaigns, yield optimization, troubleshooting. Professionals employed in ad operations will aggregate the supply and collaborate with vendors. As well, they will generate daily reports to nail down what needs to be optimized. Ad ops will coordinate the preparation and delivery of both programmatic and direct media. As well, they will support the team in managing branding campaigns that exceed client expectations and beat performance goals.

What you need to know for outsourcing ad ops

If you are planning on outsourcing ad ops this means you will obtain access to highly professional and experienced ad tech employees. By this, you automatically rid yourself of labor-related headaches like hiring, testing, selection process, payrolls, sick leaves, or taxes. While outsourcing ad tech professional you also don't have to care about continuous training. Still, you need to remember that there are differences between outsourcing ad ops and outstaffing. If you want to know those differences, there are few most important things to remember about.

Outsourcing ad professional. By outsourcing ad professional you basically sign a contract with a contractor who is in charge of all working processes and delivering you the result of the project. Campaign management, ad serving, execution, task giving, and controlling - everything is supervised by the contractor who you deal with. In other words, you don't take part in the process which is sure convenient because it's a full service.

Outstaffing ad professional. The Outstaffing model gives you more control since the employee will be absolutely involved in your working processes. In simple words, such an employee will be just like the virtual employee who works only for your project, communicates with you directly, and collaborates with the rest of your in house team. Campaign management, ad serving, and the rest of the processes this way become more transparent and clear. You select, grow, and prepare employees according to your own objectives while at the same time freeing yourself from HR and labor-keeping-related duties. 

What’s Next?

Outsourced ad ops represent a very convenient model of collaboration between an ad tech vendor that provides professionals and the company contractor. The companies easily get onboard rare programmatic professionals while freeing themselves from hiring, training, and the rest of labor-keeping difficulties. This way any company can commission advertising platform servicing to the professionals in order to keep focused on what’s really important - business. As a contractor, SmartyAds will engage its own specialists in ad operations while also attracting new ones based on your specific requests and requirements. We’ll gather the team in one of our offices in Ukraine from where professionals will work and stay in touch with the rest of your operational team. Ad operations online will significantly strengthen the capacities of your in hose team while you focus on making strategic decisions. Strong programmatic skills and expertise, sharp technical and problem-solving abilities of our digital marketing ad operations will help your ad campaigns pace correctly, effectively, and timely.

Define ad operations with effectiveness and stable ROI uplift. Use our outstaffing adtech services!

Written by
Anastasia-Nikita Bansal, Director of Enterprise Solutions of SmartyAds
May 2020