Ad Ops All Stars: Jared Collett, Major League Fishing

by Kathleen Booth, on Jun 15, 2021 5:00:00 PM

Jared CollettJared Collette is Senior Director of Ad Operations at Major League Fishing where he oversees ad and sponsorship product development, digital governance and analytics, ad serving platforms and processes, and email advertising.

Jared was brought in to Major League Fishing when the company wanted to expand its presence from linear TV to digital. He and his team built the ad operations organization, which covers the website, app and livestream properties, from scratch.

In this episode, Jared talks about what it's been like, as a team of two people, to create and run an ad operations department that is mostly direct sold deals, with some programmatic in the mix.

Listen to or watch the full episode, or read the transcript below, to hear Jared's story.

Resources from this episode:

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Kathleen Booth: Welcome to the ad ops All-Stars podcast. I'm your host, Kathleen Booth. Today my guest is Jared Collett, who is the Senior Director of Ad Operations at Major League Fishing. Welcome to the podcast Jared.

Jared Collett: Hello, and thank you for having me.

Kathleen Booth: I'm excited to talk with you. I can't wait to hear all about your career in ad operations and some of the things that you work on day to day, but I love starting these interviews with an icebreaker question. I'm springing this on you. I have not told you what I'm going to ask. That question is, how would you describe what you do for your job to a five-year-old?

Jared Collett: To a five-year-old? I actually have a five-year-old and I've recently had to do this. It's fun, with my five-year-old they love watching YouTube. I mean, what five-year-old doesn't? So I just say, "You know that ad that pops up, that you get frustrated with that interrupts your viewing?" He goes, "Yeah." And I go, "Well, essentially I put that where it is." Then he got a little bit upset at me and asked me to remove them so that he could continue watching his show. Then I explained to him that that's how we make money so that he can watch his shows.

Kathleen Booth: I love that I have a 14 year old who is equally as obsessed with YouTube. I think that is a very good and accurate way to describe it and too bad we don't all have the power to turn the ads on and off at will. Well, excited to chat with you. Let's just start out by talking about your background in your career. I would love to know when you joined Major League Fishing and what has your career progression looked like? How did you wind up doing this? Because I always say nobody when they're young and in middle school says, "I'm going to grow up and be an ad operations leader." It's usually doctor, lawyer, superhero, what have you. So how'd you wind up doing what you're doing?

Jared Collett: I mean, it always seems like for each of us that it's interesting. I mean, I've met people that have degrees in biology that are now doing ad operations. My background is actually in graphic design in 3D modeling.

Kathleen Booth: Wow.

Jared Collett: But while I was finishing up college, I was actually doing IT work. After college I just freelance graphic design and continue doing IT work. Then we had some layoffs happen. I got laid off and continue to do graphic design work until someone said, "Hey, there's this digital media website specialist position thing that has something to do with messing with images and graphics, you should apply for it." I did having no idea what I was getting into. Jumped in, audition... or not audition. Sorry, interviewed and had a really good interview, connected really well with the people and then started to work and was like, this is not at all what I expected, but I found it interesting. Part of it was because it kept changing. I got to meet some really good people and I just dove in and mostly thanks to people, I just continue to grow and wanted to learn more about what I was doing and what I could do with it and got to where I am now.

Kathleen Booth: Nice. Tell me a little bit about where ad operations fits strategically within the Major League Fishing organization.

Jared Collett: Major League Fishing, sorry. Major League Fishing started as primarily linear TV. We had different shows we put on TV and all of our events were shot on what's called in the dark and then edited and put on TV later for people to watch. They wanted to get involved digitally, but didn't know how, so they brought myself and my coworker on and basically gave us the keys and said, "Take the digital side of things, figure out how and where we can generate revenue and just do what you guys do from a digital ad operations side and just make us money so that we can continue to dive into the digital space.

Jared Collett: We're essentially a full circle of ad operation starting with knowing our analytics and our audience to creating the product development side of things, to then teaching sales reps, to then even after they're sold, becoming the campaign managers and account managers for these accounts on the digital side, to delivering them, to then going back and doing post-mortem analytics and audience stuff and making adjustments. So then we can go into the next sell cycle. So we very much control a big side of the digital revenue.

