Real-time Bidding in Online Marketing – What is it?

The latest buzz-word circulating business owners and marketers is Programmatic Marketing. Our blog next week will be on that subject but a pre-curser to that is understanding real-time bidding.
Real-time bidding (or RTB) refers to the buying and selling of online ad impressions via real-time auctions that happen in a split-second. The auctions are held by supply-side platforms and ad exchanges. Some say it’s revolutionary in the online marketing world.

How does it work?

When a user visits a website, the impression loads in their browser and the information is passed to an ad exchange in an instant. This software automatically auctions the ad space to the advertiser that is willing to pay the highest price for the impression and then the winners ad is loaded onto the website. The process takes just milliseconds from start to finish and is seamless to the viewer. Advertisers often use platforms to help the to decide which ad impressions to purchase and how much to bid based on a variety of factors; such as the users previous behaviours and other websites that they have visited. The cost of the impressions is determined in real-time based on what advertisers are willing to pay, hence why it’s called real-time bidding.

What are the benefits of RTB?

The main benefit of real-time bidding for website and business owners is efficiency. It takes out the human error and ‘middle man’ aspects of having to go through publishers or ad networks and manually negotiate prices for online ad space. Using the RTB platforms, marketers can access a huge range of inventory across a large range websites and pick only the impressions that are the most valuable to your business. This helps to:

  • Cut down the number of wasted impressions on the wrong audience
  • Minimise the need for expensive and unreliable human ad buyers

Want to find out more?

If you’d like to try real-time bidding and think it would work for your website, give us a call 0800 878 833.

Ad exchange: A digital marketplace that gives publishers and advertisers the ability to purchase and sell advertising space online, such as display/ banner ads, video and mobile ad inventory.
Supply-side platform: Software used to buy and sell online advertising automatically.