The Year in Ad Ops 2011 – Adobe Emerged as a Major Force in Ad Tech

I can’t think of another powerhouse corporation that has moved so quickly into the ad tech business as Adobe did this year. Before 2011, Adobe had only happenstance exposure to the market, playing a key role in things like site analytics (via Omniture), and rich media development (via Macromedia’s Flash), but didn’t have much involvement in the delivery of ads themselves. In the course of a year however, Adobe bought its way to a leadership position in data management, cross platform video ad serving, and social marketing. Thanks to three major ad tech acquisitions book-ending the year as well as the launch of an ambitious product to streamline ad trafficking, Adobe’s moves should make any Ops department sit up and take notice as one of the most viable competitors to the Google stack to come along yet. (more…)

Ad Validation – Ad Tech Finally Comes to Ad Ops?

There are lots of reasons to be excited about what’s happening in the ad technology world right now from a business point of view, but from an Ad Ops perspective, the current landscape is pretty daunting.  For lots of folks at the implementation level, ad technology often means more integration projects, more complexity, more relationships to manage, and frankly, more work to pack into the day with the same amount of resources.  There are lots of tools and services being built for advertisers and publishers alike, but where’s the innovation for Ops teams on either side?

To date, with perhaps the exception of tag management solutions, I haven’t seen many products that seek to simplify the operational process for the direct sales channel – most everything seems focused on creating new, more complex products or bringing new, automated sales channels to market.  Those are fine goals, but I would submit that much like the years of neglect around resolving 3rd party discrepancies, the ad tech community has to date ignored a huge potential opportunity to make life easier for Ad Ops teams.  In the past few weeks, however it seems like that may be about to change.

Specifically, during IAB Ops 2011, Adobe announced their entry into the ad validation space with some fanfare, throwing some much needed attention and hopefully some serious resources on a little known service with tremendous possibilities but few solutions.  For those interested in learning more, I hope you’ll read my new series on the ad validation space to explain the need, the current solutions, and where the space looks to be headed in the future. (more…)