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April 4, 2012, Article

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RTB: Automatic for the ad business

Link to original Adzine article

All talk of conferences and congresses are organized and dedicated to many a marketer and buyers of old-school display advertising drives the theme of sweat on the forehead: How do I keep only with this real-time bidding (RTB short)? We help. This post is to clarify what the buying side and the selling side must bring technology to participate in the auctions for the ad impressions and where, if the automatic a little hakelt.

There are still very few German-speaking specialists who have been in the Real Time Bidding extensive know-how. But so much can be said now: Technically, it seems easier to have the purchasing side than the sell side.

DSPs and trading desks for the shopping page
No more complicated environment analysis, less negotiation with the sales people, the marketer, no tedious back and Hergeschiebe quotes and orders by e-mail, instead an automated auction system, including integration of own records, all in a fraction of a second, short, simple efficiency . These advantages promise the media agencies, if they want to shop via real-time bidding their display campaigns. But it's not quite that simple, of course. Only technical systems must be installed, which pave the way to the virtual auction of display advertising.

These new purchase systems specialist knows the world under the name of Demand Side Platform, DSP shortly. The market researcher Forrester Research identified the DSPs in their much-publicized analysis paper, "The Forrester Wave Q4 2011" as "The Gateway to Centralized Programmic Buying". A DSP is thus a central software platform for sophisticated algorithms, the incoming requests to the ad sales side – when the hot RTB bid requests – compares with their own campaign targets in milliseconds and then decides whether it should be given a bid. Because before the bid checks of buyers using the DSP as a "commodity" ad impression. "Each bidder is once determine for themselves, what is the appropriate advertising on this bid request, and responds with the bid, the bid Reponse, which already includes the code snippets of the advertising," explains Guido Pfister, CTO of mexad. A DSP operates therefore for the purchaser to determine the own matches between the incoming bid request the sell side and their own campaigns. Here, the match criteria on environment (web URL), price criteria (eCPM) and target group criteria (profiles) are controlled on the part of the DSP. The agency's own ad server needs to bring any further requirements being able to mix the RTB purchase method, the wheel is not reinvented there. "The code snippet is included in the bid response is nothing more than your own redirect to the ad server, which delivers the ad if the auction is won," said Pfister, who puts insisted that mexad no DSP, but a Trading Desk is outsourced.

A Trading Desk is no DSP
What now? Trading Desk and DSP so do not describe one and the same? "No," says co-founder and general manager of EMEA Erich Wasserman DSP MediaMath provider. "This is not the same. A DSP is a technology that allows a trading desk only allows, media, data and technology assets put together as it requires the client to his needs. " A trading desk so use the DSP as the technological foundation for the optimization of its own business objectives. 'Trading desks can exist in agencies holding or agencies; trading desks are also in special data providers, the data media, match on', or it may be individual companies that specialize only on DSP technology – these are and Automated Trading Desk, named ATDs, and are partners of an agency or advertiser and may focus solely on the fact, for this the DSP effectively for customers to use, "says Wasserman. Trading desks have so depending on the focus of your own application scenario many forms, with DSPs, however, are always the technologies meant that (Google), LucidMedia, MediaMath, TURN and XPlus One develops the majority of the U.S. company AppNexus, DataXu, InviteMedia and, more recently, be offered in Europe.

Also ATD Now, in this somewhat ambiguous nomenclature, provides for the procurement side, already the question of what criteria the technology now at least, that the DSP should be selected. "That is precisely the question that is asked again and again," says Pierre Naggar, European head of DSP vendors turn. "We have developed five key questions so that the agencies can assess how DSP should fall election: – Range: Are all the major exchanges and partners connected? – size and volume: Can the platform reflect their growth technically reliable – what data to be processed: Audience, Contextual etc. – Are there interfaces to data management platforms? – What are the special needs you have regarding forecasts and reports?

Let these five points speak for themselves and ask themselves after the first experience in the implementation of DSP in Germany. PubliGroupe has indeed announced a few days ago that she now brings to the starting line with the DSP MediaMath in Germany joint venture "Spree7". The MediaMath technology will then serve the Swiss choice Berliners as a technological base to provide you with the records from the zanox-world-DACH. the local advertisers an interesting entry into the RTB media buying can. Spree7 offers a managed service for RTB. Sven Ruppert, Senior Project Manager of PubliGroupe: "We advise our clients on its short-term and long-term objectives and to develop the bidding strategies. We also have the responsibility to achieve this goal."

PubliGroupe should have been tested in Switzerland, the resident system with over 14,000 advertisers and websites on the heart and kidneys. Sven Ruppert to the general learnings in integrating a DSP: "The technical integration effort is very low. We integrate the ad tags into our system, which controls the bid processes, campaign management and bidding strategies. The banners are almost always the customer, unless the customer wants us to take over the ad serving for him. But most agencies and direct clients have their own 3rd party ad servers and your own tracking systems, because they want to have combined the numbers in a single reporting. The major hurdle is the media agency rather to have been previously considered strategically and conceptually, what you want to achieve for themselves and their customers with RTB. "

But problems can arise from the use of exotic ad serving systems. Google, for example requires that any ad server must be certified by Google in order to gain access to the sales page, the Google Ad Exchange. While most ad servers now have such certification, but the situation is more complicated if the Advertiser multiple systems and services for integrated tracking – wants to use the Real Time Bidding – including SEM and Affiliate. "This can lead to range problems, because that would not certified or another ad server used there at Google and a 4rd party ad call is not allowed," Pfister explained by mexad who still knows another stumbling block: "These are the costs for ad serving. Often the agency's client the cost of the ad serving has indeed pay. The dynamic pricing model, it is usually such that the total available budget, more ad impressions are delivered as a static quantity at booking time. The resulting extra costs for ad serving must be scheduled in advance with the Agency."

