Congratulations to Bauer Xcel, who is winner of Digital Advertising Operations Team of the Year 2018
Your ’Elevator Pitch’
In the space of less than a year, Bauer Xcel’s AdOps team has undergone a complete restructure that delivers world class service to partners, advertisers and sales teams – all while handling two major technology projects which on their own would be award-worthy.
Set The Scene
At the start of the year Bauer faced some serious challenges in ad operations, both structurally and technologically. Historically there had been two AdOps teams, which required bringing together. Programmatic operations were split between AdOps and the broader operations team, and there was a disconnect between AdOps and the ad sales teams, leading to some severe “crunches” and under delivery at times.
There were also some serious challenges around technology, with a DFP integration which showed serious discrepancies between publisher and agency numbers, and a pre-bid programmatic implementation which worked – most of the time.
Tell Us The Story
For any publisher, AdOps is the beating heart of the business – and to fix the issues, Bauer Xcel’s AdOps team needed the equivalent of open heart surgery. The first step was to restructure the team around three coherent parts: implementation (making campaigns happen); Delivery (optimising and delivering campaigns); and Enablement, to enable a cross-platform sales team to cover digital effectively as well as print and radio. And all of this had to integrate both direct and programmatic, something which hadn’t happened before. And of course, like fixing a plane in flight, this has to be done without disrupting the day-to-day business of sales.
Doing this on its own would have been a major project. Doing this while also fixing DFP across 251 sites added a whole new level of challenges – but without achieving this at the same time, the restructure of the team wouldn’t have led to the results the business needed. The DFP project alone took months of careful work, but making it work was essential – and the AdOps team delivered, on time and under budget.
Just to add a little more fun into the mix, the team restructured the entire programmatic stack, incorporating the Google Exchange Bidding Beta, Index Exchange Wrapper and Amazon Wrapper to make a solution which lead Luke Fenney of Index Exchange to say “the team’s knowledge and expertise across a diverse range of systems and advertising environments is best-in-class”.
It’s tempting to measure the success of a project like this purely in terms of cold hard cash – and by that measure, AdOps have delivered, with a year-on-year increase in programmatic revenue of over 180%.
However, AdOps is about more than numbers: it’s also the lynchpin of the business which needs to work closely with ad sales teams, advertisers and agencies, developers, and editorial teams. And measured in this way Bauer Xcel’s AdOps team has delivered again, massively improving both internal and external relationships and providing a significantly better level of service that’s recognised across the industry. The ability of the team to work with its partners is summed up well by Alistair Robson, Strategic Partner Manager at Google: “[Bauer AdOps’] skills and knowledge in terms of implementation and feedback are important to the industry as a whole.”