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Ad Operations Year In Review

Having joined the Dublin office in June 2015 it’s hard to really review the whole of 2015 but if I was pushed to give an quick summary of the year I’d say “The HTML5 transition was a nightmare across the board, Flash Converters made our lives hell but on the plus side 2016 will be all about data”.

When looking at the Ad Operations team here at iProspect our year has been very different to normal, we had a huge shift in staffing and structure.  The Roles and responsibilities of the Ad Ops team has changed throughout the past 12 – 18 months with a transition from offering a response of “Yes or No” to now having a team that responds with “Why?” & “What if?”.  We are trying to provide an informed service, we now have the skills set to offer insight on campaigns and strategy going forward, we look at more complex site tagging and information gathering capabilities, which has resulted in great feedback from multiple clients who’ve had access to more in-depth details than they would’ve had access to before.

Since joining the team I’ve witness the above shift taking place, we’ve incorporated the iProspect reporting suite into our capabilities offering clients 24/7 access to a bespoke dashboard offering all their information about campaigns running through our adserver, anything they look at in their web analytics tool and much more.  Having done this we’ve been able to expand the team allowing us to bring in people with great skillsets from both within the industry and from industries you wouldn’t even associate with media.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, because you’ll all be regular readers of the blog series, Ad Ops have had 2 series in 2015 which have both been greatly viewed, but one blog specifically #AdOpsProblems was one of iProspects most viewed of the year “Go Ad Ops”.

Finally the influence we’ve been able to build and show this year has gained us invites over to multiple events with Yahoo & the AAI most notably inviting us over to guest speak at events to discuss Ad Operations, Systems/Technology & how we see the future of data being in the next 12 months.

Looking back on the year for the industry as anyone associated with media, ad ops or display marketing will be aware of, the year has been all about HTML5 & Flash file converters…

HTML5 brought a huge and much needed transition into the net stage of display creative, but the transition period could have been much easier.  It’s well publicised that Google & Firefox both forced the push by enabling their browsers to block flash creative, causing a rush from media agencies, clients and creative agencies to push all live creative over to HTML5, The industry was caught flat footed and caused a huge increase in workload on the creative agency side.  “Flash Converters to the rescue!!!!” or not…. Creative agencies tried to use flash converters to allow a speedy resolution to fulfill the requirements for the need of HTML5 creative.   Most Ad servers seemed to refuse HTML5 files that had been created from previous flash creative, due to the additional 3rd party calls and references to external js libraries it made the whole transition so much more difficult.

The last thing to talk about in a year review really is the look into how 2016 is going to be and how we think this will affect our team.  Within the Dentsu Aegis Network we’ve been able to introduce a localised Amnet offering which would have previously been run outside of Ireland and within the UK (Blog to follow tomorrow – Look out for it!) which means we should be able to increase our programmatic offering, we see this as a great opportunity for the Ad Ops & Systems team as this will allow us to work on more detailed plans and really flex our muscles when it comes to showing our ability to increase data collection from the clients website. 

Big Data

As the blog suggest we think 2016 could be hugely based around data and I think some of the industry changes happening in the later part of 2015 would suggest this, we companies who previously looked at data full time now looking to introduce a diverse media offering and organisations with the media world looking at their data offering in much more detail.

The best thing about 2016 however will be we don’t need to live through the Flash to HTML5 transition again.  I’m not sure myself, the team or the industry could take something like that again!