By Jay Kulkarni, CEO, Theorem
There have been many conversations around automation and the benefits it brings to organizations. Most people know that automation speeds up manual processes and yet the element of the unknown has left many businesses unsure or unable to take the plunge.
This is unsurprising given the myriad of tools available on the market. It seems possible to automate any number of business processes and each option comes with its own set of benefits and associated challenges.
But what if there was an option to automate a process that directly results in increased revenue?
This is where the automation of ad operations can really make a difference and is an ideal first foray into business automation.
Ad operations (ad ops) is a key revenue model for publishers, streamers and media companies alike and it involves a complex number of tasks relating to the execution of online advertising campaigns. With the global digital advertising market projected to hit $185.17B this year, the industry is increasingly competitive at a time of reduced consumer spending and economic ambiguity. The stakes are high, but by automating the ad ops process companies can optimize campaign performance in real time leading to an increased revenue stream.
Efficiency and accuracy
According to a recent study conducted by Theorem, 69% of surveyed ad ops professionals cite that their company’s digital advertising processes need improvement, with another 79% reporting that the tools or solutions they use to try to solve this challenge could be better.
And yet, ad ops is still a notoriously manual process and consists of many error prone tasks. From inputting data into spreadsheets, manually checking and cross-checking targeting and pulling data from multiple sources to manually creating reports, ad ops professionals are left to do it all.
Human error in any of these processes leads to companies experiencing high percentages of make-goods – which occur when an advertising campaign fails to deliver on a pre-agreed target number of metrics. Resolving make-goods is a manual process in itself as workflows and reporting are readjusted. These manual adjustments waste time, ultimately slowing order cycles and delaying revenue growth – not to mention that the advertising campaign itself may underperform as a result.
The automation of ad ops not only eliminates make-goods but the resulting faster campaign execution ensures timely delivery of ads and increases the likelihood of their success.
Targeting and performance measurement
As the cookie conundrum continues and with an increase in privacy conscious consumers, businesses are having to get creative in order to facilitate truly personalized advertising messages. This is where adopting automation tools is crucial, as they can help manage high volumes of data and run continuous, real-time analysis at scale, across all devices and platforms. These tools can also help businesses scale their first-party data collection and analysis to enable data-driven decisions for targeting and personalization – meeting marketing and customer experience demands in real time.
Automation can not only be used to deliver dynamic creatives based on data driven personalization but also to facilitate A/B testing to identify the most effective creatives and messages.
This is a continuous process whereby algorithms can adjust bids, placements, and targeting parameters in real-time to maximize ROI and achieve campaign objectives. This means that accurate reports can be generated in real time, allowing for quick adjustments if necessary and a complete 360 degree view of the advertising process.
Real human creativity
It has long been recognized that a happy workforce is a more productive one. In fact, 90% of Theorem’s survey respondents said they were open to their roles evolving as a result of automation and that 3 in 5 ad ops professionals agreed that their team does not have enough time to be proactive.
It seems that automation can be a real compliment to human efforts, not a replacement. By providing ad ops professionals with more time to work on long term planning, storytelling, brand identity and creativity – essential attributes that are individual to human thinking – in addition to the financial benefits that automation can bring would suggest that the implementation of such technology would have significant benefits to any business.
The need for effective digital advertising will inevitably grow as the world becomes ever more digitized, similarly the benefits of automation technology will become more apparent as return on investment can be seen over time. By automating ad ops specifically, businesses can achieve an immediate return on investment in the form of increased revenue from their advertising campaigns whilst allowing ad ops professionals to focus on creativity, strategic initiatives and the human experience.