With the rise of programmatic ad buying, the role of the product manager in the ad tech industry becomes increasingly crucial.
The customer’s (both from the advertiser and publisher side) requirements and expectations for new and innovative advertising solutions are ascending. Thus, product people must get creative, and constantly think of new features and systems that can add that extra touch and value to their companies.
- Data –
Big Data might be a buzz word, but it serves a major role at every system in the ad tech industry. From the early days of advertisement, targeting the right audience has been a cardinal issue for advertisers. In our techy era, data is essential for quality targeting. There are a few ways of collecting loads of data about your target audience, for example:
- RTB Auctions – when connecting directly to an SSP, you can collect a lot of information only from the requests and the auctions that are being processed by your servers. Learn about user browsing history, locations and more.
- DMPs – Data Management Platforms, there are a lot of services in the market that can help you get more data on the user you are about to show the ad to. If it’s through cookie syncing or through the ip/idfa of the device. All those services can help you to retrieve more data for your advertisers.
- Inventory Types –
With the rapid growth in innovative technology, competition is growing respectively, and the inventory types keep evolving. Whether it’s different devices as VR or CTV, different ad placements like ‘native’, and different media types as the 360 photos and videos. When planning future product, take into consideration the new opportunities around these devices/types of media, so your future products will be compatible and supportive to all the recently added features.
- Results Metrics and Math –
Collecting the data is one thing, but what you eventually do with it post collection is the real game changer, that’s what can really set you apart from the herd and give you that extra edge your company needs.
Optimization “brains” in the form of machine learning algorithms are gaining popularity, and becoming a necessity in ad tech. Math has become the loyal companion of the account manager and media buyer. The real competition in happening on the algorithm level, the more sophisticated it gets -the better results your company will deliver. Another angel to utilize math for your advantage is ‘result metrics’; like ‘attention’, for example, the new video ads protocol that measure the attention of the user to the ad in play.
- Trend Reaction
Being a user based industry, trends play a major role in advertising results.
A smart PM will plan his/her product to be as flexible and adjustable as possible, to match the ever-changing industry. The better you plan the product, the easier it will be to identify and adapt to the changes in trends.
- Scaling (and the cost of scale)
Like everything in life all the tools mentioned above have a cost. The collection, storage, processing of data and algorithms are all increasing the maintenance costs of these systems. So, when building large scale operation, your margin from operations can be badly damaged by tech costs. Every PM should keep that in mind when planning the next product, and ask himself these two questions:
- Are the additional costs of this features worth it?
- What can I do to reduce these costs?
Working as a PM requires being sharp and alert. Keeping these tips in mind, will hopefully help you stay ahead of the game, and assist your company in taking its place as an industry leader.