5 tasks that you can automate to make your ad operations more efficient!

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Disruption being the norm of digital media has made the ad ops industry go through a tremendous transformation in the past decade. And with ad operations being challenged by the evolving technologies, making it more client facing rather than playing in the background, "automation" has undoubtedly emerged as the backbone for the industry, supporting its continued transformation and evolution.

The main goal of any digital ad operations setup is to ensure a successful campaign launch on time, on brand and on budget. It includes end-to-end operations management, comprising of a lot of tasks from ad specification and verification, inventory management, trafficking, communications and reporting. All these tasks start way before a campaign goes live. And if any step gets delayed or missed, entire campaign gets affected.

Provided with the apt tools and a clearly defined process, automating ad operations can reap significant benefits. Automation of ad ops is all about freeing up hundreds of man-hours every week, while improving:

  • Ad ops team's productivity & efficiency

  • A campaign’s accuracy by eliminating probability of human errors

  • Accessibility of campaign’s current status to all the stakeholders from anywhere, anytime

  • Customization, according to business requirements

  • Last but not the least, cost efficiency

Abhishek Jindal, Digital Solutions Consultant with Express KCS has been helping our global publishing clients to automate and optimize their digital ad operations. Based on his experience of digital ad ops industry, he recommends the following 5 tasks as the prime contenders for automation in any ad operations setup to gain efficiency through enhanced collaborative workflow and better prioritization.

1. Creative chasing

The huge latency in creating an ad starts from the very first step of the campaign, i.e. procurement of creatives. In spite of ad ops space being so competitive and time-based, creative chasing is still a major challenge for sales and operations team, who deal with the monotonous task of sending reminders to their clients to get creatives on time.

This time-consuming yet straightforward process, involving multiple stakeholders can be streamlined using email notification that triggers automatically based on the campaign publishing date. A smart system with real-time email notifications and alerts regarding impending deadlines can help make the process reactive and prompt. Furthermore saves time and resources for both publisher and the advertiser.

2. Proofing & creative approvals

Sending creative proofs to clients, tracking changes and receiving approvals via email is another time-consuming job that automation can speed up. Automated proofing systems let creative teams share proofs with their clients as soon as the job is ready and collect actionable reviews and approvals from different stakeholders in real time. Moreover, automation also provides transparency in the form of version history comprising of comments and discussion flows to ensure that each feedback is acknowledged and nothing is missed to reach the desired outcome.

3. Ad trafficking

Trafficking is one of the major tasks for an ad ops professional. It consists of tons of manual tasks from creating ads, uploading/assigning creatives, targeting, preview/tearsheet generation to pacing the campaigns. All of these steps are repetitive and time-consuming, adding onto the cost incurred by the business. By automating the ad trafficking process, the efficiency of an ad ops team is enhanced through automated creation of orders, uploading creatives and managing campaigns based on the campaign metadata. Also, advanced systems can offer bulk upload and detection of errors with direct-to-ad server imports.

4. Reporting

Reporting is the most critical part of any campaign. In most of the cases, the performance of a campaign is evaluated in real-time and reported on a regular basis to facilitate the necessary tweaks, needed at the right time. These reports are the only source for the advertiser’s next plan-of-action for better engagement and improved audience reach. Automated ad campaign reports with real-time performance data i.e. mid-campaign or end of campaign reports will help all stakeholders take strategic decisions. These reports may also help you in turning your content into robust revenue drivers.

Smart workflow systems would integrate with your ad-servers and will fetch real-time data and create campaign performance reports based on inbuilt templates or customized dashboards. These reports can also be shared with all stakeholders using automated email notifications workflow.

5. Alerts/Communication

With so many campaigns running simultaneously, it gets difficult for ad ops professionals to manage the launch and status of their campaigns, or to keep a track of the obstacles, or challenges that might hinder the campaign’s performance. On the other hand, troubleshooting also can take too many productive hours. Automation plays an important role here, too. With the use of API's and tracking algorithms, all these steps can be automated in a single system which continuously monitors all your campaigns round the clock, 365 days a year.

Though it’s a fact that bringing automation to digital ad ops is easier said than done. However, we just need an ascend in the learning curve to embrace the ever-evolving technology. As, adoption of change is the number one step to drive success!

Mediaferry is a cloud-based creative ops solution by Express KCS, that helps you simplify, streamline and scale the ad ops processes with its excellent proofing & reporting automated system. It has helped various publishers and agencies from North America and Europe in streamlining their advertising production, campaign management and creative operations profitably and successfully.

If you’re looking to automate your creative production workflow, or want to solve any other workflow challenge, feel free to contact us on enquiries@expresskcs.com.