What is RTB?

Real-time bidding (RTB) is defined as an online advertising idea that is difficult to grasp for a programmatic advertising fresher as it might seem like it includes too many components ranging from a supply-side platform (SSP) and demand-side platform ( DSP) to ad exchange and ad networks, all participating in the auction, purchasing, and selling an ad inventory. Here, we are discussing about RTB and benefits of RTB.

When compared to traditional media buying, where publishers and agencies negotiate the process, programmatic technology is fueled with machine-learning algorithms, cloud-software platforms that make the procedure of buying and selling as fast as it is efficient.

During the 21st century, media buying developed into an automated procedure known as programmatic. Before this, advertisers had to bargain with thousands of advertising systems regarding ad placement, the publishers had to search for advertisers to sell their inventories. Generally, the advertiser had to take several steps before the ad impression was ultimately served to the user.

Real-time bidding (RTB) online ads courageously into ad tech to reduce human errors, facilitate buying media at a large scale, reduce the paperwork, and streamline the whole process.

RTB is different from the concept of programmatic. RTB represents one of the models of programmatic advertising, among which there are direct ones too along with non-auction based, where publishers contact advertisers directly.

What is the simple definition of Real-Time Bidding? In fact, this is a method of online ad buying that is facilitated by real-time bidding auction. The method behind RTB auction is as follows: as a user opens the web browser the target page is loaded, he or she sees the ad banner- the product of the auction between promoters wishing to serve an ad impression to this user, won by one who was offering highest bid request. The whole procedure is automatized and completes in less than 100 milliseconds to perform. It is as simple as that.

The entire real-time bidding model can be matched to a universal system that links together publishers, advertisers, and data providers by the practice of programmatic ecosystem components like DSPs. Using a DSP advertiser can purchase ad inventory at low prices and SSPs that exemplify the publisher’s interests and assist to sell their inventory at the highest price.

Real-time bidding guide for marketers and advertisers

To make an entry in the RTB environment and start taking part in dynamic auctions, advertisers must join a demand-side platform. DSP systems streamline the procedure of ad inventory purchasing on several advertising exchange platforms permitting the flexible cost management for real-time bidding ad campaign set up and impressions. To use DSP, an advertiser or a marketer must register at DSP, and then deposit a small charge to the personal account. After this, the campaign can be launched.

How Real-time bidding works for advertisers inside DSP:

  • The demand-side platform lets to optimize ad campaigns
  • Set a targeting profile and select a budget framework
  • Choose what type of publisher sites are prioritized
  • Select what type of target audience needs to be reached
  • Mark the ad inventory that needs to be blacklisted
  • Control how much amount of money must be spent in a day, how many ad impressions must be served, and several other custom parameters

Don’t you believe RTB works? Here are some proofs that will change your mindset.

  • Ad campaigns of any budget and size: Today, Real-Time Bidding is used by different media buyers, from local, small business owners with $100 ad budgets to multimillion-dollar firms.
  • Coverage to a wide range of publishers: Through the RTB ecosystem, media buyers connect with a lot of digital publishers, blogs, website owners, and app developers- both locally and across the world. Accessing such a huge pool of supply-side partners lets you choose the best ad inventory and premium customers.
  • Ad impressions at an affordable rate- Marketers optimize their advertising budget by fixing price floors and monthly or daily spend limits for a campaign. This way, the marketers can always be sure that they buy ad impressions that go along with their monetary objectives.
  • Customer buying- With Real-Time Bidding auctions, marketers buy the publisher’s forte audiences. Thanks to the cookie matching. The system makes use of the first- and third-party data for analyzing customer segments and establish the profile of the target group.
  • Reaching the right customers at the time and perspective- Through RTB bidding auctions, marketers deliver a reliable message to the relevant audience. It is possible to improve user visits, do targeting based on gender, age, marital, and social status, interests, and behavior, device, location, etc.
  • Reducing wasted ad impressions- With accurate RTB targeting, marketers can show ads to those people who are interested in their product or service and likely to perform the required action. This way, marketers must pay only for impressions that bring value.
  • Impression-by-impression buying- Instead of buying ad impressions in a bulk amount and never knowing where they will appear and what will be the rate of engagement, marketers bid on a single impression at a time. DSP examines every impression by given parameters and provides a different price for it based on its value.
  • Bid optimization algorithm- Real-time bidding assists to lessen expenditures as it adjusts the bid as per the auction condition in actual time. This helps in winning a targeted impression.
  • Attaining real-time actionable data- Over the course of the RTB campaign, marketers can evaluate which strategies work and which ones fail, understand which creative attracts the most engagement and which sites are performing better, and obtain granular statistics and reports.  From such robust data, marketers draw perceptions into how their real-time bidding campaign performs, optimize future campaigns for achieving the best revenues.
  • Running several real-time bidding campaigns- One DSP unites to the variety of supply partners: Ad networks, ad exchanges, and SSPs. This way, advertisers can gain access to varieties of supply parties through a single DSP interface running one, two, or more DSP ad campaigns at the same time.

