4 Ad Operations Challenges for Enterprise Publishers 

Enterprise publishers are struggling to keep up with the pace of programmatic advertising. Many find it challenging to balance their brand identity while partnering with multiple ad tech vendors.

Exponential growth in the number of ad formats and an increasing number of programmatic intermediaries provide both opportunities and challenges to ad operations teams in enterprise organizations. These teams must simultaneously extend their existing capabilities, implement new tools and processes, increase automation, and ensure a positive user experience with quality ads.

This article provides a high-level overview of some of the challenges enterprise publishers face in running ad operations (a.k.a ad ops).

1. Managing the Complexities of Ad Operations

Ad ops is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. An enterprise publisher must ensure that the ads they place on their site are high quality, relevant, and optimized for conversions. If the ads are intrusive or irrelevant, users will be annoyed, leading to lower engagement and less revenue.

That said, it’s no secret that running ad ops is a difficult job and one that many enterprise publishers are not well equipped to handle internally. These roles are often filled by people with experience in the advertising industry, but it’s not always easy to find someone with the right skill set to take on a job.

Moreover, large audiences mean more inventory management and more ad sales inquiries. Without proper infrastructure, enterprise publishers often struggle with managing the volume of inventory being sold programmatically and communicating with direct advertisers about their needs in terms of where ads should be placed on their site or app.

2. Outdated Advertising Program

Programmatic advertising enables buying and selling media without human interaction. This has revolutionized how publishers sell their inventory and has become essential in any media plan. However, the need for innovation is increasing daily, but enterprises do not have the necessary domain expertise. 

This leads to a lack of innovation and growth opportunities for the business. A good example would be mobile website or app advertising, where there is an immense opportunity. Enterprise publishers may be unable to take advantage of it due to a lack of expertise. 

Most enterprise publishers today find it hard to understand advanced technologies such as AMP RTC (Real Time Configuration) and how they can implement them into their workflow and identify new ways of generating advertising revenue.

Further, publishers struggle to find ad ops resources to take on new challenges as they have limited domain expertise in areas like privacy laws’ compliance, brand safety, and audience development — all critical areas for growth.

3. Testing, Learning, and Adopting Best Practices for Ad Optimization

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ad optimization, especially for an enterprise publisher who deals with multiple partners, platforms, and demand sources while ensuring the efficiency of all these aspects across their several websites.

To make the ads work, enterprise publishers constantly need to develop new optimization strategies based on industry trends and a consistent way to evaluate their performance to be able to:

  • Determine which campaigns should continue and which should be paused or terminated
  • Identify underperforming ad placements
  • Measure campaign performance across multiple partners
  • Manage relationships with partners on an ongoing basis
  • Manage the ads for each campaign separately, and so on

A new perspective is crucial for improving the website’s UX, CPMs, CTRs, etc. Publishers must master various testing, auditing, and debugging tools to ensure the efficient execution of these strategies. Proper planning, industry knowledge, and understanding of ad performance and insights from collected data are also crucial to an ad campaign’s success.

4. Conflicts Between Delivering Engaging Content and Ads

The ad industry is in flux as we head into 2023. Digital advertising budgets are shifting, with more dollars flowing to premium content and brand safety issues being addressed by publishers. The reality for enterprise publishers is that the shift toward programmatic has resulted in less control over the creative side of advertising. 

With most brands now buying from supply sources via programmatic, there’s no one to ask for changes if something goes wrong — or even if it’s just not up to snuff. This can cause problems when delivering engaging content and ads, as publishers will often push back on poor performance because they don’t understand why they aren’t getting the desired results from their campaigns.

A publisher’s first and foremost responsibility is to create engaging content for their audiences. Enterprise publishers are usually global companies with employees and audiences from many countries. This means they must create content and ads that appeal to a global audience while ensuring compliance with local legal requirements. 

While increased CTRs and ad revenue are also quite important, ad ops can easily distract a publisher from being able to create engaging content. It is a time and effort-intensive task, and if a publisher is distracted by monetization issues, their content quality can soon start to slip.

What’s Next?

Ignoring ad ops challenges can significantly hurt an enterprise publisher’s business. It can impact their website’s ranking, traffic, and ad revenues. If these challenges seem overwhelming, finding a suitable monetization partner to handle ad ops might be the best step forward.

However, publishers must also be cautious while choosing a suitable third-party partner to tackle their ad ops and monetization needs. Check out the challenges that enterprise publishers can face with a programmatic monetization partner in our next post below. 

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