Ad traffic managers are highly detail-oriented, focused and organized media team members but that does not mean you have to be a total bore. Traffic managers are responsible for an entire advertising campaign, taking it from vision, to implementation, to execution, to post-campaign analysis. One mistake can cost your company an account but doing your job properly means you get to bask in the glory of a successful campaign. Traffic managers interact with nearly all advertising agency departments, including account management, finance, creative, project management, media planning, media buying and search / social marketing if working at a digital agency. Some level of proficiency with spreadsheet and word processing software is essential but being charming is equally important.
Organization and Scheduling
As a traffic manager, you are responsible for receiving the media plan, budgets and proposed media buys from the team and requesting assets from the creative or graphics department. You also schedule media campaigns according to the client or account executive directed flight dates, or the dates when the media will be live. If you love to write tasks lists and keep track of everything in your calendar - this is the job for you.
Proofing and Approvals
While ads with mistakes are funny to share online, an error in your ad campaign can be the difference between promotion and the unemployment line. Checking all creative assets, including websites, banner ads, emails, billboards, television or radio spots and any item used to advertise a campaign is an essential part of a traffic manager's job. Incorrect information on an advertisement can cost a campaign thousands, if not millions of dollars. Presenting creative assets to client and account services for approval and final client sign-off is also an important part of the job.
As the job title may suggest, the ad traffic manager is also responsible for ensuring that accurate creative assets and tracking mechanisms are submitted to each third-party media vendor. Use your charm and develop relationships with these vendors. Make sure to test all campaigns for proper tracking, whether via URL or unique telephone number. Your follow-through aids the media buyer as she makes informed decisions about performance and optimizations to a campaign.
Easily the most boring part of the job, ad traffic managers are required to run daily reports to calculate the cost and the effectiveness of a campaign during the flight. Digital media campaigns are more likely to check in-flight progress, as optimization and changes can be made more easily online than offline. Incredible attention to detail, accuracy and financial know-how are crucial when compiling reports. After reports are finished, celebrate until tomorrow.
Missi Maynard has worked in online advertising for more than 10 years. She has also been a copywriter for a number of online publications and volunteers for many charitable and faith-based organizations. Maynard holds associate degrees in computer information systems and general studies, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Christian ministry.