Ad Operations refer to systems and processes that encourage the sale and delivery of online advertising. It is the software system and workflow process used to sell, serve, input, report and target the performance of online adverts.
Online or Digital Advertising is a branch of the advertisement industry that uses electronic means to communicate, promote and market products and services. This include text advertising, website display advertising, online video advertising, search advertising, mobile and device advertising, email display ads. These adverts generate revenue for content providers.
Ad Operations is a department within an ad network, a digital content publisher, ad technology provider or ad agency. They may be categorized under sales organisation, information technology, or can be a separate unit.
The main function of ad operators is to fulfil the order of sale ( also called “media ad buy” or “ad campaign”) purchased on behalf of or directly by an advertiser (also called a “client” or a “direct marketer”). Hence Ad operations refer to a group directly responsible for generating revenue.
Ad operations groups may also be responsible for other duties such as ad product creation, pricing vendor management and research depending on the structure of the company. The group’s function may also include maintaining the software and hardware systems used (such as other technologies or ad servers).
The ad buy refers to the amount of advert a client wish to run for a stated period of time with a specific placement. This will be dictated by an insertion order or “IO”. The ad buy is procured through the sales force and then implemented by the ad operations.
An ad operations team may be composed of several different roles including ad schedulers (also called “ad campaign managers”, “ad ops coordinators” or “ad traffickers”), inventory management, billing personnel, vendor management, yield management, and technical operations.
There are some other roles which are not directly related to the execution of ad campaigns such as sales planners and sales engineers, ad product and project managers, account managers. These roles may be categorized under ad ops or sales (this depends on how the company is structured).