During the last two decades, managing advertising operations has undergone a tremendous evolution solving numerous operational problems. From the very old problem of coding and getting the ads up on time to the current way of planning, reaching, and tracking human audience responses across different programmatic mediums.
The journey has seen technology and people operations co-existing and complimenting to meet the ever-changing business needs. When technology evolution hits an air-pocket on account of business dynamics, the operations experts and process operatives always scaled up and filled the gaps. Strong processes aligned to technology solutions met the dynamic needs and kept the business stable and on track until the technology automated the people/process to drive efficiency and this journey continued.
The key take-away that most of us would have realized or had during the evolution is that the advertising operation teams have been constantly challenged to catch up with the technology changes, and at the same time transforming to become more client-facing and helping them to achieve their business goals.
Responding to the growing customer demands and the dynamic nature of the operations, many prudent players in the industry have bifurcated their advertising operations by keeping their nearshore workforce to be more client-facing and adopting an outsourcing route for enabling their blocking and tackling operations.
Outsourcing has certainly been a cost-effective way to manage scale on repeatable processes through standard operating procedures (SOP) and quality assurance to mitigate risks and drive efficiency. This model has been quite successful and the industry is now gearing to gain efficiency by Automation and Optimization.
While the businesses need to continuously gain efficiency in the long run via pure-play automation, their step goals should be to strengthen the execution of repeatable steps and avoid skill and knowledge depletion due to attrition. Operating under SOPs for quite some time underpins the fact that ~70% of the tasks people work on are repeating things, applying rules, taking decisions to fulfill operations requirements. Would it not then be prudent to adopt and train a Virtual Workforce (Robotic Process Automation) to tackle this?
Re-skilling some of the advertising operations team on RPA and choosing a partner with RPA skills (Blue Prism, UIpaths, Automation Anywhere, etc.,) along with ad-operations expertise is the next leap in the skill enhancement and optimization strategy that big advertising operations team should adopt to increase the benchmark on accuracy, consistency, availability, and scalability. This will also help in making available intellectually competent domain experts in the ad operations team focus on customer business goals.
Some of the functions that Virtual Workforce can be leveraged for are I/O creation and change management, Standardizing proposal creation, Ad-trafficking across multiple ad platforms, Ad Screenshots. Delivery reconciliation etc.
Time to ride the next operational transformation wave, be the leader!!! If needed, actively sought additional support from iOPEX!