April 13, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. MST, AMA with Rob Beeler, Chairman of AdMonsters



First thing is anyone who isn’t measuring adblocking regularly is asking for trouble. I know some publishers that have very low adblocking numbers and so have decided to not even watch it. I think that’s a mistake. Keep measuring!

The second thing is trying to unblock the blockers (and serve them ads without their permission s in my opinion a big mistake. I do think it’s an opportunity to connect to those users and explain the value exchange (ads = free content) and to try to find a common ground. The result may be subscriptions or asking to be whitelisted in exchange for a lighter ad experience. These users are your audience. It only makes sense to engage with them to figure this out.


Hi Rob,

What are some common AdOps pitfalls you notice amongst Publishers?


Do you think independent publishers have a chance to really effect ad blocking rates themselves or will the big guys, cough cough Google cough, have to make changes to the ecosystem before we see real changes in ad blocking numbers? Things like AMP seems like they might help a lot in the future.


We’re finding that many of our publishers are experimenting with mobile based formatting on platforms like Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, and Google AMP this year. The hope is that these formats will help improve the UX, increase page views, and influence SEO rankings. How big do you think this is for publishers?


I think a big pitfall is not investing in the ad operations team itself. Ad Ops is tough and the tech is ever changing and yet I don’t see people taking care of the people of ad tech. Fewer people understand the inner workings of the business like ad operations, but often they don’t have a career path. This is why I offer the training programs that I do at Beeler.Tech to try to shed a light on this problem and help people get to the next level.

I’d also say that since my day, ad operations is a lot more siloed in terms of roles and responsibilities. It makes sense as some things like programmatic trading is best done by specialists. However, what can be lost is some of the insight into what is going on in the business that ad operations can offer the rest of the company.


Hey Rob!

AdOperations has seen a significant increase in the technology and complexity of monetizing one’s site. You now need to be analytical, technical and strategic - while paying attention to the small changes in revenue each day. How has this put a strain on AdOps professionals and what advice do you have for these professionals to succeed in their roles?


Great question. There’s another way to frame that question to ponder: Do independent publishers have a chance to really effect ad blocking rate themselves or will the bad publishers/actors continue to destroy the trust users have in digital media and drive ad blocking rates up? The answer is the same in my opinion. Each publisher probably has little impact directly on ad blocking but each must do their part as that little effort ads up. Consumption of digital content is only going up. The people who create that content need to get paid or the content will cease to exist. We need to change the economics so that serving more intrusive ads is bad business. We need to create a conversation with users so they get it and reward the sites they trust. Google and the big guys certainly are in a position to (a) lead by example in this regard (b) create an opportunity for us to have that conversation with users without putting our companies at such risk. What do you think? Do you agree?


This is a question I have been thinking about a lot recently and I’m going to say I’m still formulating my thoughts about it, but going to share some early ideas. You’re right about the increase in complexity and the role changing. Ad Operations to me was always a perfect place for people who were technical but not so technical to be dev people as well as business oriented without wanting to be a sales person. Right? Well as programmatic yield optimization becomes more and more of a focus, the job is definitely moving toward more technical, more analytical more math/statistics oriented. So obviously it’s important to be good if not great in those areas. It’s early enough days to help establish best practices so my advice on that front is to share ideas, knowledge, lessons learned and get feedback and learn from others. Communities like this and AdMonsters are great places to share and learn.

But I worry about the career path for programmatic focused ad operations people. True, they have the yield mindset that a future CRO should have, but do they understand the business they work for? My suspicion is that success is going to come to those who look up from the screen and start understanding the bigger picture. Get a mentor who probably doesn’t understand what you do, but understands how we got here.


Hello Rob!

Thank you for doing this AMA.

In your time in Ad Operations, what is the most amazing / rewarding experience you have had?



Thanks Rob. Great answer! I totally agree. Everyone has to do their part and we have to have find a way as an industry to reward people who do it right.


Hi Rob-
We had a lot of conversation and covered lots of top of mind topics. Thank you for your time and insight for the last 3 hours. As usual, you impressed the group with your depth of experience and knowledge. Thanks for being our featured AMA guest.
Best, Celesta


Wow, this one requires some thought. Of course, every campaign I ever trafficked I have loved as if it were one of my children. :slight_smile:

I know I felt good about seeing Advance Digital who I worked for grow while I was heading up ad operations. It’s a good feeling to contribute to journalism by helping pay for the reporting.

At AdMonsters, I got to see people who had never done public speaking before present to their peers and start to see careers take off because of the experience. There are some people you’ll see present at conferences that I helped along the way and I take pride in that.

For Beeler.Tech, I’ve only just started but I did an Ad Operations Management Workshop and have already seen some of those people start to see results. That’s pretty cool.


Thanks Celesta! I enjoyed the experience and look forward to hopefully doing it again some day!