May Segment Data; Interesting Now, Useful Later

Portuguese travel. RVs. Graduate Degrees. What could these three things possibly have in common?

According to ChoiceStream's June Audience Cost Calendar (which is actually data from May), these three segments were among the highest risers on real-time bidding (RTB) exchanges as compared to April. The report gives scores to specific segments based on an index, with "100" indicating that a particular segment is trading at the average of all segments. A "120" would indicate trading 20% above average, etc.

Travel: Portugal tied for the top segment, with an index rating of 188. While unsure exactly what it is about Portugal that causes it to score so well, Bill Guild, vice president, product management and marketing at ChoiceStream, pointed out that the same segment had a 205 index rating back in February. Careers: Human Resources also had a 188 in May.

Guild was particularly interested in the spread between the highest and lowest indexes on a monthly basis. For May, the lowest rating was a 56, and the highest was a 188. Over the last few months, that spread has been widening for several reasons.

Perhaps most importantly, the spread has widened because there are more bidders entering the RTB space, Guild said. "There is competition for high demand segments, so it's driving the prices up," he observed. At the bottom of the index, Guild has noticed that bidders have become more "discriminate," which he believes has caused the floor to sink.

Guild told RTM Daily that this was the ninth month of releasing an Audience Cost Calendar, and that the company is excited to begin overlapping with year-over-year data. For this type of data, it makes sense to be anticipating that full-year mark. Other than using it to recap what happened, how much does a brand or publisher involved in the real-time space care about what happened in May?

Right now, most of this data is just interesting. It's not useless, by any means, but I think everyone involved will find more use for it once it once overlap begins. We know seasonality plays a huge role in marketing, and the same is true on real-time exchanges. As year-over-year data starts coming out for these types of segment-specific reports, planners can get more creative with RTB campaigns because they will have a better feel of what to expect.

Take a look below for ChoiceStream's June Audience Cost Calendar infographic.

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