If you’ve ever interacted with a webpage or other type of digital media content, you might have seen an advertisement and wondered who’s in charge of which advertisements are shown in which places at which times. Look no further! Digital ad operations jobs are booming right now due to the huge amount of revenue flowing in the internet advertisement industry. For those proficient with online ad ops, becoming a digital ad operations manager is a great way to express those skills.
But what goes into digital ad operations? Which skills are required, what’s a general digital ad operations job description, and—crucially—what’s the expected digital ad ops salary? On this page we’ll give a general overview of what’s expected in ad operations manager jobs so that you can discern if this type of service matches what you can easily do.
An ad operations manager is, simply put, in charge of doing everything it takes (from tweaking the design to doing research on the product and audience to analyzing the conversion rates for the client) to optimize a great internet ad campaign. Ultimately, the ad operations manager is the bridge between the people on the business end of the company and the programming and technology side.
This can represent a great opportunity for those capable of knowing the best of both worlds—but it can also present its own challenges. Below we’ll discuss a general job description, a typical day, and then delve into requirements and expectations.
Ultimately, an ad operations manager is in charge of leading a team of advertisers to produce and optimize the best possible campaign for their clients. You’ll be in charge of managing the relationships between your team members, addressing problems and implementing solutions, and supervising the output of their work to make sure that it matches the brief given to your team by the client or by higher-ups at your firm.
Interestingly, the term ‘ad operations manager’ is more of an umbrella term which may encompass several other job titles. If you’re looking at a job listing for ‘advertising manager’, ‘marketing manager’, ‘promotions director’, ‘marketing director’, ‘marketing and promotions manager’, or ‘ad executive’, those titles may all be referring to the same general line of work. Make sure you read the job description and review your own qualifications carefully to ensure that you know what you’re getting yourself into!
As outlined above, it’s a lot of people management, interfacing with clients, and acting as the middleman between your tech experts and the business executives managing the relationship with the client!
However, here’s a slightly more itemized listing of what exactly it is that ad operations managers do:
The typical day on the job does vary depending on where your campaign is (whether it’s in build or it’s been launched, for example) and what needs your clients have expressed to you that they need filled. Your future day-to-day will likely begin with monitoring the input and output of your ad campaigns and communicating with your clients.
Making sure that there aren’t any issues with the campaign will likely be your number one priority! After that, you’ll be expected to solve any problems either instantaneously or before they happen, and anticipate the needs of client as far as where they would like their campaigns to go. A frequent question asked of current ad operations managers is simply how their job is possible! It does rely a lot on intuition, but being prepared and regularly taking the initiative are skills that will go far in this job.
Most ad operations managers report voluntarily going into the office before their scheduled hours so they can get a handle on the meetings they have that day, and to prepare any reports or deliverables that their clients may want. They also say that being an ad operations manager definitely isn’t just a 9-5 job, as campaigns may run globally and your clients will want around-the-clock support and data on them!
Ultimately, many of the current ad operations managers we spoke to said that they drink a lot of coffee and work a lot more than many of their peers. However, there are trade-offs: If you’re very good at your job, then the salary expectations can make your effort well worth your while.
As you may imagine, the qualifications expected of such a high-powered and intense job are many. However, as with many jobs, the things most looked for among candidates are initiative and a history of providing quality work to clients! Beyond that, let’s delve into the specific job requirements most usually enlisted on ad operations manager job listings.
As far as education goes, most future employers will be looking for at least a Bachelor’s degree in the management of business, with further education such as a Master’s or a Doctorate seen as a definite bonus. Any additional education undergone such as certificates or continuing education courses is definitely something that you should mention in your application!
Along with a significant amount of education, most employers will also be looking for a large amount of related experience to show that you know what it’s like to step into the shoes of a highly proficient ad operations manager. To this end, a typical benchmark is that a company would like to see that you have worked for at least two years in an advertising capacity within a firm or a company with a good reputation. However, if you’re applying to a larger job or hoping to work with a larger company, they may ask for you to have a year or two of specific advertisement management up your sleeve as well.
However, if you don’t have any of this experience or education but still feel like you have some qualities that would make you a strong match for this job, feel free to apply anyway! That sense of gumption and initiative is competitive and rare. Just make sure that you manage your expectations, and if you do get selected for an interview be very prepared to argue your case and back up your candidacy with as much proof as you have.
One current ad operations manager reported that having some proficiency or at least familiarity with coding and programming languages (such as CSS or HTML) is helpful, because you will be helping merge technology with business. Therefore, being able to recognize and help tweak the coding will make your life a lot simpler—and up the value that you’re able to provide to your team.
As far as personality goes, a lot of clients will simply be looking for someone who’s a great team player and has a keen sense of humor. Being an ad operations manager can be a physically grueling job, and it definitely demands lots of collaboration and trust.
In a more itemized way, here are a few of the preferred skills that ad management hiring executives have reported looking for among their candidates:
One of the fantastic things about being an ad operations manager is that if you’re doing it well, you’re at the apex of a thriving industry. If you’re a good ad operations manager, you can go almost anywhere from there—whether it be technology, product design, further sales, or being one of the higher-ups at a booming company. Not only is it a great job in itself—it’s a versatile and sturdy stepping stone en route to almost any other kind of job you could imagine.
As far as the security of this specific profession goes, imagine a world without ads. Impossible, right? As the internet and our use of it expands, as the number of digital media properties shoots higher and higher, people will be seeking more and more to monetize the audience’s experiences of all of those properties. The number of ad operations managers to take care of all of the details regarding those campaigns will only be on the rise over the next number of years.
In fact, to this end, it was recently reported by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics that the number of jobs in this field will definitely be increasing all the way through the year 2028.
As always, the salary range varies incredibly based on the experience and skills you’re bringing to the job as well as the number of campaigns you’ll be working on, the clients with which you’re able to establish a great relationship, and even the reputation of the firm you’re working with—and the industries you’ll be working in. However, as a general ballpark figure for planning purposes, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the most proficient and excellent ad operations managers can earn about $200,000 per annum.
However, as you might expect, that’s only the best—meaning, those performing consistently in approximately the top ten percentile of their field. The range can plummet all the way down to about 44K per year (or less) for those who perform in the lowest ten percent of their fields, with reported salaries running the entire gamut in between.
The information contained in this guide will be of great use to you as you figure out your next steps— congratulations on making it this far! Feel free to use all of the resources on Digital Media Jobs to make sure that you have all of the information you need to make one of the biggest career moves you may ever make.
Be sure to visit the Job Listings page to see if there are any ad operations manager jobs in your area to submit a quick application to! Good luck!