Like the drummer in a band who may be out of the spotlight but keeps the song moving, the ops team for a media organization plays a similarly crucial role in launching and pacing a campaign. They're the ones who are in the middle of it all, managing handoffs, deliverables and timelines, not to mention monitoring the campaign, all of which are critical for success. So, like a drummer who suddenly stopped playing mid-song, a campaign without ops just wouldn't sound right. But when that campaign delivers, it commands a repeat performance (that means revenue).
At NYI we've learned the value of brainstorming around the use of rich data to enrich campaigns and grow revenue, and ways for both strategic and tactical partners to set the right pace for our internal and external partners.
Here are five ways we conduct ourselves to drive encore-worthy results, which should help your campaign ops ensemble, too.
All of the other stakeholders put their trust in us; they need to know that we have their best interest in mind at all times. We want to make sure that sales feels reassured when they hand a campaign over to us.
The nature of the media business has evolved to a point where ops has now joined data at the epicenter of campaigns. From this exciting vantage point, we can help bring all the rich data points to life in ways we never could before. For example, creating a complete 3D picture of customers using proprietary, real-time set-top box data; first-party data, web activity, location data, and third-party data from our partners. This allows clients to deliver a brand message that is much more relevant and engaging.
Being at the center of the action, we know enough about what everyone is doing and can draw on experience from past campaigns, which makes the team that much more efficient. When the new NYI was launched last year, ops worked hand-in-hand with marketing to tell the campaigns' stories.
In the hectic, complex world of media planning and buying, problems can bubble up from anywhere. Ops should have a good enough sense of the end-to-end process to be able to check all the necessary boxes in trying to find the root of any problem -- while being ready to seek out the right people to help fix it.
It also means being able to look at the big picture. For example, ops was front and center when NYI was gearing up to launch our digital offering. What is the product? How does it work? What is the workflow? How will we launch, pace, report and bill this product? We weren't experts in the digital arena, but we quickly had to bring ourselves up to speed.
Throughout the frenetic pace that is media life, a good ops team knows to remain even and objective when faced with an issue. Yes, things happen, but remaining calm under pressure is vital; it's about knowing how to assess the situation, getting the right perspectives, seeing what your options are and putting a proper plan into action. (Okay, maybe in between all that you can allow yourself a little freak-out when no one is looking!)
Change is inevitable, and department ops must be ready for anything at any time; it means being able to adapt quickly. This was never more apparent than last spring when NYI formed a new joint venture between Altice, Charter and Comcast. Each of these partners had their own procedures and methodologies that we needed to learn, integrate and adapt to. We each had workflows and processes that worked but needed to keep an open mind to how the partners work and adjust. As each partner changes, so must we.
This is a good thing because, by creating more synergy among media and ad players, ops can offer more efficient, one-stop-shop solutions for our clients. As the lines between media platforms have blurred, and with consolidation in the news on an almost-daily basis, ops is at the center of it all. It is the common thread throughout the change.
Preparation is key. You need to keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on throughout every phase of a campaign while watching what's happening on a macro level. Salespeople want to know what's going on with their specific campaigns, but management may be looking for an overall picture: "Did my campaign launch?" "How is it performing?" "When is the report coming?" "Which verticals are up YOY?"
These are just some of the questions that come up every day. Keeping thorough campaign records and tracking not only helps answer these questions, but also establishes baselines and best practices for future activities and proves valuable for troubleshooting, as well.
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