If you are in the business of buying digital media from publishers, networks or digital media buy platforms, who would know better than you what it takes to achieve higher ROI for your clients. Today, higher ROI is being achieved using advanced targeting, retargeting and optimization techniques that are developed by various ad serving technology providers. As these advanced ad serving techniques become available to media buyers, they are able to reach a wider targeted audience and drive up click/conversion volumes.

Buying media requires the commitment to be given to the company you are buying media from. If you work with a publisher directly, you would most likely get a slice of their premium or remnant inventory at a certain price. If you work with a network or a media buy platform, you may also be able to buy media in wholesale or by participating in an auction.

However, there are a couple of inherent issues when running campaigns against media buy described above. First, you are limited by targeting capabilities of the publisher or the network. The moment their ad server selects your campaign for delivery, you are locked into it and you pay for that impression. Second, an impression is prepaid and hence spent the moment campaign is selected for delivery. Let me illustrate. You have a BMW campaign for a dealer in your local area but the publisher or network you buy media from offers targeting by “cars” keyword. While your campaign does get displayed to someone interested in cars, how would you know if this person might be interested in a BMW? Wouldn’t your dollar better spent if you targeted the campaign to someone specifically interested in BMWs?

RTB or real-time bidding addresses both these issues by giving you total control over which impression you want to serve your campaign to and at what cost. This is applicable when working with networks and media buy platforms rather than direct publishers because publishers usually prefer to book their inventory to its direct clients or other networks and they ensure that they monetize every impression their website generates.

Take Google for example. By the way, their content categorization and targeting are highly granular and ever evolving but I will use Google anyway to explain RTB in greater detail. Other networks/platforms include Ad Meld, Pubmatic, COX, Ad Brite, to name a few. You contact these providers to sign up a relationship to receive traffic through their RTB platform. Once traffic lands on your platform, it opens up numerous possibilities.

You can first receive traffic of your choice without bidding and be paying for it and then build intelligence on that traffic. Intelligence includes storing URLs, parsing the content of those pages and categorizing it and establishing bidding thresholds. You can also write a decision engine that can process impression requests in conjunction with pre-processed intelligence data.

Your data intelligence can be further improved for bids you have already won. This includes dialing up and down your bid amount, storing and processing visitor cookies and developing a behavioral profile for those visitors. Visitor cookie information can also be coupled with cookie information from other sources/platforms to build a powerful targeting and bidding tool.

When RTB integration is implemented with more than one network, it will give you the power to optimize media buys across networks! Possibilities are enormous.

RTB integration is usually expensive software implementations but payoffs can be significant for large media buyers. Additionally, RTB implementation will give the company greater control over media buying process, spending, targeting and most they will possess valuable visitor behavior and intelligence data.