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Real-time ad buying creates a new foundation for mobile advertising

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 21 May, 2012
Essential Essential topic

RTB and DSP make real-time mobile ads more targeted and trackable

Source: Mobile Squared (Click image for Slideshare)

Real-time mobile display ad buying is a technology with the potential to transform mobile communications.

RTB can improve targeting, tracking and campaign management to create an easily accessible real-time marketing medium capable of generating impressive ROI.

RTB is rapidly evolving from a technology option to create a new strategic foundation for mobile advertising - particularly when used in conjunction with time saving demand-side platforms.

Fragmented, complex mobile ads campaigns could become a thing of the past

Mobile advertising revenue growth figures have proved rather disappointing compared to early analyst forecasts.  The 'less than thrilling' results are largely attributable to the complexity and fragmentation that must be overcome in order to deliver effective multi-device, multi-network, multi-operating system mobile campaigns.

The undesirable mobile campaign characteristics that complicate mobile campaigns result in increased costs for agencies and clients and reduced targeting and reporting effectiveness and efficiency – frequently resulting in a fragmented view of the customer and disappointing campaign ROI.

Source: mobileSQUARED research

But this situation is changing rapidly………

More bullish recent predictions for mobile ad growth focus on the hope offered by real time display media buying (RTB). As there often appears to be more supply than demand in mobile advertising, RTB may be even more significant in mobile advertising than in other display ad media.

Forecasts in the International Data Corporation's (IDC) RTB report anticipate significant growth in RTB mobile advertising by 2015;

"By 2015, we estimate that at least one-fifth of all display advertising sales revenue in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France will be based on RTB transactions.”

Its specific growth forecasts are;

  • America – 71%,
  • UK – 114%
  • France – 103%
  • Germany – 99%

RTB can halve the cost of real-time targeted mobile ads

Take a look at this example.........

One of our partners, the mobile advertising exchange, Nexage, is currently experiencing 70%  bid volume growth per month, resulting in the minimum display ad price being typically twice the eCPM premium you’d pay through its RTB exchange.

So, relatively keen RTB exchange prices, combined with sophisticated targeting available via demand-side platforms, mean buyers can purchase highly targeted display ads in real-time on an impression-by-impression basis.

Demand-side platforms (DSPs) can save time and improve targeting

 Demand sources enable you to purchase impressions relevant to specific advertising campaigns across a range of platforms, driving higher campaign ROI. Although all exchanges operate differently, in most cases you can access cheaper inventory if you buy via a demand-side platform (DSP). Although, of course, it's not all about the price - targeting is a critical success factor too.

“Research by mobileSQUARED has revealed that the emergence of dedicated Mobile Demand Side Platforms will dramatically reduce the workload for both traditional and mobile specialist media agencies by eradicating the manual, labour intensive processes of planning, analysing, buying and reporting on mobile."

 White paper, mobileSQUARED, March 2011

RTB-enabled DSPs, like StrikeAd, integrate with all major ad exchanges. DSP platforms allow advertisers to make a holistic decision on a campaign's progress by letting them see all the information from multiple ad exchanges in one place. This type of purchase platform offers a huge advantage compared with the alternative of having to access multiple ad exchanges individually and manually.

The more reach a campaign has, the more efficient and scalable a DSP will be

Once a buyer has uploaded specific targeting criteria, the DSP effectively listens to each ad exchange in real time and, when a suitable ad becomes available, the DSP buys the ad and delivers it. The whole process only takes around 0.12 seconds.

Another useful feature of DSPs is they often bid more aggressively for the impressions with a propensity to convert. DSPs look for valuable impressions and examine their precise origins. Historical data, such as the sort of website an impression clicked through from, can then be used to refine and target future bidding in the same campaign.

The granularity of bidding features and the ability to target purchasing by impression are the real differentiators of DSPs, both potentially adding more value to every ad impression.

Combining RTB and DSPs give you impression-level transparency and tracking

RTB’s provision of impression-level transparency is a huge factor in mobile advertising demand ramping up.

Combining RTB capabilities with a mobile advertising exchange’s inventory allows advertisers to monitor traffic across multiple networks, identify the individual consumers they want to reach and deliver targeted advertising to them in real time.

Advertisers can view hundreds of billions of ad impressions from multiple networks, on a single platform, only bidding on the impressions of interest to them in real time as the campaign develops.

RTB enables real-time campaign decision-making, improving campaign ROI and, just as importantly, enhancing the advertiser’s buying power. It lets buyers evaluate the impression parameter of any impression available for auction prior to purchase.

StrikeAd, for example, can analyse factors such as gender, location and device-type to see exactly how valuable each impression is to an advertiser's campaign. Advertisers now need to buy only those impressions they want and do not waste money on those they do not.

Mobile advertisers have specific tracking needs; they need to attribute downloads, conversions and even in-app events, such as frequent use, purchases, game level completion and much more. Plugging app download tracking data into a mobile DSP allows its learning mechanisms to adjust the buying strategy automatically; to buy more traffic of the profile that is currently delivering the best results.

The new approaches must be embraced by all parties

Many initiatives are underway to make mobile app advertising more successful and cost effective.

However, in order to succeed, advertisers, agencies and media must all adopt these new approaches. RBS and DSPs have the potential to usher in a new era of mobile planning and buying by enabling agencies to deliver improved ROI to clients through a single platform interface that supports planning, booking, executing and optimising real-time mobile campaigns.

One of the biggest dangers is that the greatest benefits of RBS and DSPs may be lost unless all three parties adopt and use them together.

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