OpenX Blog

Real-time bidding valuable to mobile advertising

By Rob Kramer, General Manager of Mobile, OpenX


It has become entirely evident that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are the next great tech frontier – for media, as a commercial channel and as a vehicle for advertising. In general, digital advertising is becoming a significant player that can give more traditional ad mediums a run for their money, so it naturally follows that mobile devices, as a primary realm for digital innovation, is also the centerpiece in the marketing world.

As a result, real-time bidding, which has turned into the most hot-button type of programmatic buying, is expected by many within the industry to become increasingly important in tandem with mobile advertising and its rise. According to Business Insider, this method has the potential to get ahead of other programmatic varieties and force prices for mobile advertising to surge, which has been low for some time. The marketplace for mobile ads has needed time to grow, but RTB could be the jolt it needs to move forward.

Advantages in the mobile arena
The news source cited research by BI Intelligence, which identified a number of key reasons why RTB could be the primary driver of mobile advertising. For one, real-time and programmatic ad vendors will have the ability to leverage consumer mobile data (non-personally identifiable information) to its fullest potential, learning how to market future ad buys to first-time customers and establish brand loyalty.

Additionally – and perhaps most significantly – those who are major proponents of RTB claim that it offers effective monetization of the ads that are purchased. This could help address a current complaint of mobile ad buyers: namely, that the investment they make in mobile ad space is not nearly worth its potential return due to the inability to retarget consumers and to accurately track conversions and attribution. The automation of the programmatic buying process that RTB allows for can provide high-volume purchases that are bound to engender respectable ROI once tracking and attribution issues are resolved.

Controversy is overblown
The Drum recently reported that opinions about the viability of mobile RTB typically fall into two camps. Most agencies are full-speed-ahead proponents of the method, while a fair number of advertisers remain skeptical as to its ultimate value and question the profit margins for agencies surrounding ad sales.

While the question of profit margins is one that advertisers are more than entitled to ask, it has an easy enough remedy.  Mobile RTB platforms allow for transparency between parties on both sides of the transaction, so that all involved are clear on the process and no one feels uncertain.