In 2014, the digital ad space has seen an explosion of new technologies that are changing the ways in which the e-commerce industry reaches its audience. Real-time bidding (RTB), a technology that enables the buying and selling of individual page views in real time, and personalised retargeting, a model that displays personalised ads to individual users based on their online activity, have proven to be buzzwords among digital ad agencies, large e-commerce sites, or anyone with an online store.

RTB and personalised retargeting are increasingly favored for their ability to display rich, dynamic ads that are tailored to a user’s individual purchase intent, preferences, and online shopping history.

The way it works is quite simple: a user visits your e-store and browses your products (e.g. a red dress) but doesn’t make a purchase. Over the next few days, the same user will be shown online ads with the same red dress from your store, and perhaps other products of similar price or style. The result is that the user is re-incentivized to click on the ad and return to the shop.

This is the typical approach to RTB, but there is much more potential to that will change the online ad display space in the coming future.

1. Retain Interest in Your Brand

RTB is increasingly used for maintaining brand image among existing customers. Banner ads displayed via RTB have successfully replaced older methods of e-mail discount coupons, gift cards or even newsletters.

Let's imagine that you want to get your discount message across to internet users who have at some point, visited your website, used your services, or shopped your store not yesterday, but six months ago!.

By combining internal data of the shop with RTB technology, you can reach those high-potential shoppers that should be reminded of your offer with a promotional proposal targeted specifically for them. In other words, your ad is saying, “Hey! we haven't seen you for a while on our website, come and check out what we have prepared for you.”

2. Build Smarter Suggestions

RTB technology offer a chance to plan not only one purchase, but an entire string of events. An intelligent ad does not only follow a user’s history and needs, but also sparks interest in further products, facilitates decision-making, and hints to the consumer what more they may need. For example, if your e-client has bought the red dress, why not show adverts with matching products over the next few days? This sequential planning of ads allows you to prompt the user to buy a pair of the right shoes or jewelry.

3. Make Ads that Sing in the Rain

RTB also means that your ad campaigns can change depending on real-world variables like the weather.

As an example: assume you run an e-shop selling tires. With RTB, your ads can swiftly react to the changing weather conditions. With no complex planning, you can have winter tire ads displayed in exactly those areas that are experiencing snowfall at the moment. Or, advertising your umbrellas in a rainy spell of weather is no problem at all for RTB.

4. Create Completely New Campaign Models

The seemingly limitless potential of RTB is being tapped by an increasing number of market players. New solutions for business are developed, such as the TANDEM Effect developed by RTB House, which is based on the idea of a close liaison between a shop and manufacturer. With the TANDEM effect, the manufacturer will co-finance an advertising campaign of a shop, and the shop will only promote the products provided by such manufacturer in its ad creatives. Referring to the red dress example again: the user who has seen the red dress online in your shop is then displayed ads concerning products of the one particular brand over the next few days. Such solution is a way to get an ad about specified products to persons who are interested in a particular category, at the exact time when they are considering the purchase.

5. Cross-Market Collaboration

RTB also supports cooperation between a number of businesses from different segments of the market. The tourism industry serves as a good example. Using this technology, travel offices can easily fish out those users who are now planning holidays and profile the ad so that it matches a particular destination of interest. A joint effort with a travel office and a tourist equipment shop, an e-tourist planning an excursion to the Alps will be displayed online ads of skiing outfits, for instance.

Promoting your business online with real-time bidding ad models opens up a wide array of possibilities, some that we aren’t even aware of yet! In a world where quick, individually tailored activities are vital for proper advertising, RTB has emerged as the e-commerce solution to quickly engaging (and re-engaging) the right users and the right time.

When your computer screen flashes banners promoting your favorite vegetables at the grocery market, you’ll have arrived at the future of digital ad technology.


By Michał Orzechowski, RTB House

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