Programmatic advertising technology is a complicated ecosystem that’s only growing in complexity. But where do you go to learn about it?

That question was plaguing me for years.

When I started in the ad tech industry six years ago, there was no definitive place to learn about it. I was forced — like many people today — to read through countless articles on sites like AdExchanger, Digiday, MediaPost, and many others. There were also industry whitepapers, reports, and ebooks I had to read. Then I had to organize all that information in my head without any real context. It took forever and was incredibly inefficient.

In fact, for a long period of time, while we were growing our team at SiteScout, we helped onboard new team members by sending them an email with 30+ links to read. We hoped that they would be able to piece it all together and make sense of it, because there was no better alternative.

Academic institutions are of little help. They are the furthest behind in terms of offering the kinds of courses that students and professionals need.

Yes, there are industry conferences, but they are terrible starting points for beginners. Mostly because they assume a ton of prior knowledge. But also because such conferences usually end up being echo chambers for ad tech vendors. As a result, the signal-to-noise ratio tends to be quite low.

As for courses offered through industry associations, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few of these events and found them to be poorly designed for practical learning. Not to mention the deficiencies of the in-person learning format. Not only does it alienate people who don’t have the luxury of being able to travel or live in the city in which the courses are offered, but it forces those who do make it to endure what is essentially a live 8-hour webinar.

The fundamental problem with all of these approaches is that they expose the learner to information overload. They offer no real context, structure, or pragmatic path to understanding.

More importantly, most of the deep knowledge about programmatic advertising is locked up within the walls of ad tech companies. And, most of the time, the only way to access that knowledge is by becoming a customer of such companies, which makes you question the objectivity of the information you receive.

There has to be a better way to learn. And that’s where AdProfs comes in.

The mission of AdProfs is to demystify the ad tech industry and the world of programmatic advertising. My desire is to create other experts by providing clarity, context, structure, visuals, analogies, and detailed answers to all the important questions. At the end of the day, my goal is for people to walk away transformed with practical knowledge and skills the market needs.

Best of all, this knowledge will come from an independent party, and be of benefit to not only marketers, but also people at agencies, publishers, and even ad tech vendors. As an industry insider and digital marketing veteran, I hope that you will find value in what I have to share. Expect to see a great deal more in the coming weeks and months.

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Author Ratko Vidakovic

Founder & Principal at AdProfs

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