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Google to focus on simplifying RTB message to advertisers to drive mainstream take-up


By Jessica Davies, News Editor

April 9, 2013 | 4 min read

Google is planning to drive education of the value of real-time bidding (RTB) to advertisers by stripping out the complexity to drive mainstream take-up.

The internet giant will this year turn its focus to ensuring the value of RTB is communicated to advertisers in a way that suits their needs and campaign metrics, rather than in the existing, acronym-riddled jargon used to describe the RTB environment, according to Tanzil Bukhari, head of buyer relations EMEA at Google’s DoubleClick ad exchange.

He told The Drum the RTB market has been “built on acronyms” but that it has matured to the extent that it must now be distilled into a message that can be understood by brand advertisers to reach its full potential.

“The problem we have is that this is a new way of doing business and a new way of buying, facilitated by technology. The level of jargon and complexity has been needed over the last few years as RTB has grown because its target audience has not been the end advertiser, it has been the intermediary – the people who have the ability to understand the value of RTB and develop the technologies that provide the intermediary layer for the end advertisers.

“The reality is we have needed to go through this level of education to ensure RTB becomes a standard and something many players are engaged with. We have stepped past that now. The next stage is to engage with the end advertisers and agencies and for them the jargon is not relevant – those acronyms are relevant for the technology layer – not the end-user layer – so they must now go away,” he said.

Bukhari likened the evolution of the display RTB market to search, adding that before the creation of AdWords there was just as much complexity surrounding the space as there currently is with display RTB.

“The message will start to change this year, not just from us but form our competitors too. The value element will revert back into being: ‘what are you trying to achieve with this campaign?’ – and that campaign will be enabled using a technology that is powered by RTB and all the pieces that come with it are no longer part of the question unless the user wants it to be.

“The complexity is part of the evolution we have had to go through to ensure RTB is established and now we are moving on to the next stage where it will be more about how to scale RTB and for that the conversation needs to change and we must move away from the acronyms and jargon and simplify the message,” he said.

Traditionally the RTB space has been driven by direct response (DR) marketing, but it is becoming increasingly relevant for brand advertising, according to Bukhari.

He said Google will focus on driving investment from brand budgets rather than DR alone early next year.

“The easiest option to target now is still a DR-focused approach. That said, the next stage in the evolution needs to be brand. “There is still a lot more for us to do to drive spend in the DR space but I think these things happen in sequence and until the buyer and end advertiser sees the value in the DR space the move into the brand space may be a bit delayed. But it will be a focus for us, probably towards the end of this year and early next year,” he added.

Driving video RTB will also be a major focus for Google in the coming year, according to Bukhari.


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