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THE DIGITAL ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEM

Most of us are aware of the huge evolution from traditional mass media advertising to digital advertising. However, what few of us realise is that, even within the digital advertising landscape, there have been some drastic shifts.

 

Traditional model

However, the rapid digitalisation of advertising as a whole has resulted in the formation of numerous different companies, each one offering a unique product or service that adds value to the link between the publisher and advertiser. Hence, the digital advertising ecosystem has had to evolve significantly from the much simpler model of days gone by, in order to take into account the new players in the ecosystem. This has meant that a much more complex model.

 

According to the IAB, “The digital environment that connects websites that live on the Internet together, and with people, is done with such precision that to map it out for people makes it look like something bright, blinking and living, and straight out of a sci-fi movie.”

 

To make things simpler, here is our own simplified diagram to help you.

 

Today’s model

DigitalAdvertisingEcosystem.PNG

 

These are some simple definitions to help you understand each player in the ecosystem.

 

Media buyers

Media buyers negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime on behalf of their clients.

 

Trading Desks

A Trading Desk, as we’ve mentioned before, is a service committed to helping advertisers and agencies buy online advertising. This is done through real-time bidding (RTB), enhanced with data. An example of this is The Media Trader.  

 

Ad Networks

An online advertising service provider often with proprietary technology, that helps marketers run display advertising campaigns across various sources of online inventory, for example Google, Yahoo.

 

Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs)

A DSP is a tech platform that enables buyers to evaluate and bid for online media using RTB, for example MediaMath, Turn, Data XU.

 

Data Management Platforms or DMPs, as we’ve already mentioned, are platforms that allow marketers to manage and understand the vast amounts of data that is constantly being generated by consumers, who are digitalising at a ridiculous pace, for example Krux.

 

Ad Exchanges

Ad Exchanges are online auction marketplaces that facilitate the buying and selling of inventory across multiple ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs), for example Doubleclick (by Google, Right Media, Facebook Exchange, OpenX).

 

Supply-Side Platform (SSP)

SSPs are tech platforms that help publishers to maximise ad revenues when managing and selling inventory on ad exchanges and networks, for example Rubicon and PubMatic.

 

It is important to note that, although the lines that separate the various functions appear to be clearly drawn, in reality this might actually be far from the case. This blurring of the lines is largely due to the ongoing consolidation in the AdTech industry, a trend that experts like Ciaran O’Kane have identified.

 

First of all, there is a rise in the number of market makers, who work for both the buy-side and the sell-side. Krux is an example of such a company, working with publishers, marketers, agencies, DMPs, as well as SSPs. Additionally, many companies are starting to offer their clients an integrated solution. For example, Rocket Fuel has a Programmatic Marketing Platform, providing its clients with both a DMP and a DSP.

 

The Media Trader is an independent trading desk and we are specialised in programmatic buying, using RTB and enhanced with data. We know the digital advertising system may seem like a complex place, but we are here to simplify this for our clients. We thrive in the ecosystem and can help clients to navigate it as it evolves.  

 

7 days to Web Summit! See you there!

 

 

 

 

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WEB SUMMIT, THEIR STORY

We all know the Web Summit to be one of the most prestigious gatherings of startups in the global technology ecosystem. However, what few people realise is that it had its own humble beginnings as a startup just 5 years ago. Web Summit started with just 400 attendees in Dublin. In just 4 short years, 22,000 people from more than 100 countries were in attendance. Evidently, people seemed to like what they were doing.

Web Summit was born out of the founder’s desire to find a new way to conduct conferences that were catered to startups and giving them exposure. Instead of allowing the large companies to dominate the main stage, Web Summit would ensure that small companies were not neglected.

 

According to the founder of Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave, one of the key differences in how the event was organised was through the hiring of engineers and data specialists, as opposed to event managers as in days gone by. They found that this improved the efficiency of the process significantly. It might seem surprising that something as inherently social as a human gathering could rely so heavily on data. However, again this demonstrates the sheer power of data and just how prevalent it is today.