Kathleen Booth: Is this for the website? Is there an app? What properties are you selling ads for?

Jared Collett: We have our digital website, we have our app and then we have our live stream, which does live both on our website and in our app, but our live stream is our biggest driver of traffic and a big piece of the revenue pie as well.

Kathleen Booth: Is that tournaments that are being live streamed?

Jared Collett: Yes. We have several different tournament trails at different levels all the way down to high school, all the way up to pro. We even have technically two different levels of pro tournaments that we live stream. One of them is our Bass Pro Tour, which we live stream. This year we are live streaming 53 days a year and we live stream for about eight and a half hours straight. Then we have another tournament trail that's called the Pro Circuit and that one we're live streaming for 18 days this year, also for about eight and a half hours a day.

Kathleen Booth: Wow. People just sit and watch fishing. It's like a full-time job to watch fishing all the time.

Jared Collett: I'll admit we have a lot of people that watch it while they're at work, put it on the secondary monitor and let it roll. We have-

Kathleen Booth: I can see that being actually very soothing depending upon what fishing it is. If it's blue water fishing where you're out in the ocean, that's a little bit more high action. But if you're in those streams and creeks and bayous, and you're... I could see that being soothing and conducive to concentration.

Jared Collett: There's definitely some times where it's really nice and you just get the lake sounds, the outdoor sounds, the last place we were at recently was Raleigh North Carolina. And there is a whole lot of crickets and bugs that were just going in the background of some of the shots.

Kathleen Booth: Like good white noise.

Jared Collett: We'd love to include a lot of what we call beauty shots. We have a drone camera that we fly and so we do a lot of really cool aerial shots. I can definitely see how it'd be soothing at times. Then there's other times where we've got people that are just catching fish left and right, getting upset. It's definitely a mixture.

Kathleen Booth: That's interesting. What type of ad ops organization are you? Do you have programmatic, are you at all doing direct selling? What does that mix look like?

Jared Collett: We are mostly direct sole, especially with live events. Live and programmatic is still a little bit new comparative and a little bit frustrating, because you have to deal with latency on a whole different level, and the slightest bit of extra latency kills the entire ad break. But beyond that, we do have some programmatic. I think our banner ads within our website, we run about 25 to 35% of that is through programmatic deals. Originally we were a hundred percent direct sold and then our traffic outperformed what we were expecting. We've had to fill that in with programmatic as we keep growing. Then this year, our live stream sales, which have traditionally been a hundred percent direct sold, we've had ridiculous numbers this year and have had about a 170% increase year over year.

Jared Collett: Our forecasting is completely out the window, but we've been trying to do some backfill on that and trying to figure out a better way and a more consistent way with low latency to do some programmatic backfield there. We're not quite there yet, but we're hoping to get there within a year or so, so that we can definitely help offset that whenever we have these huge blowout of events without running all of our inventory out in one or two tournaments.

Kathleen Booth: I'm really curious based on that answer, how big your ad ops team is.

Jared Collett: It's effectively two people.

Kathleen Booth: This is why I asked, because you said earlier it was you and your coworker, but then you went on to say that you're mostly direct sales and you're doing website and app and live streams. And I'm thinking this cannot possibly be true that they're doing all of this and there's only two of them. How are you not dead by now?

Jared Collett: That's a good question. We ask ourselves that the same time. I mean, we did just hire a new hire that came on, completely new to the industry that is starting to help us and everything. But my coworker, Marissa, I've worked with her for many years and she is able to keep things under control in the chaos where I'm running around trying to keep the C-suite happy with everything and trying to also figure out how to do the next thing and progression with revenue. She's over there being the machine that she is and keeping it all together. I ask myself constantly how just the two of us have been able to manage with it, but we're definitely growing and we're picking up new people. We're just going to continue plugging away because we like what we're doing and it's fun.

Kathleen Booth: Describe to me how the two of you split responsibilities, because you talked earlier about how you're doing everything soup to nuts as a team. Break that out for me, what does that look like?

