Login is restricted to DCN Publisher Members. If you are a DCN Member and don't have an account, register here.

Digital Content Next logo


InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

How automation harmonizes tech-enabled creatives and ad ops

Automation solutions organizations can strategically synchronize right-brain creativity with left-brain operational efficiency in publishing.

June 10, 2024 | By Michele Bavitz, Global Head of Account Management – Theorem @theoreminc

Digital media has always been marked by the intersection of creativity and technology. Unfortunately, in many cases that intersection has been a bumpy one. Today, however, there are automation solutions that can allow these two sides of the media business to work together and do better work as a result.

The digital publishing business is at a pivotal crossroads. On one hand, an explosion of creative possibilities facilitated by technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling personalized, dynamic content at scale. On the other hand, lies the intricate realm of ad operations, where complexity remains consistent, and efficiency and precision are paramount. The gap between creative potential and operational capability must be closed if digital media firms are to compete and scale effectively in today’s market.

The path to a solution starts with an exploration of the relationship between tech-enabled creatives and ad ops and ends with a question: How can organizations strategically synchronize right-brain creativity with left-brain operational efficiency in publishing? The answer is to level the playing field with the power of automation. Bringing both sides of publishing into perfect, tech-powered harmony does more than just streamline workflows. It empowers media firms to navigate the rapid pace of market changes, paving the way for maximum efficiency and operational excellence.

AI’s impact on the publishing business

Reaching the right customer at the right time with the right message is becoming a critical component of advertising success. So critical, it’s driving publishing companies to embrace advanced technologies, particularly AI technologies, to create content at scale like never before. The surge in tech-enabled content combined with the end of third-party cookies is forcing ad ops teams to re-evaluate their operations to keep up. Here’s a closer look at the impact of AI on content creation.

AI enhanced content production and customization at scale

By harnessing AI’s power to analyze data and recognize patterns, publishers can turbocharge content creation, crafting high-quality texts and visuals that are deeply engaging. This tech-enabled approach enhances content production and enables precise audience segmentation. It delivers hyper-personalized content at an unparalleled scale across various formats. All of which substantially boosts efficiency and the impact of content strategies.

How AI affects brand engagement

The creative advancements powered by AI are also profoundly influencing consumer interactions with brands. Relevant, engaging content that aligns with audience preferences and values can substantially boost brand engagement. Engagement which can potentially turn into revenue for brands. The downside is, it creates even more operational challenges for ad ops teams trying to keep up. 

Operational challenges with tech-enabled creatives

To reap the benefits of tech-enabled creatives, publishers must fully grasp the challenges they pose to ad ops teams. This understanding is crucial for implementing effective solutions and maximizing the value of creative content in digital media.

Pressure to scale

Traditional manual processes in ad ops (campaign setup, trafficking, performance tracking), become bottlenecks when faced with the scale and speed of AI-driven content production. The pressure to scale operations to match the pace of content generation increases, requiring an equally robust systems in ad ops.

Complexity management

The complexity of content tailored for different audience segments requires meticulous management throughout its lifecycle. Automated systems capable of managing the detailed workflows and large datasets of ad ops are essential for keeping pace with production, and achieving maximum ROI.

Risk of siloed functions

Another significant challenge is the risk of siloed functions within organizations. When advanced creative tools operate independently from operational capabilities, it can create gaps that lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.

Creative outputs must seamlessly integrate with ad ops systems to prevent campaign delays, performance tracking issues, and scaling challenges. Such disconnects hinder adaptability, affecting competitiveness and growth. Robust automation reduces friction between sales and ops teams translating to improved morale, higher productivity, fewer fire drills, and ultimately – happier clients.

Clearly, there is a critical need for automation. Without integrating automated systems, ad ops teams face delays, increased make-goods, and ultimately a failure to capitalize on the content’s potential.

An Integrated approach nets tangible benefits

As the digital media landscape evolves, integrating advanced automation tools with creative production capabilities becomes increasingly critical. It not only enhances operational efficiencies but also serves as a key driver of revenue growth and scalability. Let’s take a look at the tangible benefits automation can deliver.

Quickly adapting to market changes

With AI’s rise, and content production dramatically increasing, ad ops teams struggle to quickly adapt to market changes. However, according to Theorem’s research, 79% of ad ops professionals think their tools need improvement, and 69% feel digital advertising processes need enhancement. Implementing advanced, automated systems can empower ad ops teams to meet the needs of a constantly evolving market more effectively.

Enhancing data flow

Automation also significantly improves the flow of information between creative teams and ad ops. Centralizing information, as noted by 59% of ad professionals, ensures that data from campaign performances is quickly available to refine ongoing and future campaigns.

Automation drives revenue through operational excellence

Automation not only streamlines operations in ad ops, it significantly enhances ROI. 55% of ad pros in our research noted time-consuming processes as a major pain point. Another 36% reported complex processes slowed their pace of work. By automating tasks such as campaign setup, monitoring, and optimization, businesses can minimize costly mistakes and make-goods that are directly impacting bottom line revenue.

There is also the tangible reward of time saved as a direct result of automation. 56% of ad pros believe implementing automation saves valuable time. Time that can be redirected towards creative and strategic initiatives.

Navigating innovation with automation: the strategic advantage

Media organizations need to remain competitive and responsive in an industry driven by rapid technological advancements. Embracing the symbiotic integration of tech-enabled creatives with automated ad ops can lead to marked improvements in campaign outcomes and overall business performance. Implementing automation isn’t merely about keeping pace. It’s about setting the pace in the journey towards more synchronized, efficient, and responsive operations in publishing. Now is the time to act, to innovate. This will empower your team and your organization to lead now –  and well into the future.

Liked this article?

Subscribe to the InContext newsletter to get insights like this delivered to your inbox every week.