How Microsoft can make Atlas suck less
Back in 2007, two tech giants stepped into the ad trafficking game. Microsoft scooped up Atlas with its aQuantive acquisition, and Google bought NY-based DoubleClick. In the years since, Google has invested in DoubleClick, while Atlas has pretty much sat on the shelf, collecting dust. Now Microsoft promises to update Atlas and stay competitive with DoubleClick in the $12.3 billion display-ad market.
Here at Blogads, we use both systems to work with our advertisers. Based on our team’s experience, here’s where Microsoft can start:
A) Make it work on a Mac. Come on.
B) Update the design. Google has made DoubleClick clean and “Google-y.” Atlas still looks like 2005.
C) Single-page placement uploads. When filling out an RFP in Atlas, you have to upload each placement individually on its own page, then add flight dates individually per placement on different pages, and THEN add specs for each placement on yet more separate pages. DoubleClick allows this all to happen on one page. This is a major time-suck.
D) Disappearing “Value Adds.” When you lend someone a car, you have to warn them about the little quirks, like a sticky clutch, or a broken handle. The “Value Add” problem is kinda like that. “Hey, look out, when you’re uploading placements , whatever you enter in ‘Value Add’ disappears.” This is the sort of bug that should have been addressed a long time ago.
E) Do away with irrelevant required fields. We hate the “outside the box” metaphor, but the required fields in the RFP form are so restrictive, that it forces you to think inside a very out-dated box. There are no “other” fields. We’d like to be able to submit a tweet as an ad unit, or upload an approved plan for a flat fee, or not have to put an ‘x’ in a field that isn’t applicable. We cannot do this in Atlas.