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Be Nimble, Grasshopper

Nov 14, 2016 |


Olivia Rosen, Business Development Manager



My first job out of college was as an inside sales rep where the sales cycle was quick and the turnover was high. When I made the leap into ad tech, I knew I would have to adopt a more sophisticated consultative approach. I read up on all things programmatic and never hesitated to ask questions, delve deeper, and sift through the ubiquitous and baffling buzzwords (so. many. buzzwords).

I soon learned of the plasticity of the industry, and how crossover between roles is the norm, not the exception. In a number of business development positions, I’ve taken on countless responsibilities outside what was originally listed in my job description: JSVPAID optimization, tag troubleshooting, client relations…the list goes on and on.

This was one of the most valuable assets I could add to my company–and to my clients. It’s critical to be more than just an account manager, an ad optimizer, or a sales representative. The beauty of our industry is that it’s always changing, and if you’re not afraid to extend yourself outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the wild west of ad tech.

Regardless of your position, incorporate the following into your every day and you’ll differentiate yourself enough to help you move up the ladder.

1. Ad Optimizing. There’s real value in looking at your accounts and knowing how to prioritize them within a demand stack. Effective optimization calls for an understanding of what inventory your tags should be associated with and investigating how your clients source their inventory (and to consider prioritizing tags based on the most premium/direct campaigns).

Additionally, figure out if there’s a need to optimize against certain KPIs. Think outside the box: if a particular buyer is running a political campaign, target the geos that make the most sense. If the campaign is based on scale, consider running on a whitelist or blacklist. This type of critical thinking coupled with the ability to analyze data more granularly is–at least for me–not as intuitive as it may be for others, but is necessary for making sure accounts are performing as well as possible. Added bonus: you also gain credibility with your clients if you can appropriately speak to their numbers.

2. Client Reporting. Put yourself in a brand’s shoes. They know that programmatic advertising can increase scale and better target their audience, but what exactly is going on behind the scenes? Where are the ads being served? What percentage of them are viewable? Is there an actual ROAS here? In utilizing third-party verification tools like MOAT, White Ops, or in-house reporting, brands and advertisers can better gauge what works, what doesn’t, and where the clients’ money is best spent. Transparency is key and if you have the tools to provide real-time reporting, it’s silly not to.

3. Ask The Right Questions. Push yourself to find out everything you can about your brand, your agency, or your client. Know when to figure things out yourself and problem solve, but don’t be afraid to ask about what potential verticals they’re looking to target, where they’ve seen the most success in the past, and what they need in order to move forward.

We all share the same goal of responsibly executing campaigns at scale in brand-safe environments. As such, we must do as much as we can to prescribe an effective solution. In pushing one another to work within each moving stage of the video lifecycle, we then–in turn–become an intrinsic part of the ad tech space.