What is real-time bidding (RTB)?
Real-time bidding (RTB) is a type of media buying within the field of programmatic advertising. RTB refers to the process in which ads are bought and sold in a real-time auction that takes place during the time for a web page or app to load. Real-time bidding is just one piece of the programmatic advertising ecosystem and often relies on a supply-side platform (SSP) or ad exchange and demand-side platforms (DSPs) to facilitate near-instant auctions between ad buyers and sellers of ad inventory.
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How does real-time bidding work?
Real-time bidding is one of the ways that programmatic advertising is facilitated between buyers and sellers. Real-time bidding occurs within roughly 100 milliseconds and is facilitated by both demand-side platforms (DSPs) and sell-side platforms (SSPs), also referred to as ad exchanges.
Here is how RTB works at a high level:
- As soon as a user starts to load a website or app a request is sent to an ad exchange
- The ad exchange is provided with information about the visitor, if available, and the website or app they’re visiting
- The ad exchange matches the user data (i.e. age, demographic, preferences, etc) with advertisers that are bidding on similar audience demographics
- Bids are then sent in real-time by advertisers through the demand side platform
- A real-time auction takes place and the winner of this auction is able to show their ad to the visitor
As Digiday highlights, the main advantage for advertisers is the efficiency of this whole automated and real-time process:
Thanks to real-time bidding, ad buyers no longer need to work directly with publishers or ad networks to negotiate ad prices and to traffic ads. Using exchanges and other ad tech, they can access a huge range of inventory across a wide range of sites and cherry-pick only the impressions they deem most valuable to them. That cuts down the number of impressions wasted on the wrong users but also minimizes the need for costly and unreliable human ad buyers.
For publishers, real-time bidding can also be advantageous as it increases revenue and ad fill rates by enabling their ad inventory to reach a wider audience of buyers.
How does Singular track real-time bidding (RTB)?
The process of managing programmatic advertising campaigns typically involves managing several marketing channels and ad platforms. As a result, analyzing the performance of real-time bidding campaigns can be a challenge for advertisers.
As a leader in marketing analytics, Singular enables advertisers to take a scientific approach to their marketing efforts and uncover opportunities to optimize their campaigns. With both accurate and timely ROI insights, marketers are able to maximize the performance of their RTB ad campaigns. In addition, Singular provides programmatic advertisers with a cost aggregation tool that can be used to extract cost and marketing data from any source.
In summary, by aggregating costs and providing a suite of marketing analytics tools, Singular enables marketers to achieve the highest ROI on their real-time bidding ad campaigns.