Real-time bidding has become so entrenched in online media buying that it's hard to believe this market was nonexistent two years ago. Marketers have utilized the technologies to target consumers who are most likely to convert, serving creative that drives a consumer back to a website to make a purchase. But RTB can do so much more than serve as a line item on a media plan. In a world where the biggest of traditional channels - TV - is becoming increasingly fragmented, RTB has a lot of potential.
I have previously argued that RTB is a disruptive innovation in advertising -- even going so far as to say that RTB represents the "Death of Advertising." Many viewed the title and read my words as condemning the advertising industry. They were not. In retrospect I could see why the article could be perceived as "wishing" for the death of advertising, but I was simply making the point that RTB is a disruptive innovation.
As it pertains to display advertising, owning RTB infrastructure is quickly emerging as the ticket to the "next round." This means having the bidders, cookie stores, and big-data chops to earn a seat on an exchange and respond to bid requests within 50 ms, without having to use a middleman or license another DSP's technology.
If column inches and growth rates are any indication, 2012 will go down as the Year of Real-Time Bidding (RTB). Truth is, RTB is great for buyers who want to efficiently acquire cheap audiences at scale. However, by its very nature, RTB shoehorns everyone's inventory into the same mold so that algorithms will have consistent data for decision-making. The problem is that this one-size-fits-all approach actually fits nobody and is the first step in a race to the bottom for CPMs.
The world of auction-based media is a fascinating space with rich detail into data and numbers. In fact, the details of the numbers and speed behind programmatic media buying are so rich that it's easy to lose the sense of scale. By looking at real-time bidding (RTB) numbers from other perspectives, marketers will have a better idea of scale and the depth of ad technology we are dealing with in today's marketplace.
The Facebook Exchange (FBX) is a new social advertising option for marketers who want to reach almost a billion active Internet users globally: a real-time bidding (RTB) system through which Facebook sells ad inventory to multiple bidders in an auction.
Time is flying. I'm sure you've already heard it at least a dozen times since you returned to your office last week: "It can't be 2013 already, can it?" We seem to be living in an age of increasing -- and often overbearing -- nostalgia. I'd even argue that nostalgia can become debilitating. And in the case of the online advertising business, dangerous.
Online advertising is supposed to represent a marketing revolution, giving marketers access to cutting-edge technology that can match ads to consumer through a combination of creative and innovative algorithms. So why are digital media planners still so reliant on Microsoft Excel, an outdated piece of software from the 1980s? For digital to truly develop, we need to get to a world where the planners and buyers leverage unified marketing platforms and put Excel to rest.
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