At ETS.org we had a media buying/placement process that was not efficient when I first started working there. To from beginning to end the process looked like this:
This process worked for many years but as newer technologies emerged, there were problems arising with this linear (waterfall) process. Some of the problems that occurred were:
- Some the tracking had to be embedded into the ad before it was created: Older ads allowed placement after the ad was created but some newer ones needed to be rendered into the ads
- Stricter publisher guidelines of tracking technologies emerged: Character and URL limits were set by the publisher. Also domains had to match tracking URLs domain name.
- More versatile tracking techniques were sometime needed: Being able to change the destination of an ad instantly without have to render the ad again or contacting the publisher
After tasked with improving the process, I had the company adopt a more agile approach. The revised approach was as follows:
By adopting a collaborative process with the Media Buyer, I was able to:
- Talk to the media buyer and allow me to ask questions before any other work was done. This also allowed the creative team to work while myself and the media buyer talked about tracking
- Identify what types of media needed tracking added before it was rendered
- Allowed me to create redirects that pointed to the tracking URLs. This allowed us to change the destination URL and not have to go through the publisher.
- Allowed me to create short URLs that were company branded (ex: instead of using a bit.ly URL, I was able to create an ets.org one) which improved user-experience and would always be under character limits set by the publisher
- Allowed me to create subdomains so we could point to landing pages that were not on ETS.org servers
Overall the process has not run into any hitches since introduced 2008. At first there was some resent me towards me for changing the system that had been in place for the past couple of years but as time went on, it was eventually embraced by my peers. The only downfall is now every graphic artist asks before rendering an ad, “Did you check with Mike?”.