1rtbBill likes playing online games, and the data from his internet behavior are efficiently used by placing an online poker ad on web pages that Bill visits, or placing a corresponding video ad, just before Bill starts to watch the video online.

How does RTB work?

Real Time Bidding (RTB) enables advertisers to bid on available online advertising space in real time. It happens within fractions of seconds that the ad space is sold and the decision is made whether the viewer is presented with an online poker ad or a shoe store ad. Bidding for online advertising space is nothing new, but what‘s new is bidding on ad impressions real time.

Publishers of content, who are selling the ad space/ad impressions, decide on the minimum price they want for the space. An RTB platform then asks the advertiser how much they are willing to spend for the ad at this moment. Ad content and the price paid for displaying the ad are decided only milliseconds before the user views the web page. Opposed to a traditional advertising banner, which is placed on a web page long before the user visits, with RTB the ad is placed when the data of the person visiting the site is transmitted.


(Infographic: SpotXchange)

Real Time Video Advertising to grow at a blistering pace

According to a brand new report by Forrester, RTB has been the fastest growing segment of the online video business, growing more than 100% from 2011 to 2012, and is even forecasted to grow more than 70% in 2013. The RTB growth rate even exceeds the overall online video growth rate, which in itself continues growing unabated.

The study also found out that, even as the quantity of premium content increases, premium publishers of video content remain hesitant to use automated platforms to sell their inventory in a public environment, due to the high eCPMs they are able to sustain for the moment. Those that have tested automated platforms are doing so primarily in private marketplaces, where they are able to test the impact on pricing, fill rate, and targeting on a limited and controlled basis.

Further, Forrester forecasts that RTB will continue a shift to real-time buying in 2013. RTB platforms will morph from bidding engines into real- time buying engines that base their decision making on data such as audience targeting. The findings expect the use of RTB tools to do automated placement of direct buys as the automated process gains popularity.

The report also expects programmatic buying mechanisms to continue to grow but diversify. As the online video vocabulary has crystallized and more parties understand programmatic buying, its adoption will be significant as a replacement to manual insertions orders.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all model for programmatic, and the marketplace will cleave along three fault lines: private versus public; fixed- versus bid-price; and premium versus run of network.

How to set up a successful RTB strategy:

The Asia Pacific market still has enormous potential for growth in the RTB business, and marketers should be aware of the following when setting up their RTB strategy:

  1. Analyze your customers‘ customer journeys to figure out what you want to pay for contacting prospects via RTB.
  2. Figure out exactly what user profiles you need to target for maximum conversion, e.g. use RTB for retargeting users who have visited your site before.
  3. Be patient and place test bids to get experience, understand the market and adjust your RTB strategy accordingly.
  4. Avoid overlapping - if you‘ve already placed a traditional display ad on a site you shouldn‘t be bidding on space there via RTB. Use black and white lists and develop a holistic view of all your advertising channels.
  5. Select the right advertising environment to make sure your ads don‘t land on the wrong pages (e.g. a competitor‘s page, or a page with the wrong image) by using black lists. Also use white lists for pages that promise high conversions and offer an ideal advertising environment.
  6. Utilize frequency capping - there‘s no point in bidding 20 times on the same user.
  7. Expand the reach of your campaign and target group by using third party data, but be careful that you segment the new data in order to bid on the users with matching profiles.

The Asian market is only now starting to really take off towards RTB, so be aware of the enormous potential out there to be taken advantage of. Figure out now what programmatic buying and selling of digital video could do for your brand. This channel is hot!

By Anjum Siddiqi