For Real-Time-Bidding To Continue To Thrive, Transparency Is Key

Programmatic buying is becoming an influential factor in online display advertising. Real-Time Bidding (RTB) has turned into a $2 billion global business in just three years, according to ExchangeWire.

However, this uptick isn’t accompanied by equal education and support of the players involved.

Publishers are struggling with the fear of falling CPMs, while advertisers are seeking ways to reach the right audience, efficiently optimize their spend and drive performance. RTB is juxtaposed in an interesting position; but, how do you bridge the gap between these concerned parties to draw the most value from RTB?

How Metrics Can Help Close The Gap

Publishers and marketers have their work cut out to fully utilize RTB’s potential. A key element to achieving this goal centers on impression transparency. This transparency enables brands to understand who and where their campaign is reaching, so they can buy with confidence.

A confidence-induced spend will drive higher revenue for publishers, with more fill and a potential for scale. Rather than a vicious cycle, transparency in RTB helps both the publisher and the advertiser realize mutual ROI.

At its basic level, transparency helps assign value to the publisher’s content and audience, while assuaging marketers’ concerns that they aren’t reaching their desired audience segments.

Data-Driven World

We live in a data-driven world. Companies like Integral Ad Science, formerly Ad Safe Media, already have solutions in place to provide impression verification and rank based on multiple attributes of an impression. This is the first step to building a universal metric that measures brand safety and page context. Similarly, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has developed Quality Assurance Guidelines for networks and exchanges.

These transparent or muted transparent datapoints will help alleviate marketer concerns regarding RTB. Measuring the ad tag performance, as well as post impression conversion performance, will also enable brands to derive value from their experience with RTB.

Real-Time Success

RTB is efficient. It provides access to vast pools of publishers and allows marketers to optimize performance in real time. Marketers want transparency and ROI. Publishers want revenue and fill rates. The gap looks wide, but bridges are forming.

The determination of high-performing impressions will force publishers to succumb to rankings. Their content, brand and audience will be scored appropriately to highlight the efficient potential of RTB; but, is that so bad?

With the business growing at a rapid rate, the onset of transparency will enable the worldwide success of RTB for publishers and marketers alike.

Stock image via iStockphoto

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Analytics & Marketing Column | Channel: Analytics


About The Author: is the director of business development for PulsePoint where he is responsible for sales and account management across the company’s exchange, audience, and social publishing businesses.

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