Upgrading Ad Tech & Optimizing Digital Ad Ops
One of the best-known names in the automotive industry sought to improve its advertising results by migrating to best-in-breed ad serving and business management technologies. Meeting this goal required a significant cross-functional effort and review of nearly every aspect of its digital advertising operations.
Several high-performance teams were in place, including sales planning, analytics and ad operations units. However, there was little cohesion across key functions. Requirements for data entry, reporting and decision-making were being shared with only a single team’s perspective in mind.
The transformation plan required many stakeholders to work together. Analytics, ad ops, trafficking, inventory management, sales, finance and other areas combined forces to address process, technology and organizational factors. This teamwork approach promoted a top-of-mind focus on broad, cross-functional impact.
The key objectives for the publisher’s transformation:
- Adoption of emerging industry best practices
- Streamlining of end-to-end processes
- Redefining end-user roles
- Migration to best-in-breed technology for order management and ad serving
- Evaluation of new and existing systems for enhanced yield management
3 Steps to Improved Order Management & Ad Serving
Based on the success of previous collaborations, the publisher engaged Infinitive’s digital advertising consultants to design their to-be operational state and to manage the program to get them there.
Thanks to Infinitive’s expertise in ad operations and extensive technical knowledge, the team ramped up quickly. It engaged with key stakeholders to understand the nuances of the business and redesigned processes and new tools that helped drive bottom-line success.
Three phases of transformation work:
- Order management process and organizational design
- Order management implementation and migration
- Ad server upgrade and extensive testing
The phased approach meant Infinitive was responsible for a broad range of strategic tasks like developing technology roadmaps and chairing executive decision making-workshops to tactical elements like test scripts, configuration tasks, data certification. The willingness to support the program at both ends of this spectrum was critical to the program’s success.
Working in close coordination with client leadership, the Infinitive team redesigned the proposal-to-cash process and documented 30+ related sub-processes. The process improvements spanned a range from strategic changes in high-value functions (like forecasting and pricing) to highly targeted tasks (such as correcting detailed miscalculations in specific reports).
On the organizational front, recommendations for new roles and responsibilities sought to assign clear accountability for tasks in what is a highly cross-functional culture. Further, Infinitive led the overall program and project management effort and oversaw deployment. The key services included:
- Process and business analysis
- Requirements definition, configuration design and issues management for the new order management system and other tools
- Engaging and coordinating with software vendors and advocating for client needs in terms of configuration and rollout plans
- Facilitating data clean-up, migration and integration across multiple systems
- User acceptance testing, go-live support and user communications, including reference guides and job aids for order entry and production
- End-user training for order management system and documentation for ad serving platform
- Communication planning and support for executive and business stakeholders
- Post-deployment and ongoing support for billing and other critical functions
Ensuring User Adoption & Preparing for the Future
With the successful transformation of its ad business, the online publisher is benefitting from full-user adoption, operational efficiencies, data quality controls, and data insights.
Thanks to the focus on total user adoption (not just launching new tools and processes), the new tools and processes have been embraced widely. The investments in stakeholder engagement, training and communication eliminated the risk of low user adoption – a common threat to large-scale transformation.
Overall, the operational environment is flexible and the organization is capable of evolving as future needs dictate. The company has a clear path forward for optimizing its digital operations, thanks to its streamlined processes and rationalized, integrated technology stack.
Infinitive provided us with an objective view of our business that is hard to obtain internally. Their expertise and industry knowledge allowed us to develop a more efficient approach to utilizing best practices and meeting the needs of our customers.
–Vice President of Business Operations