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Programmatic Near Real-Time Bidding, Optimization Comes To Search

Google Optimization optimizes bids about once daily. Programmatic display platforms can optimize in milliseconds. This programmatic search platform optimizes bids and budgets every 30 minutes.

Vector Media Group has stepped up to consult on a platform built by Acquisio and apply the technology to search. Bryan Minor, Acquisio's chief scientist of paid search, led the effort. His experience working at Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) on space physics nuclear threat mitigation supports the frequent adjustments programmatic bidding and budgets require.

Lee Goldberg, CEO at Vector Media Group, describes the timing as similar to the frequent adjustments that cruise missiles require. "They make small but frequent adjustments to hit a target," he says.

It took tweaks to application program interface (API) connections from Google, Bing and Facebook to speed the process and gain the ability to integrate and compare the data every 30 minutes. It normalizes bids and budgets to keep campaigns running profitable. "Within a year or two, we will get it down to the minute," Goldberg says. "Today, the APIs just aren't fast enough to transfer and process the data in real-time."

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Most search bid management systems are more predictive, basing budgets and bids off historic decisions. This approach reacts in real-time from data feeds. The change in the process seems to drive down the cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA). One unnamed client selling eyeglass wear saw a 46% increase in clicks, 57% decrease in CPC, and 37% increase in conversions within three months after implementing Vector's platform.

Rather than asking the client to increase the budget to reach the goal, the programmatic search engine optimizes the campaign based on bids and budgets that move in parallel throughout the day.

Most platforms target a specific CPC or CPA, which typically requires marketers to increase budgets to increase performance. The platform updates budgets every 30 minutes making predictions with recent data -- even more often than Google Optimizer, which updates about once hourly, according to Raj Beri, COO at Adadyn, a programmatic advertising technology platform.

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