2012: Real Time Bidding will drive demand in mobile advertising

Mobile RTB growing at unprecedented levels of 70% month on month

It is often said that there is more supply than demand in mobile advertising but recent statistics show that dramatic growth in RTB is driving mobile advertising spend. Alex Rahaman, CEO of StrikeAd, explains how developments in RTB combined with powerful ad tracking are helping to drive demand for mobile advertising

RTB has rapidly evolved from a technology option to become the strategic foundation of mobile advertising. Forecasts from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate there will be a huge increase in display advertising based on RTB by the year 2015. The growth predictions are, America – 71%, UK – 114%, France – 103%, Germany – 99%. And we anticipate a huge increase in mobile ad spend on RTB as well.

RTB in the mobile driving seat
Our experience at StrikeAd as the developer of the world’s first global mobile Demand Side Platform, is that RTB is seriously in the driving seat as regards mobile advertising spend. One of our partners, the mobile advertising exchange Nexage, is now experiencing a 70% per month bid volume growth while showing a minimum 2x eCPM premium on their RTB exchange.

To explain how this works: If we take Nexage for example, its RTB exchange – combined with its data capabilities – enables buyers to target and buy on a real-time, impression-by-impression basis. This allows demand sources to buy impressions that are relevant to specific advertising campaigns and drive campaign ROI – crucial factors for the success of the bidders and their clients.

Although all exchanges operate differently, in most cases you can certainly access cheaper inventory when buying via a DSP. But of course, it's not all about the price.

The role of the DSP in the process
RTB-enabled DSPs – such as StrikeAd – integrate with all major ad exchanges, enabling advertisers to buy from multiple exchanges. The more reach a campaign has, the more efficient it will be, and the better it can work at scale. By being able to see all the information on one platform from multiple ad exchanges, DSPs allow the advertiser to make a holistic decision on a campaign's progress, when compared to accessing multiple ad exchanges individually and manually.

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. The whole process only takes around 0.12 seconds.

It is also the case that DSPs often bid more aggressively for the impressions that have a propensity to convert. By looking for these valuable impressions, and examining exactly where they came from, which sort of website they clicked through from etc, we can use this historical data for future bidding within that same campaign.

This granularity of the bidding features and the targeting of which impressions to buy is the real differentiator, creating more value to each individual ad impression.

RTB provides impression-level transparancy
By accessing RTB-enabled mobile advertising exchanges, StrikeAd enables global brands and agencies to take their mobile ad campaigns to the right audience at the right time.

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 – and only bid on those that are interesting to them, in real time, as the campaign develops.

This impression-level transparency that RTB provides is something advertisers have never had before – and is a huge reason why mobile advertising demand is ramping up.

RTB is enabling this real-time campaign decision-making, improving campaign ROI, and just as importantly, enhancing the advertiser’s buying power. RTB lets buyers evaluate any parameter of an 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.

Add powerful ad tracking
When RTB is combined with powerful new developments in ad tracking, then mobile advertisers have unprecedented levels of transparency.

There are solutions on the market right now that allow advertisers and agencies to very precisely track and attribute downloads, conversions and even in-app events such as frequent use, purchases, game level completion and much more. Plus, by plugging app download tracking data into a mobile DSP, its learning mechanisms can automatically adjust the buying strategy to buy more of the traffic that has the same profile as that which delivered the best results.

It's clear that there are solutions out there to make mobile app advertising more successful and cost effective, but it will take the triumvirate of the advertiser, agency and media to adopt them. Without all three parties understanding the options and utilising them, nothing will happen – or at least not easily and not quickly.

All about the individual, not the masses!
As a specialist mobile DSP, global brands and agencies rely on us to take their mobile ad campaigns to the right audience at the right time. DSPs look for individual users which have a high propensity to convert, and combining the added benefits of RTB with audience segmentation, location tracking and cognitive matching, we now have the ability to target individual users at such a granular level that it will undoubtedly increase the ROI of an individual campaign and drive demand in the mobile advertising industry as a whole.

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