Date of Award

Spring 3-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Project Management

First Advisor

Stephen Onu

Third Advisor

Digital advertising , project management

Abstract

Digital advertising is a rapidly evolving industry in the US, which only has a short history of 20 years. As the demand for brands and advertisers to accurately target their audiences at the right time has increased, projects have been gradually featured as the most critical revenue-generating factor for companies in the advertising industry to survive. The advertising ecosystem, which includes agencies, technology vendors, media partners, brands and publishers, has developed as a complex system which requires efficient project management methodologies to meet the increasing demands of the industry.

This thesis aims to discuss the main problem for a lot of traditional advertising agencies: how to execute successful projects to stay profitable in the industry. However, since each company has its business nature, to define the quality of a specific project is confusing and hard to implement. Therefore, to identify whether a plan is a successful one or not is to analyze the financial benefits that it brings to a company and the time it takes to achieve the financial goals. By taking this practical challenge, this thesis ventures an empirical investigation in which project features as the central unit of the advertising ecosystem. However, rather than assuming a composition of a company by temporary projects, this thesis seeks to explore interdependency among projects, groups, as well as other organization components, such as people, to determine ways to properly manage projects which can lead to financial success for a company in the digital advertising industry. With a combination of frequent practices and a focus on the project management mindset, agencies can be able to develop better structures to provide on-time and high-quality delivery. Project management mindset should be spread amongst managers, senior leaders and entry-level employees across advertising agencies to build consistent project methodologies (Grabel, 2017).

The paper dives into interrelation among projects, advertising agencies, brands, advertisers, and media networks, which provide essential support for project-based advertising, to research guidelines and examples of successfully-executed projects. The paper uncovers a collaborative practice space for which the term "project ecology" will be proposed, via consecutively embedding projects into different social and corporate layers.

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