SSPs for sale page
Will the sellers of online media to participate in real-time bidding, he needs a RTB-enabled tool, called the Sell Side Platform (SSP short). The algorithm of the SSP determines which bid response, the DSP makes the race on the sales side. In Germany, many publishers and their marketers are reluctant to fully implement this SSPs. several reasons for this. First there are the experiences gained so far mentioned: "The main task of the SSP is the role of the auctioneer, they must ensure that the auction is really full. Many SSPs, however, were connected by the publishers, much too early for testing. But at that time there was a lack of sufficient demand, so the connected DSP. This led to the publishers to the false assumption that RTB is not working. Today, the publisher would test it again, they would achieve much better results with RTB, I am convinced, "Ruppert explains the current situation. But it is no secret. The shared RTB inventory offer, beyond the Google Ad Exchange, which the house of SSP has integrated Admeld in Germany is still quite thin. There are in addition Admeld and the "nerd" AppNexus, the equally positioned as a DSP and SSP, numerous experienced SSP provider, such as Improve Digital, Rubicon Project, or the German premium SSP Yieldlab, as well as smaller long-tail solutions such as RTBmarkt.

Will now the marketers integrate a SSP, SSP has the scope of its inventory into account, because in the worst case, this integration could result in a reorganization of the entire ad serving setup. And this is the second reason for the reluctance of publishers and marketers. Ghanem Awn, Director of Business Partnership of the SSP provider Yieldlab that looks less critical: "In order to be connected to an SSP, the publisher ad server must first bring no special features. That's the best thing:., The publisher can rely on its existing infrastructure, "Awn explains the further procedure of integration:" For a full integration are created in the SSP ad tags for the publisher as required per placement, channels, rotation, etc.. This ad tags are then integrated into the setup of the publisher ad server. "The ad tags are therefore generated from the SSP and the publisher incorporates them into its own ad server and can provide them with the appropriate priority. "In a simple scenario, the effort is similar to the setup of a major campaign, which is usually not more than three days takes," said Awn. If the publisher, however – as in the U.S. now common practice – trim a large part of the portfolio, RTB want, the effort is much higher. "If the SSP is to be integrated according to the U.S. model from the ad server of the publisher, all ad tags must be replaced, which can last up to three months," says an industry insider of a very large ad serving provider of the coordination of such task has been entrusted once. Therefore offer good SSPs also the full-day ad-setup on publisher side as a full-service performance.

But their publishers and marketers have only one goal: the best and thus herauszuholen the highest yield from their traffic. Therefore, already the question is why not a SSP incorporates the same in their own publisher ad server. Tim Cadogan, CEO of the ad serving and ad exchange provider OpenX has unveiled until early March at this year's IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in London, such a solution for OpenX. But OpenX hosts like Google also has its own Exchange, the OpenX Market. Therefore, this is not entirely comparable. The ADTECH ad server provider, however this year will bring a pure RTB ad serving solution for publishers to market. Erhard Neumann, CEO of Adtech: "In principle, support any publisher with a professional ad server, the RTB – with the best, open-RTB standard '- manage multiple DSPs. The ad server becomes a virtual SSP. We have already tested this functionality with customers, and will releasen him mid-2012."

SSPs and DSPs – That does not fit (yet) always
Erhard Neumann mentioned the Open RTB standard that will provide clarity on technical issues. This legislation applies to the interfaces between the systems involved, including what information between SSP and DSP should be how to pass. This standard is however currently not taken into account by all participants, even though he, CTO of Adtech, sorrow according to Mark Thielen for more equality in the market and so could increase the coverage of the RTB business. "In contrast, proprietary standards lead to isolated solutions with complex integrations," says Thielen. In recent weeks, market participants also told us of further trouble between each SSP and DSP. These relate to the currencies. "If a European SSP provider delivers its bid requests in euro and now a DSP is to be integrated, which gives their bid response only in U.S. dollars, then I have only once a problem I have to solve," Pfister reported mexad . But this circumstance is rather a disease of children RTB, which will be cured within a few months of all relevant DSPs and SSPs. First therapeutic approaches are already there to show where American DSPs for each EMEA markets have taken their own cooperation agreements with the SPP working there.

Do not slow down
Another problem concerns the reaction rates. Here you can see local ad server provider need for improvement. RTB systems should be according to the standard open-RTB responded within 120 milliseconds with the bid response. In this country, the publisher ad server to work with but delivery times of only approximately 20-30 milliseconds. That is the reason why the U.S. DSPs currently massively expand its data centers in Europe. So they intend to get more power to the European RTB streets. Because the competition is not sleeping. So there is using Metrigo, ADTELLIGENCE and Sociomantic and emerging DSP suppliers from Germany.

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