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  • Is RTB the new Search?

    So what do we know about search marketing? We know that historically it has been a very “pull” form of marketing that only delivers ads to the most qualified users, right? I mean a user can’t be more qualified than typing a specific keyword phrase into a major search engine and describing exactly what they are looking for, or can they? Before RTB became a standard in both Display and Video advertising, buyers that would purchase that type of media would use a “push” form of marketing to get their brand exposure or to drive performance. They would place a run of network or run of category buy across a network of sites at the same rate, and then when certain sites weren’t performing well, they would be optimized off the buy. Buyers would spend way too much money on users that would never perform well for that particular brand because they were targeting sites and not looking at any user data. After all, why would we pay the same rate for every user on every site? That would imply that every user is equally as qualified – and that’s just crazy.

    Well fear no more my fellow advertising geeks, programmatic buying introduces that pull form of marketing into display and video advertising and as RTB advances over the next year or so, this type of marketing will be lower in the marketing funnel than search. Looking back it is crazy to think that soon a user can be more qualified than typing “buy a snuggie online” into Google or Bing. Not only can they be more qualified than that, we can show them a much more powerful message to not only drive performance, but to also build brand awareness. The Demand Side Platforms (DSP’s) are doing a great job of using both first party and third party user data to qualify a user before they decide what they are worth in an open buying marketing. For example, if MediaMath knows that a user recently visited ESPN.com and they also know they have third party data about that user that tells their engine the person recently purchased soccer cleats – they then know to bid high for that user on behalf of a client like Adidas. They would also factor in the frequency of that user, time of day, etc. to make an even better decision on how much that user is actually worth. Another very important attribute is the url that is being passed to the DSP’s. Big brand advertisers need to run on only approved sites and it is very important for the supply side platforms to deliver this information at the most granular level.

    Here at AdConductor we deliver a brand safe medium for buyers to find the right users on the most transparent inventory. The thing we have really been thinking about however is how can we make real-time-bidding more powerful and move it lower in the marketing funnel than search. Before we can make it better, let’s think about what’s missing? Let’s just think out loud – not enough rich media, too many self classified urls, no way to identify if an ad is in view, yada, yada, yada. The AdConductor Audience Platform offers these types of products in a real time environment and over the next year we will be focusing on scaling in all of these areas. We have products like our fixed footer video player that’s always in view and we are working on making some our high impact units like our peel-back or site skin available to programmatic buyers.

    Once we do all of these things at scale and factor in social data, then I think we really have something here kids. We now have a solution more powerful than search and definitely more cost efficient. The day is coming soon when RTBers can graduate from the kiddie table and sit at the head of the adult table.