New hires at the ad-tech company Collective are going to need more than a solid resume and good references to become part of the company's sales team. They're also going to need to pass a new test from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
The New York City-based ad-tech firm is requiring that all of its sales staff take and pass the IAB's "Digital Media Sales Certification" exam, which poses 100 multiple-choice questions to test a seller's knowledge of the increasingly complex workings of the digital-ad ecosystem, as well as the details of selling, managing and analyzing digital ad campaigns.
New Collective sales employees won't have to pass the test before coming onboard, but Collective will make them take the test until they pass it, according to Jed Savage, the company's sales chief. "We're very pleased with the standard trying to be set from an industry perspective and look at this as a way to gauge our sales organization, which we push to be the best out there," he said.
The majority of sales employees at Collective took the exam during the first round of testing, which began in June. All of the employees who took the test passed. Employees from big digital-media companies such as Yahoo and AOL also took the exam, according to Michael Theodore, VP for training and development at the IAB.
Some basic elements about the test remain undisclosed, such as how many correct answers are required to pass. Test-takers themselves find out whether they passed and where they need to improve, but do not learn how many questions they got right.
The IAB said 101 people who took the test achieved a passing score, but it declined to say how many people failed -- suggesting some sensitivity to how the test is perceived in the industry and whether it seems too easy or too hard.
The IAB has had preliminary discussions with some colleges and universities about building the test into coursework, Mr. Theodore said.
The test is offered every quarter, with the next round beginning October 1. Test-takers pay $350 if their employers belong to the IAB and $450 if they don't.
TRY THESE SAMPLE QUESTIONS (not on the actual test ):
A client wants to serve different creative to consumers based on their exposure to the digital-advertising campaign. Which of the following solutions should be recommended?
A. Connected TV
B. Keyword targeting
C. Sequential messaging
D. Demographic targeting
If an ad campaign was delivered that served 100,000 impressions and generated 200 clicks, what would the click-through rate be?