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Real-time bidding, or RTB, marketing is a technique for purchasing online advertising. Bidding is how it operates for advertising space. Put another way, the goal of real-time online advertising auctions is to locate possible clients. It entails the purchase and sale of advertising impressions.

Utilizing user data to determine the ideal location for each advertisement is a recent development in the field of digital marketing. It can be used for a variety of inbound marketing purposes. The speed at which transactions are completed is one of its primary benefits. Advertising from the advertiser is immediately shown on the website in the event that it wins the auction.

The advertiser’s digital marketplace receives a request for a bid based on the user’s data when they visit a website. This can be navigational, geographic, or demographic information. Through the analysis of this data, real-time advertising exchanges are facilitated between internet users and marketers. Put another way, the companies whose advertising appears first when a user joins a website are those whose bids have been the highest. This ensures a successful and productive sale.

 1.The user enters a website and their information is collected in the form of cookies creating a visitor profile.

2. The profile is then analyzed and advertisers are alerted with an offer and may or may not be interested in this profile depending on their target and the marketing strategy they are using.

3. When advertisers decide to give a value to the offer, they bid for one of the advertising options. The most common types are:

  • Banner: A banner is inserted into the web page and can include images, text or interactive elements.
  • Floating advertising format: This type is also known as a layer, which is an advertisement that appears in the main window floating above the content of the web page.
  • Unique advertiser: The brand will be associated with the unique advertiser. This will ensure trust in the advertising company and a number of benefits.

4. After bidding for the advertisement, the ad goes out to DSP. Immediately, publishers receive the bid and choose the one they are most interested in.

5. When the winner is chosen, their ad appears on the website automatically and they receive their profit.

Benefits of RTB Marketing

  • Increased revenue: By incorporating Real Time Bidding into your business you will be entering a market that is geared towards maximizing the value of each product. Through advertising, you will be guaranteed qualified traffic which, in turn, will not waste any sales opportunities.
  • Investment savings: Due to the RTB advertising methodology, advertisers will only pay for the impressions they are interested in, i.e. depending on their target audience, they will bid for their ad to appear. This will lead to savings in investments with no future.
  • Segmentation: In order for an advertisement to have an impact on the audience, it is necessary to segment the audience, which will allow for optimizing the content of the message by personalizing it for each client through language, style, offer, or tone.
  • Better results: When marketing agencies optimize advertising campaigns, they achieve better results. In other words, there is an increase in the performance of marketing actions. If the model is exploited to the maximum, interesting results can be achieved.

It is common to confuse RTB with programmatic buying, as they are based on the same principle: media buying. However, their differences are notable. Firstly, it should be noted that programmatic buying is known as the system in which buyers and sellers carry out an automated buying and selling action in real-time. Therefore, RTB is a subtype of programmatic buying as it involves an automation process, but focuses on the open auction model. Programmatic buying includes not only RTB or Open Exchange but also guaranteed programmatic buying, preferential access, or private auctions.

Elements involved in RTB marketing

  • Supply-side platforms: Supply-side platforms (SSPs) are specialized supply-side platforms used by publishers to select advertising space and offer it to advertisers. Some of the most famous are OpenX, Index Exchange or Rubicon. The differences between them lie in the user experience, connection and reporting options, private agreements or different formats.
  • Demand-side platforms: DSPs or demand-side platforms are used by advertisers to automate the purchase of display advertising. They configure the elements of the campaign to set the participation in the bids that suit their marketing strategy. In turn, they can analyze the performance of their ads. Platforms such as DoubleClick or Turn stand out.
  • Users: They are the core of any RTB marketing campaign. For these to be successful, they must correctly select the user profile to target the offer.
  • Ad exchanges: These are essential platforms for RTB marketing. Through them, advertisers and publishers exchange the spaces offered by SSPs and bid requests from DSPs. They are pooled to carry out auctions and publications. Platforms such as ExoClick or PopAds can be used.

How to Set it up for your business

  • Identify objectives: In order to properly develop your RTB strategy, it is important to define objectives and KPIs, usually focused on generating an increase in sales and leads, increasing customer lifetime or decreasing the cost of investment.
  • Implement metrics: To know the efficiency of your advertising marketing strategy you must know the volume of traffic to your website, conversion data and your database.
  • Define your audience: After knowing your buyer persona, you should segment your audience into smaller groups, develop a sales funnel and create attractive ads for users.
  • Link your campaign: Your marketing actions should be cohesive, i.e. the RTB campaign should go hand in hand with the user’s buying stages so that the ad will be delivered through the right channel at the right time.

