Online Advertising: How Brands Can Leverage RTB For High Impact


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This presentation was created for and delivered at the IAB Canada X-Series Real-Time Bidding (RTB) event that took place at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel on May 22, 2012.

The title of the presentation is "How Brands Can Leverage RTB For High Impact" and the presenter was Matt Sauls, Director of Business Development at SiteScout.

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  • Real-time Bidding:How To Efficiently Reach Your Audience and Build Your BrandBy Matt Sauls of SiteScout
  • Reaching Your Audience - Branding is about an advertiser being seen on a certain publisher, or context, or by a specific audience. - To reach a specific audience, there is now impression-level data and real-time bidding which make it possible.Brand Protection - In terms of brand safety and reputation management - there are brand protection services available that offer contextual safeguard technologies. - When you can find an audience anywhere on the web, contextual safety becomes VERY important.Rich Creatives - In terms of how you're seen and the brand message you want to deliver - there are a variety of branding formats (video, expandables, rich media, and mobile). - Shown to the right audience in a brand-safe context, this is a very powerful combination.Private Exchanges - To be seen on a certain publisher, there are now private exchanges and marketplaces that provide the most “premium” traffic. - Part of RTB technology. - Dispels some of the old myths about RTB being low-quality and non-guaranteed. Efficiency - Real-time controls over your campaign. - Cost efficiency by only buying impressions you want. - Simplified management, one interface for reaching audiences at scale. - Transparency on very granular levels, from campaign, to domain, to placement, to creative, to the hour.
  • The fundamental difference with Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is that it now allows advertisers to target audiences at scale!~Brand campaigns rely on serving the right ads to the right customers at the right time. Defining and reaching a precise audience is key. The more accurately this audience can be defined and targeted, the more successful the campaign will be.When attempting to reach a certain audience, various targeting elements come into play:Site / Publisher – Targeting specific publishers is the traditional method of reaching a desired audience (online and offline). Use publisher demographics and topical content to reach users of a certain demographic or interest category. (e.g., target to reach people with children, or to reach a primarily male audience.) **this is not RTB-specific, but important to mention when talking about reaching audiences**1st Party Audience Data – Retarget/remarket to users who have specifically interacted with the advertiser’s online content. The more granular the retargeting, the more powerful the data (e.g., auto manufacturers should be profiling users based on model, trim package, colour, finance/lease, etc., from data gathered from their own websites.)3rd Party Audience Data – Target users based on purchase intent, behavioural, or demographic data gathered by 3rdparty sources. Data from 3rd party providers can be overlaid to create profiles (e.g., “Behaviour: Home owners; Intent: Home Renovation; Age: 30-60; Income: > $50k”)Contextual Data – Real-time page analysis allows advertisers to place ads on pages which are topically relevant to their product or offering even if the website as a whole is not relevant to this topic. (e.g., target pages about “Travelling in Italy” across a wide range of news and article-based websites.)By combining or segmenting various targeting elements into different campaigns, and doing diligent testing, advertisers can perfect the technique of reaching their desired audience.
  • When targeting audiences at scale across the web, making sure that you only show them ads in brand-safe contexts is of paramount importance!~Brand Safety has been one of the primary concerns for brands who want to buy on DSP platforms.  Brand safety (i.e., the nature of the context in which ads are shown, is highly important to mitigating any negative impact on brand reputationthat advertising might have on an audience.) Different DSPs employ different methods of guaranteeing brand safety: Real-Time Brand Safety – Most DSPs are integrated with one or more 3rd party brand safety tools which analyze pages in real time to determine various brand safety characteristics.  These tools can look for things such as hate speech, swearing, negative sentiment, alcohol/drugs/tobacco, health issues, accidents/tragedies and many other items to ensure that ads are not served next to these topics.  Contextual – Sometimes brand safety is not just about staying away from negative content, but staying away from content which detracts from a certain brand or offering.  (e.g., a wedding dress advertiser may want to avoid pages about divorce.) Transparency – Various platforms allow for various degrees of transparency as to exactly which pages ads are being shown on.  Site-level and page-level transparency can be one of the crucial elements to managing brand safety.  Regardless of real-time contextual brand safety tools, verifying the actual sites and pages that ads are shown on is key to effective brand safety. Whitelisting/Blacklisting – Most agencies and brands have lists of domains which are considered to be generally brand safe.  By whitelisting only these domains, advertisers can ensure a great deal of brand safety, knowing that ads will not show on any sites they haven’t approved.  Likewise, blacklisting can be used as a proactive or reactive measure to block sites which are not considered to be brand safe. Image & Competition – The advertising industry as a whole is still struggling with these two.  It is still very difficult to know whether or not images on a page are brand-safe.  It is also not possible to know what other ads or advertisers (e.g., competitors) may show on the page, as this is not determined until the moment the page is doneloading, at which point it’s too late.
  • Now that we have a channel to reach our desired audiences in a brand safe environment, we can now deliver rich messages to them using video, expandables, and other rich media formats.~Rich media and video ads have proven to be some of the most effective methods for brands to engage their audiences via display media.  Many types of inventory that support various rich media formats can be targeted via real-time bidding: Expandables – Expandable ads allow advertisers to ‘engage’ users by serving ads which take over large portions of the browserwindow after the user has chosen to interact with the ad (usually via click or hover).  When it comes to expandables, imagination is the limit of what can be achieved through display advertising.  Upon expansion, these ads can allow for video, product feeds, games and other interactive apps, web forms, and anything else that can be accomplished with Flash or HTML5. In-Banner Video – IAB standard ad sizes which play video directly within the publisher’s page. Pre-Roll Video – 15 or 30-second video spots which appear on video sites, such as Youtube, prior to the content the user was requesting. Interactive Banners – Standard IAB sizes which have interactive functionality.  Like expandables, imagination is the limit to what can be accomplished with this format. Aside from the ability to deliver high-impact creatives that can be highly attention-grabbing, rich media allows for a number of specific opportunities that are not available with standard image based advertising. Engagement Metrics – Rich media formats allow the advertiser to track an unlimited number of engagement metrics.  For example, it is possible to track almost any interaction that a user has with expandable or interactive ads.  The completion rate of videos, button clicks, time spent within the ad, and much more, can all be measured.  These engagement metrics can be compared against targeting parameters to create large amounts of data allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns. Pushing Data Into Rich Media – The ability to push user data into rich media ads, at the moment of ad serving, is becoming one of the fastest-growing trends in brand advertising.  User intent data, and more importantly, specific product-intent data, can allow advertisers to create dynamic ads which are customized to the exact user.  The best example of this is e-commerce brands (like Zappos) advertising to users with specific products that they have searched in the past, matched by SKU number.
  • Unlike performance and direct-response advertisers, who rely heavily on click and conversion metrics, brands rely more heavily on premium placements to ensure that their campaigns will attract attention.  One of the largest myths about RTB is that it is not possible to gain access to high-quality inventory.  This may have been true several years ago.  RTB started out as a method for publishers to amalgamate leftover or ‘remnant’ inventory and sell it for the highest yield.  As the RTB segment has matured, it has become an extremely popular vehicle for selling display inventory and all signs point to the reality that it will dominate the display segment over the next few years.More Inventory – More and more, publishers are putting significant amounts of inventory up for auction as they see the revenue that RTB is able to generate.  The result of this is that RTB buyers can compete with direct buyers for the most desired placements including homepage traffic, above-the-fold traffic, and 1st impressions.Private Exchange – Private exchanges allow publishers to make premium inventory available to premium advertisers.  These publishers don’t want their inventory becoming available to the general public, but are more than happy to allow approved advertisers to bid on their high-quality inventory.Private Marketplace – Private Marketplace controls are one of the newest tools being implemented by exchanges which allow advertisers to gain special access to premium inventory.  Private marketplace controls allow for: first look at inventory, guaranteed access to specific placements, page takeovers, and other varying degrees of exclusivity.Increased Transparency – As the industry matures, the degree of transparency that is available through the exchanges is increasing greatly.  This means that it’s becoming possible for advertisers to target specific pages or sections of websites and above-the-fold  inventory with a high degree of accuracy.SSPs Becoming more Critical – As the industry matures, exchanges are starting to put more and more standards in place to ensure the quality of traffic coming from publishers.  This is helping to ensure that publishers are more accurately declaring the location of ads on the page, giving URL transparency, and segmenting traffic logically.Private Exchanges allow for: -More premium inventory- Close relationship with publisher- Guaranteed inventory- Increased transparency
  • Online Advertising: How Brands Can Leverage RTB For High Impact

