The advertising technology space would be well served in learning a lesson from Aesop, a person that existed long, long before real-time bidding (RTB).
The lesson I’m referring to comes from the fable The Tortoise and the Hare. You know, the one where the hare is all speedy and the tortoise is not, but the tortoise still wins?
“Slow and steady wins the race” might not be true in a literal sense in the RTB environment -- companies spend millions of dollars just to improve speeds, and therefore likelihood to win bids, by milliseconds -- but it could be true in the grand scheme of things.
New data today from Sticky reveled some interesting things about display advertisements. The report found that when a face is shown in an ad, the chances the ad is actually seen doubles, which should be welcomed news considering Sticky also says just 14% of display ads are actually seen.
Publishers, agencies, brands, tech providers, etc. can do everything in their power to make targeting impeccably personal, the speeds faster than ever before, the creative more creative and the interfaces easier to use, but it’s all for nothing if people aren’t actually seeing the ads, which seems to be the case.
The industry needs to smarten up before it speeds up, lest it trip over the hurdles it failed to clear in the early stages.