Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Buyer's GuideA key trend highlighted in our recently published Real-Time Bidding Buyer’s Guide is that media buyers working with RTB for their display campaigns are gradually translating these capabilities to other channels, such as mobile, video and social.

Reaching consumers across multiple channels via a single campaign has long been the ultimate objective for digital marketers and they've been increasingly looking at RTB as the most efficient method to do so. For example, the capabilities around audience buying and creative optimisation are a natural fit for video advertising.

Although it is difficult to predict how the competitive landscape for the RTB market will evolve over the next few months, the entry cost from a technological perspective is lowering and differentiation has become essential. While display still accounts for the bulk of RTB dollars, major players operating in this space have started to capitalise on this trend by developing cohesive multichannel solutions.

Ajay Sravanapudi, Founder & CEO at LucidMedia (DSP), emphasises this trend:

We'll soon start to see RTB display dollars become 'integrated digital dollars', with campaign spend migrating across display, video, mobile and social. As RTB platforms further build their multichannel access, analytics and optimisation pipes, proof-of-cross-channel-concept will further emerge, enticing marketers to focus on reaching their right audience and goals, no matter where the digital consumer is.

One of the most significant benefits of real-time bidding is the ability to precisely identify and target desired audiences and behaviour directly, on a one-to-one basis (as opposed to the more traditional approach which relied on packaged impressions). When this is coupled with intelligence attribution models and analytics, it can guide a marketer’s strategy not only at the campaign level, but also across their overall digital media efforts.

This is where data management platforms or DMPs (such as Demdex, Red Aril and Krux) come in. The ability to go beyond basic segmentation, integrating multiple data sets such as CRM, social signals or transactional data and extending audiences via lookalike modelling, are just some of the benefits of DMPs that appeal to advertisers. Sophisticated DMPs – mostly pureplays created specifically for this purpose – also have an applications layer, marrying audience and campaign data, giving a highly granular view of the best performing audience types and assisting advertisers with experimentation and attribution.

Despite the promising evolution of the RTB market, Oliver Whitten, VP & Commercial Director at Rubicon Project (SSP), thinks that "online advertising still lacks solid attribution models, and for RTB to move 'up-funnel' this will be important". Those platforms that will be able to bring together RTB, cross-channel attribution, dynamic creative optimisation and advanced reporting to reach granular audiences will capture a large share of advertising budgets.

Eshwar Belani, VP Products & Business Development at Rocket Fuel, summarises the opportunity for vendors:

On the technology front, there is an opportunity to deliver an integrated platform for advertisers that aligns all of their campaigns, channels, data, supply, and processes, and allows advertisers to focus on strategy, rather than the nitty-gritty bits of media execution.

We explore in more detail these trends and other market developments in our Real-Time Bidding Buyer’s Guide. The guide contains in-depth profiles from 20 demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs) and trading desks to help quickly evaluate vendors and tips (and pitfalls to avoid) to help you find the right RTB platform.

The following platforms and trading desks are featured in the guide:

  • Demand-side platforms (DSPs): Adform, Adobe, Brandscreen, DataXu, Digilant (formerly Adnetik), Infectious Media, Invite Media, LucidMedia, MediaMath, Rocket Fuel, StrikeAd, The Trade Desk, TubeMogul, Turn
  • Trading desks: The Exchange Lab, Varick Media Management, Xaxis
  • Supply-side platforms (SSPs): Admeld, PubMatic, Rubicon Project
Monica Savut

Published 9 August, 2012 by Monica Savut @ Econsultancy

Monica Savut is Head of Commercial Research Services at Econsultancy. Follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn or Google+.

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Comments (2)


Pierre BERENDES, Digital Marketing & Ecommerce Manager at Orange Communication SA

Sorry guy ... you miss one MAJOR player ... one of the best : AppNexus !

Why ?''

about 6 years ago

Monica Savut

Monica Savut, Head of Commercial Research Services at EconsultancyStaff

Hi Pierre, thanks for the comment. Glad you brought this up, as it's an interesting point. In the report, we explained that AppNexus occupies a specific position in the display advertising ecosystem. While sometimes described as a DSP, the company focuses on being a customisable ad tech platform and partners with DSPs, exchanges, ad networks and trading desks.

They don't consider themselves a DSP, but a technology partner. Or in Brian O'Kelley's words (CEO and Co-founder of AppNexus): "We're not a DSP [...] We are the only company that is solely and exclusively focused on being a technology provider to the most sophisticated advertising companies in the sector. Rather than operating a media services business, we provide the 'plumbing' that powers ad networks, DSPs, etc." (Source:

In Terence Kawaja's famous depiction of digital display, AppNexus is actually positioned between DSPs and ad exchanges, in its own box: On his blog, Mike Nolet, CTO and Co-founder at AppNexus, also explained how he "personally rejected the usage of either a generic chart or labels" to describe
their business:

While the company isn't featured in the guide with a profile, we've included several quotes provided by Michael Rubenstein, President at AppNexus.

Hope this helps, happy to answer any other questions.

about 6 years ago

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