Applications of RTB in digital marketing

  • Thematic campaigns: Depending on the theme of the website, it is possible to publish some ads or others, i.e. if the company is an advertiser of organic food, the banners can be published on sites related to health and wellness.
  • Teaser campaigns: This type of campaign is characterized by generating curiosity about the product and revealing it later. This is known as a follow-up campaign. Through programmatic buying, it is possible to receive information about the users that have been captured in the first stage. In this way, the message can be segmented and launched correctly.
  • Audience campaigns: These are carried out through the purchase of data from third parties. This method makes it possible to reach users with certain behaviors.
  • Remarketing campaigns: They are created to reach users who have previously contacted the brand, in other words, they try to recover the attention of people who have visited the website or have left a purchase unfinished.
  • Lead campaigns: These are campaigns that focus on prospects and are used to discover which segment of users can be converted into sales qualified customers(SQL).

Real-time Bidding for Advertisers and Marketers

Advertisers should sign up for a demand-side platform if they want to participate in dynamic auctions and enter an RTB ecosystem. Ad inventory purchasing on numerous ad exchange platforms is made easier by DSP systems, which also provide flexible pricing management for impressions and the establishment of real-time bidding ad campaigns. Advertisers and marketers must first register with DSP and deposit a small amount into their personal account in order to begin using the service. The campaign can then be put into action.

Read Also: How Will GDPR Affect the Digital Marketing Landscape?

Real-time bidding how it works for advertisers inside DSP:

  • the demand-side platform allows to optimization ad campaigns;
  • set a targeting profile and choose a budget framework;
  • choose what kind of target audience has to be reached;
  • pick what kind of publisher websites are prioritized;
  • mark the ad inventory that should be blacklisted;
  • control how much money is to be spent in a day, how many ad impressions must be served and many other custom parameters.

So, on the other side of the programmatic reality, publishers use a software called a supply-side platform. It allows them to manage their digital advertising inventory and connect to demand partners through RTB.

Real-time bidding meaning is complex. In simple words, SSP packs the user data and sends a request to the ad exchange. A bid request sent by the SSP to the ad exchange is like saying, “Hey look, this person has entered my page. Who wants to display advertising here? How much are you ready to pay?”

The publisher’s bid request is actually a code that contains information about the user. In the bid request, the publisher’s SSP specifies the minimum price that will be accepted for this ad impression and the currency in which the transaction will be accepted.

When the bid request lands in the ad exchange, multiple DSPs start to process it. If the ad impression is valuable and it matches the targeting options and budgeting settings of the advertiser, the DSP would bid on it by sending a bid response through the RTB protocol.

DSPs specify the price that is ready to be paid for the ad impression. The DSP also sends the link to the ad creative in the bid response and mentions its parameters. After the publisher’s SSP collects all the bids responses, it analyzes them and chooses the highest. The following list represents what is a real-time bidding platform in terms of marketing benefits.

Does RTB in Marketing really work? Here are 10 points that can convince you.

