premium inventory

10 questions to ask your prospective real-time bidding agency

Real-time bidding (RTB) provides a great opportunity for companies to vastly increase their online presence to an interested audience.

However, as this market continues to grow, the options available to brands for management of their RTB increase and choosing the right agency for your company’s needs becomes harder.

One of the main problems faced with anyone researching their options for RTB management is that they have to navigate a minefield of display ecosystems, agencies, DSPs, trading desks etc.

However, in choosing an RTB agency to build and manage successful campaigns the most important first questions to ask are not always the most technical.

Having been involved with a number of RTB pitches and working with our clients we have found they have gained the most from asking questions such as those outlined below:

The ad network emperor has found his new clothes in RTB

One thing is certain: RTB is going to continue to grow, and is already established as the de facto transaction protocol for remnant display buying and selling.

The ad network Emperor has found his new clothes in RTB. This now being settled, why would any premium publisher want to RTB-enable their premium direct inventory?

Automation for the premium

Finally, automation is here, and there’s little doubt it is fundamentally changing our industry, powered by sophisticated yield optimisation algorithms and platforms offering the ability to bid on each impression served.

So, can we finally throw away our manually generated insertion orders, and book every campaign systematically? Can media owners connect up their platforms to the cloud, and walk away?  Will market forces replace expensive sales people?  

As RTB accounts for only 12% of display trading, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go. Certainly, automation is growing rapidly, but it’s still fair to say that most automated campaigns are focused on the lowest value inventory.  

Similarly, the vast majority of inventory traded in automated systems is still considered remnant and would be otherwise unsold. 

‘Programmatic’ is not just RTB

Any time I mention the word ‘programmatic’ in a meeting or on a call, people immediately assume that we’re talking about RTB, and the focus of the discussion will centre around remnant inventory.  

For some reason, ‘programmatic’ has become shorthand for ‘RTB’. But this is definitely not the case, as ‘programmatic’ should be, and is in fact, equally as applicable to the premium tier as it is to low-value inventory.