Ad operations (ad ops) involves a complex number of tasks relating to the execution of online advertising campaigns. With the global digital advertising market expected to hit $185.17B this year, the industry is increasingly competitive at a time of reduced consumer spending and economic uncertainty. This boom in digital advertising can be attributed to the ever-increasing consumer demand for online content and the rise of online shopping. With that in mind, companies using automation to streamline processes and supplement the work of ad ops teams could see an increase in revenue.
Automation has emerged as a tool nearly every industry is using, yet ad ops is still a notoriously manual process. From campaign management and reporting to trafficking and optimization, there are a plethora of procedures teams need to follow to ensure success. This manual process hinders productivity considerably and is prone to human error and inefficiencies – ultimately slowing order cycles and delaying revenue growth.
According to a recent study we conducted at Theorem, 69% of surveyed ad ops professionals cite that their company’s digital advertising processes need improvement. And another 79% reported that the tools or solutions they use to try to solve this challenge could be better.
As advertising is a key revenue model for publishers, streamers and media companies alike, this is a big problem. One that — if not quickly resolved — will lead to unnecessary financial burden that no company can afford.
So, what’s the secret? How can we simplify the ad ops process and find revenue in a place far too often ignored or overlooked?
The answer is automation.
Automation eliminates makegoods
Our survey revealed that the number one pain point for ad ops professionals is finding time to complete time-consuming tasks. End to end, the ad ops process consists of many error-prone tasks. Teams input data into spreadsheets, manually check and cross-check targeting, or pull data from multiple sources to manually create reporting.
This leads to companies experiencing high percentages of makegoods, which occur when an advertising campaign fails to deliver on a pre-agreed target number of metrics. Managing makegoods is operationally time consuming as workflows and reporting are adjusted—not to mention that the advertising campaign itself may underperform as a result.
With the stakes being so high, it’s time for businesses to jump on the automation bandwagon when it comes to ad ops. Makegoods have become so commonplace within the industry they are being written into contracts as an expectation. Automation has the power to revolutionize how organizations conduct business by addressing systemic challenges that increase profits while reducing human error. It can also centralize information and establish consistencies across processes that eliminate bottlenecks and minimize makegoods. By making makegoods obsolete and automating ad ops processes, revenue cycles accelerate. Processing a higher volume of work more efficiently allows ad-supported business models to see increased revenue faster.
Automation boosts strategic thinking and creativity
Ad ops teams realize that the benefits of automation extend beyond eliminating makegoods. Theorem found that three in five ad ops professionals agree that their team does not have enough time to be proactive.
Of those surveyed, 62% said automation can be used for generating reports, 59% said it could be used for completing repeatable tasks and 56% said it could be used for eliminating labor-intensive tasks. Ad ops professionals are able to be more proactive and focus on creativity and the strategic direction of the business with automation performing those tasks.
These professionals are well-versed in a multitude of platforms and are highly organized, detailed-oriented and analytical – making them incredibly valuable to their organizations. Implementing automation and using it as a professional development opportunity adds weight to a business’s career development pathways and can help boost morale and increase employee engagement.
It has long been recognized that a happy workforce is a more productive one. In fact, 90% of survey respondents said they were open to their roles evolving as a result of automation. Essentially, the majority of respondents see automation as a compliment to human efforts, not a replacement. This, coupled with the financial benefits that automation can bring would suggest that the implementation of such technology would have significant benefits to any business.
Ad ops professionals are pivotal to the overall success of an organization, and yet they are often overlooked and underappreciated. Current ad ops processes are archaic and laborious and do not provide the optimal setting for team success. By engaging with automation, businesses can revolutionize their advertising prowess while simultaneously improving the productivity of their workforce. And that is a winning combination that will boost bottom line success.