  1. Ad campaigns of any size and budget capabilities: Today RTB is used by various media buyers, from small, local business owners with $100 ad budgets to international, multimillion-dollar companies.
  2. Exposure to a range of publishers: Through the RTB ecosystem, media buyers connect with a multitude of digital publishers, app developers, and blog and website owners — locally and worldwide. Accessing such a large pool of supply-side platform partners allows choosing the best ad inventory and premium audiences.
  3. Ad impressions at affordable prices: Marketers optimize their advertising budget by setting price floors and daily or monthly spend limits for a campaign. This way, marketers can always be sure they buy ad impressions that go along with their financial objectives.
  4. Audience buying: With RTB auctions, marketers actually buy the publisher’s niche audiences thanks to cookie matching. The system uses first- and third-party data to analyze audience segments and build the profile of the target group.
  5. Reaching the right audiences at the right time and context: Through RTB bidding auctions, marketers deliver consistent messages to the relevant public. It is possible to enhance user visiting, targeting according to their age, gender, social, and marital status, behavior and interests, location, device, etc.
  6. Eliminating wasted ad impressions: With precise RTB targeting, marketers are able to show ads to people who are interested in their product or service and most likely to perform the desired action (click, call, subscribe, or buy). This way, marketers pay only for impressions that bring value.
  7. Impression-by-impression purchasing: Rather than buying ad impressions in bulk and never knowing where they will appear and what will be the engagement rate, marketers bid on one impression at a time. DSP analyzes every impression by given parameters and offers a different price for it depending on its value.
  8. Bid optimization algorithm. Real-time bidding helps to minimize expenditures since it adjusts the bid according to the auction conditions in real time. This helps to win a targeted impression. 
  9. Obtaining real-time actionable data: Over the course of the RTB campaign, marketers can analyze which strategies work and which fail, understand which creative drives the most engagement and which websites are performing better, and receive granular reports and statistics. From such robust data, marketers draw insights into how their real-time bidding campaign performs, and optimize their future campaigns for even better revenues.
  10. Running multiple real-time bidding campaigns: One DSP connects to a multitude of supply partners: SSPs, ad networks, and ad exchanges. This way, advertisers can access a diversity of supply parties through a single DSP interface running one, two, or more DSP ad campaigns at the same time.

With opportunities presented by real-time bidding, brands, media buyers, and marketers can finally display relevant messages to their target audiences. RTB has revolutionized online advertising, offering the possibility to purchase independently every ad impression rather than paying hundreds of dollars for a pack of a thousand impressions that bring minimum or no real value.

RTB is a universal tool that can help every publisher to sell ad inventory to the most interested media buyer, who is willing to pay the highest price and guarantee advertisers their ad is served to the right customer at the site with the best traffic quality.

The examples of real-time bidding impeccable performance along with deep expertise in online advertising provide clients with innovative programmatic advertising RTB products that establish the highest effectiveness in ad tech. Experienced professionals are eager to assist and support you in every stage of growing your RTB marketing campaign, from opening your personal account to tuning and optimizing your existing ad strategy in our system.


Within the ever-changing scope of digital marketing, Real-Time Bidding (RTB) has emerged as a pivotal strategy for advertisers to maximize their reach and impact. RTB allows advertisers to bid on ad inventory in real time, enabling them to target their audience with precision and achieve optimal results. In this article, we’ll delve deep into the world of RTB strategies, shedding light on its mechanics and providing valuable insights to help you master this dynamic approach.

  • Understanding RTB Strategy:

At its core, an RTB strategy involves the automated buying and selling of ad impressions through instantaneous auctions. Advertisers participate in these auctions, placing bids for their ads to be displayed to specific user segments. The beauty of RTB lies in its ability to deliver personalized content to the right audience at the right moment, fostering higher engagement and conversion rates.

  • How RTB Works:

Real-Time Bidding operates within the blink of an eye. When a user visits a website, a signal is sent to an ad exchange, indicating an available ad impression. Advertisers interested in displaying their content bid on this impression based on factors such as the user’s demographics, browsing history, and the context of the content. The highest bidder wins the auction and their ad is instantly showcased to the user. This entire process occurs in the time it takes for the webpage to load.

  • Example of RTB in Action:

Imagine a user, Sarah, is browsing an online fashion magazine. Her browsing behavior indicates an interest in athletic wear. In the RTB ecosystem, advertisers looking to target fitness enthusiasts like Sarah can bid on the available impression. The winning advertiser’s ad featuring the latest activewear collection is displayed to Sarah, aligning perfectly with her interests.

  • RTB’s Role in Marketing:

RTB has revolutionized the marketing landscape by offering unprecedented precision in audience targeting. This strategy enables marketers to maximize their budget by showing ads only to those most likely to engage. With RTB, marketing becomes more relevant and less intrusive, enhancing the user experience and driving better results.

In recent years, RTB has continued to evolve with advancements in data analytics and machine learning. This evolution has allowed for even more refined audience segmentation and predictive targeting. Moreover, privacy concerns have led to the development of new methods that prioritize user data protection while still enabling effective RTB strategies.

Mastering Real-Time Bidding requires a keen understanding of its mechanics and a strategic approach to audience targeting. By harnessing the power of RTB, advertisers can deliver compelling content to the right users at the right time, yielding impressive returns on their marketing investments.

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