Thursday, September 18, 2008

Performance Insider: Optimize ROI By Streamlining Ad Operations

Optimize ROI By Streamlining Ad Operations

IF YOU'RE A DIGITAL MARKETER working in the world of online advertising, you know that the majority of an operations team's efforts go into ad trafficking, which involves campaign execution , setup, optimization and reporting. In fact, an average of two-thirds of the employees on a given account team are responsible for this aspect of the work, while just one third handle the higher-level tasks of a campaign's strategy and creative.

With so many employees needed to support a relatively low-level function, digital marketers often find it difficult to maximize ROI and scale their business efficiently.

On the ROI side, it's simple math. A low-level function is eating up the bulk of the campaign budget because about two-thirds of your team is needed to complete it. As for scaling, the issue is more complex. You might find yourself constantly hiring and training while still experiencing high turnover, because your existing employees are not satisfied with the rate of promotion within the company.

This scenario can play itself out when there is an influx of new business. For every new account, two-thirds of the team members must be devoted to campaign execution and setup, forcing you to go through either hiring frenzies or maintenance of a large number of existing employees at this lower level.

There are several ways to improve upon this situation. First, you can focus internally and make sure that all team members are working at their maximum potential. At large organizations and networks, ad teams can be made up of as many as dozens of members, creating plenty of room for overlap and redundancy.

Once the internal structure is fine-tuned, if the situation persists, it might make sense to partner with a company that offers supplemental services, such as outsourced ad operations. The extra hands provided by the outside agency can help tackle the work associated with ad trafficking, allowing more in-house employees to move up the corporate ladder and handle the incoming accounts at a higher level.

When done effectively, companies have recognized an average annual savings of 40% to 50%. These benefits in revenue come from a reduction in hiring and training costs, being able to take on more new business, and having better quality and turnaround times on campaigns.

For those wondering if you need to improve on your ad trafficking, compare your experience with the list below. If you identify with several of these, it might be worth exploring your options.

-Existing ad teams are frequently making campaign execution errors and are missing data reporting deadlines.

-Ad teams are not sufficiently staffed for campaign setup and execution.

-Ad teams are not sufficiently staffed for strategy and creative.

-There is a gap between available and required resources.

-Rate of hiring and/or training is significantly higher than rate of new business.

-Turnover is high.

Jay Kulkarni is CEO and founder of Theorem Inc, an online media operations company

Performance Insider for Thursday, September 18, 2008:

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