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3 Ways to Level Up as an Ad Monetization Manager

By Natalia Simdianova | June 15, 2023

Natalia Simdianova is an ad monetization expert with a wealth of experience managing ad traffic, ad creation, and reporting. With her experience as a Lead Ad Monetization Manager and Ad Monetization Manager, she is now the Head of Ad Monetization at ZiMAD. Natalia works closely with various teams to create custom advertising solutions and communicates effortlessly with account managers and creative agencies.

Learn more about Mobile Hero Natalia.

The role of the ad monetization manager is evolving. With new innovations transforming the industry, the everyday tasks of the monetization manager have grown more complex. ​​This means unique challenges—but also new opportunities.

For most monetization managers, innovation and internal collaboration is now part of the daily routine. In addition to the usual responsibilities like integrating new ad placements and improving the conversion rates of creatives, monetization managers now serve as advisors to product, keepers of new partnerships, and crucial players in revenue growth.

It’s not enough to focus on core responsibilities—monetization managers must multitask and do it well. In this blog, I’ll focus on three ways monetization managers can build on their skillset to improve results and make an impact where it counts.

1. Enhance Your Testing Strategies by Learning New Products and Tools

A/B tests are a staple for monetization managers. Every day at ZiMAD, we run many tests and set up tasks to grow revenue for our teams. And in today’s dynamic environment, it’s important to experiment. I recommend digging into advanced bidding solutions to determine the best structure for your business. Sometimes, a hybrid waterfall setup (a traditional waterfall combined with an advanced bidding slot) can work for one network, but it may not work for other networks. Try different setups to find a win-win structure.

To meet company KPIs, monetization managers must also use various analytics tools to find areas for optimization. The digital revolution has had a profound impact on our daily routine. We can now capture and process data in real-time—or close to it. Google Analytics, Firebase, and Looker Studio Analytics can offer insights into and improve monetization issues. So learn your tools, and learn them quickly.

2. To Find New Ways to Grow Revenue, Leverage Cross-Team Collaboration and Partnerships

Of course, even with new tools, ad monetization managers have to work with the analytics team to check results at the granular level. Data engineers can help form internal reports based on partners’ public API. This leads me to my next point. Look to other teams—UA, product, engineering— to find areas for improvement and optimization, but work with partners closely whenever possible.

When refining your ad placement strategy, for example, it’s crucial to stand out from the traditional mechanics. I recommend working closely with your engineers to control the integration process at every step.

Since 2020, our ad department has been testing native banner ads. We connected with several partners who support this ad type and reviewed mockups from each. At every turn, we worked with their tech team to map out how to incorporate components like ad icons, labels, titles, and CTA buttons.

We wanted to give the user more information they need—without making the banner heavy. The process took time, but it has paid off with better performance and strong partnerships. In 2022, we also tried a new branded ad format for our Domino app. Branded ads were a novelty for us, but by working with internal teams and our partners, we found a good balance between UX and UI.

3. Leverage Your Networking Skills Whenever Possible

You should be prepared to communicate with all your partners, build relationships, and keep your mind open. Don’t be afraid to learn something new from other professionals—probe for more information.

Building a robust network takes time, but there are plenty of various social channels and opportunities to choose from for communication purposes and to keep in touch with people. To ensure success as a monetization manager in a dynamic environment, it is crucial to actively participate in panel discussions, register for webinars, and plan QBR (quarterly business review) calls with partners.

This year, ZiMAD has already attended the GDC conference in San Francisco, MAU in Vegas, Pocket Gamer Connects in London, and GDC in Cyprus, and we plan to attend Gamescom in Cologne and many other events. Another proactive approach I’ve enjoyed is Liftoff’s Lunch Clubs—a virtual space where partners can discuss trending topics like Google bidding or the Internet Advertising Bureau’s TCF (Transparency and Consent) 2.0 updates.

To keep yourself updated, look for the latest articles and be ready to share valuable insights through different social channels like Mobidictum and Pocket Gamer. Of course, another easy way to keep track of new developments is to ask partners about forecasts, upcoming features, new releases, and SDK. Knowing these advancements will allow you to conduct thorough research, prepare for the integration process, and ensure a smooth legal flow.

By adopting the right mindset and implementing the above, an ad monetization manager can easily ascend to new heights and achieve remarkable success.