Jennifer Hanks: Workflow

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Jennifer Hanks: Workflow

  1. 1. Workflow Best Practices Jennifer Hanks VP, Professional Services AdMonsters
  2. 2. AdMonsters Professional Services Provides strategic services for online publishers, media companies, brand marketers, and technology providers serving the digital media community. APS designs and executes a holistic combination of actionable profit-driven solutions that address the most critical, performance-impacting industry and market challenges. APS is focused on bring the depth of AdMonsters experience to give companies strategic operations. ● Unique – Exclusive Ad Operations focus ● Robust – AdMonsters leverages its broad knowledge of industry challenges to bring world class solutions to your business challenges. Adding value to business processes, online ad technology, product strategy, and more.. ● Experience – Our consultants typically have many years of experience leading operations teams at online companies. They are the key players who developed the online advertising industry.
  3. 3. Agenda ● What is Workflow? ● Ad Operations Organizations ● Roles in Ad Operations ● Gate-keeping in Ad Operations ● Workflow Process in Ad Ops 3
  4. 4. What is Workflow? ● At it’s most basic, workflow is the order in which specific work is performed and the rules associated with each step along the way 4
  5. 5. What is Workflow? ● Can be very technical in nature and governed by applications that automate what were previously manual processes, but Ad Operations is still a combination of both human and machine based operations 5
  6. 6. Ad Operations Process ● Ad Product Development ● Inventory Management ● Proposal and Reservations ● The Contract Stage ● Campaign Launch ● Billing 6
  7. 7. Workflow Connects the Links in a Chain AD PRODUCT DEFINE CONFIGURE INVENTORY ESTIMATE VALIDATE PROPOSAL COMPLIANCE RESERVATION CONTRACT REVIEW COMPLETED CAMPAIGN PRE - LAUNCH POST LAUNCH OPTIMIZATION BILLING REVIEW INVOICING REPORTING 7
  8. 8. Why Workflow and Process? ● Ad Operations has the responsibility for fulfilling millions of dollars of advertising revenue ● The risks associated with under or over-delivery are greater today than ever before ● There is more variety of technologies, experimentation, and media used is delivering ads ● So Sales can go sell… 8
  9. 9. Classic Cases of Dysfunction ● The Surprise ● At the end of the quarter, Sales announces they sold $5 Million ● Ad Operations announces they only delivered $4 Million ● Management demands to know what happened ● There is no central documentation for orders and the resulting fire drill to uncover the difference takes 3 days ● The reason was a cancelled order, and a CPC campaign with a budget of $500K that never delivered 9
  10. 10. Classic Cases of Dysfunction The Wild Wild West ● Ad Operations reports directly to Sales ● There is no gate-keeping function to moderate bonusing of impressions ● Overselling within high value sections is rampant ● Ad Operations can not possibly deliver the over- booked revenue, but is nevertheless held responsible for revenue shortfalls 10
  11. 11. Classic Cases of Dysfunction The Disappearing Playbook ● Ad Ops is growing rapidly in response to increased sales ● The two “founders” of the ad operations group leave suddenly to pursue new opportunities ● There is no documentation of workflow and processes used to forecast inventory, book complex campaigns and issue reports ● Orders fail to get booked correctly and under-deliver ● Ad Ops needs to start from “square one” to figure out the best process to fulfilling orders from scratch 11
  12. 12. “House of Horrors” Workflow Campaign Q1 Revenue Details submitted shortfall of $500K via email No central db of Details revised contracts or via phone call changes Line items and targeting changed Ops sifts through day of launch by emails for trails In-cubical visit from Salesperson Audit leads to “deceased” Client not happy, traffickers and bonus 1 MM imp sales people via note left on your desk 12
  13. 13. ‘Thing’ ● Do you have any “classic tales of dysfunction? ● What did you learn? ● How did you change your workflow to remedy? ● What is a re-occurring problem that has yet to be remedied? 13
  14. 14. Why Workflow and Process? ● Gain control over what can be a chaotic environment ● Give your organization a better chance of achieving revenue objectives ● Work cross functionally with other divisions ● Create a more rewarding work environment 14
  15. 15. Ad Operations Organizations 15
  16. 16. Functions that fall within Ad Ops ● Order entry ● Inventory management, forecasting ● Trafficking, QA ● Rich media handling, production, QA ● Video creative handling, production, QA ● Management of ad tags (includes working with developers to ensure that tag syntax remains intact) ● Ad systems and technology management and vendor relations ● Product development ● Yield, remnant, adnetworks ● Site ad tag management ● What else in your organization? 16
  17. 17. Orgs: Ad Ops to Sales CEO / COO Ad Operations isolated from Exec Management Managed by Sales Division Gate-keeping functions determined by Sales SALES Reporting structure keeps Ad Ops focused on tactical support Leads to two scenarios: Close teamwork with Sales, and cooperative goal setting OR AD OPERATIONS Little alternative but to say “yes” to requests for pricing, packaging and inventory overrides 17
