By Kristin Furjanic Sep 17 2019 Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Real-Time Bidding

The Internet—it’s the only place where new content appears constantly, social shares find their way around the globe in a matter of seconds and advertisements appear in front of the people most likely to pay attention to them. It seems like the whole thing runs on auto-pilot, but there have to be humans at the helm, right?

Not necessarily.

Sure, there are still people creating content and designing the websites you see online, but robots have started working their way into certain parts of the web world in brand new ways—particularly where advertising is concerned. Welcome, to real-time bidding! Read more below.

What is Real-Time Bidding? 

Real-time bidding (RTB) uses programmatic advertising technology to put ads in front of audiences at the exact moment they’re relevant. Technology can take care of the ad-bidding process quickly and efficiently, and it’s able to place bids on ad space anytime, anywhere.

How Does it Work?

  1. Buyers want ad space.Marketers get into a virtual line by way of demand-side platforms (DSPs), which automate the purchase of ad space on behalf of the parties who are interested in grabbing the next available piece of cyber real estate. The DSPs know the buying parameters they’re allowed to look for when the auctions begin and also monitor campaign performance, in order to optimize the impressions most valuable to them.
  2. The auction occurs.Publishers stock up ad exchanges with their impressions and open the gates so the bidding can begin. The supply-side platforms (SSP) then work to automate the sale of ad space while simultaneously driving the prices as high as possible. This part of the process is often described as a stock exchange. All the DSPs are grabbing at the chance to get the most efficient, prominent, and attractive ad space, whereas the SSPs are looking for the highest price. The bids keep going up automatically until the DSP with the biggest budget hits the top bid.
  3. The ad is posted.Once the auction is over, the winning ad is posted on the publication, app, network, feed, or site. It all happens in milliseconds. In fact, RTB goes from start to finish in less than 200 milliseconds. It takes 300 milliseconds for you to blink. In other words, it’s all said and done in the blink of an eye—literally.

How Does RTB Benefit Advertisers?

When ad buying is handled manually, it’s easy to waste impressions because there’s only so much people know about their audiences at the time ad space becomes available. RTB, on the other hand, allows for more automation—robots spend time familiarizing themselves with the behaviors of consumers and instantly know which impressions are going to be the biggest wins for their brands.

RTB enables advertisers to:

  • Reap the benefits of efficient spending
  • Optimize impressions
  • Enjoy narrowed targeting
  • Gain new insights and trends based on buyer behaviors

Ultimately, RTB is a win-win benefit for all sides of the advertising process, as it allows for more efficient buying and selling across the board. Centro’s Basis facilitates programmatic advertising and real-time bidding from a unified platform. We’re excited to show you all that Basis can do—request a demo and get started today!