After only three years, real-time bidding has become a catalyst for tremendous growth in display advertising. It began by extending technology and placement strategies from search and applying them across the Web to display. Yet there is a growing sense that the real-time bidding revolution has not lived up to its potential. Quantcast, a digital company specializing in audience measurement, has delved into the issue and believes that many assumptions shared throughout the industry have turned out to wrong. Here are a few lessons they’ve learned that impact the technology.
- Cookies are far shorter lived than thought. Real-time bidding requires real-time data.
- Clicks are a poor performance measurement metric. People that click are not necessarily the people that buy.
- Data is necessary but not sufficient. Knowing who to target is important but also understanding when, where, how often, and how much to pay is what makes the difference in performance.
- Data volume matters. A massive amount of data is necessary to make targeting in real-time work. Clients with regional impact, niche audiences or short flight dates may not have the quantity of data necessary to provide good targeting models.