Today’s guest post is wirtten by Paul Silver (@thepaulsilver)
Late last year I did a piece for ExchangeWire about some of the exciting changes happening in display advertising. Given the number of blog posts and op-ed pieces that have since been published on the subject, I am sure everyone is now tired of hearing the “exciting times ahead” mantra. Let’s take a reality check and see what’s actually happening NOW in the space:
- DSPs have penetrated our borders from the US and beyond
- Spend is slowly being moved onto these platforms
- UK publishers are slowly making this inventory available in one way or another onto these platforms (SSPs, exchanges, etc)
- Agencies, advertisers are buying 3rd party (albeit in small amounts) and integrating into these platforms
- Even the NMA has covered DSPs!
So everything is good. The buzz and excitement around this ‘major shift’ is finally being realised and the ad world is changing because of exchanges, right? Well not quite.
We still have major hurdles to overcome and need to appreciate the fact that it’s not all about the exchanges. In my opinion, the UK market will find it easier to relate to the points I am going to make because we tend to be a more cynical and sceptical bunch!
Although it is all well and good being able to value impression and bid in real-time based on their predicted value, it still appears to be quite a siloed practice. Attribution and ad verification need to be considered in real-time if we are to really provide value and make the most of RTB.
- Display by no means acts in isolation. In the UK market, many marketers are still sceptical about the value of view based conversions (and regarding the practices of some ad nets, with good reason).
- For me, there is a huge opportunity for advertisers to be bidding in real-time on the weighted attribution models being built around their display marketing. How valuable would it be to be able to pull in your Tagman attribution data and bid for display inventory based on the value it REALLY drives to a client’s business and not the value according to an independent buying platform?
- As mentioned above, view based conversions are subject to a lot of scepticism in the UK. Ad verification tools, like Adxpose, are really useful in determining what value impression based conversions really have. Were they in view? Were they interacted with? What is the engagement rate like?
- To be able to bid in real time, having this data available at the time of bidding ensures that biddable inventory that really has value according to a client (besides just a low view based CPA).
What the above hopefully illustrates is that it’s not enough to be able to bid on low quality publishers in real-time and drive low view based CPAs. Where is the value in that? Would an ad network, partnering some ‘top 100 comscore sites’, be a more suitable buy? Yes, the CPA would be higher (mainly view based) but if the publishers are of a higher quality, is it worth paying a higher CPA?
Exchanges are just one piece of the jigsaw. RTB is exciting. What we need now though is to move it on to the next stage. It needs to become more integrated into the wider marketing mix where advertisers can really appreciate the value of what we are trying to achieve within this space.
* Note – I reference view based conversions a lot in this piece. Whilst I appreciate some advertisers have small view based windows, there is no denying that view based conversions play a huge part in display ad effectiveness.ExchangeWire