    1. 1. How Brands CanLeverage RTB For High Impact
    2. 2. How To Efficiently Reach Your Audience + Build Your Brand • Reaching Your Audience • Brand Protection • Rich Creatives • Premium Traffic • Example Strategies • Summary
    3. 3. Reaching Your Audience• RTB: evaluates every single impression• Targets Audiences instead of websites• Made possible using numerous data points – Site/Placement Targeting – 1st Party Data – 3rd Party Data – Contextual Analysis
    4. 4. Brand Protection• Never know which sites your audience will visit (RTB can follow them virtually anywhere)• Crucial to have safeguards to protect brand – Real-time – Contextual – Whitelisting and Blacklisting – Image and Competition• Ad Verification: ensuring your ads are seen
    5. 5. Rich Creatives• Rich media enables full brand experience – Expandable ads – In-banner videos – Pre-roll videos – Interactive banners• Engagement metrics beyond just clicks• Pushing consumer data into rich media ads
    6. 6. Premium Traffic• Myth: RTB is only lower-grade inventory• Private Exchanges• Private Marketplace Controls• Guaranteed Inventory• Increased Transparency• Higher Quality Standards
    7. 7. Strategy – Ticket Brokers
    8. 8. Strategy – Energy Drinks
    9. 9. Strategy – Hybrid Autos
    10. 10. ResultsRight message in front of the rightaudience, for the right price, all in anefficient and effective manner.
    11. 11. ThanksMatt SaulsDirector of Business DevelopmentSiteScout Inc.matts@sitescout.com1-888-216-3939 ext.