Excerpts and articles from RTB and Adage

The Resurrection of Display Advertising

If you look at reports from early last year, online display was declared dead on arrival. But banners, long the bastard stepchild to search in the online marketing world, have come back with data showing double-digit growth (total banner impressions across the web are up 23% from December 2008 to December 2009). However, traditional metrics that are used to measure online advertising success such as click-through rate is no longer an effective measure and that impact over time or “exposure” was a better gauge of performance.

Don’t Know RTB From DBO? It’s alphabet soup in the online ad world these days and there are a lot of VCs slurping it up

DSP is Demand Side Platform, or basically an ad exchange from the advertiser’s perspective: the demand portion of the business. Agencies such as WPP (through its B3 division), Publicis ( through its Vivaki Nerve Center) and Havas (through AdNetik) are all in the DSP business.

DBO is Dynamic Media Buying Optimization and refers to layering technology onto a media buy to increase its performance (companies such as Atlas, X Plus One and MediaMath) do this.

RTB (Real Time Bidding): We have exchanges. We have trading. We have media. And, we have data.

RTB is when sellers of online media are able to put inventory into an exchange, have the impressions matched with audience attributes and buyers get instantaneous access to it. Several companies have made recent announcements that they have these capabilities (DoubleClick, AppNexus, X Plus One, Pubmatic, Invite Media and TriggIt among them). It’s hard to find companies that will go on record that they are using RTB, but eBay (a client of AppNexus) was a notable exception. Advertisers and publishers are notoriously secretive about anything that can potentially give them a leg up on the competition.

You thought the exchanges were already “real-time” and, to an extent, that’s true. At the very least, if you think of an ad exchange as an ad server, well, then the ad gets served in real-time – as soon as the page is opened by the end user. But, no no no, we’re not talking about that…

For the most part, it’s been a “futures” or “reserved” world to-date where buyers of online display ad media bid on publisher placements in the future. And, the advertiser must blindly trust, for example, that certain targeting parameters for any buy are implemented correctly by the selling publisher or ad network.

What RTB will enable with ad networks and exchanges is:

  1. The purchase of individual impressions using the “buy” side’s data to analyze the impression and bid accordingly in real-time.
  2. The optimization of real-time bidding using real-time conversion data.

As RTB is solved through technological innovation and the gradual adoption of industry-wide standards, performance metrics could leap.

As an industry insider told us, “Demand-side optimization creates a more dynamic environment with more efficient and fewer pre-defined rulesets.” Advertisers will be more willing to buy media – and bid higher for media (making happy publishers) – that they believe will likely perform well given the efficiencies created through RTB. Proprietary data from advertisers can be mapped against any potential media buying campaign to further improve performance.

Many companies are running hard to provide real-time bidding.

RTB is like “Madison Avenue meets Wall Street”

This is no small challenge as today’s NASDAQ stock market, for example, is a model of how buyers and sellers bid in real-time on the stock of public corporations – this innovation likely cost many millions of dollars. Technology companies working on this challenge are still struggling with the intensive data calculations as bidders and impression levels increase in addition to other data parameters.

No doubt, the implementation of RTB will accelerate adoption of ad exchanges and digital media trading – the open auction of online display advertising. And, any technology companies that can define or discover technology for RTB stand to enjoy a healthy payday.

The Next Nascent Area of Media – A Potential Boom in Mobile Advertising

Ad effectiveness studies from both Dynamic Logic and Insight Express show that mobile banners, those lowly images that appear on tiny screens, have higher levels of recall and overall impact than online display ads, even if you factor out novelty. What does it prove? Provide content a consumer wants and have one ad unit associated with it, and the ad works. Simple as that.

s when sellers of online media are able to put inventory into an exchange, have the impressions matched with audience attributes and buyers get instantaneous access to it. Several companies have made recent announcements that they have these capabilities (DoubleClick, AppNexus, X Plus One, Pubmatic, Invite Media and TriggIt among them). It’s hard to find companies that will go on record that they are using RTB, but eBay (a client of AppNexus) was a notable exception. Advertisers and publishers are notoriously secretive about anything that can potentially give them a leg up on the competition.
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