Associate Director, Ad Ops

  • 35 West Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL
  • Full-time

Company Description

Spark Foundry is a global media agency that exists to bring HEAT – Higher Engagement, Affinity, and Transactions – to brands. By combining flawless media fundamentals with aggressive innovation, Spark inspires consumers to pay more attention; to care more about our clients’ brands; and to buy more products and services from them.

Balancing the nimble spirit of a startup with the powerhouse soul of Publicis Media, Spark Foundry delivers the best of both worlds to a client roster that spans some of the world’s best and most beloved brands and companies. We combine boutique-caliber insights and service with the buying clout and first-look access of a global leader, bringing the heat to challenger brands that want to act like giants, and to giant brands that want to act like challengers.

With a Millennial-friendly, bottom-up culture that celebrates diversity and aims for all voices to be heard, Spark has become a magnet for the industry’s best talent, with one of the best retention rates in the industry. And by applying a whole-person approach to professional and personal development, Spark develops a workforce that is well prepared for today’s challenges, and also poised to create meaningful careers in the years to come. 

Because we know that heat arises the intersection of complementary forces, our professionals come from myriad disciplines and backgrounds: data, analytics, and insights; content and creative production; communications and strategy; finance and marketing; and sociology, psychology, and other liberal arts disciplines.

Job Description

  • Oversee global Tech Ops Associates (both Chicago and offshore) and support the media teams to activate digital campaigns (display, video, social, mobile, and programmatic)
  • Co-lead strategic conversations with client and media teams around technology integrations that can improve efficiency, range or quality of data, or support new media
  • Support Associates in the basic aspects of the trafficking process, including connecting placements to creatives, setting up consistent configurations, and collecting clean data. Lead the more complex aspects of trafficking, including Floodlight tags, DMP integrations, network upgrades, and more
  • Lead conversations with the media team on ways to work faster and smarter. Collaborate with fellow Tech Ops Managers on process to prevent errors, to ensure consistency, to create a bomb-proof QA checklist
  • Collaborate with vendors on behalf of creative agencies when troubleshooting is required
  • Become a Subject Matter Expert on any number of technologies; keep yourself and the team up to date on the ever-evolving media landscape through regular research and writing POVs
  • You may work across multiple clients, in which case we want you to share the best practices of each with the rest of the group in order to improve our output and standardize our work
  • Assist clients in technology tests such as verification partners, and mobile ad servers
  • Be responsible for holding media teams and creative agencies to execution timelines

What you’re like

  • Polished and on point. Highly detail oriented, an excellent time manager, obsessed with accuracy, a strong critical thinker, and able to juggle multiple tasks/clients 
  • A patient and diligent troubleshooter, unwilling to let go of a problem until it is solved
  • Good at building relationships – a creative problem solver, a customer service expert, a great team player
  • A proven manager of individuals and leader of teams; able to adapt to the mood of the collective
  • A good communicator – able to write clearly, speak professionally, and teach complex technical concepts to a non-technical audience in a way that helps the ideas stick
  • Unafraid to speak up in meetings large and small – TAAG contributions to decision-making are important, and while you don’t have to be loud or boisterous, you do have to be willing to be vocal and active in all discussions. 


  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in digital media (agency or publisher side)
  • Four years of college education preferred (technology, marketing, computer engineering, web development, mathematics, or any other geek-friendly focus will do)
  • A passion and/or skill for training and development, as the role involves both doing your work and supporting others on the team in their pursuit of excellence
  • Experience with digital platforms – if you can go deep on programmatic (DMPs, DSPs, Exchanges), the ins-and-outs of second- and third-party vendors, ad servers of all stripes (display, video, social, mobile), Tag Management Systems (GTM, Ensighten, Signal, etc.), and/or VVF vendors (viewability, verification, and fraud prevention), we will have a great conversation
  • Exposure to and/or interest in online advertising bid and pricing models (CPA, CPM, CPC, CPI) a bonus
  • While we’re listing technology, we’d love to see skills with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript
  • You should know your way around ad servers – DCM and Sizmek are both used here and we pride ourselves on being technology agnostic. Also don’t be shy about your expertise with floodlights, rich media, etc. 
  • Knowledge/experience with the Doubleclick Digital Marketing suite (DDM) and/or Google 360 suite helps
  • Skills in QA’ing ad tags and conversion tags in a browser environment or tag diagnostic tool are pretty key
  • The ability to rock the Microsoft Office suite, particularly PPT and XLS (it’s all about filtering and pivoting) 

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

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