RTB and Display Campaigns: Changing the Rules of the Game

March 15, 2016
Senior Director, Marketing Operations

RTB. Great, that’s all the digital media world needs is another acronym. But here we are with the newest, upgraded if you will, form of online auction display advertising called Real-Time Bidding, a form of programmatic buying that’s changing the rules of the display campaign game.

How does it work?

Advertisers set-up campaign parameters, including how much they are willing to bid for their KPI. (Oops, there’s another one; for their Key Performance Indicator, or, in other words, how much they are willing to spend to reach their targets.) Advertisers then sit back while the computer does the work (this is where the programmatic buying comes in). So what happens next? 

Potential customers decide to visit a website—any website. They type a URL into a browser and hit enter.  While that page is loading, information about the type of page and the users themselves are sent back to auction for the highest bidding advertiser that has relevant targeting for this type of user and website. If you are the winning advertiser, your display banner is selected to appear by the time their selected page loads. This happens literally in milliseconds. And this process continuously goes on for many, many more impressions during the length of a campaign.

What are the benefits?

As you can imagine, RTB offers convenience and efficiency for digital advertisers. By working with a RTB ad exchange, they get a one-stop shop to enter their campaign details, choose publisher inventory, set their targeting and bidding, and upload their creative. With RTB, digital advertisers:

  • Save money by only bidding on impressions that directly impact their business;
  • Increase target savvy with behavioral marketing strategies;
  • Upturn optimization through the collection of real-time data;
  • Extend reach to new and existing customers.

Long gone are the days of having to work directly with publishers or ad networks to display your ads to a possibly unresponsive audience. RTB isn’t just another acronym—it’s fundamentally changing the rules of the game!

Look for future blog posts as we dive deeper into the programmatic buying world, including RTB downfalls, key players, and as it relates to Google Display Advertising.