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Real-time bidding

What is Real-Time Bidding (RTB)?

Real time bidding is a form of programmatic buying that allows media buyers to bid, in real time, on ad space that is based on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM). Whilst manual media buying relied on ad codes delivered via email before being published, programmatic technology offers an automated and efficient process with minimal human interaction. 

The per impression buying process is a significant part of what makes RTB the most popular form of buying ad space online and in the DOOH space. Paying only for impressions in real time allows brands to refine campaigns and save money. Through insights about these impressions, advertisers can also judge how valuable the ad space they’re buying really is. With the addition of new technology, this is now applicable both within online advertising and DOOH advertising.

What is Programmatic DOOH?

To understand real-time bidding within the DOOH ecosystem, it’s important to understand programmatic digital out of home, or programmatic DOOH, first. 

Programmatic digital out of home also known as pDOOH is a term used for the automated process of buying, selling and delivering out of home advertising. Publishers who hold the media space set criteria for who can bid on their space (such as minimum spend) through the supply side platform or SSP. The advertisers, agencies or media buyers on the other side set up the criteria they are looking for in their ad space through the demand side platform or DSP. This might include demographics insights for the audience they hope to target, for example. The two meet in the middle in the ad exchange which is where ads are bought and displayed in real time.

Programmatic DOOH offers a number of benefits through its automated nature. Not only does it drastically improve efficiency, but it allows advertisers to target a specific audience in the real world at scale without wasting money targeting individuals who aren’t relevant to their offer.

It also allows publishers to collect extensive amounts of data to track their ad space. This is something that is accelerated by audience analytics software such as Sightcorp. By carrying out real-time analysis of audience demographics through face analysis, publishers can get accurate insights into the personsas of the ad impressions they are selling and media buyers can gain trust in the quality of the ad space they buy.

How does RTB for DOOH work?

There are a few ways in which RTB works within the pDOOH space. 

Open real-time bidding is the most common type of real type bidding and works roughly like an in-person auction house does. First, an open ad slot is offered to a group of buyers. They can then make bids based on how valuable the slot is in comparison to their requirements. Within a few seconds, the buyer who most accurately matches the requirements set out by the publisher will be granted the space and the ad creative will be uploaded.

Programmatic DOOH: Other buying methods

Private real time bidding works in exactly the same way as open real-time bidding, but a private room of “VIP buyers” will get first allocation of real time ad space by paying extra. Sometimes media owners will offer this priority access to media buyers that they have a good relationship with. 

Programmatic guaranteed is a form of pDOOH buying in which media buyers agree to buy any ad slot that meets their criteria directly from the seller. This is typically based on a fixed price.

Benefits of Real Time Bidding for publishers

Real time bidding provides a number of distinct benefits for publishers.

First and foremost, it gives them access to a wider group of buyers which in turn allows them to increase their revenue and to sell more of their inventory more easily. Through accurate ad impression data, such as that facilitated by Sightcorp’s audience analytics software, they can deliver ad space perfectly suited to a range of buyers.

Real time analytics allow publishers to adjust their CPM (cost per thousand impressions) according to proven value that is based on data-backed footfall data and audience analytics technology.

Benefits of Real Time Bidding for advertisers

A clear benefit of real time bidding for advertisers is the efficiency that it provides. Campaigns are delivered at the right time to the right people. 

With real time bidding, advertisers are also able to see how successful their content is proving to be in real time. They can then target different audiences or tweak accordingly directly through the DSP. This streamlines retargeting campaigns.

How Audience Analytics fuels the RTB process

Audience analytics technology using video analysis is a great technology for media owners to include in their inventory to measure audience and count audience opportunity to see. OTS is the measurement metric that  the OAAA has advised to be used as the standard metric accross the DOOH industry. Sightcorp’s audience analytics software DeepSight has people counting technology built in that uses body detection to gain its accurate and anonymous OTS data. Additional to this, demographic data and attention time data can also be obtained using the software. 

The audience impression data can be collected and displayed in near real-time meaning that it can help expedite the buying process as media buyers can see the number of impressions they are most likely to get with a given ad space. They can also close the data loop following ad play as they can then see how many impressions their own ad received. This provides more conclusive and transparent audience data, providing peace of mind and clarity for media buyers and owners alike.

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