 

We don’t always get it right and when we look at what we have done in the past, we sometimes wince. But we care about getting it right and about giving startups the best experience we can - Paddy Cosgrave, founder of Web Summit

 

 

Despite the success of the summit, the Web Summit is committed to constantly improving the experience of startups. The Web Summit is a premium event, and they are extremely discerning in who they eventually invite to the event, having turned down more than 1,000 startups that have communicated with them in the last month alone!

 

 

Here at The Media Trader, we are proud to be a start up, dedicated to digital disruption. It is an honour to have been acknowledged by Web Summit as one of the 50 most promising startups in the world. We started with a great idea - using programmatic and RTB, enhanced with data, to make digital advertising more efficient and transparent. But this is just the beginning. We believe that the more we build our product offering and client base, the more established companies in this industry will start to take notice. 

 

 

12 days until the Web Summit! See you there!

 

 

 

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THE BASICS OF REAL TIME BIDDING

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THE BASICS OF REAL TIME BIDDING

Anyone in the AdTech industry will have heard about words such as ‘Programmatic’ and ‘RTB’ and how they are used by trading desks in programmatic buying.

Just to refresh your memory, real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time auctions that occur in the time it takes a webpage to load.

Here’s something to give you an idea of how RTB works.

During the loading of the webpage, the user’s information is passed on to the Ad Exchange which puts the advertising space in an auction, operating on the Second Price rule. This means that the highest bidder wins but the price paid is the second-highest bid.

But what is so good about RTB? Why is everyone in the digital advertising industry talking about it?

 

In the past, advertising inventory was bought and sold in bulk. (Ad inventory refers to the quantity of ad placements available for selling to advertisers during a given period.) With print media, there are limits as to how much advertising space there is. This is not the case with digital marketing, as it is on the internet, and adverts can be placed in several places. The opportunities are endless. Hence, there was still some available inventory leftover.

In order to monetise the leftover content, publishers pushed this through ad exchanges on an auction basis. Publishers were also able to reap the benefit of the vast amount of data available to them, which made even more precise targeting possible.  

Even though it was publishers who started using RTB to monetise their content,  advertisers soon discovered the many capabilities of RTB as well. So much so that, for some companies, it has become the tool of choice for ad buying. The fact that entire companies that specialise in RTB have sprung up in recent years demonstrates just how well it is working.

 

When you compare RTB to traditional advertising (for example print and broadcasting), you are sending your message out to the masses. However, you have no idea who is seeing your ad, if they have seen it at all. You don’t even know who your customers are. With programmatic, you are able to target the people you want. You are also more certain that it has been seen by the right people. With RTB, you are able to show them relevant advertising in real time.  

 

According to Leon Siotis, Director of Media at BrightRoll

 

“The ability to show the right ad, to the right person at the right time appeals to every advertiser no matter what their intent, and this is something that can only be done if you are making that buying decision in real time.”

 

So, who does RTB benefit?

RTB can benefit both the buy-side (advertisers) and the sell-side (publishers).

 

ADVERTISERS

RTB gives advertisers greater control over the performance of their campaigns. It enables them to achieve more targeted results for themselves. This is because RTB ensures that advertisers are immediately reaching their desired audience on more than one website and device. This also increases the scale of their advertising. 

Additionally, as they are serving the right impression to the right audience at the right time, their spending will be more efficient. They no longer have to worry about wasted impressions. (An impression refers to a single instance of an online ad being displayed.) Finally, the auction process dispenses with the need to work directly with publishers or ad networks to negotiate ad prices, offering greater transparency.


PUBLISHERS

RTB can help publishers generate more revenue from their ad inventory. If you refer back to the above diagram, you will remember that the ad exchange auctions the space to the highest bidder. Therefore, the higher the bid, the higher the revenue generated from the sale.

The auction pricing system has resulted in concerns that RTB benefits advertisers at the expense of publishers. After all, since publishers are no longer naming the price, some worry that RTB would result in advertisers paying them less for their inventory.

