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A Day In The Life Of An AdOps: Jean-Martin Provencher

By Jean-Martin Provencher
VP Sales Operations
November 27th, 2019

What is your job title, and what do you do? How did you start?

My official title is VP sales operations. My main tasks revolve around overseeing the team (Adops FTW!) that executes all managed advertising activity from our demand side clients, both agencies and advertisers. Outside of this I have contact with most of the teams within district m, including working closely with Sales on campaign planning and strategies, with the Product and Dev teams on a variety of projects, or with the Supply team to work synergies.

 

How long have you been in AdOps for and what have you learned throughout your career?

I came from a more traditional marketing communication background; working in event planning, brand management and media strategy/buying. The media agency where I worked before joining district m was an early adopter of programmatic technologies to support their digital buy-side activities and I got a chance to be part of the small team that worked in the platforms. I was hooked. Now it’s been more than 7 years that I’ve been in this industry.

 

What I’ve learned! So much! Obviously, there’s a lot of more technical and analytical knowledge that I acquired through the years, very applicable things that allow me to support my team and contribute to strategic reflections (or problem solving!) on a day-to-day basis.

But some higher-level learnings would definitely include some of the following:

  1. When you’re surrounded by committed people with complementary strengths, you can accomplish great (great) things. 
  2. You can (should!) have fun at work.
  3. It’s possible to work with long-time friends (and that it won’t necessarily ruin your friendship). 
  4. Programmatic is a (very) fast-paced industry.
  5. Portuguese chicken (from Romados) will bring people together. 
  6. After the 70 people mark in a start-up, it might get hard to sustain the same level of familiarity with everyone (but one must try!). 
  7. In operations, Software Developers and the Dev team should be your best friends (#automation #efficiency). 
  8. Curiosity is a crucial enabler of your evolution, both personally and professionally.

 

What’s your day-to-day like? 

Like a full breakdown? Ok!  

5AM That’s when my alarm first goes off. No, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I successfully make it out of bed.

6AM By now I should be on my way to the gym, love working out in the morning.

7:30AM This normally the time I get to the office. Coffee first. I might play catch up on some emails from the day before but it’s not very likely, the truth is I was probably still connected on my phone the entire evening. Therefore it’s more getting the latest on our activity through different dashboards and reports. What did we deliver yesterday? Is everything on track? Anything starting or ending soon? Any specific campaigns where I need to get involved? And prioritizing the rest of my day.

9AM-10AM Scrums and quick touch points through the teams. Most effective way share status on key projects to make sure everyone is aligned on priorities.

10AM-2PM Meetings! Productive ones (we hope!) As I mentioned the core of what I do revolves around campaign deliveries and operations but I’m also working a many different projects, things like: strategic planning, product enrichment, processes optimization, systems.

2PM-4PM I’ll dive back in more specific campaigns and delivery activity with my team. Rather it’s solving some more complexes situation, sharing ideas or supporting with something we have to rush. I always stay close to the action.

4PM-6PM I’ll make sure to look at emails and ongoing conversations that will have occurred during the day and give my input.  You never want to be the bottleneck 😉

6PM Short commute (I live 10 minutes from the office). Time to relax, cook and spend some quality time with my girlfriend. 

What’s your favorite thing about working at district m? 

This obviously can’t be one thing. I’d say it’s a combination of the people, the hyper-growth and the constant renewed challenges that this evolving industry bring us.

The importance of programmatic grew, and rapidly. From being a display only trading ecosystem, we saw it grow to quickly start including a wide selection of formats: video, audio, native, connected TV, Digital Out of Home, OTT. This expansion in supply was of course paired with rising demand from the buy-side, creating a need for knowledgeable (and technical) partners for advertisers. Acting on both sides of this marketplace, district m took on that role with great success.

The competition we are facing comes from such large companies that it makes the challenge not only big, but perpetual. One must know that when signing up for this adventure.

People are at the very center of this success. Their energy, intelligence and determination are what makes this possible, what makes it fun and what makes me come back to this (not so) typical day after many years!

 

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