The buzz around Real Time Bidding (RTB) for online display media continues to grow, and the ecosystem is quickly expanding and maturing globally. On the buy side, more marketers than ever are leveraging the efficiencies of RTB to connect with their target audiences. Simultaneously, many of the early adopters are shifting additional budgets to the channel based on the ROI they’re achieving. Similarly, on the sell side, we’re seeing growth in the number of publishers selling inventory on exchanges, and increases in the supply volumes those publishers are making available to the channel as they recognize meaningful yield improvements. Of course, as we’ve all seen, the rise of ad tech players, including exchange providers, DSPs, SSPs, and many others, happens so quickly it’s often hard just to keep up with the latest developments.
Here at Microsoft Advertising, we’ve been active in the RTB space since the early days, and we’re currently engaged from almost every angle. When we launched the Microsoft Ad Exchange in 2011, we were the first premium publisher to surface nearly 100% of our non-reserved inventory on an RTB exchange. We’ve since added other publishers to our exchange, one of which is United Online, to help them realize improved monetization. And, of course, we actively buy inventory via RTB from key partners like Yahoo!, AOL, and 24/7 Media to expand the reach and scale of our Microsoft Media Network. In a relatively short time, RTB has become a key component of our global business.
Given how quickly things have changed, and how immersed we’ve become in the space, we decided it was time to take a step back and get an outside perspective on the opportunities and challenges for RTB. Toward this end, earlier this year, we commissioned IPSOS MediaCT to conduct a survey of Microsoft Advertising Exchange customers in the US, UK and the Netherlands. Their findings were incorporated in our white paper, Is Now the Right Time for Real Time? Implications for the Future of Digital Media Buying. The overarching conclusion affirms what many of us in the space have seen firsthand – RTB today is largely a direct response marketing channel, and for growth to continue at its recent pace, the ecosystem, collectively, will need to figure out how to drive brand-building objectives.
In an effort to address this challenge, Is Now the Right Time for Real Time?identifies and explores the following five keys to unlocking brand spend on RTB:
1. Access to brand-safe inventory at scale via RTB
2. Marketing measurement solutions that bridge online and offline
3. Education of both the buy and sell sides regarding the RTB opportunity
4. Evolution of the agency model to fully incorporate RTB
5. Advancement of RTB as a canvas for rich storytelling
The paper is a comprehensive look at what we, as an industry, can do to recognize the potential of RTB to personalize online advertising, and foster powerful connections between marketers and consumers. I encourage you to read it, see if it resonates with your experience, and engage in the conversation. We’re looking forward to the dialogue!
Daniel Sheinberg – Microsoft Advertising