The 80/20 Rule of Ad Management

In our consulting assignments for ad management and ad serving companies, a common theme emerges.  Ad management companies claim the 80/20 rule.  That is, 80 percent of their customers use 20 percent of the cool features built into ad servers, and getting media planning types into advanced training sessions to learn how to use the rest of the features is difficult at best. I had a refresher course from one of the ad serving companies recently, complete with an overview of some of the cooler stuff they can do from the agency side.  It really started the wheels turning.  New features are coming out all the time, and when they do, media people need to be on top of them so they can be leveraged tactically for clients.  I walked out of the overview with half a dozen solid ideas for how we might use advanced ad serving features for our clients.  Among those ideas were new applications of domain targeting, retargeting based on action tag data, geographic segmentation and auto-optimization.

This all reinforced the importance of training in my mind.  No matter how busy your people are, sacrifices have to be made so that everyone understands the full capabilities of the tools available to us.  This extends well past ad management into syndicated research, rich media and a bunch of other toolkits we use every day.

Sometimes, I notice folks (not just here, but at other agencies as well) doing things the hard way, when technology has already eased a particular pain point for them, but force of habit and inertia keep outdated practices solidified within a day-to-day routine.  There are a lot of efficiencies to be realized across the industry.  Training is one of the things that gets us to more efficient processes.

Learn to use tools the right way.  Not half-ass.  Not "just enough to get by."  The right way.  And take steps along the way to make sure you stay on top of new developments - don't take vacations from training sessions for years at a time.  Sign up for regular refreshers.  Ad management, rich media, research and tools companies wish you would.  It helps you get the most from the tools your agency pays good money for.  Most of all, it helps your clients.