5 Predictions About Real-Time Bidding in 2014

2014In the digital space, 2013 has been another massive year. 2013 has been branded the year of mobile, the year of video, the year of enhanced campaigns (gasp!), and the year of audience, etc.

Arguably 2013 could also be branded the year of real-time bidding. RTB has become the buzzword in display and digital marketing as a whole due to the advancement of opportunities for dynamically run biddable display campaigns.

This article, however, won't discuss all the amazing RTB related excitement that has come out of 2013, but rather discuss what the future is for the biddable display arena. My predictions for RTB in 2014 are as follows.

1. Rich Media Ads

Ad formats are becoming increasingly engaging and interactive. Dynamic creative allows advertisers to insert images and text based on combinations of variables, which isn’t just limited to e-commerce products.

In 2014, expect travel and publishing advertisers to use dynamic capabilities more creatively to create highly targeted and flexible ad copy. In addition, the use of rich media and engagement ads will continue to grow.

Engagement metrics will be optimizable, meaning advertisers are able to judge performance of ads even when users don’t leave the publisher’s website. This means publishers and advertisers share the benefits of engagement ads.

Free products like Google Web Designer, which allows for free creation of rich media ads, will help advertisers create these ads quickly and efficiently.

Expect more rich media and engagement formats which are easier to create and easily made dynamic.

2. Social Networks

The recent agreement between Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) and Facebook is a huge step forward in the alignment of social websites and biddable display. DBM advertisers will be able to reach first party and third party audience lists on Facebook and target them cross devices.

Expect more social networks to make their inventory available to exchanges in 2014.

3. Branding Metrics

Auditing the value of display campaigns has never been more important. Advertisers are becoming more aware of the optimization opportunities within biddable display and are understanding how direct conversions can be achieved through highly targeted and strategically run RTB campaigns.

DSPs will strive to provide new metrics to prove the value not only of direct conversions from display campaigns, but also the impact of visibility of display ads on brand recognition and awareness.

Expect more insights on viewability of ads and the impact on search to come in 2014.

4. Programmatic Video

DBM have recently created an option for in-stream video advertising via real-time bidding. This allows video ads to be served across a number of video exchanges, of course YouTube being the biggest.

Expect the CPM bidding model to be refined to allow for cheaper and more direct conversion options from biddable video. The number of video exchanges continues to grow, and it's in their best interest to make their inventory available in the biddable space. Note this isn't limited to just DoubleClick; video via private auctions on premium inventory is being discussed by a range of DSPs and publishers.

Expect expansion of biddable display throughout 2014.

5. Private Marketplace Deals

Similar to the addition of social networks allowing their inventory to be targeted via demand-side platforms like DBM, an increasing number of publishers will be using DSPs as a way to easily make their premium content available to a larger number of advertisers. This helps bridge the gap between reservation display and exchange buying, meaning that advertisers can reach premium content which may have previously been only available via direct reservation deals, and premium publishers still have a choice over the brands who have access to their highly valuable inventory.

Expect even larger volumes of premium inventory to become available via auctions.

RTB in 2014

These are just five predictions of the many expected advancements and changes that will inevitably come to the RTB space in 2014. If 2013 wasn’t the year of RTB within our industry, 2014 has absolute potential to be the year advertisers and publishers alike get onboard and start using display inventory to its full performance potential.