However, there are ways for publishers to retain control over prices. Publishers can set a price floor (the minimum price at which their inventory is sold). The reserve price must be met in order for a transaction to take place. This enables publishers to open their ads up to an auction while ensuring that they maximise inventory revenue.


Here’s the main takeaway: RTB is no longer a thing of the future; it is our present. The benefit it offers in terms of efficiency, precision targeting, transparency and scale means it is here to stay. The reason everyone in the digital advertising industry is talking about it is because everyone wants a bite of the RTB pie. And yet, it remains something that not everyone has the expertise to do.

Here at the Media Trader, we are a trading desk specialising in the use of RTB to optimise the execution of your ad campaign. Our aim is to help you to reach the right person at the right time on the right device.


P.S.: 25 days to go until the Web summit, Dublin. See you there!


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Thinking about trading up?

As we spoke about yesterday, a trading desk is a key player in the world of programmatic buying. We exist to optimise advertising budgets by reaching a large audience at a fair price across multiple devices.

But let’s go back to the basics: what exactly does a trading desk do?

Most of us are familiar with the idea of trading on Wall Street and what it means in the financial world, even if we don’t know the ins and outs of how it works. Hence, to understand the role played by digital trading desks, it may be useful to see it as the case of exporting the Wall Street business model and applying it to the advertising industry.

 

First off, the environment that a digital trading desk operates in is similarly fast-paced and competitive. Secondly, the concept of trading remains much the same but the commodity being traded here is online ad space and the people who see those ads. 

How does the trading happen?

1. Publishers, in order to monetise their content, link their ad space to the buying ecosystem.
2. With the help of the trading desk, advertisers decide who they want to reach and which space would be the most effective to enable them to reach this audience.
(General rule of thumb: The more popular the space, the greater the price the client is keen to pay for it.)
The trading desk puts forward a price to bid for each space according to the people watching the content, the screen they are using and the support.
3. The auction takes place, with the one paying the most winning the space.
4. This entire process happens in under 250 milliseconds. This is incredibly fast, demonstrating that it is happening in real time, hence the name RTB (Real-Time Bidding).

 

This business model arose as a way to enhance publishers’ online ad space using data.  This broke with traditional methods of online advertising. The reason why it is working so well is because advertisers now know their audience. It is no longer the case of them taking a stab in the dark. There has been a movement away from previous reliance on mass media, such as print and broadcasting, towards linking your message with specific people.

To provide you with an overview, there are basically 2 types of trading desks: agency trading desks and independent trading desks.

Agencies have incorporated the trading desk as part of the full range of services they provide to advertisers. Examples include Havas-Adnetik, Publicis-Audience on Demand and WPP-Xaxis. Their expertise in online advertising was relatively low and did not yield such results as someone who is specialised. As a result, advertisers wanted to move their trading in-house. Clients were therefore uncertain about the process and the possibility of being taken advantage of.  

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the independent trading desks. An independent trading desk is a company specialising in trading, that is not directly related to a media agency.



The case for independent trading desks:

We are focused on online advertising, mastering our own technology, and helping advertisers embrace the digitalisation of their clients. As we are experts in our field, the decisions we make can drastically influence the placement and pricing of your advertising. The fact that we do not have to answer to a large holding company also prevents any conflict of interest. We focus solely on the buy-side. Furthermore, we offer greater visibility regarding price and data and ad serving by using an independent tracking device owned by Google. This demonstrates to our clients that we are helping them achieve their goals and assures them of the trust they can have in us.

Finally, as we are a company specialised only in trading, clients need not worry that they are paying us to both manage their ad campaign, as well as for our trading services.


Here’s the main takeaway: As an independent trading desk, the Media Trader is committed to transparency, cost-efficiency and re-establishing your control over your ad campaigns. Educating you about what trading desks do is what we see as the first step in this process. This is what differentiates us from other trading desks, whether they be independent or agency.



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PROGRAMMATIC FOR NEWBIES

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PROGRAMMATIC FOR NEWBIES

When people think ‘advertising’, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘creative’, and it is true that the industry has long been the domain of creatives. However, with the recent boom in digital media, the spotlight is now being shared by the technological players that make it all possible.

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