Not so long ago, the adoption of Real-time bidding (RTB) by advertisers in Europe seemed to lag behind that in the United States. While advertisers across the Atlantic were enthusiastically starting to use the real-time media purchase model, Europeans seemed less enthusiastic. However, in just over a year, the European market saw the real-time bidding skyrocketing. The year 2014 is not the time to ponder about turning to RTB, it's the time to seize and take advantage of the advanced technology at hand. What should we expect to come in 2014, then?
Accurate advertisement targeting – data more important than ever
Western European advertisers and publishers now recognize the importance of big data resources, but so do the key e-commerce players in Central and East Europe. In general, in-depth personalization of online activities is the most basic benefit derived from automated advertising solutions.
The point at issue here is that new sources of big data should be sought, and the knowledge of such tools as Twitter or Facebook proves most practical. They are a wealth of information on the online behaviour of users, that when properly interpreted enables knowledgeable selection of ads to suit the preferences and requirements of potential customers.
A good illustration of that trend may be the take-over of the mobile platform SSP MoPub by Twitter. The combination of behavioural data on web users with mobile ad space is a guaranteed energy booster for RTB in 2014.
It's time for mobile and social media
The number of individuals who use their mobile devices to surf the Internet is on a dynamic rise. According to eMarketer's research results, almost half of internet users will be connecting the web with their tablets and other similar instruments by 2015.
The change in the way online content is consumed provides more and more publicity for mobile-dedicated RTB in Europe. In addition, as Google DoubleClick made the Facebook ad space available, the advertisers' interest in this channel of communication has increased, and may in future bring more space available in the RTB ecosystem.
Retargeting is not now only for e-commerce businesses
In 2014 we're seeing more non retailers trialling RTB. Simpler RTB solutions that enable building brand and product awareness are now exploited by household appliances producers, tourism agencies or recruitment companies alike.
In the context of both: display ads and RTB activities, it is not only effectiveness that matters, but their perceptibility as well (i.e. not only the fact of displaying an ad on a website, but also the fact that a user has or has not seen it).
Increasingly significant is the influence an ad has on brand recognition. RTB is not solely an ad serving technology, it's one of the most dynamically developing tools for communication with potential customers.
Response rates for different advertising formats in different countries
The new trends in ad formats used in RTB campaigns are noteworthy too. Recently, new forms of banner ads are mushrooming and gaining a strong ground. For instance, DoubleClick has lately introduced so-called local formats (e.g. Polish ones being 750x100, 750x200 or 750x300).
Increasingly popular is the international format 300x600, as well. RTB House data suggests that in retargeting campaigns the highest CTR, i.e. the number of clicks to the number of ad display events ratio, are noted for: 800x440 (2.73%), 300x600 (1.30%) and 300x300 (1.03%).
Analysis of ads served on our networks shows that the new banner formats enjoy a far greater CTR compared to the ones being currently most popular.
In turn, among the countries in which RTB House operates, the highest CTR in retargeting campaigns was recorded in Belarus, Serbia and Croatia.
The Infographic below highlights some of our research around retargeting campaigns.
The current year may be seen as the time of forecasts of the importance of RTB coming true. The capabilities of RTB are almost unlimited: never before have new technologies contributed so effectively to the success of advertisers and publishers in the online realm. All the signs suggest that European markets are ripe for taking full advantage of the potential this solution holds.