If you work in non-ad tech 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.

Just try to imagine a typical digital ad platform as a giant mechanism that has many moving parts and operational conditions. For the newcomer, it is hardly imaginable how to navigate a system powered with so many variabilities correctly. Who are those people that make everything work right? - Ad ops the participants of the ad operations team that stand at the back-end of every ad campaign running. Let’s discover who they are and how they impact the operational outcomes of your ad tech business.

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 optimization across mediums, channels, 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 deliverability of the campaigns. Ad trafficker tunes a campaign up according to the most suitable targeting strategies, strike ads optimization, and make 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. They make sure that the campaign is started due to a particular deadline and is delivered timely to the target audiences. For targeting and retargeting users, advertisers can pick special days: holidays, weekends, 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.

campaign scheduling ad ops

  • Optimization. Programmatic ad ops support the day to day online ad operations of both programmatic and programmatic direct campaigns. As well, these people optimize campaigns in order to reduce cost, suit creative performance best according to the placement. They fine-tune the campaign so that it could achieve desired metrics and performance during the period. Example of ad placement optimization matched to the digital content (below).

placement optimization

  • Maintaining demand. When advertisers submit their creatives on DSP, they are getting instantly reviewed and checked by adoperations to ensure that creatives adhere to the specifications set by the rest of the network partners. As well, in 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 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 inventory 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, impression metrics, along with attribution metrics like e.g CTR).

So, what is ad ops in the nutshell?

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

Benefits of outstaffing digital ad operations

Advertising operations are complex and numerous studies of the programmatic market regularly indicate that the main factor that inhibits the ad tech business development is the lack of qualified specialists. In fact, 44% of professionals who already work in 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 - advertisers, publishers, and the rest of tech vendors.

programmatic capabilities agencies need

In spite of such a colossal request, only a few companies are engaged in training programmatic professionals worldwide. Why? Because it is very difficult you have to have your own proprietary technology, training methodology, market knowledge, and understanding of business connections. Only big ad tech 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.

  • 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 the high level are hard to find. It is convenient if you can reach them all in one place and gear your solution on market without losing time for building your own team.
  • Guarantee of expertise. As a rule, outstaffed professionals work for big ad tech providers for quite a long time. They deepen their knowledge at summits and regularly polish skills while performing day-to-day work.
  • Long-term collaboration. It will depend on 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 ad tech markets or train your own employees, outstaffed professionals are ready to work from day one.

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 ad tech team by your side. Outstaffing ad ops is an effective way to ease your ad operations in your marketplace. If you just started a business with a white-label ad exchange and you search for highly-experienced 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: revenue management, trafficking, and scheduling of ad campaigns, optimization, troubleshooting. They will collaborate with vendors and 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 campaigns that exceed client expectations and beat performance goals.

What’s Next?

As a contractor, SmartyAds will engage its own specialists and attract 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 ad business 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 revenue uplift. Use our outstaffing ad tech services!

Written by
Oleg Tymchyshyn, Head of SaaS Sales and Business of SmartyAds
May 2020