Jared Collett: We separate it essentially based on technical versus client interaction, if you will. It's very much a technical side and a social side, not to say that I don't have social sides or social capabilities. I've been on a couple of panels and sessions and talk about... so definitely do have a social life and I love interacting with people. But whenever it comes down to it, I'm more of a technical side, more of a creative analytic problem solving side of things. She is more the realistic actuality organized type. I always joke around that we're basically two sides of the same coin. We've really, over the years developed this yin and yang, for lack of a better terms of being able to know where each other's strengths are, handing it off.

Jared Collett: She deals a lot with the account services side of things, the accounts, dealing directly with our sponsors and advertisers. I deal a lot more on the product development, revenue and analytical side, as well as I do a lot of the technical building out and discovery. She'll say, "Hey, we need something that works here," or "does this." Then I'll say, "I'll figure out how to make it happen." Or I will come up with a, "We should be able to do this," and she'll ground it with, "That's a great idea, but we need to be able to do this," or "we need it to be able to scale to this level." So she keeps things grounded where I go out and explore new ideas and the more technical side of things.

Kathleen Booth: Have you worked together with her outside of this organization? Had you worked together before?

Jared Collett: Yes. We both worked at the same company before, we were under the same director that we had. It was a really great team. We formed a really tight family there. I think our peak within our immediate just web trafficking group. I mean, not even counting our campaign managers or audience group. I mean, we were working at a company that existed for over a hundred years. They had everything, very well-built, tight-knit. It was great, but just through trafficking, there was about six of us at our peak. And so we were all very much like a family there. Whenever... Like I said earlier, Major League Fishing's started as linear and they were going digital.

Jared Collett: During their digital discovery phase they started talking to myself and a couple others, just figuring out what they should do digitally. Consulting and everything, it was just over drinks and we would steer them in the right direction of where to go, what they should look into, what companies. I had no idea that it was going to turn into a job offer, but we just worked through that and help them discover where to go, what they needed to look for. Then one day I actually got an email saying, "Hey, we're looking for someone. Do you have a good fit for this person since you are in ad operations here?" I was like, "Well, let me take a look." Then I replied back to the guy and I said, "Hey, this looks like my job description on LinkedIn that I currently have plus a whole nother role, you guys really need at least two people for this."

Jared Collett: He was like, "Okay. Well, why don't you come have dinner with our CEO and help convince him that we need two people." I went, I was having dinner with him, talking with him and everything and convinced him that they needed two people out of it. He's like, "Well, are you interested in coming over to Major League Fishing?" Honestly, I was like, "No, I really like where I'm at. I've got a good family. I've got a really good base. I'm not really interested in working anywhere else right now. It's good."

Jared Collett: Then he turns to me and he goes, "Well, we heard of someone else that's really strong where you work that would be really great. Their name is Marissa. Do you happen to know who she is?" I was like, "Yes, I know who Marissa is. I mean, we're really good friends. We've been working together for years." He's like, "Do you think that she would be able to do this? I was like, "Absolutely. But you've got a better chance of getting me on board than you do of getting her because she really likes where she's working as well." Several dinners later and offers, we ended up both signing on with Major League Fishing. It was a very interesting twist of fate there and a very interesting journey into where we are here at Major League Fishing. But in the end, the idea of being able to create a ad ops department and a digital revenue streams from basically nothing, we just couldn't pass that up in the end.

Kathleen Booth: It's funny because that parallels almost exactly how I wound up at I was at another company and I was doing some consulting for this team, and I kept telling them from the very beginning, "I'll consult with you, but I'm not looking for a job. I love where I am. I'm not going to leave." Then various things that unfolded and they made it so enticing. I couldn't say no, but I love that way of coming into an organization because you get to know the people and the culture. It becomes a very safe bet because you know what you're walking into. That's neat.

Jared Collett: It definitely helps whenever... not only that, but you also know that you're walking into with somebody that you trust and that you know their work habits and you know how they work with you. It's not like I was walking in blindly with potentially someone else that I had no idea that I'd be butting heads with and trying to develop it. I got to luckily walk into this with somebody that I already trusted and that we already worked well together. We were able to hit the ground running from day one and it just worked.

Kathleen Booth: That's great. Now, you mentioned that you're growing and you just hired somebody, you might be thinking of hiring more people. What does that hiring process look like? What are you looking for in candidates in terms of qualifications?