How does Real-Time Bidding (RTB) work?

At a given moment, several advertisers can bid on a single impression of an issuer’s inventory, then the winning ad is shown to the user. Through RTB, advertisers can apply fine-tuned targeting and focus on those inventories which are relevant to them. This, in turn, yields improved better ROI and higher eCPMs. RTB also lets advertisers adjust their campaign budgets in real-time to enhance campaign performance.

Like, for example, the moment when a player watches an ad between a mobile game. At that time, the mobile SSP runs an auction for all the promoters who are interested in showing an ad to that player. The promoters make their bid and, in a few seconds, the highest bidder is selected. Their advertisement is then played on the player.

Both advertisers and publishers can set parameters for RTB, like maximum bids and minimum prices, as well as concentrate on certain deals and inventory.

By keeping this in mind, let s have a look at various benefits of RTB.

Impression-by-impression Purchasing & Evaluation

Real-time bidding (RTB) allows companies to bid on individual impressions instead of agreeing to a predetermined fixed cost. Purchasing in real-time is cost-effective, lessens waste, and avoids advertisers from paying extra for media.

Targeting technology

Data has become almost like a cryptic buzzword when it comes to ad technology, but promoters are becoming more cautious about the benefits of the first- and third-party data to target the right audiences.  With third-party data vendors, promoters can successfully profile their right customers by demonstrating the attributes of current customers. By taking maximum advantage of first-party data, promoters can optimize their customers depending on known quantities- their own consumer base. Real-time bidding lets advertisers access the media they need, for the people they select.

Active Optimization and Real-Time Analytics

The capability to update a video campaign in real-time is a reality with real-time buying as performance data is made accessible as the campaign starts. Advertisers can adjust their campaigns when big stories hit, update their website lists or add/remove ad units from their campaigns on the fly depending on the performance.


Promoters buying videos are aware of the sites in which their ads are running on earlier, during, and after the campaigns. For several real-time buying markets, rankings, and impression verification, depending on several attributes of an impression, are becoming more and more common which is the initial step to develop a universal metric that measures page context and brand safety. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has developed Quality Assurance Guidelines for exchanges and networks which should help ease issues from marketers regarding the safety and guarantees made by utilizing RTB.

Private Exchange Competencies & access to premium inventories

Private exchanges are a method for publishers and advertisers to attain benefit from programmatic buying in a controlled situation. While comparatively emerging, the opportunity for advertisers to make an entry into an exclusive partnership with one publisher, while gaining the advantages of a real-time buying platform like TubeMogul, is becoming famous, mainly when premium inventory is involved. Local exchanges are sought after for the local language inventory.

Real-Time Bidding has come a long way in terms of being able to fulfill the requirements of brand advertisers. Executing an RTB video campaign is fast, accountable, transparent, and effective. To further increase the value of RTB for brand advertisers, TubeMogul built BrandSights. It is a survey tool developed directly into the platform that permits advertisers to measure the true impact of their campaign by measuring important brand metrics like awareness, lift, favorability, and purchase intent.

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