• In-App Monetization

3 Key Pillars of Ad Ops [VIDEO]

Team InMobi
Team InMobi
5 min read
Posted on August 07, 2019
3 Key Pillars of Ad Ops [VIDEO]

In the world of digital advertising, here’s what companies need from their ad ops personnel.

When it comes to mobile app ad ops, what’s really required from teams to ensure success? In this latest Whiteboard Wednesdays video, PubRev+ Founder Chas Castell goes over the three key components of good ad ops, highlighting everything from troubleshooting ad servers to how third-party consultants should work with clients to ensure success.


Hello everyone. I'm Chas Castell. I’m the CEO and Founder of PubRev+. We are a mobile ad ops partnership company. What that means is we work with publishers to kind of fill in the gaps in their ad operations and help them make more money.

And I'm here today with InMobi Whiteboard Wednesdays in a very intimate environment to talk to you about, how do we, when we think about ad ops, what really is ad ops? How do we want to talk about? How do we want to make sure all our bases are covered when we set up our ad ops department? And I have behind me a bit of drawing I did, so let's dive in.

Highlighting the Three Components of Online Ad Ops

Okay. So when we think about ad ops at PubRev+, we think about three main buckets, as shown by this very sort of sad triangle here. We think of the technical, we think of

Operations and we think of Business Development. And I kind of call this the Holy Trinity of ad ops. So what does each one refer to? Let's dive into each one.

The Technical Side of Ad Tech

So the technical side is obviously the code and what happens on the application itself. So we're talking about, in the world of ads, we're talking about our ad logic optimization. So have you integrated your SDKs, your mediation platforms, correctly? Are you firing events at the right place? Are you firing pixel trackers? Are you dismissing ads correctly? Are you running shadow ads in the background and therefore that will reduce your fill rate because your viewability is going to be down? All things like that.

We're talking about the integration and the release process. Do you have project managers that will advocate for ads initiatives with your engineers? Do you have a release process where all of your ad operations folks know when the release is coming out and they get a chance to QA and give notes?

And then this leads to number three. Do you have QA? Do you have ads people who are trained to QA? Can they proxy? Ads is not the most sexy thing to do as an engineer or QA analyst, so we've always, you know, tried to inspire, tried to encourage folks from those teams to be responsible for the ad side, especially if monetization through ads is the primary source of your revenue. Very, very important to have personnel who are responsible and understand the complexity and the needs for ads engineering and QA.

And of course ad hoccing. Do you have somebody, a person there or even a third-party tool? Do you have some process by which you can ad hoc ads as they come in? We've all seen white as. We've all seen promiscuous, let's say adult ads. We've all seen ads we don't want in our applications. Do you have somebody there or some third-party tool finding those ads and squashing them?

The Business Side of Online Advertising

And then let's talk about business development. Business development to us means partner relations. So do you have somebody who is recording Whiteboard Wednesdays with an ad network partner? Do you have somebody who's negotiating contracts and deals, integrations? This bit’s really fun because you get to work with people and have yummy dinners.

Do you have, are you running agency sales? Is your app big enough scale? Do you have DMP support? Are you talking to agencies around running direct sales? And do you have a sales team?

And lastly in BD we think about the ads product. Are you serving ads at the right moment in the application for the user flow? And are there any other places where the users engage consistently in the application where you could serve ads and you could increase your impressions per DAU?

Understanding How Advertisements Operate in Your App

All right operations. This is the one that's in the title ad ops. So operations, we all think of optimization. So that's fairly explanatory. Are you optimizing your network? Are you finding the best networks? Are you talking to them about CPM floors, tiers, all that good stuff?

Are you A/B testing? Are you A/B testing different waterfalls potentially? Maybe you've got a new ad product and you want to A/B test against retention. So your operations guys will be the A/B testers there.

Analytics, of course, is important. Are you gathering the data? Are you looking at the right data?

And then of course reporting. Are you reporting consistently on a daily basis? Are you monitoring discrepancies? Are you understanding why they were discrepancies? Are you squashing bugs that appear with discrepancies?

So these are all the sort of main headings we look at when we think about ad ops. And the most important I would say - this is going to surprise you - is technical. I would say everything starts from technical.

If you have technical debt, if you have issues with your ad code, with your ad logic, you're going to have bugs. And no matter what you do here is after the fact. And so bugs will keep cropping up again and again and again, so when you ad hoc, it could be your own ad logic, it could be an ad network’s ads that they’re serving, but if you have bugs everything will be affected.

So I would say the first thing to start with is the technical. Make sure your ad logic is optimized. Make sure you've integrated correctly.

The last thing you want is employees coming into an environment where they're constantly fighting fires. And let’s face it: there are enough fires to fight because things do break, so we don't want to add any more kind of reactive overwhelm to that environment.

Okay, that's been a mouthful. I need some water. I'm sure you do too. My email will be in the comment section below. Please email me. I'm Chas Castel. I'd love to hear from you. And till the next time.

Interested in Learning More About Ad Ops from Chas?

Send him an email at Chas@pubrevplus.com and check out these posts:

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