Jared Collett: Looking for a new hire, especially coming into ad ops, someone who's never been in this at all. Especially when we were looking for this position, a lot of people ask, "Are you looking for people that are in marketing? Are you looking for people that have background in advertising or a technical background?" I'm like, "It's not really about their background that I'm looking for." Some of the best people that I know in the industry don't have a marketing background, they don't have an advertising background, they come from somewhere else. It's really about their drive and determination to learn on their own, that hunger to learn, I guess. And the problem solving, that mindset of there's a problem I'm not afraid to get in and actually figure it out.

Jared Collett: That's something that I've learned is really big in this industry. That's one thing that I really look for in the candidates we have going through. We had some really interesting people that applied for it. We had one person that had been working in a funeral home for 15 years that was just looking for something different that applied. He was an interesting fellow. But the person that we settled on, she... In the interview process you could just tell that she was hungry. She actually came from a marketing background, social marketing specifically, but she just flat out told us that she's bored with what she's doing and that she doesn't... there's not a whole lot of problem solving. I mean, you have to solve a problem whenever Facebook changes, something they do as often as they do.

Jared Collett: But outside of that, it's a whole lot of the same thing over and over again. She had enough technical experience, but she was like, "I just want something that's new." I was interested because this is something that I've never heard of. I looked into it and everything that I found about ad operations just made me more interested in the position. That's when I was, okay, I like this person. I like where they're going and I think that we're going to be able to mold them and have some fun with it. So far she's done really well. She's catching on very quickly. It's at the point now where I'm just afraid that she's going to get bored before we can get-

Kathleen Booth: Exactly.

Jared Collett: Her even more exciting things.

Kathleen Booth: You need some algorithm changes and things like that to keep her engaged.

Jared Collett: I just need that cookie to finally go away, so I can say, "Okay, now we've got to change everything."

Kathleen Booth: When you think about running an ad ops team, how do you think about setting goals? What does success look like? Because obviously I'm sure you're... Especially with new employees, you want to have a plan in place, you want to give them something to strive for, how do you approach that?

Jared Collett: Goals are really... They're really hard to set whenever you're at a company with as new of a digital side as we are. We first tried to set goals based on what we thought were more of attainable projects, or were a little bit more sales related and found that there's so much that can change that it's really hard to do that. Not to mention 2020 and how that all happened and any goal that you may have set, you pretty much could have thrown out the window.

Kathleen Booth: Exactly.

Jared Collett: I tried to change the way that I look at goals for individuals. I mean, we can definitely give benchmarks for new hires of, "You need to learn this by this point. You need to learn this, you know how to do this." I look at it more of a... I like to ask my people what they're interested in. What in the industry did they want to learn? Do they want to know? Then I try to set some goals around that. Mix in a little bit of goals that we need, like if I know that I'm going to need them to start learning more about the reporting side or learning more within a reporting dashboard like Google data studio, there's always those sorts of goals, but the ones that I really like are the ones that they essentially set themselves.

Jared Collett: Allowing them to set their own goals of what they want to learn in the industry also helps me to know what things they're interested in, where I can push them, where I can help fit them in and how I can help mold them. Because if they're going after something that they want to do, then they're more likely to hit that goal because they're not only... It's not just something that I've given them, but it's something that they've invested themselves in because they are actively looking for that.

Kathleen Booth: What goals does your team need to hit within the bigger organization to be considered successful?

Jared Collett: I mean, there's always the revenue goal. Being on the digital side, we have a certain revenue goal that we're not necessarily expected to hit, but we're expected to help the sales team hit that goal. Especially now that we've got more programmatic coming into it, the programmatic pieces becoming part of it. We do have some revenue goals of, okay, we've got to make sure that our programmatic is hitting certain numbers. We've got to figure out ways of bringing that up. There's goals within, we do a little bit of helping with retention as a secondary... I'm not necessarily talking about renewals, but with the end of year comes up and they're re-evaluating the money that they spent with us because a lot of our deals are year to year contracts, not necessarily month to month.

