As we approach the end of the calendar year, the industry is planning for 2022 — but you can’t plan for the future without understanding the past. Recently, LiveIntent partnered with digital advertising consultancy Beeler.Tech and CoLab Media Consulting to assess the state of Revenue Operations.
The new Rev Ops Barometer Report provides insight into the challenges publishers currently face and how to move forward. Read on for the primary takeaways from this enlightening study.
According to Ian Gibbs, research and insight specialist with CoLab Media Consulting and the presenter on Beeler.Cast, ad ops professionals currently have their work cut out for them. Their jobs continue to be redefined by the changing programmatic landscape which requires ongoing research, education, and training to remain agile. Rev ops professionals are stretched thin as it is — but pile on the decline of third-party cookies and the need to devise alternative solutions to targeting, issues like ad fraud, privacy and consent, the GAMAM (Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft) monopoly, and the pressure is really on.
Studies show that publishers feel less prepared for a cookieless world now than they did earlier this year. Over 77% said they were prepared in the first half of 2021, but this number dropped to 54% in the second half. Concerns over ad fraud continue to trouble publishers. In the words of Ian Gibbs, “There’s a lot to unpack when you’re short on time as an ad ops professional.” Between scrambling to create a viable strategy for audience targeting post third-party cookies, and managing fraud on behalf of brands, it’s a complicated time to be a publisher.
The report shows that while there’s some optimism about industry efforts to mitigate fraud, the war against fraud is not over, and ad ops teams can’t solve this dilemma alone. This is a cross-organizational effort that will require increased collaboration.
How mature are publishers, really?
As part of their research study, Beeler.Tech and CoLab asked publishers to rank their maturity based on issues like ad ops support, the comprehensiveness of their current ad stack, and whether or not their organization is diversifying its revenue streams. The results indicate that rev ops teams in high maturity businesses feel well supported by senior management, while low maturity businesses are less likely to feel that level of support. In fact, two-thirds of respondents said they don’t agree that their department gets the amount of attention it deserves. Internal communication is a problem for low maturity businesses, which struggle for recognition.
Respondents also said that automating more team tasks would help rev ops pivot to provide increased campaign support. In general, mature businesses exhibit more confidence in the support they receive, the industry’s ability to eradicate fraud, and their level of preparation for the deprecation of cookies.
When it comes to their ability to leverage first-party data, high and low maturity businesses have a similar level of confidence — 77% and 63%, respectively. That said, lower maturity businesses are less confident in the identity solutions and strategies their companies currently employ. Why is this information important? Research shows that high maturity is linked to high revenue — something every publisher strives for.
The bottom line? In order to produce effective campaigns moving forward, rev ops teams need more support. The responsibility of building a good identity and privacy strategy shouldn’t fall on rev ops alone. At the same time, rev ops professionals need a higher volume of inventory, curated marketplaces, and more segmentation in order to create successful campaigns.