In our third installment of “Chronicles across the pond” Juan Manuel talks about one of the “old-new” trends in advertising: Real Time Bidding (RTB). This type of media buying and selling has generated several changes in the industry that may not necessarily be apparent at this time. What kind of changes are we talking about?
Translated by Candice Carmel
If Newton was right — and there isn’t much evidence to the contrary — every action has an opposite reaction that tries to prevent the movement initiated. In the advertising market (and by that I mean all advertising regardless of media platform), there is an action that is coherently developed in tune with the possibilities offered by technology, and which is changing the structural relationship between media and the market.
As you may have guessed, I’m referring to business formulas based on real-time auctions, or Real-Time Bidding—which is the final frontier, the universal paradigm, the great utopia and ultimately, something very old that is sustained by a very new technology.
RTB, something very old supported by very new technology…
The auction concept has existed since time immemorial, but the current trend does open up immense possibilities in the Internet market. Shall we take a look at this new world?
First, what is obvious is that it is a huge change in both the SELLING and BUYING process and how it’s done. For now, these two forces appear to have the upper hand, applying their enormous financial capacity to impose the method. Marketers today seem to react to it without feeling comfortable with the results, methods, and of course the prices being bandied about.
These growing pains will lessen as the method becomes more established and evolved, and both parties realize that the tool should not condition the value or price of what is being sold through it.
By exaggerating our hand, we risk a sort of consecration of the absurd. It’s as if when fax machines were first introduced, we had used them to impact advertising rates.
The bidding process will eventually adjust values and everyone will experiment with it until having mastered the ability to generate value products that have adequate demand—the kind that makes prices go up.
The second fantasy involves the number and profile of the professionals needed in the entire process, from start to finish. It seems that both sides need a refresher on concepts that will allow those using the tool to achieve maximum performance. While it is true that the number of processes will be reduced, I doubt that in the long term we will need to rely on having fewer professionals volved. Different ones, yes, but I do not think they will be fewer in number.
The technology is evolving too fast to exponentially increase options, and those involved in the buying and selling need to have a very good knowledge of available alternatives in order to achieve the best results.
This means negotiating, sharing information, knowing what your goals are, making adjustments, improving services, adapting profiles, and establishing coherent and well-known targets. In short, it involves highly knowledgeable work that will end up yielding results that are impossible at the moment.
And this will be possible thanks to well-trained professionals who will be better able to recognize and generate empathy, and who want to improve their knowledge and skills in a sector that — unless I’m mistaken — will be the first of many more to adopt this marketing system. Hasn’t television been doing something similar to this for a long time?
Forewarned is forearmed…
Juan Manuel is a media and advertising professional since the 80s, he has worked in many areas related to advertising management, such as media buying for TV and print. Since 1994, he has worked on Internet-related sales, purchasing, and management. For the past three+ years, Beltrán has been in charge of the Spain Business Development at Improve Digital, a company dedicated to optimizing inventory for editors.