Jared Collett: We have a whole lot of end of year things that are our biggest goals of trying to figure out how did they deliver on everything? How does that compare to everybody else? How does that compare to our niche world of fishing, not only tournament fishing, but also the different fishing publications that are out there and things like that. Trying to craft it in a way of showing our existing sponsors, how well they did compared to others. Then utilizing that to reinforce the ask for more money that everyone does with all their sponsors. There's always that little bit of, "Okay, you spent X amount last year, we're going to raise that. We want you to spend this much this year." If you did a good enough job and you provided them with the right information, then hopefully they'll see the value in that and there will be a no brainer.

Jared Collett: Those are the goals of the organization. I mean, beyond that it's always about growing our digital footprint. We're starting to get past the immediate... Your goal is to figure out what we can sell and productize it. That was our initial goal, was figure out what we have that's sellable, productize it and sell it. We've grown that a lot. That was the nice side, I guess, about what happened in 2020 with things being shut down. We had a pause in our events to where we could say, "Okay, what do we have? What can we sell?" We're also forced to. I mean, everyone had to shift and go, what can we do different? We productized a whole bunch of different things that we have to sell them digitally.

Jared Collett: Then now we're back looking at ads and how do we grow...? How do we change our traditional banner ads? Do we change our refresh rate? Do we need our refreshing too quickly? Do we need to slow that down? Do we need to add another ad unit to the page and also keeping with all of the different benchmarks that we set for ourselves, viewability benchmarks, click-through benchmarks. A lot of our goals, I guess, are self set or I set them and that's just because our company as a whole is fairly new to digital, they're learning more. We're about to hit and focus more in on audience data and segmenting those audiences. That's a current goal that we're working through and having fun with.

Jared Collett: That was a fun one because since day one, it's always been we need to segment our audiences. We need to get better at our audiences. It felt like there was some support there, but we were still new. So there wasn't a whole lot of support. Then you hop on a meeting one day and someone says, "How are we with this? We need to really be focusing on it." You're like, "I didn't know that we're quite there yet. Let me shift gears and put that back as a priority." It's definitely ever changing. I feel like no goal that we've started the year with, we've ended the year with that same goal. They're constantly changing, but I have a feeling that as we mature in the digital space with Major League Fishing, that we'll start to have more of those usual goals and better able to track those goals and hit them.

Kathleen Booth: What would you say are the top two or three challenges that you face day in and day out in your job?

Jared Collett: I mean, the number one is time. Small team, tons of growing want to be on the forefront, want to be there mentally, whenever I'm home and not exhausted. But also want to be on top of everything within the industry, being active within the industry, within the different slack channels or Reddit or the small clubhouse side of things that are out there. Just being active in the ad operations industry and community, which is a really great community, by the way. As well as trying to balance work things, trying to grow our digital footprint, trying to grow our audience, trying to give those insights to the people that need to be in the company. At the end of the day it just feels like there's not enough time for it all. That's my biggest struggle is trying to figure out how to fit all the things in.

Kathleen Booth: You have little kids or at least one little kid, because you said you have a five-year-old.

Jared Collett: I've got a five and an eight year old. They're definitely one in every minute that I've got whenever I'm at home, so we're trying to balance that. It's-

Kathleen Booth: That's tough.

Jared Collett: The challenge, but it's... I enjoy what I do, so it's not really work to me whenever I am working. It's more of a discovery and learning and just trying to show what I can do and make better the things that I've already done.

Kathleen Booth: Who would you say over the course of your career has had the biggest impact on that career?

Jared Collett: I've had several with where I am today. I have to say that the first person that had a big impact of course was my first boss within the ad ops world. As I said, they called it digital media website specialist. It was just digital media. This is before we even understood what the term ad ops was. But my first boss there, James Kirkland, he really gave me a chance as this graphic design guy coming in to this world. It gave me a chance, he really nurtured me. I would tell him I wanted to learn more about specific sides and he would really let me go after those things. He helped support me in getting my IAB certification whenever they came out with their Digital ad ops certification, went out and got that. I got certified, he supported me through that and he always encouraged me to grow and to keep hungry. He was the one that taught me that whenever you are looking for individuals in this space to look for those people that are hungry to grow and hungry to learn more, because that's going to be the key piece.

Jared Collett: Then beyond that I definitely have to say that my current CEO, Jim Wilburn, with giving me this chance and this offer here at Major League Fishing and Jeff Rhoton, who found me in the sea of ad ops and brought me into the fold here. They definitely been a big part. I mean, I can never ignore my family either who supported me through this, "Hey, I'm going to jump from this comfortable job to this job with a fishing company that's just starting." Great support there.

