Mobile … social … video … print … web … broadcast …

With so many channels, it’s getting harder to get the right ad in front of the right customer at the right time.

When you start to see success in one area, something comes along and throws a wrench in your advertising tactics – whether it’s a new channel, a new platform or new ad blocking software.

While technology is supposed to make our lives easier, it’s actually made ad ops much more complex. According to The Makegood, the average marketer now needs up to five ad management platforms – from video ad servers to mobile DSPs – to handle a typical display schedule. Your ad ops team likely needs different people with different skills to manage these platforms. You also need to integrate these technologies to get a complete view of your operations.

All of these technologies – with different complexities – can make your ad ops workflows a nightmare.   

Top 4 Problem Areas for Ad Ops Teams

According the State of Ad Ops 2015 report, “complexity is more foe to a digital publisher than competing sites.”

The survey of 179 ad ops professionals revealed that one complexity leads to the next.  

The report states, “respondents were clear that mastery of one complex problem of the business only provided more time to focus on other complex problems. Have a good handle on viewability? Good, move on to HTML5. Got that? What’s your response to ad blocking? Ad operations management is a never-ending game of whack-a-mole.”

One of the biggest ad ops complexities is workflow. Ad operations teams face the most problems in these areas:

  1. Billing/reconciliation
  2. Interdepartmental communication
  3. Technology upgrades/migrations
  4. Report management

The report states that these top four inefficiencies “would probably mirror the responses of the same survey 10 or 15 years ago. For all of our progress, there are some key operational issues that continue to plague ad ops teams.”

Although times have changed, many publishers still use the same processes and legacy technologies that they’ve been using for years. Teams need to enter the same data in multiple systems – often resulting in errors and omissions. Since these systems don’t communicate with each other, ad ops teams can’t run reports to gain on-demand insights into the effectiveness of their ad campaigns.

How Gannett Overcame Ad Ops Complexity

Brooke Zapata, VP of Sales Development, and Rick Baker, VP of Commerce Solutions, at Gannett can relate. They oversaw Gannett’s recent workflow overhaul. Prior to the overhaul, Gannett’s workflow had no integration points, so data was transposed multiple times from sales to account management to billing to creative design to ad operations. This often resulted in errors.

“We had a particular challenge in the ad space with order management – if you had a multi-product order, you had to enter that order into many different places: the billing system, the ad tracking system, the various fulfillment systems, even in the CRM system as well,” says Rick.

You need technology that gives you a 360 degree view of your operations and streamlines your workflows. The technology should integrate every aspect of ad ops – from invoicing to forecasting. It should also consolidate all of your global data, so you can quickly and easily run reports.

Gannett’s new platform “started us on a journey to create a single point of entry from start to finish,” says Rick.

Consolidating your technologies into fewer tools from fewer vendors can make you more efficient. The less vendors you have, the less time you’ll spend trying to make systems work together.

The right technologies can help you increase your revenue by selling more ads to more people across more channels. Streamlining Gannett’s workflow helped the media giant improve turnaround times, book business at a faster pace and improve customer service.

The project also helped Gannett gain efficiencies.

“The first update we did for digital display took a 58-minute process down to eight minutes,” says Brooke.

Complexity and inefficient workflows are huge challenges for ad ops teams. However, the right technologies can help you tackle your complexities and drive revenue across every channel.