  18. 18. Orgs: Ad Ops to IT CEO / COO IT SALES • IT may offer high degree of support • Sales isolated from ad operations AD OPERATIONS • IT not media savvy • Ad Operations functions as “sys ops” to IT 18
  19. 19. Orgs: Ad Ops to Executive Mgmt CEO / COO SALES AD OPERATIONS • Ad Operations as peer group to sales • Cooperative management • Ad Ops has gatekeeping and oversight functions on pricing, packaging • Ultimately held responsible for accurate fulfillment of all contracts • Opportunity to educate executives on yield management 19
  20. 20. Roles in Ad Operations ● Ad Trafficker ● Reviews completed contracts ● Enters campaign details into Ad Server ● Creative Q&A ● Campaign launch ● Monitor delivery and optimize 20
  21. 21. Roles in Ad Operations ● Contract Administrator ● Manages contract workflow ● Transfers sold orders into a contract management system (if applicable) ● Client facing 21
  22. 22. Roles in Ad Operations ● Inventory Analyst ● Monitors and analyzes ad inventory ● Prevents inventory conflicts, or manages them when they arise ● How much inventory sold, for how much? ● At what price, and is it optimal? ● What is the value of the inventory to the publisher? ● Reports on, and forecasts media revenue for the publisher 22
  23. 23. Roles in Ad Operations ● Ad Product/Systems/Project Manager ● Evaluates, develops and tests ad products ● New media types ● Manages systems and vendors ● Project work 23
  24. 24. ‘Thing’ ● What organizational world do you live in? ● Benefits / drawbacks? ● Alternative models? ● How many re-orgs have YOU lived through? 24
  25. 25. Gate-keeping Functions ● Proper use of inventory ● Budget forecasting ● Pricing and approvals ● Accurate billing ● Ad product management ● Efficiency ● Production environment 25
  26. 26. Gate-keeping Functions ● Inventory: Bonusing and deviations from agreed upon packaging, Ripple effects – how the actions of one campaign will effect many ● Pricing: CPM floors, bonus unaccounted for, production costs, CPA deals being accounted for as booked revenue ● Contract: T&C, Credit approval, changes to contract after sign off, inventory or ad products which can’t be delivered as sold 26
  27. 27. Optimized Workflow Inventory Management 1 2 Availability Check 3 Booking Intuitive interface Easy overview Sales favourite Campaign booking Flexible reporting Fast access templates Multiple alert settings Hourly updates Easy targeting Data import/export Reliable overview Date and event manager Seasonal forecasting API exchange 4 Delivery 5 Reporting Automated and manual Customised reporting optimization Email report settings High server uptime Graphical overview Multiple alert settings API exchange Multiple ad formats Billing & Reconciliation
  28. 28. AD PRODUCT DEFINE CONFIGURE Best Practices: Ad Products ● New Ad products need to be realistic, deliverable, accountable ● Ad Ops manage ad products once they are released. Ad Ops influence is essential for new product success ● Agree guidelines prior to launch for sales with a product one pager or spec sheet ● Configure Ad Server side elements if required – whose role is it? Standard processes – documented. ● Train Ad Ops team to manage new product when live ● Track revenue post launch to ensure ad product is successful. ● Question value of maintaining low value ad products 28
  29. 29. INVENTORY ESTIMATE VALIDATE Best Practices: Inventory Management ● Minimum 24 hour turnaround for all inventory requests. ● Inventory analyst role to evaluate inventory trends and respond to complex targeting requests ● Gate-keeping, to make sure the use of inventory makes sense for the Company ● Understanding of cyclical nature of your inventory because of seasonality, reoccurring events, etc. ● A “buffer” for conservative inventory projections ● Understand client goals and suggest options 29
  30. 30. PROPOSAL COMPLIANCE RESERVATION Best Practices: Proposal and Reservations ● Proposals must represent what can reasonably be expected to be delivered ● Standard business rules can help insure that inventory will yield expected revenue for the publisher ● Ad Operations and Sales should work as a team to monitor and approve proposals ● Inventory reforecasting helps set expectations for all parties, including the Advertiser 30
  31. 31. CONTRACT REVIEW COMPLETED Best Practices: Contract Management ● Review the contract confirmation from the Agency or Advertiser when received ● Read and check Terms and Conditions (T&C’s) if not publishers own ● Ensure inventory on contract is as expected ● Understand client goals ● Establish check list – do goals makes sense? check the math ● Build campaign management timeline 31
  32. 32. CAMPAIGN PRE - LAUNCH POST LAUNCH OPTIMIZATION Best Practices: Campaign Management ● Set expectations on lead times for receipt of creative – proactive ● Focus on time start of campaign ● Testing of creative, especially rich media & Click thru ● Checking that all line items have been launched and are delivering daily impressions on schedule ● 2 or 3 day after launch pull third parties ● Develop and use a checklist!! 32
  33. 33. BILLING REVIEW INVOICING REPORTING Best Practices: Billing ● Monitor third party served campaigns throughout campaign to flag significant discrepancies ● Manage your discrepancies instead of having the manage your inventory (overbook?) ● Have clear roles & responsibilities ● Make sure all involved have an understanding of billing process – including Sales! 33
  34. 34. Questions? Thank You

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