Jared Collett: Then I definitely have to say that my coworker and partner in crime, Marissa has been a big part, because she's always been there with... I mean, the two of us were co-team leaders at our old job. We really worked well together and then heard also taking this leap that I did and coming into this and sticking through all of the craziness and chaos of essentially a startup here and the long hours that we've put in and her family as well for her supporting her through of it. This ship, digitally, would have sunk many a times over. She was not involved in the process. I have to say that she definitely helped to get me to where I am today and has always been, "You've got some crazy ideas, but we'll figure out how to make it happen."

Kathleen Booth: I love that. That's a great attitude to have. All right, last question and then we're going to go on to the questions that I ask everybody. There's two questions at the end I ask everybody. But before that I want to know if you could turn back time, what advice would you give to your young self when you were just starting out in the ad ops world?

Jared Collett: Man. If I could turn back time, what would it be? I would probably tell myself that I need to get involved with the community and make those connections quicker and to never create excuses not to learn. I guess I left that out in my talking about who has made a big impact, because the community has been absolutely amazing. My first experience with the community was whenever I went to go meet with a company in New York, right before a conference and we got done meeting with them and one of the individuals, her name's Molly, she was like, "Hey, we're about to go to an ad ops and hops thing. We're going to go hit up a local place and there's a bunch of people from the industry just hanging out and talking, you guys should come check it out."

Jared Collett: We did and being from Oklahoma and experiencing that industry, that community for the first time, I mean, you had people from competing publications that were sitting together just having a drink. It was like this family, this community that was really just amazing. I was like, I didn't even know that this really existed at this level and then went to my first conference and just learned about it more, kept going more conferences, got invited to be on different panels. It's funny, because the very first conference I went to, I was being introduced as the guy who does ad ops in Oklahoma.

Kathleen Booth: The one guy.

Jared Collett: Yeah. Then after that, started getting introduced as the guy who does ad ops for fishing. I got to sit next to Rob Beeler at my first AdMonsters pub forum and whenever he sat down next to me, he goes, "I specifically put you at my table because I had to know who this guy was that was doing ad ops for fishing." I didn't realize this was such a-

Kathleen Booth: I could totally hear him saying that to you.

Jared Collett: Rob has become a really good friend and a really good source of contact for me as well over the years, especially this last year. My biggest advice is just to dive into the industry, just get in there, make as many connections as you can. Don't be afraid of connecting with people that work at your competition. I mean, if there's an issue with the company you work for, I understand that, respect that, but just learn what you can and just dive in and don't look back.

Kathleen Booth: That's great advice. All right. We're coming to that time. My two questions that I like to ask everybody, the first one is in the ad ops world I've had every... Every person I've interviewed has said in one way or another that the only constant is change. Everything's always changing. Whether it's regulatory changes, platform updates, algorithm updates, how do you and your team stay on top of all of the changes? Do you have any certain sources of information, be it blogs, websites, podcasts, people, associations that you count on to keep you up to date?

Jared Collett: First of all, how do we keep up on the changes? We don't. I'll just be honest with that.

Kathleen Booth: I love that, being honest.

Jared Collett: So many things are changing. I started out... My very first source of course, was IAB. Learn everything that I can from IAB and act like I understood at least some of the stuff I was reading.

Kathleen Booth: Fake it till you make it?

Jared Collett: Then getting involved with conferences was really great. Getting involved with communities is also how I stay on top. I mean, that's one of the biggest things out of 2020 for me was the fact that so many of these little digital meetups went virtual and being in Oklahoma, that means, "Hey, I can join that happy hour." My biggest growth this last year has honestly been from the Beeler.Tech Happy Hour that he puts on every Friday. I mean, we don't always talk about industry stuff on those calls, but whenever we do, we connect, we... Definitely people are there to talk about it. Then on top of that, there's also... Beeler.Tech also has a slack channel that is for publishers only and a few, very, very select other individuals.

