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Women in Advertising Operations: Careers, Responsibilities, and Technical Skills

Advertising operations is a critical function in any advertising organization. It is the team responsible for ensuring that ads are delivered to the right place at the right time and are effective once they get there. This can be a very challenging job, but it is also very rewarding. In this guide, we will discuss the typical career path in advertising operations, what day-to-day responsibilities entail, and what technical skills are required. If you are a woman early in your marketing career, this article will help you determine if advertising operations is the right career path for you!

What is advertising operations?

Advertising operations are vital to the success of any advertising company. The goal of ad ops is to make sure that the ads are relevant and effective when they reach their target audience. These responsibilities can include things like buying media (negotiating with publishers and ad networks), setting up campaign tracking, managing budgets, creating reports for sales teams or executives, optimizing campaigns based on performance metrics, and troubleshooting technical issues within campaigns. Ad ops professionals need to have a deep understanding of their company’s technology stack as well as strong analytical skills and marketing expertise.

Careers in advertising operations

Career paths in ad ops typically follow a linear progression. At the junior level, an operations professional may start out performing some of the tasks mentioned above under close supervision from more experienced team members. As they gain experience and knowledge, they’ll often take on additional project or vendor relationship management responsibilities. Ad operations teams are typically very small, so you may find yourself wearing many hats if you get into this line of work!

Let’s take a look at some of the common roles you’ll find in ad operations:

Ad ops coordinator:

This role typically involves managing the technical aspects of a campaign and reporting on its performance. Ad ops coordinators may also be involved in setting up tracking pixels or other types of tags, negotiating with publishers and ad networks, and troubleshooting technical issues as they arise.

As with most jobs in the advertising industry, pay can vary significantly depending on your skills and experience. Ad ops coordinators typically have around 3 years of experience and earn a median salary of $60,000. However, depending on the company you work for and your level of experience, you may make more or less.

Ad operations manager:

This position is usually seen in larger organizations. The job responsibilities often include overseeing a team of junior-level employees, managing budget allocation for campaigns, directing those campaigns to ensure that goals are met, and training new hires.

The typical career path for an advertising operations manager is to start as an ad ops coordinator and then progress to manager. Advertising operations managers usually have around 5 years of experience and earn a median salary of $75,000.

Director of ad ops:

As you might expect, this role generally represents the highest level of leadership within an ad ops team. Typically, directors spend their time collaborating with executives across organizational functions like marketing and sales to ensure that key performance indicators (KPIs) for client campaigns are met. They may also be involved in developing and implementing new strategies for campaign optimization or troubleshooting technical issues with software platforms. 

Becoming a director of ad ops requires a lot of experience and skills. First, you need to have a deep understanding of the technology stack used in advertising, as well as strong analytical skills and marketing expertise. Additionally, you need to be able to effectively manage a team of employees and collaborate with executives across organizational functions.

Depending on the organization’s size, directors of ad operations may earn a salary ranging from $100,000 to over $200,000. As with all positions in this field, pay can vary widely depending on your skills, experience, and company. 

Day-to-day responsibilities

As we’ve mentioned, ad ops professionals are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of a digital advertising campaign function smoothly and efficiently. This includes tasks like setting up tracking pixels and tags, negotiating with publishers and ad networks, and troubleshooting technical issues. Additionally, operations professionals must be able to communicate effectively with stakeholders across the organization.

In addition to the day-to-day responsibilities mentioned above, advertising operations managers may also be responsible for:

Managing a team of junior employees

Directing campaigns to ensure goals are met

Training new hires

Allocating budget for campaigns

Collaborating with executives across organizational functions

Skills and qualifications

The skills and qualifications required to work in advertising operations vary depending on the role you are aiming for. However, there are a few general things that are essential for all ad ops positions.

First and foremost, you need to have strong technical skills. This includes competency with platforms like Google Analytics, DoubleClick for Publishers/Ad Exchange, DFP for Mobile Apps (if necessary), and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, among others. Additionally, you should be able to communicate effectively with stakeholders throughout the organization, including executives, marketers, salespeople, and other team members.

It is also important to have a deep understanding of digital marketing concepts like attribution, funnel optimization, and campaign measurement.

Is advertising operations the right career for you?

Overall, a career in advertising operations can be both challenging and rewarding. Whether you are interested in becoming an ad ops coordinator or manager, being able to communicate with people from all levels of your organization, being technically sound, and having strong analytical skills are key for success. This career path requires a high level of flexibility as well as an understanding of the technology that underpins digital marketing efforts today. With these skills and qualities, you may have what it takes to succeed in a career in advertising operations!


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