The programmatic manager is an emerging profession. One of the most in-demand in the advertising field, according to many studies by the most well-known and accredited foreign employment institutes.
It is a complex and articulated profession that requires high technical competencies and business skills. Demand is high, supply is still limited. Today, for the employment and digital professions column, we talk about it with Riccardo Guggiola, programmatic and innovation manager at Adkaora-Digital Fighters.
“The world of program management,” he explained, “was built within data-driven advertising. It is the method of buying and selling advertising space through data. On the basis of automated processes, a more accurate selection of audiences to which the different advertising formats are to be proposed is developed.
Who is the program manager?
It is a new figure that has emerged in recent years with the expansion of new technologies and real-time advertising platforms. The program manager constantly interfaces with these platforms and must be able to chew HTML. He is a smart, young, and versatile figure, and above all very dynamic.
How does one become a program manager?
Only now are training courses for this figure beginning to emerge. Individual training is essential, you learn a lot in the field.
When I started my professional career in 2012, you could count on fingers of one hand the people who could explain concepts such as programmatic advertising and RTB, real-time bidding, i.e. advertising in real-time through an auction.
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What is the job description of the program manager?
A good program manager must be familiar with the dynamics between advertising supply and demand. Demand is represented by those who buy advertising: advertisers who want to place their advertisements on digital media.
The supply is represented by the publishers, the publishers who have advertising space to offer on their media. In order to connect the players in the system, Ads exchange spaces have been created where auctions take place in real-time and can be bought programmatically and automatically.
The program manager must be well acquainted with how the delivery of formats work: desktop, video, mobile, m-site, or in-app. He must be able to recognize the different types of commercial agreements in place and constantly update himself on market trends.
New platforms are constantly emerging and the program manager must always be up-to-date. He or she must be able to deal with the technical problems of format delivery, either personally, or have the ability to transfer them to IT departments. It is a role in which the ability to analyze and problem-solve is essential.
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How much does the Programmatic Manager earn? What is the average salary?
The average RAL of a program manager is around 35/45,000$. The profession is very new, so a young 27-year-old like me and more experienced and senior figures are at the same level. Previous experience abroad is very welcome.
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What skills should a program manager possess?
He must know English very well as all platforms are in this language and not translated. He interfaces daily with English or English-speaking interlocutors. Knows how to use Excel and Excel pivot tables well.
Analytical skills for a program manager are very important: he must be able to produce excellent reports for the professionals he interfaces with.
His main skill is knowing how to use specific platforms well. I always say that if a person knows how to do Internet banking, he can also know how to use program management platforms. One has to take the time to understand them well.
Finally, it is important to train clients on all the crucial aspects: the best platforms on the market and the new ones popping up like mushrooms every day; the best use of inventory and its monetization; the business model consistent with the publisher’s or buyer client’s strategy.
With which professionals does the program manager interact?
I work in an agency so, internally, I interface with the operations team, which delivers the campaigns on different digital media, and with the sales managers who are responsible for selling the program solutions.
Externally, I interface with advertisers and the trading desks of media centers.
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