Jared Collett: It's a really, really great community there being able to ask questions and getting answers. If somebody doesn't know the answer to your question, then usually they at least know who to connect you with. The AdMonsters, their conferences have been really great. They've given me a lot of opportunity. They've given me a lot of growth. They have a wide variety of classes that they have at each of their conferences and designed for different things. Their website also usually has a lot of really good pieces of information to it. I've gone on and read a little bit of Digiday stuff. I'm not a Digiday member, so there's a lot of things that I have to limit. How many articles I get to read a day, but they seem to have a lot of good stuff there. Then honestly the other one is the AdOps Reddit channel. There's a lot of stuff out there. There's a lot of stuff out there too. I mean, it's Reddit, so-

Kathleen Booth: I was going to say, yeah. That's the nature of the best right.

Jared Collett: It's Reddit, you get a little bit of both, but there's definitely some interesting questions out there that if nothing else make me stop and question and try to look things up that I wasn't even thinking about. There's a lot of people that are in their own silo of their companies in their ad ops world that are just hearing things bits and pieces, and seeing the way that they're thinking through problems. It has given a whole nother angle to it. I would definitely say if you jump into the AdOps Reddit and then have another source as well, because sometimes you can be given information and tips that really are not that great or useful, but every once in a while you'll find a gym or you'll be able to connect with someone who really knows what they're talking about.

Kathleen Booth: That's awesome. All right. Last question, actually two questions. What is one tool that you can't live without in doing your job?

Jared Collett: Excel. Since I'm a lot on the number side and making the number side work, surprisingly Excel. I try to use other things, but in the end I've learned to be able to manipulate Excel in a way that I can do all sorts of things.

Kathleen Booth: Once you figure out those hacks, it's like magical.

Jared Collett: Yes.

Kathleen Booth: I have an inner spreadsheet nerd inside of me. When I figured out how to do pivot tables, I was like, the world is my oyster.

Jared Collett: Yeah. Pivot tables are great. Then progressing into whenever you get into Z lookups and X lookups and things like that, then it's like, there's all sorts of things that you can do in comparing data and it's really exciting.

Kathleen Booth: Very good. All right. Now, really, it is the last question. Who else in the ad ops world do you think is doing really outstanding work and should be our next guest?

Jared Collett: That is a good one. There's a lot of people out there that are doing some really interesting things. There's a gentlemen that's in Canada, his name is James. He's really smart and he's really starting to do some consulting work for a whole bunch of people and trying to fill a gap in a sense that there's a lot of companies out there that are looking for specific training. He's really trying to fill that gap of trying to offer training for a whole lot of individuals. He's definitely one that I think is someone that we probably could watch for in the industry and what he's going to do.

Jared Collett: Other than that, Heather Lemon, I think that's how you say her last name. She's always got really great insights. She has a very good mixture of direct and programmatic sell. She has a much bigger team than I do. From the stories that I hear from her, she sounds like she's a really good leader in the things that she does. She's really... I really like to sit down and have conversations with her and we always end up falling into the same path whenever we're going down and talking about different things. She's definitely an interesting person that I would love to hear more about how she got to where she was. I mean, I could continue name names. There's Lila Hunt up there who's a really interesting individual.

Kathleen Booth: I love Lila.

Jared Collett: First time that I heard her talk, I wanted to meet her and say hi, and just pick her brain, but I was also intimidated by her. I don't know what it was. She just had this such commanding presence that I was like, I wonder who this person is. Then I got to know her a little bit and she's really great and she's very personable. Those are some of the top people that I'd probably... if I could sit down and interview that I would definitely go to.

Kathleen Booth: Well, that is a great mix of some that I know and some that I don't. I love that. Well, this has been a ton of fun, Jared. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing all your stories and your experiences. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do at Major League Fishing, because it sounds like you're still very much in the early days. I have a feeling if we have this conversation again in two years, it would be a very, very different one.

Jared Collett: Probably, yes.

Kathleen Booth: It'll be interesting to watch. Well, if you're listening, that is it for this week's episode. Thank you so much for joining me. If you enjoyed the episode, please consider leaving a review on apple podcasts or the podcast platform of your choice. To hear more interviews with leading ad ops experts, head to While you're there, you can check out our resource center and learn more about protecting your user experience and revenue. Thanks so much for joining me, Jared.

Jared Collett: Thank you.


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